“So often we are faced with something that frightens or overwhelms us and seek to evade the problem with the excuse: ‘I’m not quite ready for that now.’ It may require some sacrifice, or demand our obedience in some area…God says, ‘Lift up the hands that hang down.’ March straight through the flood, and behold! The waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.“
– Streams in the Desert
This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of this week.
As most of you know, our season at Richmond Ballet ended last week, so I am supposed to be on summer lay-off, and boy, was I going to take that literally! I had planned on sitting on my couch or bed almost all day working on my blog or reading or playing with my kitty, but God had other plans…
You see, I didn’t originally want to stay in Richmond for my lay-off. I had hopes of making trips to both NYC and Boston to see friends, but neither one happened because of either money or bad scheduling and no where to stay. Instead, my roommate and I and my kitten and his brother we are cat-sitting were planning on getting lots of quality time together over the next couple of weeks.
And we had one day.
Then I got the call.
My company manager called me on Tuesday and asked me if I would be interested in doing a side job in Washington DC for the next week and a half. She told me it was a tango piece and that we would be performing at the Kennedy Center next weekend!
Any normal human would be so thrilled for this opportunity, but what did I find in my heart? Fear and an unsettling lack of control.
One reason I was upset to begin with was that my boyfriend, Jared, who is coming to visit me for a week (blog post to come for sure) is coming the weekend of the performances, which means I will miss a day and a half with him. Also, I was so excited about making some great progress on the look and flow of my blog which I wouldn’t have time to do anymore. And don’t forget about my quality time on my couch and bed with the kitties and some roommate time!
So in that moment, while on the phone, I felt this urge to say no and cry and stay in bed for the next week. I told her I needed an hour to think it through and process everything.
I called my mom and cried, but in the end decided it would be wise to say yes, even though everything inside me fought against it. I really liked my “plan” for my lay-off, and dancing with principal dancers from all over the country (while little Lauren over here just got hired into a company this year) was a terrifying thought. But I said yes anyways.
The next morning (6 am to be exact), I drove up to DC for an audition and to work with the choreographer to see if he would like to put me in his piece. I wasn’t going to hear whether I got the job or not until the very end of the day. I met a whole new group of incredible dancers and learned a pas de deux, and while it was all going pretty well, I felt tears filling my eyes. When lunch time came, I went to Starbucks because I needed some energy and some peace. Once I had my iced coffee in my hand and got back in the car, but I was in no rush to get back to the studios. I read the above passage from my Streams in the Desert book and I instantly understood.
Maybe this was why all of my travel plans for my time off fell through. Maybe God had plans to take me on an adventure.
All last week I talked to my roommate about how I love asking God to give me the faith to receive the incredible, and this was that exact moment. I had a choice, do I take a step in faith, knowing that His righteousness goes before us and prepares the way, and open my heart to receive something incredible from the Lord, or do I shut down in fear and cling to control by staying on my couch with the kitties?
I continued to ask for that kind of faith every moment fear arose in those last few hours of my audition day. “Give me the faith to receive the incredible. Receive YOUR incredible. Give me borderless trust. Take me on an adventure.”
Guess what?…I got the job. I am now a member of Chamber Dance Project and will be performing at the Kennedy Center next weekend! Is this real life?
So here I am, in DC, on a crazy adventure with the Lord doing exactly what he has called me to do. I still have the fear that I’m not quite ready for this yet, but God has put me in awe of his timing and provision this whole time! (3 days so far)
We finished rehearsals a little bit early today so I decided to go do a little sightseeing on my own. My favorite new spot? The World War II Memorial fountain. I literally could have sat with my feet dipped in it for hours today if not for the fear of my car getting towed! It was so peaceful.
There were so many people, but the noise of the water almost cancelled everything out. I just sat there in “silence” and thanked the Lord for the adventure He is taking me on!
I say all of this to urge you to make this your prayer. I am still figuring out what it really means, but it’s taking me places I never thought I would go.
Lord, give us the faith to receive the incredible things you want to give us. Open our eyes to your glory all around us and open our hearts to the things we need to be obedient to in order for you to lead us to victory.
Already excited to hear what kinds of amazing adventures He takes you on.