Susan B Mead is the author of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace. She is also a speaker, chaplain and mom. After personally experiencing the hand of God caress her broken heart when her sister committed suicide, her faith transformed from knowing about God to KNOWING GOD. Susan’s purpose is to help women look up, light up and live again…out loud and in color. She lives in the Dallas area with her husband of 35+ years and 2 “old girls”, Samantha and Brooklyn, her son’s labs.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,” Psalm 30:11 (NKJV)
Imagine Jesus’ later life. Jesus ministering for 3 years. The great expectations of the multitude on Palm Sunday. The physical and emotional blackness when God’s Only Son, Jesus, died on the cross.
Yet Christ was sent to conquer death. For each one of us. He set us free for eternity when He arose from the grave three days later.
He loves you. And me. Do you believe Jesus died the death you deserved and rose from the grave to give you life eternal? Me too!
As a little girl, did you ever dizzily spin in the sunlight as you spun a dream of your future? Were you holding the hands of your father as you danced? Or were you dancing on his toes as he led you?
Me too. My mother played the piano and dad danced with me. As an infant, he held me on his arm as he waltzed across the room, then on his toes and finally stepping upon those hardwood floors as we swirled and the music swelled.
The steps became more intricate and advanced as Dad helped me become more confident. His tender, yet firm hands guided me through each new step and each new dance.
Our Father also takes our little baby hands, props us on His strong arm, holds us to His broad chest…and begins our dance and our dance lessons. Did you know?
Job 21:11-12, “They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe.” (NIV)
As you became aware of God and began to seek His word, were you coming to Him as a babe, with little hands eager – or tentative – to hold His book, His Word and His hand? Thus the dance with God began and our confidence in the dance of life grew.
As the mom of two sons in their 20s, one in college, the other working, I thought the dance of life was simple. My husband and I were empty nesters, working and seeing “the boys” as college and work allowed.
Until the phone call that changed the dance…
My knees buckled, time warped into slow motion and my mind reeled into warp speed. “What did you say Matthew?” I could barely understand him as he wailed into the phone, “Kyle died last night.”
The big brother telling the mom.
Holy Father God, please change this dance. I can’t bear it. I don’t know the steps. I can’t…
Have you ever cried out to God with a heart so shattered you did not know if you could function?
A few days later, realization hit me. Hard. God had lost His Son, Jesus, too. In that moment of revelation, grace poured over me. God guides us, step by precious step, back into life, love, hope and grace.
I had a dream on the morning of Kyle’s funeral service.
Kyle was dancing at the ice rink, wearing his favorite Scooby Doo tee shirt, blazer, and jeans, two hockey sticks crossed against the wall behind him. Kyle was in what looked like a deep squat, arms and hands were circling, as he danced. He was rocking it!
And Jesus was right there—mirror image to Kyle. When Jesus saw me, He stood, pivoted to point at me and said, “This is to bring you great joy. I taught him how. I taught him how to dance.”
Oh, JOY! Kyle was in Jesus’ presence doing the best dance of his life. What a gift that incredibly beautiful dream was. It helped this momma get out of bed. That day. And the next. And the next. And the next…
Shortly thereafter, we held a memorial service for Kyle at his college. One of his dear friends presented us with a banner of photos from when Kyle had been in South Louisiana. These were priceless moments captured and shared.
Imagine me unrolling the banner to see a picture that took my breath away—a photo that looked like an exact copy of how I saw Kyle in the dream – with just one hockey stick and no Jesus.
Yes, AFTER the dream.
Would you teach me this new dance, Lord? I want to learn the steps, with you leading, Jesus.
Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions. Yet there is ONE solution for any grief. Jesus. Hold His gracious hand, step up onto His toes, and feel Him guide you as He teaches you how to live and dance again, step by beautiful step.
We lost Kyle in 2008. How is it that God causes such joy to appear in His children’s lives after such loss? Out of the ashes of grief rises a story of grace, the grace of our Lord, Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father God, Thank You for teaching us the dance of life, step by grace-filled step. May Your grace fill our hearts and lives to overflowing. So much so that grief is completely displaced with JOY, the joy of the Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (NIV)
Additional Resources: If you have lost someone dear to you or know someone who has and would like to help them experience the joy of the Lord, then check out Susan’s new book, Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace.
© 2015 by Susan B Mead. All rights reserved cc
Susan blogs at www.SusanBMead.com and host the #DanceWithJesus Friday Linkup. Join the dance each week as you linkup your blog to hers.