- Wednesday, July 10, 2024

There’s a passage from the book of Psalms that says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” It’s a truth Megan Rogers has experienced in some pretty profound ways over the past 15 years. Not only did she lose both her best friend and her mom to cancer within a span of about 10 years, but she also had to learn to trust God when it seemed like her life was falling apart.

The former professional dancer and author of “Rosie Finds Her Shine,” recently sat down with The Washington Times’ Higher Ground to share more about the breakout book and the powerful lessons she’s learned about what can happen when you step out in faith.

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“My best friend actually passed away [from] glioblastoma and it was a terrible, aggressive cancer. And there was a lot of grief in that and a lot of trauma,” Ms. Rogers said about her first experience with grief while running a popular performance arts studio in the West Georgia area. “And I’m doing this grief walk without God by my side because I’ve [just] been checking the church box.”

Despite feeling overwhelmed emotionally and mentally, the wife and mother and three kept going, driven by her lifelong passion for dance and the support of those closest to her, especially her mom, who she called “my seamstress, my front desk girl… the ultimate dance mom.” That all changed when her mom passed away in 2020.

“When mom passed, it sounds weird, but it’s like death awakened something in my soul because I was like, I have got to do all these things because I’m not guaranteed this time with my children. I’m not guaranteed more time with any of my family,” she explained. “And I really felt that pull of God saying like, ‘I want higher for your family. I want more for your family. I want more for your kids.’… and I knew God was calling us out [of the dance industry]. We had to just obey the call.”

While leaving behind her life’s work was a huge change for Ms. Rogers and her family, it was also the start of her journey bringing Rosie, the kid sister of the most famous reindeer of all, to life.

“[‘Rosie Finds Her Shine’] was a script that my team as a studio collaborated on in 2011,” she said. “And my mom loved it. She was like, ‘Megan, that has to be a children’s book.’”

At the time, Ms. Rogers could not imagine trying to publish a book, but years later, “Rosie” became her “grief project” and the exact thing she needed to combine her love for family and dance.

“God really took that seed of dance that He planted in me and He kind of like let it evolve into another dream where I’m still able to tap into the dance side with Rosie being a dancer,” she explained.

The former Atlanta Falcons dancer even decided to go the self-publishing route to ensure Rosie’s story would be told the way she and her mom originally envisioned it. And she was blown away when they managed to sell more than 13,000 copies in six months thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, in-person advertising, and word-of-mouth.

“I was kind of scared that a traditional publisher might say, ‘Well, you know, we don’t need the Bible quote in this illustration. And it’s a reindeer, but that’s all too Christian.’ Or you have the Christian side that might be like, ‘Well, reindeer, that’s pagan, you know,’” Ms. Rogers explained. “So I just kind of had to be like, ‘Okay, God, what mold are we?’ And He was like, ‘You’re my mold. I’ll do what I want to do. If you’ll let me do it.’”

“I call it my Trojan horse because every kid is going to pick it up whether they’re a faith-based family or not,” she added. “They think it’s just Christmas or reindeer and you get into the heart of the story and it’s really about how each one of us has our own unique gift that only we bring to the table and we can’t live without it.”

While the road has not been easy, and the family has used every bit of their savings to bring Rosie to life and to work on developing a whole series around other North Pole characters, Ms. Rogers is confident knowing God is walking with them through it all.

“It is every day of [my husband and I] reminding one another that we are just walking on the waves [with Jesus] and we can’t look to the right or the left of the storm,” she said. “You just have to look right ahead. Just look right ahead because you are going to feel the shake of the waves around you because you willingly stepped out of the boat [in faith].”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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