Happy weekend friends! So I am sitting in Starbucks.. pondering lots of different things... wondering what I could share with you that would perhaps encourage your life. But something you can know about me and my blogging endeavors is this... I don't just want to post encouraging things. I want to be as open and vulnerable as possible with you. Maybe even to the point where I'm sharing too much. Because I see that it is common for people to feel alone in their struggles- as if they are the only ones wrestling with things, but really we all face the same rubbish-y thoughts... I want you to be able to look at me and feel safe in your own messy journeys as you see that though I'm known for wearing a smile... I carry my own ginormous (not-a-word) load of rubbish too. So then, when you see the muck I'm trying to walk through, you can be honest about your own, and together we can be over-comers! Deal? Deal.
So I'll share a story that I haven't really told anyone about. It's nothing to crazy, but in my heart its big.
Last week I went to my first real dance audition. I'll begin the story by telling you that I didn't get the job- just so you aren't sitting there wondering. It was for a little kids show on the Disney channel and my good friend got me in because she is friends with the choreographer. This may sound like no big deal to you that I auditioned, but for me it was huge. I was SO scared, and felt SO incredibly unprepared, and yet somehow I knew it was exactly what God wanted me to do.
I have always dreamed of working for Disney too. Ever since I was a little girl I obsessed over all things Disney. Like most brunette girls, I have a not-so-secret desire to work as Belle at Disneyland and wave like a princess to all the little ones that walk by.
Anyway back to the audition-- the whole thing was an adventure. I found out about it less than 24 hours before it started and in that time pulled together head shots and a resume--which was a big task considering I had to get VERY creative-- being a full-time missionary doesn't exactly qualify me to get cast as a paid dancer. :) Then hours before driving to the audition we got a flat tire, and the spare was flat too, so I borrowed a friend's car last minute...I got lost driving to the audition which put me a good 30 minutes late.
As I was facing all these crazy obstacles I kept feeling myself wanting to just give up. Why bother audition anyway? I knew I was not going to be one of the best/most trained dancers there. But still I felt God gently pushing me to do it.
Then right before I left for the audition my friend Megan prayed for me and in her prayer she reminded me of something that changed everything... she prayed,
"God thank you that today when Jessica dances, she will be dancing for an audience of One..."
It was simple, but so important for me to be reminded of that. Because in the rush of everything I definitely was not focused on Jesus as my audience. Sure I knew He'd be sitting somewhere in the crowd that day, but my nervous energy was more focused on the choreographer, singer, and other dancers that would be present. I feared them. I wondered what they would think of my outfit. My dancing. My personality. My mind was swirling with anxiety and it had been all about them.
But when Megan said that, God was so faithful to fill me with peace.
My life is not my own, and what I do is not for people, but for Him. That includes dance... and that even includes dancing for Disney. If God wants me dancing for Disney, He can open that door. But more than anything He wants my heart and my affection. He wants my obedience and my friendship.
And that morning, He wanted my dancing.
So I went to the audition with a goal to dance for Him. Despite everything that was stopping me, I still moved forward because He was my motivation. I still felt fear, but in my heart, fear was not winning.
Then it came time to face one of my biggest fears--- free-style dancing in front of people. There were 3 of us dancers out on the floor... and 3 people "judging" our performances. Guess what happened? The music came on and I just started moving! I was so excited to dance for my Father that I didn't even realize at first that I was actually freestyling! Ahh.. it was seriously SO AMAZING. I couldn't believe it! After we finished I was shocked.
Actually I didn't even care if I got the job or not at that point, I was so excited at what God had done! He had given me courage! Finally I felt like a real dancer... and not because people said I was, but because I knew that Jesus Himself thought I was!
So now my next challenge is living daily focused on my audience of One. Because really, His opinion is the only One that really matters anyway. Whether it is my dancing, or how I work, or the way I relate to people. He has got to be my main concern.
And He isn't looking for the same things we are... 1 Samuel 16:7 says,
"Do not look at the appearance, or physical stature.. for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
It's freeing to know that we don't need to live to please others. Our identities are secure in Christ. He is our audience of One. And our focus is on pleasing Him today.
He is better than Disney anyway... even though Disney is still pretty wonderful :) Love you guys.