Did you know I’ve got a tattered folder filled with scribbled story ideas? Some came after being awakened from a vivid dream while others grew from a day dream about some interesting thing I’d seen out the car window. All are just nuggets of scenes or loose plots and most may never grow beyond those yellowing scraps of paper.
However, a lucky few ideas continue to grow in my subconscious into something bigger, like the idea for Dance Over Me which has actually since grown into a series. But it all started at least seven years ago as the vision of a girl dancer on a stage talking to a guy while they are surrounded by others. Whatever connection they had was severed when the group—specifically a popular diva—pulled him away, leaving her alone on the stage and wishing for something more.
Who was she? What stage was she on? Who were the others? What was she looking for?
In 2010, as I continued to day-dream and brainstorm for answers to those questions, the worship team at our church sang a semi-familiar song whose lyrics felt like a jolt of lightning.
After searching for the inspiration for that powerful song, I read Zephaniah 3:17—“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (ESV) The Hebrew word for rejoice also implies a joyful spinning or whirling…or shall I say, dancing?
Part of the opening line of the song—“You dance over me while I am unaware”—became the perfect title for this story about a dancer on a stage who discovers the depths of God’s love for her as an adoptive Father. A God who works behind the scenes in her life and even dances in glad celebration.
Oh, and remember when I mentioned this story idea turned into a series? Featuring a few of the other cast members, book two is called Focus On Love and book three (which I’m writing right now) is titled Sing a New Song. I had sketched out rough ideas for both books back in 2011 when I was pitching Dance Over Me at a writer’s conference. While I would occasionally jot down a few ideas for each story over the years, I didn’t seriously start working on the rest of the series until the first book was contracted and I had finished the editorial revisions early this year.
Want to know something else I discovered just a few weeks ago while planning the launch for Dance Over Me and working on the other stories? God has been working behind the scenes in my brain for years because those additional two themes of love and singing are also in that exact same verse from Zephaniah. In the exact same order as my series had already been planned.
I can just imagine God doing a whirling and spinning happy dance with me when I figured it out.
And I’m amazed again at how much God loves me.
What about you? When is the last time you recognized God’s handiwork in your life? What would cause Him to dance over you with gladness?