At five years old, I knew exactly what I wanted. “Mommy, I want to be a ballerina when I grow up.” Tutus and tiaras, music and applause, glitter and make up…what girl could want anything more?
“Okay, sweetie,” my mom responded kindly, as she did to so many of my childhood dreams. But to her and Dad’s surprise, I stayed true to my dream. Dance was a wonderful hobby. Not only was it great physical exercise, but it taught me discipline, respect, and how to be an artist. While most teenagers were off experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol, I spent my evenings refining my pointe technique with my friends.
For years I pursued ballet with a passion. As I matured, my focus and training grew more intense. By the time I started high school, I was at the studio six days a week. My life consisted of eating, sleeping, going to school, and dancing.
A Ballerina is Born
All the hard work began to pay off, especially as I entered the pre-professional program.
Ballet productions became the most important thing in my life. I could hardly wait for the artistic director to post the cast list. I’d rush to the bulletin board and scan it, looking for my name, hoping that this time I’d get the main role.
Daily I pushed myself, taking my training to the next level. Before long, I began to receive recognition. Small solos multiplied into main roles—Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty…
By the time I reached my senior year in high school, I had secured a spot in a ballet company, in addition to participating in a liturgical dance team at my church and auditioning for colleges that specialized in dance.
Everything was falling into place perfectly. I was living my childhood dream. Dance was the center of my life, where I found my identity.
An Injured Dream
But within a few months, everything for which I had work so hard began to disintegrate. It all started with an injury to my leg, the first of many more to come.
“You need to stay off your feet and rest,” said the doctor.
Rest? That word doesn’t exist in a ballerina’s vocabulary! Resting meant that I couldn’t audition… I couldn’t perform… I couldn’t dance! I was devastated. Days turned into months.
“Why is this happening to me?” I cried out to God.
I’d been a Christian since I was nine and strongly believed that God gave me the ability and desire to dance. I couldn’t understand why He had allowed me to get injured… why was He letting this happen to me… to my dream?
A New Perspective
As time went on, I began to realize that I had more than an injured leg; I had an injured heart…and I didn’t know how to heal. Up to this point, dance had been my inspiration, my motivation, and my fulfillment.
Slowly, my perspective began to change. The applause and personal achievement that had fulfilled me before were gone, but I sensed God redirecting me—the real me—back towards Him.
I didn’t need to be prima ballerina. I didn’t need to go to Juilliard. I didn’t need to dance for New York City Ballet. God accepted me just the way I was. God loved me just as I was…injured, incapable, prideful. God saw my sorry state and reminded me of what He did so that I could have an intimate relationship with Him:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
At that moment of realization, I re-dedicated my life to Christ and have never looked back.
Yes, God has given me the opportunity to dance again. In fact, today I dance and speak at Christian events throughout California. Dance went from being an obsession to a way to worship Him!
What about You?
Are you trying to find sole fulfillment in something that is temporary? Do you want to escape from the bondage of that obsession?
Jesus wants to come into your life and satisfy your soul. He can free you. Allow God to come in and fill you with contentment.
Surrender your life today by praying something like this:
Dear God, Forgive me for ignoring you and trying to find my worth in something that is temporal. I know you see the sin in my life—all the things that I do wrong, both inwardly and outwardly. Please forgive me. Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place so that I can be forgiven of my sins and have a relationship with you. Please come into my life today and help me change my ways.
Today may be your day to step out of bondage to earthly things. Allow Christ to free you and direct the steps of your new dance.
Felicia Alvarez is a passionate writer, artist, musician, and speaker for Christ. She graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in Business. Her hope is to encourage those she comes in contact with to pursue God-centered lives. Learn more about Felicia at FloatingLeafPress.com
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