I am bubbling up inside and I can’t stop laughing out loud. I take two steps from the kitchen to the hallway and I pause with my hand on my heart, grateful for the stories I have lived to tell about. I take two more steps and I lift my hands toward the heavens because I am thankful for who I am, finally. I always use my life experiences to expose the wonders of God in hopes to redeem the bad reputation He gets from those who don’t know Him. My world is full of flipping bad scenarios for the good, taking the details of my storms and calming them with the truth of Holy Spirit, but this has been a process. Last night, I took center stage of “The Moth” storytelling venue and opened my heart before a live studio audience where I shared of moments in time that made me who I am now.
Anybody who has met me knows “I’ve got stories” and I love telling them. I wanted to be a journalist in college but was met by my English professor telling me that I was one of the worst writers he had ever seen. So I switched my major to Behavioral And Family Studies with a theatrical emphasis in Dance Therapy. Talk about a twist of fate, my course of direction was changed by the suggestion of a naysayer, just so Daddy God could school me in two additional disciplines while advancing the gift of writing in my spirit. I didn’t need a degree in journalism to prove that I had the gift to write, but I did need the credentialing in counseling and dance to obtain clout in the world’s eyes. Now, twenty years later I am re-igniting passions in all three as I tell stories about the places they have taken me.
I’m big into “behind the scenes” because they answer the question of “why” a line got scripted. Much of my commentary has a back story that I want the listeners to understand when I create a scene through describing my emotions. Emotions are the second biggest deal when I want to connect with others, which is why my becoming a therapist sets the perfect stage for counseling large numbers of people at one time. Admittedly, I have always longed for my theatrical connection with dance to land me an actressing gig, so when I drafted my rough outline for this event, I knew expression of a heart matter would deliver my best performance.
I had prayed all day and felt waves of peace come over me every time I pictured myself releasing love and hope into the atmosphere. Somehow I knew that my sharing this story was a God thing. My friends Hannah and Erin showed up on time and we instantly brought up the topic of boys. We were waiting on my friend Jeff and it became harder for me to concentrate on the subject at hand when I saw time dwindling away on the clock. The Moth was held at Dad’s garage in Atlanta which meant, from door to door, we had a solid hour commute, especially with traffic. I decided to purchase tickets on-line when I read that the story event was sold out. This meant that we had to be present when the doors opened in order to purchase seats for the public. No problem, I had a back-up plan and rang my friends Kyree and Kia to tell them to hold our place in line. Jeff arrived and we began our trek downtown. With warnings of delays on the highway I started lifting up anxious prayers and requests for Daddy to part the sea of cars and let me speed through. Conveniently the HOV lane delivered an automatic response.
Kyree then calls to say that we are 8th on the waitlist because the whole venue is sold out. I couldn’t fathom what he was saying because this has never happened to me before. How could it be that I felt so confident in being able to compete but have all of the roadblocks appear to tell me otherwise? We continue toward our destination with a little worship music and finally parked the car two blocks over from our set point. We meet Kyree and Kia at the door where we learn that another group is before us which forced our entry in two by two. Kyree and Kia went in and the 4 of us remained. It was two minutes until showtime and I had to surrender the entire evening to Daddy. The theme was “instincts” and even though I believed He wanted me to touch someone in their seat by speaking about mine, the situation looked more like wishful thinking. I thanked Him for getting my friends together and created a “plan C” in my brain for a different outing should this door be slammed in our faces.
Suddenly, 4 seats opened, without the gaurantee of being together of course, but a way to get inside nonetheless. I handed over the charge card and when I realized it would take the chic 10 years to manually enter the number, I threw money at her instead. The lights were out and the producer was doing the introductions as we turned the corner to the theater. To our amazement Kyree and Kia were in the front row with 4 seats available right next to them. Now I was in my comfort zone, this plan was coming together better than a connect-the-dots drawing. I snagged a paper and listed my info for the drawing to share a story and left it on top of the bag as soon as the announcer finished his spiel and reached down for it. I was in by the skin of my teeth.
I was basing my prayer on the experience I had the previous times when I competed as the tenth contestant. When you are last to tell your story the audience rememberes you the best and chances of winning are higher. Everyone was polished and all had the audience in stitches with a comedic flare. It wasn’t until the last person of the first set spoke of a serious subject, that I stopped worrying about the heaviness of mine. I made it through the first five spots unscathed before we went to intermission. As the lights lowered I heard my name called. The thrill of hearing people cheer was exhilirating. I felt like I had arrived at my moment of fame and was eating up the response from strangers welcoming me to the stage.
There it was, my own pulpit that blacked out everyone except my friends on the front row. Maybe that is all God wanted me to focus on, because seeing the five of them gave me incredible confidence to talk openly. I was blinded by the spotlight but even that felt like memory lane from my theatrical college days. And so I recaptured all of the memories that defined my “instinctively knowing I was unwanted”.
The rest of the story is told at this link https://youtu.be/QRo2Yn0eRGg