Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stepping into the Faith Zone

"Delight yourself in the Lord, 
and He will give you the desires of your heart."  
Psalms 37:4

During my trip to Bethel, I picked up the book "The Faith Zone" by Steve Long, where the author describes faith as "acting on a revelation."   And he calls the Faith Zone, the point where we step out on a revelation from God see miracles happen.

Throughout this year, God has been repeating Psalms 37:4 everywhere, from the random artwork I bought myself on New Years, the prophetic word I got from a girl at church, or the verse my friend wrote in the cover of the book she gave me as a gift.  It's been popping up everywhere! "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

I used to believe that meant He would shift our desires to be Godly ones, which He does, but I didn't know that meant we'd actually be given our desires. Just this past week at Bible study, one of the girls spoke on how our dreams must die for God to resurrect them in their glorified state.  And I've come to find that when I finally hold my dreams with open palms, God usually doesn't take them away from me.  Rather in surrendering them to Him, He rewards my obedience with everything I wanted and more!

A few weeks ago, a guest speaker came from out of state to speak for our generations night at church.  On my drive over, I found the financial challenge card I had picked up when I visited my former church on my brother's birthday the week before.  It read, "Giving: Pay for a stranger's meal."   As I read it, I could already feel the urge to throw out the card and pretend I didn't read it. But instead, I shot up a quick prayer, "God, I'll know who's meal to get, because you will let me know."  Throughout that night, the speaker mentioned various times how much he wanted In'n'Out, so when the service ended and no love offering was received I knew what I needed to do.  I tossed the idea in my mind of checking my car for a smaller bill than the one in pocket, when I heard that stern voice in my head scold me for my stinginess. God is calling you to bless someone. So bless them.

I felt pretty accomplished afterwards and thought my job was done, but lo' and behold, there he was again the very next day speaking for our main service.  Not too long before the tithe was collected he mentioned how "God will restore in seven fold what the devil has taken."  And there it was in bright big words in my mind.  SEVEN FOLD.  "Take yesterday's number and multiply it by seven."  Ahh! The horror!! I had just taken a two week vacation from work and was already going to be earning less than in the usual school year, AND I had just given him money yesterday, but I knew who was speaking to me.  If faith is acting on a revelation from God, then, how could I not obey?

As I sat calculating my finances later that week, I couldn't help but wonder what God was planning and why He was asking me to take huge leaps of faith.  That very week, I attained two new students for tutoring, I was unexpectedly called into my school's office and given an amazing financial blessing, and had a phone interview for my dream job!!! to teach dance to little kids at a Christian dance studio!

It would be amazing if it was all that easy, but it wasn't. I was in the faith zone, where God likes to work what we call "miracles."  I heard back from the dance studio, a few days earlier than expected and was scheduled a follow-up interview--the technical interview, where I would dance for them and show them a sample of choreography appropriate for young dancers and another routine to demonstrate my style as a dancer.  Well, I was terrified.  I already knew because of the timing and all the dandelions, that this job was exactly where I was supposed to be, but I still couldn't help but be so scared.  And of course, four days before the interview I sprain my foot jumping and dancing during morning recess with my students.    But there was no way I was about to reschedule the interview and no way I wouldn't practice for it, this job was a dream come true for me. Just the opportunity to try for it was more than I ever imagined, I could ever receive.

I was trying to choreograph a routine to "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott (lead singer of Lady Antebellum), and it was really hard. I remember hearing the line repeat in my head "it's hard to count it all joy, distracted by the noise..." as I would painfully land my grande jete on my exhausted feet.  "Thy will be done."  I prayed and prayed and even asked others to pray for my foot.  All week, I was teaching class after class of dance with my students and constantly walking back and forth across campus watching recess and running errands.  Why did I have to get injured now?   That night before the interview, I prayed something different. I prayed that if God would not heal my foot, that He would grant me the strength to dance through it, so that all the glory may go to Him. And that night, I was given a different song.  He told me, I want you to dance to "Feathers" by Lilah Burger.  He wanted all the glory to be His.

"He will cover you with his feathers, 
and under his wings you will find refuge."
Psalms 91:4

The next morning, I wrapped my hurt feet and slid on my dance shoes.  I helped assist the mini camp, and then had a fifteen minute break to rehearse the choreography God had given me the night before.  I was so nervous. I had barely gotten a chance to practice this routine, and it seemed too "simple".

But it was all a blessing, the whole preparation and interview process.  During the interview, they asked why I wanted to teach dance and I admitted that my training was not as much as I would like, but I loved dance and kids and that I believed that God had been blessing me with dandelions and asking me to dream bigger. Wiping tears from her eyes, one of the ladies responded saying, "Well, we believe that you are God's answer to our prayers, because we have been praying for someone with a heart like yours."

And that is how, God worked the most beautiful miracle in my life, that while I felt unqualified and scared and even injured, He was able to do what I believed was impossible.  Now I will get to teach ballet and tap dance to little three year olds starting in August, and I am completely overjoyed.  I was disappointed when it seemed like the door I believe would open didn't, but that's because God had something even more beautiful in the making.   Dreams really do come true!

Sees the invisible
Believes the unbelievable
And receives the impossible