It was like any other normal Friday night except this night I didn’t have plans. My weekdays and weekends are filled with things to do; church things, home things, creatives things, there are always things. But this night was different. I came home, cooked dinner, talked to my daughter, did a halfway job of cleaning up my kitchen and I was in the bed before 9 pm… on a Friday night. I was happy at the prospect of a do-nothing weekend because those come so few and far between for me.
I snuggled up in my bed with the current book I’d been reading, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, and settled into my happy place. I’m using past tense words like “had been reading” and am speaking about this Friday night as if it was some months, weeks or years ago, but this Friday night happened last night. Today is Saturday, November 16, 2019, and I sit on my living room floor writing about yesterday and today. Let’s keep that in mind as we proceed. So, anyway, I snuggled up in bed with my book, followed by bible reading and one of my favorite pastimes, perusing Facebook. As I scrolled, I noticed a post from a friend saying she would be having a 30-minute workout session live the next morning (today) and asked if her friends would join. Something in me leaped because as I’ve been cleaning up my diet over the last two weeks, exercise has been sparse. I quickly typed that I would join the fun, then set my alarm for 6 am so I’d be good and ready when the time came. However, I woke up at 5 am. I said my good mornings to God, thanked Him, read some scriptures then did my other usual… perusing Facebook. As the 6 am alarm drew near I kept thinking, not today. I would disarm the alarm and go back to bed, but something inside me reminded me… You said you would be there. Ordinarily, that would not have deterred me from making my excuses to gain another few hours of sleep. After all, I don’t get many weekends like this, but this time I couldn’t ignore the reminder. You see, I’ve been asking God specifically in prayer to help make me more like Him, and the reality is when He says He’ll be there… He’ll be there.
When 6:15 am rolled around I got up, grabbed my phone and headed to the living room. I quickly pulled up my friend’s page and true to her word she was there preparing for the early morning workout. I jumped on to tell her I was “in the building” so to speak, and began the fun, Faith-based Workout. My Facebook friend’s name is Faith and her workouts are fun, low impact and full of Gospel music; all the things I needed. I struggled through the routines at times because of lower back issues that like to shoot down my right hip and thigh whenever it gets good and ready, and I was still nursing a bruised Achilles on my left heel. I made it through okay, modifying movements as I went, but toward the end, my lower back was really feeling it. By the end I was sweating, smiling and thankful that I’d gotten up to do the workout. I told myself that my pain issues were caused by the choices that I’d made to carry around all these extra pounds and that it would take my willing obedience to turn it around. I was happy with that criteria, but I was wrong. Sort of… just keep reading.
On the cool down, a song sung by a familiar voice began to play. The voice was raspy, anointed and laced with an island spice like it was reared in Jamaica or the Bahamas even though it was not. The words rang “Be still and know… that I Am God.” The music and lyrics began to take over as I did modified versions of the directed moves; my back, hip, and heel aching underneath each one. At a certain point, I bowed as much as my back would allow me and stretched out my hands saying, “dance with me, God.” It was a gigantic order to fill, uttered through the voice of a 41-year-old woman, but it felt like the sweetest, most simple request of a child to her loving Father when it escaped my lips. I closed my eyes not knowing what to expect and then something very curious happened. I perched my left arm as if cupped around the neck of a dance partner and my right as if resting against his back, and the moves I began to do were beyond my control. I was waltzing, dancing, bending swaying, dipping, doing things I could only dream of doing, but physically could not. As I realized I began to cry uncontrolled tears, and when I opened my eyes I heard; “let Me lead you.” I cried more… harder, but I still obeyed. I danced, and I knew I was not alone. I danced around my living room, twirling and spinning like a trained dancer. I am not kidding you! I was moving and bending in directions my body has never experienced. I spun until I became dizzy, but I never fell, not even almost. I cried and begged Him to never leave. I could feel us, separating and coming back together as ballroom dancers would, and at a certain moment, I felt this spin… this permission to dance for Him as He watched. I was all over the room. My body moved with such fluidity and grace, and I never bumped into anything or stumbled. It was amazing! The pain in my left heel. Gone! The pain in my lower back that reaches down into my right thigh and hip. Gone! I cried like a baby as I danced.
When the song came to an end and the instructor, Faith, began to speak, I quickly rushed to my phone and turned on my “Exalt Him” playlist. I kept whispering through my tears “don’t leave! Please don’t leave!” When I turned on the next song, “Mention” by Fresh Start Worship, I heard Him say He never would. I danced again. I danced, we danced! I know it sounds crazy, but I felt Him in the room. God! The true and living God! The Savior and King! God danced with me! I asked Him why? Why did He come to visit me this way? Why when I am so far from perfect? Why, when I don’t deserve it? His silent response spoke to my heart that it was His nature and that it was His desire to walk the earth to see who would accept Him and invite Him to never leave. I cried and danced. I’m sure I made moves that mirrored those of Misty Copeland! I’m sure of it! And because I’m sure, I knew it wasn’t just me dancing.
By the end of the dance, I flung myself to the floor, no pain in my body and cried! How could this be! I bowed on my knees; my knees that would ache so bad that I rarely kneel on them to pray anymore, those knees bowed to the King and dung deep into the carpet fibers of my floor and I cried and thanked Him. Yes, when I was up dancing, the enemy began for a moment to speak in my mind. “You’re making this up! You’re crazy. God wouldn’t dance with you. You’re living in a fantasy.” But he was quickly silenced because in the Presence of the King every lie must fall… and it did. Just as quickly as it came, it fell, and I thanked Jesus for this experience. I laid on the floor an utter mess of tears, stretching my back and leg looking for the pain to return but it didn’t… as I type it still hasn’t! He healed me. He danced with me, and He healed me! As I rocked in worship He asked; “what do you want Me to do for you?” I whispered my requests back, and I heard; “So shall it be.”
I know these words sound like lies. I know, like the enemy tried to whisper, this experience sounds like a mere fantasy, but it was real! It was so real, and it can never be taken away from me! Shortly after, I sat with my legs folded in worship. I heard my daughter awaken and begin to walk the hallway to get to where I was. I was still in a daze by His Presence and I knew that if He had truly been here… if He was truly there, then her normal “Mom, I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?” couldn’t be uttered in this holy space. I waited, still in tears to see if what I knew had happened, had truly happened and you know what she did? She sat on the floor next to me and worshipped. I started to ask her if she felt what I was feeling but the Holy Spirit whispered; “Don’t Disturb this Groove.” You might not believe that either, but He really does talk to me in R&B sometimes. He talks to me in the language He knows I love. So, I kept quiet. I didn’t disturb, and within moments, my daughter laid her body across my lap and cried in worship to God, and then I knew what I already knew. It really had happened. It truly did! I actually… danced with God. My prayer today is that you open up your heart to receive a visitation of your own. My word for you today is… I hope you dance… I hope you dance.