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Prayer Summit: Love Has Won the Victory

The second and third sessions were personally significant for me but, at first, I felt like an outsider as I watched those who were freer in expressing their prayers with movement.

A short, thick, older woman with whom I identified was dancing with two scarves enthusiastically and with abandon.  If she could do this, so could I.  But I didn’t. 

A young, lithe woman had wrapped the long length of blue chiffon over her.  She was dancing with passion and beauty.  Unwrapping it, she held it with both hands, letting it flow with her wildly-moving arms.

An older man knelt on the floor waving a brown chiffon flag vigorously from side to side.

The first woman placed a long, yellowish green chiffon over the back of her neck, draping it down her arms to her hands.  She wrapped it around herself.

You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises...
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day 
--Paul Baloche

A line of dancers, including two men, paraded up the centre aisle, each with a scarf.  At the front they formed a circle, first with a woman in a wheelchair waving scarves and then encircling that woman and praying over her.  Still in the circle, they tied long, thin scarves on their wrists, connecting them together.  With hands raised, they moved around the wheelchair.  Another woman slipped through the circle and waved her sticked streamer over the wheelchair.

Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
--Kari Jobe

Still tied together, the circle of dancers knelt.  Hands together, they invited more of God on themselves.

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
--Kari Jobe

I moved to the back wall of the room and saw that others were dancing behind the rows of chairs.  One young woman moved her arms and body as if she was climbing a thick rope.  Her movements were exquisite and as the weekend progressed I enjoyed watching her dance her prayers.

More love, more power
More of You in my life.
--Jeff Deyo

A short little woman stood near me singing harmonies that reminded me of the soprano’s high notes in Phantom of the Opera.  Was she two octaves above my alto?

The dancing circle at the front was standing, hands on each others’ shoulders, praying.

Burn in me, burn in me,
Let the fire of the Holy One burn in me
--Jerry Holman

The circle broke up and each dancer chose two scarves, the colours of fire.  Their arm movements were reminiscent of those holding the ropes in Double Dutch skipping. As more people joined the dancers or did their own thing, I remembered David, dancing as he led the ark into Jerusalem or like the people before and around Jesus during his triumphal entry into the same city.

The leader spoke from the front.  As though she was using the voice of Jesus, she repeated over and over, “Don’t you know I love you?”

He is jealous for me,...
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all 
--David Crowder

An older couple stood up and began to dance, body to body, like the first dance of the bridal couple at a wedding.  Every movement of theirs exuded the love of a lifetime of intimacy.

Two two women danced together, body against body, one behind the other, arms of the one behind wrapped around the one before, head on her shoulder, then shifting to face and embrace each other, a long pink scarf wrapped around them, big smiles on their faces.

The two pairs danced and for me they represented the love I’ve longed for—one in the closeness of marriage and the other with another woman (the two girls were not dancing with any romance but I imposed that on them with my thoughts).  I asked myself the question I’ve asked many times before: “Which do I want?  Which do I want to be like?  God, I want a love like this!”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won... [victory for our marriage and me]
And I hear the cry of every longing heart [God hears the cry of my longing heart]
No more sorrow, no more pain [can it be?]
I will rise [God, I need to rise from the despair of my marriage]
--Chris Tomlin [italics in brackets my thoughts as we sang]

This was God’s answer to me.  The victory has been won.  There will be no more sorrow and pain.  I will rise.  I won’t stay in the pit and the pain.  God, can I really believe this?  I need this healing, the healing in my marriage.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …