“Dance is more than moving to the beat of the music. It’s losing yourself in the rhythm, expressing true emotions in your heart, and for me, dance is my spiritual place. An empty stage can become my sanctuary of giving God thanks for the joy and love he has shown me. Dance is my way of worshipping the almighty God of the universe.” – Angela
“Sailing is the one place where I feel most spiritual. The benefit of sailing is that it is not just in one place, but in many. You can be out on the water with nothing in sight or you can be amongst islands and by land. When I am out on the water I find so much joy in watching God’s creation change throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset. Each day there is a peace within myself that cannot be explained, yet an understanding of how powerful the water is and how things can change in a moment. Knowing that I am on the waters that God created and He is even more powerful than the water is amazing and I am in awe every day. This is what God created me to do, and to share the joy I receive from it and from him with others.” – Emma
The ocean is where I feel empowered and renewed by God the most. I am drawn to it, in the same way that I am drawn to God. Times when I need answers or feel too overwhelmed, I go sit and stare at the mighty ocean, the representation of God that overwhelms my soul.
It is gentle and soothing, yet powerful and authoritative. You cannot control it and it can sweep you away at its liking. You fear it, yet you cannot take your eyes from it. It’s beauty overwhelms and transforms you.
I believe God shows me more of who He is when He takes me to the ocean. I can hear His voice in the crashing waves and I have had many a questions answered there.
After graduation, God lead me back home, 123 miles from the ocean. That may not seem like a lot to some, but I had been 10 minutes away. That has been a new challenge, but I am content in knowing that God led me here for a reason, perhaps to show me more of Himself in other things. I pray that He will lead me back one day soon, but I know that He has a purpose for everything.
In the culture that we live in, we often get what we want. And when we get it, we want more. It seems that we are more depressed overall than the people who have very little. Hmm.. I often find myself irritated over things that I wish people would do or over things that I wish that I could have..like a full-time job. But then I realize how much God has given me. I look at my life and say, “God! You did not have to give me every one of these blessings! How good you are to me and how little I show thanks.”
Today I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a magazine. It was one that I would never buy because of the content that it is known for, but I knew that there was supposed to be an article with three stories about three women who survived sexual slavery and were rescued. Each of these women told the story of their abduction, the horrific sexual, physical and emotional abuse that they endured and how their lives are now. These women are amazing. Despite the degradation of their bodies and spirits, they are strong women today. They are pursuing their careers, are in loving relationships and are telling their stories in hopes that the same thing will not happen to somebody else.
I also saw a special on 60 Minutes tonight about Jaycee Dugard. She is a women who was kidnapped at a young age and held prisoner in a couple’s backyard for 18 years. She described the abuse that she endured and how she made it through until she was finally rescued. What was so amazing about her particular story was the way that she sees life now. In everything that happened, she could find something positive; a positive lesson that she had learned. Despite the fact that she was locked up for 18 years, her mother sitting next to her telling her how sorry she was that Jaycee had lost her childhood and adolescence, Jaycee simply said that she was free now and had so much more of life. She was thankful for everything that she has. Though nobody would ever wish to endure what she did, Jaycee was the one finding the light in the situation.
So, how can we love God more? I think it starts with thanksgiving. God works every situation in our lives out for “the good of those who love Him.” – Romans 8:28
We need to love him and trust Him. God does not put anything in our path that we cannot overcome, if we rely on Him. And He wants us to be overcomers. It’s a big step to give a painful situation to God; to humble ourselves and thank Him for preparing us in this way. His grace will fill us up when other things or other people try to empty us.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39