"DO YOU WANT TO BEWhat I realized, though, is that all I really needed to know when it came down to it was the direction I was pointing and that I was somewhere inside the large circle of God's love and forgiveness.Bob Goff
THE GIRL WHO
SHINES ON STAGE
THE ONE WHO
SMILES AT STRANGERS?"
It was more than a question that received a flippant "yeah, okay, God, I get it" answer. This was a "pay attention" question, a question that shook the core of my apathetic heart to wake up.
But perhaps, even more difficult to contend with was God's follow up question: "Are you willing to give up everything — even your desires, hopes, aspirations, passions, talents, time, connections, energy — your dreams that I gave you, to follow me and reach people?"
I wan't ready to answer, then.
If you gave me these dreams,
wasn't it my responsibility
to chase after them?
I bit my lip and shook my head with a heavy retort. See, if I were really honest, I would have told you I was scared. I have always been noticed. I've always been the "something's different with that girl," or "something's special about her" go-to-gal. I was torn. I wanted to be apart of the "it" crowd. I wanted to be up there with the doers - the ones who got all the parts in theatre. The one who were sought after by the directors. The ones that us freshman looked up to and knew by name and squealed when they took the time to memorize ours. And if I gave up all this - would I even have a chance to be seen?
I would wake up the next morning to callbacks lighting up my phone. This was it. This was my time to shine. I was sure of it. And after three rounds of intense callbacks, the list up for my dream part whittled down to two people. I received overwhelming support, and more than a couple of people were absolutely certain I had secured the part. I imaged how it would play out: I would walk in and scan the cast list and scream with excitement and realize — I hadn't been chosen.
Those little words still sting a little because they shook the foundation of everything I had hoped and wished for; they turned into a lie that tugged at my heart and bit and chewed every little ounce of confidence I had stored up the past year.
They were the words that lead me to walk back to my dorm and curl up in the dayroom and ugly-cry on the phone with my mom. They lead me to skip my favorite class and basically go to bed sobbing my heart out that night. It was the last string that had unwound it all. I felt like all the expectations and dreams and aspirations shattered around me, and I wasn't ready to face them again; I flew home for Christmas with fists full of bitterness.
AND THEN JANUARY HAPPENED AND
WRAPPED ME AROUND WITH A
GRACE THAT WAS TANGIBLE.
Now, don't get me wrong, everything wasn't fixed up by a christmas break when I flew back.
I cried. A lot. I doubted myself. A lot. I wished for texts that didn't come. I still do. I didn't want to go back to florida. Yet, I still did. And like all college students, I still had those weeks that I wanted to wrap myself around in a blanket, when I wished that I could quit life to become a burrito. But spring semester carved a bravery in me that wasn't evident in the fall.
I ASKED THE LORD
TO KEEP ME SMALL &
TO LET THESE SMALL HANDS CARRY
That prayer carried me through March, the most stressful and demanding month of the year when I faced a writing evaluation as well as a speech platform that determined if the English and Speech departments deemed me talented enough to stay in the program. Basically, I spent the first half of the panicking and coming up with several back up plans [ie quit college and go to Europe]. An hour before I went in to perform for my speech platform in front of the panel, I remember I distinctly heard the Lord whispering, "This is your time to shine." And then, I got it. This wasn't a competition. This was learning to live palms up, learning how to surrender all that I dreamed of and would fight for to have, learning to brush the dust after stumbling, and learning to be brave enough to pursue not what the Lord had in store but simply Him.
The Lord flooded the semester with the best of things - with good friendships that without a second doubt I could count on for anything and everything and coffee dates and real talks and Fine Arts dates and rehearsals and performances and and group projects and memos that officially confirmed my degree and connections that made me thankful for communities that were built into theatre and classes alike.
I don't have a magic formula that will get you everything that you want, desire, or stay up all night praying for. I don't have a prayer that absolutely makes God pay extra attention to you or ones that don't really feel like they're bouncing off the ceiling every four to six seconds. I don't think this life was made for that, let alone a relationship with Someone who knows you better than you know yourself. I don't have a prayer, I have a word, though that was pressed to my lungs: Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.
Big things start happening when our want of being seen is overshadowed by the glory of a Heavenly Father who can do exceedingly and abundantly all that we could ever wish or imagine.
Because once we find the courage to fall,
maybe we'll discover that it's our time to fly.
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