Identity

This is not an easy subject for me to write about. In fact, in the beginning of this past school year, I would have tried to avoid the topic altogether. But God has put this on my heart and I’ve been slowly sharing it.

This year I’ve been so focused on my studies (that doesn’t sound too bad, right?) as a theatre and dance major, and I have to work tirelessly to grow in both crafts. There are endless amounts of technique and theory classes, rehearsals for shows and concerts, private lessons, and practice time that has to be present in the day to day schedule to continue moving forward. As I am specifically moving towards the musical theatre industry, I’m working to be equally strong in singing, acting, and dancing. This industry is not easy to work in by any means. Not only is it incredibly competitive in getting jobs, but each person auditioning for the spot are just as talented or more talented than you. Some auditions can be filled with hundreds of people for one spot.

The reality of this industry has dawned on me since I got to college, and as a rising senior, it has become even more real to me. As a junior this past year, I was dancing 3-6 hours a day along with a 2-3 hour rehearsal each night either in the theatre or dance department. The opportunities I had were amazing, but I really lost sight of who I was.

I put who I was on the line. I stopped coming to God when I felt great or even when I felt broken. I threw myself into my schoolwork and rehearsals and put so much pressure on myself. If I didn’t try hard, I wouldn’t succeed, and if I don’t succeed, I won’t get a job, and if I don’t get a job, that means I’ve failed, right?

I compared myself to others as well. I would see someone else succeed in class or do something perfectly that I was struggling with and wonder what was wrong with me. I would constantly compare my skill level to my colleagues and leave class or rehearsals with deep sadness and frustration. I asked myself why I even thought I was capable of doing this in the first place.

A couple of weeks ago, the Lord broke this identity in the best way. I didn’t get a particular artistic achievement that I really wanted and I was heartbroken. If I didn’t get in while in college then I definitely couldn’t make it in the real world. I felt so untalented and worthless.

When this news was broken to me, a verse popped up on my bible app. It was Proverbs 3:5-6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” I was not leaning on his understanding. I took it upon myself to believe that whatever I set ahead of myself was better than his plan for me. But as I was crying on my bed, this verse gave me immense comfort. Not to mention, why was I putting so much value on what the world says about me and not on what the Lord says about me?

He says I am chosen: “For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).”

He says that I am loved: “We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you … “(1 Thessalonians 1:4).

He says he will provide: And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)

I have by no means ‘figured it all out.’ I am far from perfect and will never be close to perfection. I am only now trying to define myself by how God sees me versus how the world sees me. I have no clue what path the Lord has for me or if I will ‘make it’ in this industry or not. (Also, who can even define what ‘making it’ means?) But what I do know is that no worldly thing can be more outstanding than what my God has for me.

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