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     Janene Ternes, Director
   Prayer in Motion, LLC
   Saline, MI  48176




February 29, 2004


God’s Call to Prayer in Motion

By Janene Ternes

Up until the last few years I lived a pretty ordinary life of faith, attending church on Sundays and holy days, doing some volunteer work and trying to be a good person.  I prayed most days, lots when life was difficult and less when it was easy.   That all changed when my husband Don was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 at the age of 43.  From the beginning, his odds were not good.  We chose however, not to listen to the odds, but to listen to God and live the life we had been given.  Curiously I count the two years of Don’s illness and treatment as the best time of our life together.  From the moment of his diagnosis it was very clear to me what my priorities were and that God was with me always. We were truly blessed with family and friends that supported us in every way possible.  Each time I would lose hope or become fearful, God sent one of His angels to my side.  People we didn’t even know would tell us they were praying for Don, send cards, notes or call with words of encouragement.  Our extended faith family at St. Francis was very active in their prayers and support. 

Don’s treatments were grueling but through the grace of God he always bounced back and I somehow never ran out of strength to support him every step of the way.  It was very apparent to me throughout those two years that God was present and very actively involved in our lives. The day Don died I was blessed with many precious hours to say good bye and to help him into God’s loving arms on his journey home. 

My grief at the loss of my husband was much deeper and more incapacitating than what I would have ever imagined.  While I remember little of what happened during the first year after Don’s death, I remember well the emptiness I felt in both losing my husband and being “abandoned” by God.  I continued to try to pray, attend church, and go through the motions of being a good Catholic, but I no longer trusted God.  How could a loving God allow this to happen?  I sought counsel from priests, family, my faith sharing group and my spiritual director but no one could answer this question to my satisfaction. 

As I began to emerge from my grief I looked for something to do, to occupy my time and to get my body moving again.  I decided to take ballet lessons as it was something I had always wanted to do.  My first night in class I felt something come alive in me and was excited by the joy I felt after so long a time of mourning.  Odd as it sounds, that was the first step in my return to God. 

The next step came at the invitation of my pastor, Fr. Jim McDougall who asked if I might be interested in becoming a spiritual director.   I eventually enrolled in the spiritual direction program at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.  Through my studies I slowly began to rediscover my relationship with God and to trust Him again.  The culmination of this journey came during a 5 day silent retreat required for the program.  While on retreat I came to know a new way to pray to God, through movement.  Through dancing my prayer I experienced God’s love in a powerful way. 

This became so life-changing for me that I knew I had to share it with others.  Unemployed at the time I felt led to start my own company, Prayer in Motion, LLC, to teach others how to pray in this way.   This work continually tests my faith and strengthens my relationship with God as I see how He works through me.  Amazingly, since embarking on this adventure of following God’s call for my life, I have been happier than ever before, finding a deep sense of peace and joy in my life.


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