I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
In the elementary ministry I serve in, we have been talking about the idea of confidence; confidence, being defined as learning to see yourself the way God sees you. I love the way that’s defined, because I often don’t see myself the way God sees me. Whether it’s because of my past mistakes or things that have happened, or maybe it’s the enemy in my mind, I can often feel like I’m unworthy. I live with this cloud over me that I can never be good enough, but that’s simply not true. That’s a lie the enemy is trying to convince me is truth. The truth is, that I have been made in the image of God, all of us have been made in the image of God, meaning that there is great power we possess and God has placed many talents inside of us. We are not perfect, scripture says that humans were formed out of the dust, so, we’ve got some issues.
This is where confidence is key, we need to start learning to see ourselves the way God sees us.
I deal with anxiety, hopefully if you’ve met me, it doesn’t seem like that. I try to push myself to be faithful and trust God, and deal with the fear aspect later. To quote the great Lemony Snicket, I try to do the scary thing first and get scared later. Dear Danielle will tell you I get really tense in a big event, and afterwards I let out a breath and feel like a bunch of knots loosening up. The funny part is, I am called by God to be a light in the lives of others, so, by definition I will always need to be willing to be around people. My head battles my heart, but I push myself to be confident even when I feel unworthy.
This battle takes place in my head sure, but I have to be active in being confident in who God has created me to be. One of these practical battles was when I auditioned to be Chewbacca at Disney.
Take a deep breath and listen to the voice of the Spirit; the loud voices say you can’t, the quiet one says you can.
When we first moved to Orlando, I didn’t have a job. I was in a place where I was talking to a church, but it didn’t seem to be a good fit, so I applied all over at Disney. One of the big things you can do at Disney, is go to a character audition. The call was for people that were between 6’1 and 6’3 and felt comfortable with Star Wars. I’m 6’2 and LOVE Star Wars, so this was perfect. I have never done anything like this before, so I have no idea what I’m going to do and no clue if I’ll be laughed at, to which my dear Danielle said to me, “who cares if they laugh, and least you tried it!” So, I put on a Star Wars t-shirt and sweatpants, and had Danielle drive because my nerves were at an eleven.
I was pushing myself to do the scary thing first and get scared later. I walk into the room and it is FILLED with people. All tall people who look way more qualified than me, there was a guy practicing his ballet jumps and I immediately tried to remember the moves from seeing my sister in the Nutcracker Ballet in middle school, needless to say I was intimidated. Once we got started, the entertainment cast member told us we would do two things; the first being an improv acting piece and the second a choreographed dance. This felt like a comedy, improv I could do, I mean I worked with kids and students, but the dance, oh boy was I chuckling to myself.
The improve piece was up to our discretion but it had to relate to Star Wars, I decided to improv building a lightsaber and fighting with it, and I think I did pretty good (my heart was beating out of my body, but hey! I lived). Then the dance was not too bad, it helped being in the middle of the crowd, so I wasn’t too obvious.
After you do this, you wait, and then after you wait they talk to half of the people and then they leave. Again, this felt wild, but I made it to the second round. I just kept breathing and doing my best to listen to the Holy Spirit, I was reminding myself to see myself the way God sees me.
The next round was the same, but this time, you went to the front and did it with five other people. AHH. I was feeling good when I was in the crowd, but now there was nowhere to hide. I think I had to grab my heart off the floor really quick.
The first part was the improv, and I think I did pretty great if I do say so myself. The second part was the choreographed dance, and I survived. It all happened in a blur of nerves and sweat, and then it was over. Post nerve explosion, you wait and get called up so they can measure you. The thing is, they would call some people up and then they would walk away, not making the cut. The room cleared and I had made it, now it was time to try on the Chewbacca mask. I wish I had snapped a selfie of me wearing it, but I had it on…and the hinge of the mask was poking me in the neck. Tolerable for a few minutes, but they told me they wouldn’t want a Chewy walking around in pain.
So, I didn’t become Chewbacca, but, I learned a lesson in having confidence. I learned that sometimes we need to breathe and listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit instead of the loud voices telling us we can’t.
I know this has been a bit of a longer post than I normally do, but I really love that story. I love it because it was coming off the heels of a season where to be honest, I felt totally unworthy and the voices in my life only encouraged that feeling of being unworthy. In a moment of choosing to do the scary thing first and get scared later, I was learning to see myself the way God sees me. I was learning to be confident. While I didn’t get to become Chewbacca, a few weeks later I was brought on the opening team for Galaxy’s Edge and was surrounded by voices that encouraged me and loved me for who I was. Each day I have to choose to see myself the way God sees me.
I am made in His image, capable of great things, just like you. And just like you, we aren’t perfect, we make mistakes and that’s okay, that’s a part of life. Just keep focusing on who God has made you to be, be confident, choose to see yourself the way God sees you.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__