I call them key turning points, small decisions to obey that radically shift something. It was our Job season. We had lost our beautiful newly built church building in an ugly denominational squabble. Friends we had for years were lost as we made a decision to separate from that denomination, and in their minds, separate from them. Loss and hurt and pain seemed to blanket every area of our life, spiritually, emotionally relationally, financially.
It was Christmas time, and our faithful congregation had hung together through the loss of our building, and moved with us into a rented space in a dark and gloomy strip mall in the bad part of town. There weren't enough twinkly lights or tinsel to make that little sanctuary look appealing. My soul felt as dark and gloomy as our surroundings.
Towards the end of that particular Sunday morning, over the sound system my husband had chosen to have Whitney Houston's version of Joy to the World, the one from the movie The Preacher's Wife, played. I felt no joy, only deep sorrow and mourning for all that we had been going through. However, in my spirit I felt the urging of God's Holy Spirit telling me to worship, to give thanks, and to dance. Though we come from a belief system where none of those acts were considered unusual, no one else was doing it at the time and I certainly did not emotionally feel like doing it. But, something in my spirit rose up and teamed together with my will and grabbed my emotions by the nape of the neck and I began to worship, give thanks and dance. When I obeyed, when I gave a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, my garments of heaviness fell off, and a new sense of peace and joy flooded over me. That experience marked me forever. (read the rest of this post on Sunday, November 22nd over at Woman to Woman Ministries where I write a weekly "Sunday Soul Food" post.)
Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson
and Cheryl McCain Photography.