Wicked: An Elphaba kind of prayer

Have you ever felt like the wicked witch of the west? That may seem like an odd question. Especially since most of the time we would like to think we are more like Galinda the good witch, or even the heartless tin man or cowardly lion. Maybe even the heroic Dorothy who saves all of Oz from the terrifying witch.

Maybe this will help clear up my question a bit. The other night I was sitting in my bed reflecting on all the confusing and entangling events going on in my life and it felt like I was searching for something, anything to say to God and figure out how to figure out this mess. It felt like I was grasping at straws. Seeking answers to nagging questions. Looking for peace in the turmoil. Pacing the lion’s cage hoping to find the magical thing that would set me free or fill the hollow emptiness inside.

Being the musical theatre buff that I am, this goose chase my mind was taking me on brought to mind the scene in Wicked when Elphaba is chanting frantically across the expanse of the stage trying something, anything, to make sure Fiyero can’t be harmed. If you don’t know the story, it’s a creative retelling of the Wizard of Oz that takes a look at the witch’s side of the story. It follows the life of Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, and her friendship with Galinda the good witch and Fiyero, a new boy in school, Elphaba’s sister, Nessarose, and a munchkin boy named Boq. I don’t want to spoil the storyline for those who haven’t seen it, but it comes to a point towards the end of the story where Fiyero ends up running off to help Elphaba and he gets taken prisoner because of it. Desperate to save the one good thing in her life, Elphaba opens her book of enchantments and starts saying whatever she can hoping it will be enough to save him.

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My life has felt a bit like that, and as I mentioned, that scene came to mind the other night as I wrestled with so many of the questions on my mind. I don’t know if you have ever had moments like that, where much like Elphaba in the song, you feel like shouting at top of your lungs, trying to figure what you want to say to God or what you want Him to do. You just keep going round and round not knowing if you are supposed to listen to what He has to say or if you are supposed to spill everything on your heart. You just know that things aren’t right in your life and you have to do whatever it takes to make them right.

Sometimes, you do have so much on your mind, you don’t know what or how to pray. But, that’s ok. You don’t have to have all the right words or have all the right things to pray. God knows what our hearts are trying to say. Even when it seems like our prayers are coming out in gibberish and make no sense to us. If we are praying in earnest to our God, He will hear us. He hears us in our tears. He hears us in our laughter. He hears us when we are so full of sorrow we can’t even speak. Just make sure you do pray, and that you keep on praying. Pour out your heart to your Father and let His never-ending love enfold you.

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The story of Wicked comes to a bittersweet end. Elphaba does ultimately save Fiyero and herself, even though it may not have happened the way she expected it too. But God works like that sometimes. We will ask for one thing and He will give it to us, just not how we expected it to happen. Or, He will give us something else that’s better for us. He knows our lives better than we do and knows what we need. So, when you’re overwhelmed or feel you are just mumbling nonsense, rest in the fact that God has already written your story and knows what the outcome will be.

 

 

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Transplanted Dreams Part 2

My interview for the internship went extremely well despite a few hiccups and it seemed very positive. I just needed to get a job to tide me over until August when the internship was supposed to start. A lot easier said than done. Over the next couple months I received so many “thank you for your interest in our company, but we’ve decided to go a different direction” emails, including two for the theatre in Minnesota and in Denver and seemed to have just missed all the auditions or jobs for theatre in Colorado for the summer so it seemed more and more like my life was standing still while the waters of life continued to rise around me. But, it was in the midst of these storms that God began to whisper to me a new dream, or rather, a new name for the dream started in Kansas City and the dream whispered to me years ago.

Admittedly, it was frustrating and depressing at times to keep running into closed doors all around, but, all those closed doors seemed to keep pushing me toward the one door God wanted me to go through–staring my own theatre company. Shortly after coming back home, I started reading Mark Batterson’s book “The Circle Maker”, a book he wrote before writing “Draw the Circle”, another book I have enjoyed delving into over the past few years. Both are excellent books and books I highly recommend.

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Both books explores the idea of circling our prayers and not being afraid to pray for the dreams God places on our hearts. In one of the first few chapters of “The Circle Maker”, he talks about the journey of his church and how he felt led to literally circle an are in Washington D.C. by doing a prayer walk around it and how that area he circled now includes their church as well as their coffee house. While reading that, I felt God laying the name of the place I attended elementary and high school on my heart as the theatre space He was giving me (I know, sounds crazy, but God works in mighty and mysterious ways!) Much like Mark, I felt God was wanting me to encompass the school in a prayer walk, but found many excuses not to go up there and do it for weeks, even though it is only about 10 minutes from my house. But, I kept praying and thinking a lot about it and eventually made a point to go up there, and I’m so glad I did!

Even though life is still very much in the air and uncertain, it has been incredible to see the hand of God work in and through the circumstances in my life these past months and year, and even throughout the course of my entire life! The past few months have brought people and contacts across my path that at the time may have seemed strange or coincidental but seem to be taking shape as plausible pieces to this theatre company. People and places I never expected to reconnect with are coming back into my life and I am being introduced to people and venues, I never expected! I am truly humbled and in awe of the events taking place in my life and the incredible ideas that keep flowing through my mind that must be God-ideas, because I definitely would have never thought of these things on my own.

As promised, I will include a brief summary of some of the theatre stuff that has been brought across my path recently. A few weeks ago I auditioned for a small community play near my house and ended up getting cast in the show as well as being asked to be assistant director. I also had an interview this week for a position with a local theatre company called Magic Moments. They are a wonderful company that has continued to grow in prestige and reputation over the years and is the only theatre I know of that provides a theatre experience for people with special needs and disabilities. You should definitely take time to look at their website!

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They have a documentary airing at the end of the month that you should definitely watch as well! It is definitely a far more qualified and prestigious theatre than I was expecting when I went into the interview so I don’t know if I even have a chance of getting on for their spring show, but learning about this company in the interview was an unforgettable experience in itself!

And finally, the summation of this posting, things seem to be moving forward and coming together to continue with the dream of starting a theatre company. I admit, I am sad that this dream didn’t continue with my friends in Kansas City, but it seems God has different plans for this dream. This dream has been taking shape in ways I never expected or imagined, and who knows, perhaps God will connect the two dreams or blend them together in a beautiful masterpiece down the road 🙂

I encourage all of you who read this to never give up on your dreams. It may seem like the dream is ending or changing beyond recognition, but it could simply be God taking a different direction. God gives us dreams and passions for a reason. Don’t be afraid to follow them!

 

Transplanted Dreams Part 1

Those of you who have been following my blog, you know that I started blogging a few months ago to tell the story of a theatre company some friends and I were in process of starting in Kansas City. Though the story has taken unexpected turns, one of the biggest being me moving back to Colorado, God continues to write an incredible story with the dream He gave long ago.

I believe I mentioned it in my earlier blogs, but I have had a dream to start a theatre company for as long as I can remember. It has definitely been a dream I feel God implanted in my heart at a young age and a dream that He has continued to shape and craft into a story that would only be believable because of Him. Over the course of this past year, that dream began to take on a realistic form and was moving forward into fruition until recently when it became unexpectedly uprooted.

4 months ago, my life was turned upside down. In fact, it felt very much like I had been thrown into the midst of a tidal wave with no floaties and no life vest. I was faced with the unexpected decision of finding a new job, figuring out where to look for work, and even what state to live in. Many possibilities came up and it was confusing figuring out which direction God was trying to point me to. Internship in Minnesota, try to make it in New York, audition to be Disney princess in Florida, move to Oregon(dream place to live!), stay in Kansas City, move back to Denver. Like I said, many possibilities were discussed and prayed through. But, after much research and prayer, God seemed to open the door just a bit wider for Colorado when I was offered an interview for a stage management internship for the Denver Center for Performing Arts, one of the biggest theatre companies in Colorado. Things started moving forward for me to move back to Denver (I will spare you the hairy details of the whole process) and within a month I was back in my hometown looking to a bright future ahead of me! Or so it seemed….

(see Part 2)