I grew up performing. When I was in the first grade, I must have sung a song in class because my teacher, Mrs. Irwin, sent a note home to my parents that they should put me in voice lessons. I spent the next 14 years performing so much that it’s really weird that most people in my current life have no idea about that part of my past.
The thing that’s great about performing is exactly what Lorne Michaels tells the SNL cast according to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, which I may have read five times and will read again because it is awesome and hilarious. “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”
When the curtain goes up, you are never ready. There’s always more that could have been done. And I feel like that’s my life right now. I’m a huge mess, but the audience is here, and the curtain is up. It’s too late to rehearse any more.
Confession time. I don’t know what I’m doing. Ever. About anything.
But I had to take the stage because the curtain is up.
I want so desperately to have it together. I spend so much time thinking about all the things I should be doing or should have done to prepare. I wish I could tell you how to do it. How to be a mom, a wife, a Christ-follower, a servant, a daughter, a world-changer.
But I’m just up here faking it, and I think God’s ok with that.
Sometimes people think performers have thick skin. That we must have an easier time with rejection or criticism because we get so much of it. But I actually think it’s just the opposite. I think we can be more sensitive because we’ve been conditioned to care a whole lot what people think and because we are so often criticized that we come to expect it. Maybe what we are good at is stuffing the anxiety away and getting up on stage anyway. A part of acting, I suppose.
I’m filled with fear and anxiety, and I don’t know what I am doing. Is my son safe in Rwanda? Can my marriage withstand the pressure of life? Will our parents forgive us for moving? Am I doing anything worthwhile at all? Can God use such a weak and trembling person?
But if I get stuck on these questions, I will never take the stage. There are no easy answers. There are no short cuts in life. Only trusting in the One who knows. The One who holds the cards, and the One who will never forsake.
The show must go on.