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HEART Christian newspaper | 1 October 2020

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Dancing from darkness to dignity

Ladies’ lunch with Tina Johnson
at Coastlands Church, Sydney Walter Centre, Worthing

Saturday 28 February saw a full house at Coastlands Church as ladies from Sussex gathered to eat a delicious meal, watch an interpretive dance by Louise Jones and listen to Tina Johnson relate her journey of transformation.

Tina has been an Assistant Pastor and dance therapist. She particularly helps women and those with mental health problems to restore their identity and dignity through dance and expressing the Bible. Most recently she has been called to do an MA in dance psychotherapy.

Despite being very successful in helping others to find their identity, Tina had her own crisis some years ago. “Suddenly madness or God hit”, she explained. A skinny, lanky, unloved child, she began a process which ended in her seeing herself as loved, chosen and accepted, all denied her as a young teen.

“If we are not given family affection at an early stage, we can become stuck emotionally”, she continued, saying that we can form a faulty belief system and frame of reference based on being defensive, negative, needy and dependent on others, striving for acceptance from them.

This faulty belief system, developed at an early age, is based on untruth but feels safe. Tina realised that she could not achieve a healthier way of being through her intellect alone. The core strength to do this came from a close relationship with God in which we “acknowledge a greater power and source of inner guidance.”

Quoting from Romans 12, she explained that we must be changed from the inside out, not becoming adjusted to our culture. For Tina, transformation is more about un-learning than re-learning, allowing a reconnection with self through our Creator, allowing him to take us through the hidden and unnamed places. We can then live in the present, not bound to the past and look to the future, able to move into the destiny that the Lord has for each one of us.

The next Coastlands ladies’ lunch will be in May. See Events section for details

Carole Woodiwis

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