Life As A Swing: How Theatre Prepped Me For Ministry In A Pandemic

In most theatrical productions--particularly large format musicals--the cast consists ofleads--those who are featured the most in a showensemble members--those who support the show tremendously, providing vocals, wonderful dancing, and often, facilitating set changesunderstudies-- those who are the next in line for lead roles should the performer call out sick or have an important engagement that forces them to miss a show. Usually, understudies are also in the ensemble, so they learn their ensemble track and the lead rolestandbys--those who understudy a very prominent role in the show that's usually the lead or a major supporting character. Many times, the standbys are not in the ensemble. They just cover that one lead track and are to be at the theatre during the entire show or within 15-30 minutes of the theatre should they need to go on at a moment's noticeAnd finally, the swings
No. No, I didn't say swingers😎 ... though, I mean, nothing's wrong with that. To each …

I'm Not Responsible For Your Insecurities

I was in a "Bible study" of sorts today, and the leader was describing a situation in which a person was accusing her of speaking too much about being a same-gender loving pastor. She said she was taken aback at first and took careful consideration of the comment. After interrogating this analysis of her "over-sharing," she decided that the person's feelings and assessment of her wasn't her problem. She was not responsible for the other person's insecurities regarding her sexuality, faith and position, and their insecurities regarding the way she chooses to share that information.

I started thinking a lot about my life over the past 2 years--saying "yes" to seminary, then saying "yes" to preaching, and finally saying"yes" to my call to be a pastor. I've dealt with a lot of folk's insecurities throughout this process of leaning into my God-assignment and stepping more deeply and firmly into myself. I tiptoed around the insecurities of an ex-mentor who slowly fell outta my life as I leaned into my ministry, I wrestled with the insecurities of people who couldn't handle my evolution, I've battled friends and family who are uncomfortable with my role as (woman)minister, (woman)preacher, and future (woman)pastor. 🙄 It feels like the more I say "yes" to God, the more insecure some people around me become...with my elevation, with my proclamation, and with my confidence...or the more their insecurities are revealed.

I became accustomed to considering other people's insecurities. I became used to trying to "fix" their problems or at least help them navigate their issues. What I'm realizing now, however, is that I am not responsible for their insecurities, especially when those insecurities are related to my evolution. Embracing my title as "preacher" has ruined some relationships. I'm not responsible for that. Embracing my desire to be a Senior Pastor someday has forced some people to exit my life. I am not responsible for that. It is incredibly freeing to remind oneself that one is not responsible for someone else's emotional or spiritual discomfort or how they manage it. No matter how much you love or care about a person, they have to want to wrestle with the reason why your growth makes them uncomfortable. You can't wrestle for them.

I'm trying to move on from a difficult 5 months, and free myself from some of the ways I cared so deeply about others who simply aren't/weren't  invested in my evolution (or their own, for that matter). I have my own insecurities to manage--my own imposter syndrome to wrestle with. I shall take my therapist's advice and focus on thineself for the time being.

Peace and love. ✌🏾

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