I love musical theater. I love the singing, the dancing, the costumes and how seamlessly you can slip away into an alternate world of heartbreak and sentiment.
Lately, I’ve been especially aware of my love for theatrics through my “costumes” I put on in a desperate attempt to keep my head above the pressure of performance.
I find myself making costume changes depending on the people I am hanging out with, bringing “dress to impress” an entirely new and unkempt meaning.
It began at a young age, too: this lie that I had to be someone unique, someone special, someone with something that will make others want what only I have.
For example, why do I want to be a writer? Well, in seventh grade I wrote a speech for our speech contest, I delivered it, and for the first time ever at my school, a seventh grader won.
At this point in my life, I was never the “best” at anything. I was good at sports, I played soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball and I swam, but I was never the MVP. I had a decent voice, landing a spot in every choir and musical our school put on, but I was the kind of talent that could only grab a role in anything outside of the school doors. I was smart, always bringing home beautiful straight-A report cards, but was never recognized among my peers for having outstanding academic achievements.
Then suddenly, there was this thing that I was good at- arguably the BEST at. It felt like I had finally found it- my thing. Parents, teachers, and peers applauded my talent and I began to take pride in the fact that I could write.
Don’t get me wrong, I eventually grew to love the intricacy of words strung together in beautiful and harmonic patterns. I fell for the impact that words carry and I grew passionate about using them for a positive and glorifying purpose.
But somehow, I’ve still let Satan win. I believed his whispers that I had to be something more, something unique, something great.
Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that The Lord made me like a perfectly constructed sentence? That I was uniquely and thoughtfully written? How vain to think that I can make myself more appealing by any earthly means when I was made by the standards of Heaven?
Not only is it exhausting trying to keep up with this pageantry of vanity, it is destructive. With this absence of comfort in the person that The Lord created us to be, we sacrifice relationships, choosing instead to walk through life making quick changes and adding layer after layer of what we think the world wants from us.
But Jesus tells us a different story. He died so that we could be free to live the life that God composed for us. He waits patiently and whispers over the voice of the devil, that we have enough because we have Him. He is in the heart that we surrender, not in the masks we create for ourselves.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I’m exhausted of performing on the stage of the world’s expectations. I would much rather dance on the stage of eternity with my perfect Director.
I’m dropping the act. Will you join me?
-Erin Cosgrove // @e_coz