how God redeemed ballet for me

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone – Mirror of Desires Scene

“Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?” Harry shook his head.

“Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help?”
Harry thought. Then he said slowly, “It shows us what we want… whatever we want…”
“Yes and no,” said Dumbledore quietly.
“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

“The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don’t you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

It started when I was 4. My mom took me to see Beauty and the Beast, and the moment the curtains opened, I was entranced.

My mom says she knew I’d end up doing ballet after she took me to that show; apparently it was all I could talk about.

The tutus, the dancers, the beauty, the stories, the theatre, the grace. Little did I know ballet would be used to display a different, far more beautiful kind of grace in my life and testimony when I became older.

Earlier I shared a quote from Harry Potter about a mirror, a mirror that showed the deepest desire of the person in front of it. I know that if I was Harry, standing in front of that mirror, I would’ve seen loveliness. I would’ve seen loveliness when I was 7; I would’ve seen it when I was 17.

I thought I could use ballet to find loveliness. The art in itself is a display of beauty. The dancers are beautiful, the movement is beautiful, the stage is beautiful, the music is beautiful, ballet is beautiful.

But it wasn’t enough. Nowhere near enough.

So then I tried to be the best. I tried to be the skinniest, the most talented, the hardest worker, I tried and tried and tried. I thought I could find loveliness by trying to be found lovely. I thought the more acceptance letters I received, the more job offers I got, the more applause I could earn, the more loveliness I thought I’d feel.

But I still didn’t feel lovely.

“And they tell you that you’re lucky, but you’re so confused ’cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used.” – The Lucky One, Taylor Swift

When I was 17, Jesus rescued me from myself. It was then that I realized I hadn’t understood what I saw in the mirror. I thought I wanted to be found lovely, but what I wanted was to actually find the loveliness.

Jesus was the loveliness.

Jesus was the perfection I could never reach.

When directors told me no, Jesus opened His arms.

When I compared myself to other dancers, Jesus covered my imperfections.

I would never be enough, but Jesus always would.

God redeemed ballet from something I was enslaved to. I was enslaved to bitterness, envy of other dancers, insecurity, and I had let the enemy steal the joy of ballet from me.

When I met Jesus, He offered me back my passion. He offered me a gift of something I could find joy in.

Jesus gave me a ballet that was so much more than it had formerly been in my life.

Ballet that reflected the loveliness of God, the beauty of His love, ballet that reflected fullness of joy.

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