One of my prayers over the past two years has been for restoration. I am not sure that I even knew what that meant along the way; but I did know my life was being over-hauled and that I was being refined.

Joel, my namesake, 2:25-26 states: I will restore you to the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

One day, my pastor and I were talking about my beautiful, vibrant, vivacious little one, Miss J. He asked me where she gets her spunk, and I thought for a few minutes. I told him that I think I must have been just like her once– at least my older cousins tell me I was– before the hurt, disappointments, and insecurities of an unstable childhood robbed me of my joy. That hole in my heart was replaced with inferiority, and I began living a dull life. My light was dimmed.

So, we prayed for me to be restored to my inner Miss J, and I have been praying for that ever since.

What exactly does that mean? Well, the week before the holiday break, she told me that she had a part in her school holiday concert. She had “auditioned” and did not get the role that she wanted. She was sad, but she assured me that she would be the best dancing reindeer in all of history.

I was just concerned that I might have to come up with a dancing reindeer costume. But, nope, that was taken care of and her “surprise” performance was actually the starring role. She and her little friend choreographed a dance routine to a special song. In front of the entire school and, again, in front of hundreds of parents that evening, Miss J brought the house down. She was magnificent! I watched as she danced, and I was just in awe of her fearlessness and charisma. She is made to shine.

We are all made to shine. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. Matthew 5:16

Alas, I give you Miss J, the Dancing Reindeer ~