I was so out of my comfort zone this past weekend.
I performed two dramas at the Ladies retreat last Saturday and one of them was real... one of them was a little glimpse into my heart and I shared how I sometimes hide behind a mask or the wall I've built.
You see, the 2nd sketch, the one with Mary and Martha, was easier for me because I was acting. I was playing someone else, and it's always easier to pretend to be someone else than to share the deep hurts of your heart. It's easy to act, because I could stay behind the mask.
"I don't want to open up my heart to these strange ladies!" I argued with God. He and I wrestled for about a week before I even wrote the drama down. It was the first week of April... 2 weeks before the retreat.
"I can't do it!" I've hidden behind the mask for far too long, I was quite used to it, and quite comfortable. But, that still small voice wouldn't leave me alone... and he just happened to make Anya call me that week... because this crazy idea he put into my head needed a piano player and I was procrastinating. Really, it shouldn't have surprised me...
"Hey, I was thinking of you Anuschka...just wanted to see how you were doing." With some hesitation, I told Anya the crazy idea...
She said yes.
After I had hung up with her, God whispered, "Call Maureen," (One of the speakers and organizers for the retreat).
"NO!" I replied.
"Tell her... I need you to do this... It's going to be OK." An hour later, I gave in and called...even though I had nothing written down yet.
"If it's too much bother Maureen, don't worry about it. Just a crazy idea I had." Actually, just a crazy idea God had, but I didn't tell her that, because I was secretly praying she would tell me no, "too late to add anything to the schedule." I imagined...
She said yes, "we'll fit it in." She sent me the schedule... my performance was scheduled for 11:45am, Saturday April 21st, 2012.
That night after the kids and Rene went to bed. I prayed. Then I wrote.
When Saturday morning arrived, I felt excited but also a little sick. I went in a little earlier to practise with Anya. You see, I hadn't memorized the lines for 'Behind the Mask'. The lines were all jumbled up with Mary's lines in 'Freedom and a Red Hat' the other drama scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
"I'm fine!....Every thing's Okay," I would begin the first sentence of 'Behind the Mask' then, it would turn into, "Bull...oney!...if your so fine then why did you tell Betty her grandchild was ugly this morning at coffee?"
"I'm in trouble." I worriedly thought to myself as I whispered into the microphone that morning, before all the ladies showed up.
"You'll do fine... just hang on to me." That still small voice whispered back. It's hard to hear the voice when worry and fear have control, but God had everything under control. As He usually does. He made sure Christina Williams and Maureen Floris spoke before it was my turn.
Christina showed us a picture of a bird, who wasn't in the cage anymore, but who was still standing in the shadow of it's cage. I realized that morning, that although I was free, the shadow of fear still loomed over me.
"What things in your life has power and control over you?" Christina asked us. My fear of what other people think, leads me to try to please everyone or I'll walk away and not make contact with others.
Then Maureen spoke and read to us, John 6:26-36, but verse 35 stuck with me. Jesus replied, "I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty." I realized I was thirsty and hungry, because I still stood in the shadow of fear. It was time to fly.
"We're running late." Roxanne, one of the organizers, came and knelt beside my chair. It was 12:05pm and 20 minutes past my debut. I'd like to tell you that I answered her boldly, "No.... I must perform! It's what God wants me to do." Instead...
"It's okay... if you have to cancel me that's fine... if there's no time... well, we'll just drop it."
"That's very gracious of you Anuschka," little did she know what I was really up to, "but, we'll get you on right after lunch. Around 1pm."
"I prayed to the LORD, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces." Psalm 34:4-6
|Behind the Mask|
Here is the proof...
I did end up doing it...
The story I had written, touched upon how we say we're fine, when we're really not. Behind the lies is hurt, pain, fear, guilt or shame and we put on a mask or we hide behind a wall.
I went on to explain how Staci Eldridge in her book 'Captivating' says, “If you take everything else away and peel back to the heart of a woman these 2 questions are at the core. Every woman asks them, perhaps not out loud, but tucked hidden away in a safe dark corner of her heart. Do you love me? Am I beautiful?”
What if these core questions are never answered? What happens to our hearts, when we don't know the answers to these fundamental questions? I don't know about you... but I would like to know I am loved every day.
I then shared a poem I had written in my travels through a very dark valley, a few years ago.
Deep into my heart
Loneliness rips me open
I feel defeated
“I’m such a disappointment,”
Unspoken words of love
It’s numbing me
Death is here
Death of spirit
Judgments weigh me down
Who’s going to pick me up?
Who will pick me up?
I cry in the shadows
Then I build my wall
There’s no one else behind my wall
I ended it with these lines, "It’s been rainy for weeks now.... This dark cloud has been over my head for far too long.
But the sun came out today. Its rays warmed me. Ah, the light and the clarity. (Hold up the Bible) The Son came to visit me today… his unconditional love strengthened me, ah, the light and the clarity. (Taking off the mask) He told me to take off my mask and to come out from behind the wall I’ve built around my heart.
Do you know why?
He loves me every day."
This is the song Anya sang in between my story. It's by Francesca Battistelli, 'Behind the Scenes'. Thank-you Anya for all your help! I did end up, really enjoying, doing this with you. I pray that God will allow us to work together again soon.
"You, LORD, are my shepherd,
I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys as dark as death,
but I won't be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherds rod makes me feel safe.
You treat me to a feast,
while my enemies watch.
You honour me as your guest,
and you fill my cup until it over flows.
Your kindness and love,
will always be with me,
each day of my life,
and I will live forever in your house, LORD."
Psalm 23 (CEV)
For those interested... here are a few pictures (Thanks Roxanne), of the 2nd drama with Krista as Martha, and me as Mary in 'Freedom and a Red Hat'. Thank you Krista, for being my friend and accountability partner, and allowing me to dress you up in purple, with feathers and a red hat. I had a lot of fun doing this with you.
Last year, at the ladies retreat, Mary and Martha showed up in valour exercise suits and ran around the Wii Resort with a virtual Jesus, this year the Red Hat Society... what will they be up to next year? Well... we'll see if they're invited back.
What do you think of going bungee jumping as Mary and Martha?... and getting someone to film it for us? Just a crazy thought... We could wear our valour exercise suits?
It would definitely get us out of our comfort zones. LOL!
Roxanne for the pictures.
For the Psalm 28 image: http://ilovemybible.tumblr.com/page/11
You tube 'Behind the Scenes' by Francesca Battistelli and Nixieadamina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKZM7Kc0IPE