For those of you who don't know much about me or what I do, this post is for you.
If I had to describe myself in one sentence I would probably say that I am extremely adventurous but with a strong conscience. :) Let me explain. I grew up always trying to be just as tough, fast and cool as my brothers and all the boy cousins. In the summer we were racing dirt bikes and always moving the trampoline under the next highest tree. When it came to heights, speed, critters and pain, I found myself always trying to get over my fears and/or face them. If it wasn't for ballet (which my mom enrolled me at the age of 6 after I failed the cartwheel test in gymnastics) and my conscience I would most likely have spent a lot more time in the ER, or be dead. Between my strong conscience always making me re-think the latest competitive endeavors and ballet (involving contracts for injury prevention in high school) I was never quite as adventurous as I wanted to be.
All the while, God had his hand on me. Thankfully, from the time he placed me in the family he did with the desire for adventures He gave me, He was weaving a path and sovereign plan for my life that was beyond my imagining.
Shortly after I was baptized in 2002, I had the opportunity to attend a month long summer dance program with a Christian ballet company in MS. More than the dance training it helped ground me in Christ and upon graduation, I heard the Lord clearly calling me to join the discipleship and training program of Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS. At first I thought this was crazy and that this couldn't possibly be God's plan. After all, I wasn't in love with ballet and planned to stay close to home, quit ballet and go to school...something more 'normal'. :) God slowly chiseled away at my heart those months during the application process and brought me to a place of surrender knowing that I would only be truly happy inside His will. I moved to Jackson in 2005 thinking I was only committing two years of my life and that I would move home and carry on with my plans after that.
Now, almost 8 years later, I can look back and say that I could not have dreamed or imagined this life for myself. I wouldn't trade these past 8 years for the world.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (Prov. 16:9)
Invited to join the Omega touring company in 2007 I entered a whole new level of stretching, growing and living by faith. Working a job (or two) part time on the side to make ends meet, while juggling touring 2-3 weeks of every month, it was overwhelming at times to say the least. I learned a lot, experienced a lot and grew a ton. My first year touring, I had the opportunity to minister across the US and in Honduras and Belize through worship dance classes and evangelistic programs and then spent 6 weeks in a boot after tearing all the ligaments in my ankle during a program in North Carolina. The following season I was humbled to share the story of Corrie Ten Boom in Israel. It is a powerful story of hope in the midst of suffering, a WWII story of Christian who survived Auschwitz and was able to share the hope and forgiveness of Christ with thousands around the world and even those who personally hurt her. Meeting hundreds of Holocaust survivors and hearing their stories was incredible and very humbling.
The following 5 years proved to be more of the same. Stretching, growing, serving and learning. Each year I took on more and more responsibility not only on the road but in Jackson as well. I have had the privilege of discipling the younger girls coming into the program and watching them as they grow, blossom and even pass me up in their faith. I became a head counselor in 2010 for our annual 4 week summer camp. This entails a little of everything, but mostly listening, relying on and walking in the Spirit and His wisdom. With 12 counselors under me and over 175 students in my dorm (split into 2 - 2 week sessions) it is a busy time of teaching, discipleship, little sleep and tons of fun.
As I approach the end of my 8th year with the ministry, I believe God is calling me on. I don't yet know what is ahead, but His word is enough for me. "Walk by faith", He said.
My time with Ballet Magnificat has been very full. I have served with the most amazing group of like-minded, amazing, Spirit filled/led people and feel like it has been a spiritual oasis for me to grow in. I couldn't have asked for a better leadership covering and am so thankful for their guidance, correction and encouragement. I have been blessed to travel with 12 other amazing women of God (in VERY close quarters) and have many stories, memories and testimonies as a result. I have been to over 14 countries, sharing the Good News and my testimony cross cultures and language barriers. I have taught ballet students across the US, Canada and overseas, always praying before class and sharing my faith. I have witnessed the power of Christ to change peoples lives. Healings, freedom from bondage to sin and addiction, the demon possessed restored to sanity, salvation, and many other miracles of Christ's all powerful, all loving hand.
And to think....there is SO much ahead! I am looking forward to this last touring season, to every performance and ministry time, every long van day with the girls, every drop of sweat in the studios etc. We are gearing up for just 2 large tours this season. The first will include Florida, Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana and Connecticut and will last about 4 weeks. The second will be to Switzerland, Poland, Czech, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, possibly Botswana, and South Africa.
God, who orchestrated my salvation (another story, for another day) and who called me into fellowship with His Son, is weaving a grand tapestry with my life. He is using all sorts of things and all colors of threads and weaving them together. What it will look like, I don't quite know...it isn't finished. One more square is almost finished as this chapter of my life closes, but there are many more to go. Something tells me, they will involve more growth, more stretching, and require more leaning on Him and His strength. Walking with Him is always and adventure! I may not know what's next or what is ahead, but I do know who is already there.
And who knows, maybe I'll get to check off some of my bucket list items that have been put on hold all these years. ~
“The way for me has certainly not been conventional or
predictable…..but I have sought the will of God,
and in this I find rest…
….I find His approval and seal in the smallest and unlikely things.”