The person that first introduced me to Christ was my dance teacher, Jan Payne Pierce. I was around 13 years old and a member of her ballet company. There were 7 of us in the company at that time and all of her choreography was primarily liturgical dance, thus we were exposed to christian music regularly. She started a small bible study for us and every Monday evening, after 2 hours of pointe class, we would bandage our toes and learn about Jesus! Jan invested into our lives in this manner well past high school and to this day we ALL have a solid foundation in Christ because of her. She later became an author of several books for home schools / christian schools (The Puritan Primer) and continued to lead MANY others to Christ through her consistent and gentle spirit.
Learning about Christ had a profound impact on my life. I grew up in church but had NO CLUE what it was like to have a personal relationship with Christ, let alone the benefits that had! My parents loved us and were supportive of us growing up, but their marriage was full of turmoil. Christ was my rock, in more ways than one. Jan knew what I was exposed to, so no doubt she covered me in prayer constantly. There is no way I came out of that environment unscathed had it not been for Jesus Christ. This has carried into MANYYYYYY other areas into my life, most of which did not occur to me until I looked back.
My faith became real to me between 2006 and 2018. Several chain of events took place within that time, each one leading me closer and closer to God's character. Lots of bumps and bruises and tug-of-wars between my humaness and God's gentle grip on my heart. But the more I relinquished "my" will and gave into to His; the more the veil was lifted and I began to GET IT. Suddenly it was like a tidal wave and He said "now step aside and watch what I can do". I can hear Him now. I can recognize His voice. I feel His nudge. I know the God-winks. And now, though life still has some craziness swirling around, I dont panic anymore. I remind myself of how He has always come thru for me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
So other than my beloved dance teacher, the authors Mike Foster, Jentzen Franklin, Beth Moore and Bob Goff had a massive impact on my faith journey. All of which, wouldnt you know, came into my life within weeks of one another (via books of course). Their words and inspiration and encouragement launched my faith walk into a new level and the result was astounding! To the point that it impacted an entire community. As I stood on the sidelines (because God saved me a seat there), I just cried. I couldnt believe He could use someone like me to be a part of something so big for His kingdom.
Stories are powerful. I am blessed to have one to tell now and I cherish it so very much. Thank yall for doing this for our community. Now more than ever, our stories need to be told. They can certainly be the link that God uses to reach someone's heart. Im living proof of that.
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