Feel like you’ve missed out on your dreams and purpose and it seems that you’re too old or too late to reach them?
Author Robin Dance shares How to Reawaken Opportunity no matter your season or circumstances.
Robin loves to encourage women who might benefit from her experience and age; not as one who knows all the answers, but as one willing to share how God has worked through her circumstances for her good and His glory!
[bctt tweet=”Taking advantage seizing those opportunities that are really right in front of you and maybe you were missing, because maybe you were comparing (yourself) when you saw someone else doing them. @RobinDance #PurposePowerSummit”]
In a scandalous affair with her college sweetheart, Robin is as Southern as sugar-shocked tea calling Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and briefly, even Southern Bavaria, home. She’s convinced her most important work has been raising her children (who have turned out to be the sort of people she’d choose as friends). She decided to put her professional career on hold to parent hard and on purpose before eventually discovering she could serve others with her marketing, sales, PR, and copywriting experience through volunteerism and freelance work.
A love of writing led her to blogging. Since 2008 she’s contributed to eight books and written features for HomeLife and Mature Living magazines. Fiercely believing in the value and strength of words, Robin advocates for Compassion International. In her most privileged and humbling work to date, she joined a team of Compassion Bloggers to Calcutta, India, lending her voice to children in poverty to help secure sponsors and funding.
In addition to working seasonally for a ground transportation logistics firm that coordinates team travel during NCAA collegiate championships, Robin writes for (in)courage (DaySpring’s online faith community for women), The Art of Simple, Grace Table, Deeper Story (now inactive), and her own site, RobinDance.me.
Robin still can’t believe she’s an empty nester but if you know her, you already know her life is full. She cherishes her family and friends, savors deep conversation around the table, and challenges every person who has good china to use it. Her favorite emotion is laughing through tears. People and places inspire her, but Creation’s marvels steal her breath. Her “prayer without ceasing” is Lord I believe…help my unbelief. Robin will tell you her faith is ragamuffin – neither tidy nor neat – and she praises the Lord for His faithfulness to and love for her.
Tell me your story & background
The most formative event in my life was losing my mother to breast cancer when I was nine and she was 38. My sister, baby brother and I watched her battle the disease for five years, and during that time, even though we were practically babies, we saw her model courage and hope against all odds. She was a fierce fighter to the end. I’m convinced her death seeded strength, resiliency, and the ability to cope with difficulty that has served me throughout my life.
We would lose my grandmother the following year, another cruel blow in such a short time. My father would go on to remarry a few years later, and miraculously, I’m still able to say I had an idyllic childhood. I’ve felt loved by special people my entire life, and I’m convinced with this kind of love, you can survive anything. I also believe these early tragedies taught me to make lemonade from lemons, to see bright sides and silver linings, and helped me to understand the power and impact of loving others.
I grew up in the church and was active in youth group, but it was in college that I learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. My roommate lived the gospel in a way I had never before witnessed, and though I enjoyed an “oat-sowing season,” my faith began to flourish. It was during this time I would meet my future husband, and after dating five years we would marry. Five years later we would have the first of our three children.
By this time we were living in South Carolina, very active in our church. We had a large, supportive faith community and served as leaders.
After thriving for years, circumstances began changing, and a new job was eminent. We relocated to Tennessee after 14 years in SC, and the next ten years would become the hardest season of my life. Despite knowing what to do, opening our home and inviting people in, we couldn’t seem to find a community that approximated the one we left behind. We served at church but never seemed to gain traction with relationships. We did everything we knew to do, everything we had done before, but with a different outcome.
Though I had a handful of friends, I was lonely. Community was elusive. Though my husband and I struggled, I was thankful our kids were thriving, and our home served as a refuge to their friends.
I volunteered at my children’s school as much as possible, and after two years discovered blogging. Writing became a wonderful creative outlet. Because we had decided that I wouldn’t work outside the home in order to be available to our children and all their activities, blogging became a hobby that fed me on multiple levels. I was affirmed in the online space and was finding satisfaction in connecting with people whose stories resonated with my own. However, eventually it would become an idol and a source of contention within my marriage.
During this lonely season, my faith was struggling. At my lowest point I toyed with leaving it behind, finding it difficult to believe there even was a God. I believed raising our children in the faith was a better choice, but that didn’t mean I believed it completely.
After hard, honest conversations with my husband, I decided to try again. It’s important to note I don’t believe you can lose your salvation, nor do I think anyone can manufacture their faith–it’s initiated by God alone. When I say “try again” I’m not saying I could initiate saving myself; what I was trying to recapture was relationship.
It started very mechanically. I remember sitting at my kitchen table, alone, and almost demanding a sign from God. I think I prayed out loud, “God, if you are real, you will have to show me….”
That very afternoon I was stunned to find a letter in my mailbox from someone I had served at church back in SC. It was a thank you letter of sorts, telling me all the things she had appreciated about my ministry, how often my faith had encouraged her, and how grateful she was for my service. I was stunned. It was almost as if they Lord had slipped that in my box himself. I was not close to this woman, and it was the only time she ever wrote. Perfect timing.
Things didn’t change overnight, but God began revealing Himself to me in real, tangible glimpses, often delivered when I felt desperate or alone or lost.
After ten years in Tennessee, another job change meant we would move to a new town and start over again. Never once did it occur to me it could be better than what we were leaving behind.
What has happened over the most recent five years is a beautiful redemption of loss and void.
God has lavished his love on me in ways I never imagined. It is through my pain of void that I more acutely appreciate abundance. I no longer take for granted friendship, or a husband who loves me, or health, or kids who make good choices. God has graciously allowed me to find Him.
One of the most precious things is I see redemptive purpose in the hard parts of life; Romans 8:28 speaks to that:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I have seen over and over how my experience tenders my heart toward others, helps me to be empathetic and understanding, and to know how to encourage those who are walking a similar road – 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 in a nutshell:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
God is bringing about a sweet revival in my heart, stirring in me a fresh confidence in Him, a sweet joy in Him, an increasing faith and belief.
What is your superpower? What are you good at that you like to help others overcome?
Well, I have two :). The first is I can make an apple pie with homemade crust that could bring about world peace if we could get everyone together.
The second is tied to my Word of the Year this year: OYTO – One Year, Three-hundred-sixty-five Opportunities. My Superpower is joie de vivre – joy of life – and seeing opportunities every day, in countless ways, and encouraging others to do the same. Once you begin noticing the countless opportunities available to you daily, hourly, even moment to moment, it changes everything. It’s a perspective shift to recognize you have a choice every day with how you:
– Steward your time.
– Use your resources.
– Respond to circumstances.
– All are opportunities to live with active intention, not passively or by accident.
I LOVE to help others overcome discouragement and/or defeat by recognizing who their enemy is. There is a very cunning, active, deliberate enemy of our hearts whose goal is to kill, steal, and destroy us, and distract us from the Lord and His will for our lives. Circumstances are not our enemies, neither is failure or other people…even difficult, cruel, or dishonest people. When and only when we have a clear understanding of what/who is against us, can we fight effectively.
Two lucky Power Purpose Summit participants will have a chance to win one of two gift bundles from DaySpring, and everyone can save on their purchase with a special PPP2018 code. Visit Robin’s site for details and to enter!