Elaborate on a theme…

…a theme of exploring my reasons and reasoning to understand the contradictions of living a life devoted to my art and living a purpose-filled life devoted to love my God; how to rectify the two…

Building on what I began in my last post, I want to examine frustration, as I would explain it. Frustration in terms of my dance career I think I have moved past and surrendered to God; I say I am alright with understanding that I probably will never dance professionally again, yet if I am honest with myself I still want it. I tell myself it is too late; be realistic; but I still want it. It has taken a long time to be able to surrender control of it to Him, but  some days I still try to take it back into my own hands. Will I continually question what could have been and blame myself for my failure? Or will I truly move on and live in the grace God has given me to be a “failure”? I must preach the gospel to myself that God does not see me as a failure. I know He has a plan for me to glorify Himself, but it is hard to see what it could be without dance, and how I could be happy without it. Yes, I believe God is all I need, but this passion and desire in me – that I believe is a gift, why is it a stumbling block? why is it so hard to move past it? Or does God really want me to move past it? Has He really called me to give it up or is that just what Christians have told me all my life? Perhaps I must simply be willing to give it up in my heart before He can give it back to me, so that there is nothing more important in my life than Him.  Like Abraham – God told him to sacrifice his only son that God had given to Abraham and Sarah as a gift in their old age and promised to make descendants for them through this son. (Gen.22, Gal.3;9) When God told Abraham to sacrifice this son, Isaac, can you imagine what went through Abraham’s head? I would be a crying, wailing, fitful Abraham! Good thing God didn’t tell Sarah to sacrifice their son.  I wonder if it is harder for women to give things up to God than men? This is a relative question, and I am getting side tracked again…

If I accept failure and am willing to sacrifice my gift, the question is where to go next. I have built up this idea of what I wanted to be all my life, that I thought that without dance, my life would be not only a failure but a catastrophe. When I accept the catastrophe, there is nothing I can do. There is nothing I can do in my power to make it “work” to my advantage anymore.  This puts me in a place of complete complaisance and waiting on God.That is where I am right now – at the brink of catastrophe. Maybe I have been through a hurricane or two already. It wouldn’t look like it from the outside because I am finding distraction in other occupations and work, but inside my world has come crashing down as I watch my dream slide into the void. I still have  responsibility to dance in an academic setting and I am thankful for that opportunity, but it is hard since it is not my priority anymore. If it is not my priority, I wonder if I should quit completely. But God has not given me to release to quit dancing completely yet. That is why I have an underlying hope, a hope in the impossible, that He will bring me through the catastrophe and give it back to me in full joy again.

In the midst of the storm he has given me better things than I could have asked for: joy, peace, friendship, community, healing, all essential to my growth spiritually and my witness to those around me. These things help me see that there is so much more God intended for us artists than be shut up in a box or a studio creating our “art”. Through letting down my intense striving, I have opened up my heart more to people, and what is worth more than people? There is nothing worth more than a human life. I cannot believe that I would place anything in this world above the importance of people, but I did: I placed more importance on dance than on family relationships and friendships. That is no way to live, people! Because when you lose your profession or job and have no lasting friendships, that is a lonely place. God sought to preserve me from that loneliness by breaking my dreams, if you will…and I am thankful for it. Our identities have to be placed in something more than our profession or our art, and not even in our relationships or other people, but something greater. That is a blog subject for another time….

I am posting a link to a short message by Dr. Paul Zahl that encouraged me a lot this week, thanks to a sweet friend who kept hounding me to listen to it. Thanks, Carol.\”The Story of Noah\” Dr. Paul Zahl

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