Touchdown Dance


I love Sundays.

Yes, brunch is great. Sleeping in – that’s good too. Going to church – always a highlight.

But if I’m being 100% honest: the real reason why I love Sundays so much:

One word:

FOOTBALL

 

I love watching the NFL.

And one of my favorite parts of the game, is the touchdown dance.


And you’ll notice, if you watch enough pigskin, that many athletes will point to God after they run into the end zone.


Or, they’ll wear 316 on their eyeblack as a way to give the glory to God. (John3:16 – Jesus loves you)

Which is awesome.

And this is not just something football players do.

Watch any award show — The Grammy’s, The Oscars etc — and albeit more rare than in the past, people will still thank God for their success. And at least, share the glory.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of my acceptance speech for an Oscar. Maybe you have too. Or maybe you’ve perfected a touchdown dance, or fantasized about running with the American Flag around the track after winning the Olympics, pointing up to the sky while the crowd chants your name.


It’s okay. We all do it.

But isn’t that the dream? Isn’t that the ultimate? God, glorify me, so I can glorify You.

But, time for some truth: at least for 99% of us — that’s not how things end up.

And #Realtalk: there are seasons where it’s the opposite.


I get the comment a lot: “I can’t believe you’re sharing your story.”

Or, “What courage to share your story.”

Because let’s be real here: my past is full of pain. It’s dark. Definitely not “first date” material.

So why share it?

One word:

HOPE


Hope when you feel that God’s not there. That God has forgotten about you.


It’s easy to see God’s work in your life when you’re scoring touchdowns or winning awards. It’s easy to say, Wow, look at all God has blessed me with. He must really love me. 

But what about the times when you can’t see Him. What about when you’re hurting. What about when you’ve prayed and prayed for months, years, maybe – for healing, and are still sick. What about when a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, or you lose your job, get dumped by your boyfriend, can’t make your rent, get rejected from your dream school or dream job? What then?

Where’s God then?


And I wanted to share my story, because I have been there.

I have been at that point of desperation, feeling like there is no hope. That I’ve been passed over.

At the height of my anorexia, looking in the mirror having lost all my hair, emaciated at 78 pounds, having lost all my friends, passions, energy, faith, personality – there was no hope. God, I know I’ve been running and pushing you away, and even though right now I may not want to be saved, God, if You really loved me you would save me from this hell anyway. If I was really precious in Your sight, You would heal my mind from this tormented state. 

Sound familiar?


There’s a story in the Bible about this man named Lazarus. It’s from John 11, if you want to read it.

But Lazarus was Jesus’ best friend. In fact, in that passage, it says that Jesus loved him like family.

And one day Lazarus got really sick and was on his death bed. They sent a messanger to Jesus saying, ‘yo – your BFF is dying, come save him.” You’d think, that as his BFF, Jesus would have dropped everything and rushed to save him.

But no. He didn’t. He didn’t go visit Lazarus for two days. And in the meantime, Lazarus dies. He dies, Jesus let his best friend die.

And by the time He journeyed to where Lazarus was, he had been dead for four days. Four days! But, stench aside, this four days was important. You see, back during biblical times, the cultural/societal belief was that after a person dies, their spirit hovers over the body for three days, and then finally “moves on” on the fourth day. So the fact that Jesus didn’t show up until the fourth day — Lazarus was not only physically dead, but his spirit wasn’t even lingering around. (Sound like anyone else’s situation?) He was completely gone. 

And when Jesus arrived, Lazarus’ sister, Mary, was clearly upset. Saying things like, “If You would have come sooner, he wouldn’t have died.” Basically, she was saying what we all do from time to time: God, where the hell are you!? 

 

I think we all know the ending of the story: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Yes, brings him back to life.

But that’s not the point of this post. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

The fact is this: Jesus knew that He was going to arrive late and that Lazarus was going to die. And it’s not like He’s some “behind-the-curtain,” unfeeling, mastermind/puppeteer that gets delight in causing pain. No. That’s not it at all. In fact, when Jesus goes to the tomb and sees Lazarus’ dead body, the bible offers two words that are very telling: “Jesus wept.” (v. 36). He wasn’t unfeeling. Jesus felt the tragedy that Lazarus was enduring, and Mary experiencing.


The fact is this: there was something bigger at play here. Bigger than their friendship. Bigger than Lazarus dying and being brought back to life. Bigger than Mary’s feeling of abandonment that Jesus didn’t come sooner.

Because here’s the big picture: “It happened for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (v.4)

Boom.

Game. Set. Match.

Yes, all-star athletes or platinum-album celebrities giving glory to God in success is one thing, but it is in weakness – in broken, hopeless situations – that God’s glory really shines, isn’t it?


It’s when all hope is gone, that our faith is really tested, and where we really have to have faith that God didn’t abandon us. That we’re not forgotten. That we’re loved.

IMG_6104

Because, when you’re in despair, that’s how you feel. If you’re being really completely honest, — if I’m being really completely honest — you feel that God’s not there. That you’re not loved.

But that’s not how God communicates His love for us. He communicated His love for us on the cross.

So when God isn’t answering our prayer, or has seemed like He “checked out,” it’s not because He doesn’t love us.

It is because God is going to use that weakness, that despair, that heartache and pain – and will be glorified through it, so that others may come to believe. Because when we are weak is when He is the strongest.


That’s why I’m sharing my story. That’s why I’m opening up my past, revealing my wounds and brokenness. Why I’m plastering my heart all over these posts on here and on Instagram (@Beauty.Beyond.Bones) : it is because I have felt hopeless and abandoned and at the break point. But, it wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus delivered me. And my life – every meal I eat, every time I am gentle with my body, every time I look in the mirror and am at peace with the young woman staring back at me, every time I say yes to an outing with a friend, hell — the fact that my hair grew back! — all those things point to His glory.

So I don’t need to win an Oscar, or take the World Cup to be able to show God’s glory. If that’s your story, that’s awesome. Rock on, man.

He is glorified through my brokenness. That’s my touchdown dance.

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58 thoughts on “Touchdown Dance

  1. YES! I am so happy you wrote this today because I needed to read it. Recently someone I thought very highly of wrote a very rude post on FB sharing his belief that anyone who believes in God is essentially unintelligent and that we shouldn’t #prayforparis because that will never do any good. I have not stopped thinking about what to do or say since last night when I read it. I was hurt, I cried and I prayed because I sometimes do not have all the answers about why God allows suffering.
    Sorry this is getting long, but thank you for this post. I can relate a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much Ellie. Oh I’m so sorry to hear about that. It always breaks my heart to hear people putting others down for their faith. Know that you are loved and comforted in His arms. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! Hugs friend! Xx

      Liked by 2 people

    • The hardest thing sometimes is to remember not to take the criticism of Christianity as personal. You will find these messages everywhere and God will deal with these people directly. He loves everyone and will devise a lesson for them.

      Keep strong to your own faith and be upset for those who are suffering just like you have been by praying for Paris.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Thank you so much Ellie. Oh I’m so sorry to hear about that. It always breaks my heart to hear people putting others down for their faith. Know that you are loved and comforted in His arms. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! Hugs friend! Xx

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  3. Awesome, awesome post!!! It makes me think about how and when He healed me. I kept asking Him where He was. I did not know it then, but He was with me every step of the way. He kept me alive for a reason. Now that I am battling a potential brain tumor, I keep asking, once again, “Where are you, God? I need you.” I know he is with me. And I know it will all work out for His glory. Just as it did when He healed me of my eating disorder. I guess sometimes darkness can blind a person’s faith as much as our eyes looking into the bright mid-day sun.

    Thank you for sharing such food for thought! God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Broken, but not destroyed. I am currently praying for grace to hang in there, to not fold up and accept things that aren’t the way they should. Your post and a lot of scriptures in there just fortified my resolve to hang in there. Thank you.

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  5. This was like a good sermon. Thank you.

    At the start I thought that this would have no relevance to me. I’m not American and I’m not a massive sports fan. However, the message is here is very relevant to me and it is important to remember.

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  6. Having God as a teammate is the greatest win of all.

    FYI my blog is now under the website laurietopin.com. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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  7. This is so lovely! It reminds me of our RE topic in school – why does God allow suffering? I always say it’s a way to make us better people, because He has a plan for us and good will come in the end. You’re a better, more grateful and inspiring person now than you were before anorexia, right? So despite all the pain and suffering, God had a plan to make you better than before. I love you xx

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    • Oh Thank you so much Jasmine. That is the million dollar question. You bring up a great point. We may never know the plans that God has for us, by we can rest assured that His plans are good and that they will make us grow. And that is a very comforting thought. I can’t imagine having to shoulder the responsibility of every little aspect of my future – I’m so glad it’s in His hands! Thanks so much for stopping by and for reading! Hugs! Love YOU! ☺️☺️☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Touchdown Dance | BeautyBeyondBones | prayers2share

  9. You have written another beautiful post as always 🙂 Sorry, I did not leave a comment earlier, I was busy with finishing the college semester and I was busy with finals 🙂 Anyway, when it comes to weekend days, I love Sundays because that is the only weekend day I have off. I also get to make a really lovely breakfast 🙂 Otherwise, I have Wednesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the week. P.S. keep up the great work as always 🙂

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    • Oh lovely breakfasts are one of life’s little pleasures:) good luck with finals! Oye, that’s one thing about college that I do not miss! The end is in sight!! ☺️☺️ thanks so much for stopping by, John! Have an awesome rest of your week!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is my most favourite of your recent posts! Hope you’ll be a blessing to many. I’m new to the blogging community & am a new writer. You can check out my content if you want, but above that, please do pray for me & that what I write will be Holy Spirit inspired & bless others as a result of that.

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  11. A bit like the foot prints in the sand. Eating disorder aside I feel this is how we are all feeling at the moment and I dunno if it’s because it’s 2am but I feel rather spiritual right now

    Xx

    Sent from Katie’s iPhone

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  12. You’re a great missionary, Beebs. You know that? I don’t know if I was much of one. I tried hard. My dream was the Olympics. Nothing to do with the American flag, though. Just being the fastest runner in the world. Oh, well. Good luck on the Oscar. It’s great that you get your message out there. It seems rather comical to me that there you are in New York City doing your missionary work, writing these testimonies of God and Jesus faith-promoting when I had my start in New York City as a missionary. Different kind, of course. I guess it still goes by the same name, though. I was the Man in Black, as the kids there in the Bronx labeled me. I was rather shy, and my second Tuesday in South Bronx, the missionaries did a street meeting at some busy corner. I probably won’t ever remember exactly where. I thought that being new and inexperienced precluded me from having to stand up on the wooden crate and talk about whatever, Jesus related. Didn’t turn out that way. I had to have my turn just like everyone else. That moment on the crate changed me, though. Some say that causes are worth more than life itself, and that’s what I felt on that crate. Whatever the cost, this message was worth more than I. I don’t think I’ve ever looked back. Baptism by fire, I guess. I was 19. Your writing reminds me of good things. Thank you for that. A lot has changed since those days in New York City, not the least of which is my struggle to cope with the new person I became in that moment on the crate. I still don’t understand him. I don’t know whether he understands me? Either way, I think it’s just a matter of learning to speak his language, which I have yet to master. If you have a foreign language dictionary that might help, could you help me out?

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    • Hey Dan. Wow sounds like a very powerful and formative time in your life. NYC does that. It speaks s language all its own. We’ve both had our baptisms by fire it appears. I just want to encourage you. I feel like we’re often super in the dark until He finally reveals what it all meant and we’re on the other side. But I believe we’re always right where we’re supposed to be. Hugs and love. Have a great weekend.

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      • Thanks for that. I guess only time will tell. ‘Course that’s only cliché. Guess what I mean is, you’re saying just ride the monster out and see if the ol’ critter finally just gives up? Maybe so. Leviathons aren’t known to do that, but maybe…I don’t understand why she just doesn’t kill me already? ‘Course that would defeat her purpose, wouldn’t it? I better not give her ideas.

        Like

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