May I introduce my long-time friend and sister in the Lord, Stephanie Curtis? Stephanie and I met at Community Bible Chapel when our kiddos were very little. And then low and behold, I ended up being her son Aaron's kindergarten teacher for several months (as a sub) at Scoffield Christian School in Dallas.
But Stephanie and I really connected in studying the word together with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living...via radio, of course. Stephanie and I, along with another friend, would study all week, using Chuck's study guides, and then we would get together and discuss the Word, followed by prayer for our families and each other.
Those were precious days indeed...those days as young moms, sharing with the Lord and with each other!
Then there came moves to Atlanta (Stephanie) and Dayton (Jan)...
The years passed...and kids grew and married...and the grandkids started appearing. Once a year communication through Christmas letters (Stephanie being more faithful at it than I was, I have to admit) kept us loosely connected.
Then entered facebook! Oh blessed facebook! And my friend Stephanie came back into my life.
So I am honored to introduce you to my godly friend Stephanie as my latest Guest Branch. Be blessed and amazed as you read her story of a precious intimacy with her Savior and ours!
Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing your experience with us...to God be all the glory for His pleasure and purpose in our generation to the next! (Acts 13:36)
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalm 145: 3,4
About fifteen years ago, I began experiencing an intimacy with God I hadn't known before. In part, this was prompted by our involvement as intercessors in a cantata based on the Song of Solomon. Don and I began studying the Song of Solomon. I felt a closeness, an intimacy with God, that was quite amazing. My life seemed like a date with the God of the universe.
There was a man in our church at that time named Lamar. He was old school Pentecostal, and he loved the Lord with every inch of his long, lanky body. He always sat in the front row and when he got excited about the Lord, he started dancing. He hooted and hollered and kicked up his heels, doing sort of whirly-gig across the room. We are a charismatic church, but he trumped anything the rest of us did to show enthusiasm for God.
One Sunday the worship team did a beautiful melodic praise song. I began imagining that Jesus was asking me to dance and I danced with him in my mind. Of course, that sort of imagination can get tricky because you have to do it so that you don't really put a face on Jesus. After all, we don't know what he looked like. I could run the risk of putting Don's face there. Or, worse yet, George Clooney's face.
So, to my best ability, I imagined Jesus, in sort of a fuzzy way, dancing with me. It was so lovely. We must have been doing a waltz. I think he was in a tux. I was really into it and loving the moment—so much so that I didn't notice the tempo and rhythm transition to the next song, which was “Mercy is Falling.” The one with the refrain that goes “Hey Ho I receive your glory; Hey Ho I receive your grace, Hey Ho I will dance forever more.”
As the worship team was ramping up that rousing song, I felt someone tapping me on the shoulder. It startled me out of my reverie and to my surprise, Lamar was there asking me to dance. I was in shock. Lamar had never asked anyone to dance with him before. Well, before I had a chance to get too nervous, he pulled me up to the front and there I was, whirly- gigging across the front of the room with Lamar! When the song was over, Lamar told me the most amazing thing. He said that God had told him to ask me to dance.
Isn't that so incredible and so like our God? God has often shown me His humorous side. In this case, there I was imagining dancing a waltz with Jesus and He tells someone to ask me to dance---kicking and leaping across the room.
But, besides a little chuckle, there were observations and lessons there for me. First, the obvious observation. What a miracle. What a boost to my faith that God, when I was imagining dancing with Jesus, would actually tell someone to ask me to dance. That still blows me away!
One lesson is that we never know what to expect when it comes to our God. We want God in our circumstances and in our lives, but we are clueless as to what that is going to look like. So, we sometimes don't recognize Him. Comparing our lives to a dance with the Lord, when He taps us on the shoulder and wants to dance with us, we are sometimes expecting a different kind of dance; a different kind song.
This brings me back to intimacy with God. It doesn't always feel like a date, or a slow dance, with the God of the universe. But, God is ever Present and ever waiting for us to dance with him.