Every once in awhile, I feel like God gives me a heads-up. A memory will come to mind and I'll think "last time we did a show, we felt like our family and our team were under serious attack."
I know that sounds spiritual.
Perhaps even spooky. I'm good with that. I don't mind being Casper.
Monday I woke up, the week of our upcoming auditions, and I felt like my time on WebMD had done me no good. I was anxious to the point of worry and really for no good reason. Too many friends (young friends) battling cancer had my mind reeling over the injustice of it all. And perhaps worrying for my own self a little.
What are the symptoms? How do you know if you have it? Most people get checked out for something else and find out there's cancer. Should I get checked out for something?
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:6-7
I turned to my Bible. I prayed. I journaled.
I felt so much better. But in that time, God reminded me that typically doing what God has called us to do puts a big fat target on our backs.
Sometimes, when you take a step toward your purpose, it seems like everything goes wrong. And in a way, I think that makes us wonder if we're making a mistake...because somehow opposition feels like a road block even when it's not. Even when the opposition is just a jealous enemy who doesn't want you to do the thing you're called to do.
Over time, I've begun to see the difference.
And I've learned that the enemy usually attacks in one of three areas: our health, our finances or our relationships.
And in my case, what accompanies any of those things is worry.
This weekend, we will tackle auditions for our first show since we started The Studio. It's kind of a big deal. It's a chance for us to not only teach and train kids in the performing arts...but to get to know them, to pour in to them, to get in to their lives a little if they'll let us.
It's more than just a show. It's an experience.
And I admit, it's overwhelming. Not just the auditions and all that needs to be done to prepare for them, but the fact that we're doing a build-out in a space that is only partially ready but we're so darn excited we're having the auditions there in spite of the unpainted walls and the boring bathrooms.
There is sawdust to be swept, flooring to be finished, cleaning to be done...and then the anxiety of actually casting the show. Of getting it right. Of piecing the puzzle together and figuring out how they fit. And I know not everyone will be happy with our decisions...and I start to worry...
But something stops me. A memory of the enemy's familiar tactics.
So I pray.
For grace. For the ability to juggle all the plates spinning. For grace from those we love. I ask God to protect our health, our finances, our relationships. I ask him to take my fears and my stress and sweep it all into a heavenly dustpan and take it out with the trash. I pray for laser-pointed focus on the reason we're doing this in the first place...
Somewhere along the way, we've gotten it into our heads that doing what God has told us to do would be easy. It's the exact opposite of easy--and that's why it's worth it. Do you think the enemy wants us all walking out our purpose? Do you think he wants us to feel passionate and excited?
Heck, no. He wants us beat down, overwhelmed, stressed out, filled with worry....
And today. At least for today. I am not going to give him what he wants. Today I will cast every care on HIM because he cares for me.
And my purpose is too important to watch it get swallowed up by fear.
Besides, I'm pretty darn excited about this show...and nothing is going to to steal that joy...