(Rewrite of post originally published on February 1, 2013)
While doing the Hokey Pokey at our wedding reception, I turned myself around and WHAM - my foot stuck on my slip and I went flying and sliding across the floor! Wow, it happened so fast. Did anyone see? Did I rip my dress? All this led me to a very important question...
Is the Hokey Pokey really what it's all about?
Oh the foreshadowing this had on the days to come in my new marriage. See, I had experienced incredible recovery through Jesus Christ prior to meeting Ron. After experiencing abuse, abortion, and several years of not using my body in an honoring way - I turned to God and He purified me from head to toe. Isaiah 1:18 was alive and well in my life!
"...Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool." -Isaiah 1:18
As I walked down the wedding aisle that day, I was white as snow - I was like wool. My time of restoration was totally awesome and really set us up for a healthy marriage.
I was naïve to how intense an impact my past would have on our marriage, and, of course, there were many other challenges that awaited us - I had no idea my Mom's health would fail so rapidly and pass away at a young age or that my job would require me to work in Houston for a year while Ron stayed in Oklahoma. I had no idea we would be on opposite work/school schedules for 7 of our first 9 years of marriage. I certainly had no idea we would hold our lifeless, newborn son and face the challenges of such deep grief. Getting turned around so we're on the right path is one thing, but sometimes it feels like life has been spinning, spinning, spinning all of our married years.
Does anyone else ever get dizzy from all the "turning around?"
How does a ballerina keep from getting dizzy when spinning and spinning? He/she continually returns their eyes to a given point with each turn to maintain balance.
I was pretty dizzy early in our marriage. Panic set in as I dealt with triggers and guilt from my past, but about 6 months into our marriage I was introduced to Celebrate Recovery. I knew Jesus was my Higher Power, but I had no idea all the practical tools laid out for me in His Word to deal with pain, confusion, boundaries, loss, trauma, etc.
There was no doubt I needed to be turned around, but I was turning aimlessly. I would spin, and I would fall. Spin and fall. Spin and fall - exhausted and embarrassed. Then Celebrate Recovery gave me to the tools very similar to that of a spinning ballerina - "keep returning my eyes to a given point." The point was Jesus Christ.
Jesus' specialty is getting people turned around - my job is to keep my eyes focused on Him! In my spinning journey, I sometimes fall even when I am doing everything I know to be right, because I live in a sinful world - so hurts will exist. But even while I am falling or when I am down, if I keep returning my eyes to Him, He gently lifts me up and returns me to my journey.
"... Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus..." Hebrews 12:1-2
Having my eyes fixed on Him doesn't mean falling won't hurt or have an impact on my life. It doesn't mean I won't get dizzy at times. It does mean that I don't become my problems.
This is a place of rest and peace that otherwise cannot exist. This is a hope that cannot be encountered any other way. I now experience tenacity and joyful expectation of the days ahead as I continually learn to trust God and His creative plan for my life.
So that leads me back to the Hokey Pokey. Is it really what it's all about? The song says "turn yourself around - that's what it's all about," and what a common message this is! The world surrounding us says, "you can do anything - now go do it," "if you're down, pull yourself up!" God did not create us to turn ourselves around. I can't do it... you can't do it, but we can keep our eyes on the One that can while acknowledging and thanking Him for doing it - and don't forget to tell others about it!
I don't mean to ruin this song for you, but "turning ourselves around" is not what it is all about. Instead of singing the original lyrics, maybe we can more confidently sing "Let God turn us around - that's what it's all about!"
By the way, you can still catch me doing the Hokey Pokey from time to time... it's too fun to give up, even if I have fallen a few times.