4/29/2015

Dancing in Jesus' Enough-ness

Do you even wonder if Jesus is enough for you? Sure, everything feels wonderful when things go great, but what about when life seems to collapse around you? How can you choose joy even when you can hardly see over the pile of things to do and problems to solve? Well, Jesus taught me a valuable lesson about His enough-ness this week during my recital, a lesson that I won't soon forget and I pray that you won't either. 

Monday I posted about the pre-recital rituals and moments that I experienced last Sunday, but now I prepare to tell you about the Big Event, the Real Deal, the Show. Now I will share with you what happened after the curtain opened and the lesson that I learned afterwards. 

Warming up in the wings
I had  just spent the last six hours getting ready, rehearsing, and trying to calm my unruly nerves, and now I stood before the curtain, sparkling in blue and pacing around. But I didn't want to let these moments pass me by because I couldn't see past the fear. No, I wanted to dance for God's glory and with great joy. And so I decided to trust Jesus no matter what happened. I decided to let it go and just dance. And I never regretted that decision. 

A wonderful woman and stage help snapped the two pictures above

The music started. The curtain opened.

When I saw the audience and knew that my little dancers and I held their attention and awe, confidence built up in me. I led them on in the simple steps, smiling at them as many times as I could and enjoyed the huge applause that followed, for my little class that did so well!

And then I got to show those watching what I could do as I performed my solo, but more than that, I got to show myself what I could do.

I should have felt nervous because of the fear following me around all day, but I spent too much energy enjoying myself to feel nervous. I flashed a smile at the audience and performed the movements, which by now felt like second nature (except these movements were by no means second nature to execute). The releves (the motion of going from standing on the whole foot to going up on the toes, and, for my case, doing this movement mostly on one foot 28 times in a row) didn't scare me anymore, and I danced to the audience, knowing that I could do it.

I did do it.

And it felt wonderful. 

My beautiful mother captured the following photos. Above, a friend (right) and I (left) throw out legs in the air. 

I always expect to remember the applause more than I do. Instead, as I bowed, I captured the moment of personal joy that I did my dance, that I loved it, and that I could go out and do it again in just a moment.

The final pose the the pointe piece. (I pose second to the left.)

The next dance with four girls felt much the same. Excited about how the first piece went, I jumped (quite literally) into this dance with a huge smile, which only grew bigger as I nailed the difficult steps. At one point, the audience started clapping during the dance as we performed a challenging turning combination, and that only made me smile more!

Our contemporary-ish piece made me feel like flying! 

Quickly, I stripped from my second costume and into my grey costume for the contemporary ballet piece. After the previous two pieces, this one felt much easier, safer, more fun. All of the dancers exchanged hushed encouragement and excited remarks as we went onstage and waited for the curtain to open.

But I forgot to reapply the rosin. 

We pose in the moonlight. (I stand in the front far right.) 

Rosin, for those who don't know, is a substance that helps pointe shoes not to slip on the stage; it provides friction, not to mention security. The stage, as discussed in the previous post, slid much more than usual and caused me much anxiety, but I forget the rosin this time around.

The dance started slowly, with emotion and lulling notes. I let myself get lost in the mood of awakened joy, letting the movements carry me to another place. It can't get much better than this!

SPLAT. 

I fell.

Let's not say how long it took for us to get this spacing. (I bend backwards on the far right in this photo.)

During the simplest of movements, my foot slid on the stage, and before I processed what happened, I got right back up and danced into the next movement, smiling even bigger and feeling the music even more than before, determined not to let the fall shake me up. We finished the dance with a slow fade and hurried backstage for one more costume change, but one thought kept popping back up.

I fell.

But, because of something outside of myself, something I knew was Jesus, I didn't feel upset. Others offered condolences and encouragement, but I just smiled and said that I knew my identity didn't dwell in my performance tonight. I remembered when I prayed in the morning, saying that I trusted God no matter what happened, and I actually felt joy that a trial came my way and I just rolled out of the fall. Maybe God would use this to help others see Him more clearly!

This piece was hilarious! (Again, I pose on the far right.) 

We went on stage one more time to perform the optical illusion piece. I really can't explain it to you, but let's just say that the audience loved it! Although we couldn't smile, a laugh tugged at my lips the whole time!

Before I wanted to leave the stage, our performance ended and we went into the lobby to thank those who came to see us. By then, the knowledge that I fell sunk deeper into my thoughts of the performance, and I disliked that people would think of me as the girl who fell, but I also loved that people would remember me as the Elsa ballerina. Little girls and friends surrounded me and complemented me but a seed of disappointment grew in me. I resisted it for a while, but on my way to eat dinner, I couldn't stop it.

"I wish that I didn't fall," I told my mom.

My trust in Jesus faltered as I gave way to the doubts, wondering if I truly could dance. What if I had been more on my leg, more cautious? What would people think of my performance now? This disappointment filled me, even though I knew than even my fall could give God the glory. Instead of focusing on that, though, I focused on me and what I felt, and this new focus only robbed me of my joy and robbed God of glory in my thoughts.

Late in the evening, I again remembered God's provision and enough-ness, and the doubts left me. Time healed the disappointment, and logic comforted my doubts. This fall could have happened to anyone because of the slippery floor, but it happened to me, and I chose to believe that God led that event to teach me something. As I looked back on the day, I felt proud of Jesus, for Jesus brought me through the fear and gave me so much joy in dancing my best. But Jesus also lifted me up from a fall and showed me that He truly is enough, even in the storms. Because I fell on stage, I learned so much. I have a story to tell now, a story of how putting faith in Jesus never fails even when the world or circumstances do fall.

So I encourage you, right where you are, whether you are going through a wonderful part of life, full of applause, or whether you just fell down and don't know what to do. I encourage you to put your trust in Jesus, because, as I discovered at my recital, He is enough no matter what and can make joy come out of any fall. 

Comment below what keeps you going through the rises and falls of life. And thank you so much for reading!

Princess Hannah

8 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos and such a wonderful message. <3 You are a beautiful inspiring person and your love of God really shines through your amazing posts.
    When I go through hard times I find that I feel better when I listen to Christian music or just go outside and take a walk. I've realized that when I'm going through stress or sadness I sometimes just need time to cool off and let my worries melt away. <3

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    1. Thank you so much! This means so much to me!

      And yes, space helps, as it did for me last Sunday (except I just ate food with my family, not walking outside, but that sounds wonderful to!) Thinking about something else puts problems in perspective.

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  2. Those photos are gorgeous! I love what you said about using even an accident for God. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. <3

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    1. Thank you, although I can't take credit for the photography this time.

      That might be why God let this happen, so that I could encourage you and everyone else who reads this!

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  3. My family is often busy to the point that the only time we are all together is on Sunday for church, so I lean on my friends for support when I'm crying. Atta do it! Rising and going on with the show is the way to go! During my first show, my director was warning me and the two other knights to wear our knight hats, but on the closing night (so many "nights", ugh!) one of us forgot ours, and I nearly missed our cue to go on stage because I ran impulsively to go and grab it for him. I don't think our director even knew that occurred... I love all of your costumes! The are simple but do the trick quite well.

    xoxo Morning

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    1. That's no fun to be so busy! But your story made me laugh a bit, because I can almost feel the time ticking down as you rushed back! And yes, the costumes were fun to wear! My ballet teacher actually made the black and white as well as the grey skirts.

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  4. Hannah, this post is just wonderful. You are such an inspiration. I love that you trusted in God despite your nervousness, and that even when you fell you put on a brave face and kept going! That takes courage. I can tell that you totally rocked it that night.

    I love getting a little behind-the-scenes look at a dancer's life. It's not something that I've ever been a part of, so it's fascinating to me! Also, you are a really good writer. You describe things to well!

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    1. This comment just made my day! Thank you so much! And yes, I thought that some might find the insider look to ballet interesting. Just wait until this summer when I train in New York!

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