By: Colonie Hughes, Executive Women’s Program Director / Co-Founder
As someone who struggled with drug addiction for over 10 years having absolutely no dance background, I found my journey to wholeness through worship and dance.
A Moment of Clarity
In the darkness of my addiction, I found myself in a local church service and something unexpected happened to me that day. Dancers were invited to perform a worship dance to “Now Behold the Lamb.” This was something I had never seen before in church. However, it was more than a performance, it was an experience of love. It was as if the dancers were transferring the experience of love into movements, and those movements reached my soul.
I was downloaded with the knowledge that I was deeply loved by a God I had never known. An experience that words even now can’t really explain.
Love reached the unreachable inside of me, and love covered all of my pain. I found that hidden behind all the self-medicating and trauma was a real person. I couldn’t deny that something happened inside of me that day, and awakened what I now know as desire. A desire stronger than drugs. A desire to feel loved.
Fighting Addiction with Faith
My addiction continued and so did the memory of love. Regardless of whether I was high or not, I tried to duplicate the movements of what I had seen that day. I kept it a secret from everyone including myself along with the reason I was doing it. All I knew is that I wanted to feel that way again.
A couple of years later I surrendered to God and went to Teen Challenge, a recovery ministry for addicts. Without any previous knowledge, I discovered they had a traveling dance ministry and joined the dance team. Instantly, my inner secret came alive and my awareness of God became real.
Only God knew the desires and longings of my heart. What I had been chasing had actually found me.
Encountering God Through Dance
Passion taught me everything I needed to know, and I learned every movement with excitement. The insecure, drug-addicted, shameful little girl inside of me had found a purpose. I was never good at anything, but this was something that I could do.
Surprisingly, one day I was chosen for a solo dance; I had never felt so special. I had never been chosen for anything and didn’t have any other gifts or talents.
I remember giving God all that I had when I danced. Showing him all of the love, gratefulness, and passion I had towards him for rescuing someone like me.
This is how dance changed my life forever.
A Life Renewed
I replaced my love for drugs with a God who loved me back. What I was chasing now was better than any drug. I danced right into my truest self as the person who I was created to be.
I am no longer hidden away by my addiction, but am confidently sharing my journey in the most unexpected way.