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Monday, October 29, 2012

Let God Lead Your Dance

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When I first sat down to write Love in Three-Quarter Time, I figured that since the book was about the waltz, the perfect spiritual theme would be “let God lead your dance.” My heroine, Constance Cavendish, had spent her youth as a Scarlet O’Hara type character, selfish and headstrong, yet with an admirable strength and passion. After tragedy struck her family when she was sixteen, she blamed herself and determined to tame her passionate nature and somehow earn God’s forgiveness.

Of course, I hope my reader will understand that none of us can earn our way to forgiveness, but if not, they can take that journey along with Constance. Constance needs to learn that God created her passionate, fiery nature. Her goal should not be to repress it, but rather to submit it to God. To let Him lead her life much like a dance, following with His gentle tugs and sways. I chose as a theme verse for this book, “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day,” from Psalm 25:5.

And as I started this book, I assumed I would keep the spiritual theme focused and simple, but books, and life, never really turn out that way. First, to get to this theme, Constance had to learn about one of my all-time favorite spiritual themes, the importance of an intimate relationship with Christ. One cannot stay in tune with God and follow His rhythms for one’s life without that intimate connection. Constance had to learn to see God from a new perspective. She needed to immerse herself in God’s word and in prayer, and she needed to learn to hear His voice.

As she discovered intimacy with Christ and learned to let God lead her dance, she also began to discover freedom in Christ. Yet another theme I love. In fact, my personal life and writing theme verse is, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.” See how nicely letting God teach you His rhythms flows into freedom in that verse. And since a subplot of the book concerns the abolitionist movement, guess what? Freedom became a theme in the book as well. Both Constance and her hero needed God’s freedom in their lives. Particularly freedom from the mistakes of their past.

And how does one get free from the mistakes of one’s past? More often than not, by facing the truth. By learning God’s perspective on the truth to replace the lies of Satan for starters, but also by dealing with the truth, revealing our secrets, and making amends. Both my hero and my heroine were held in bondage by secrets from their pasts. So, before I knew it, truth became a theme in the book as well. The truth shall set you free and all that.

By this time, my "simple little historical romance" had almost as many themes as my epic historical saga! And I swear, I didn’t even do it on purpose.  But no issue exists in a vacuum. Our spiritual journeys contain many facets. And I think this journey develops in an organic way. The fact is, my "simple little historical romance" ended up with more of a spiritual focus than I ever expected. It became a love story with Jesus as much as anything else, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Here is a lovely example of a contemporary waltz for your viewing pleasure. Imagine yourself dancing in the arms of Jesus.

Which of these themes interests you the most? Have you learned to let God lead your dance? If so, what advice do you have on the subject? I'd love to hear your thoughts on freedom and truth as well.


  1. Dancing in the arms of Jesus--beautiful!

  2. Thanks, Shelia. If you like that, you should definitely read the book. I don't want to give anything away, but I think you'd be very pleased ;)