I simply cannot start a blog about this dream job without first and foremost recognizing the faithfulness, and abundant love of my God. I know for a fact that I would not be going to this job two weeks from now if it was not for His provision. However, it wasn't a very fun journey to get here. A lot of tears, a lot of doubt, a lot of confusion, and finally... a lot of surrendering. The journey I took to get to this job had an insane amount of closed doors. Often, God comes by, gently shutting doors for us. In our near-sighted humanity, it can feel like those closed doors were a big mistake. How funny- to believe in a God of the Universe, but remain convinced that he doesn't know what the hell He's doing.
That's how I felt. I had so many doors slammed in my face the last six months, I was convinced that God was delusional.. maybe He had me confused with someone else. Maybe He had just given up on me. Either way, I was totally at a loss for what I was supposed to do come September. Every door that closed on me was surely a mistake.
Graduating from Belmont this May I had one primary emotion: scared shitless. Leaving school and transitioning to the adult world put me in a panic. I spent the year trying to figure out what I wanted to do once school ended. For some reason, New York didn't feel right, and I while I loved the idea of Chicago, but I don't really know a thing about that city. I didn't feel like I could stay in Nashville, and I was reluctent to go home. To me, home felt like failure. I avoided making a plan, and I spent the year grieving the end of my time at Belmont, and brushing off the future- convinced that I would book a job.
I auditioned and auditioned.. and honestly... I auditioned for a lot of things I felt like were the answer. Either the role was perfect for me, or I knew someone on the casting team, or I just overall felt like I nailed the audition. I kept auditioning thinking, "This is the answer! This is what God is providing me for the next year" But I kept getting "no" after "no" after "no" after "no," until I was about two weeks from ending my summer contract and had not one single job lined up. I watched other actors line up work, and I was not only devastated but also embarassed that I had no plans to speak of when asked by friends, family, and patrons "What's next?"
There was a week about mid-July where I just broke down in my dressing room to a friend. I listed off every audition I had been to since February that hadn't turned into anything. When I finally looked at how many opportunities had not come to fruition, it was devastating. I was angry at God and felt abandoned. My small human mind had ran out of options- how silly I was for limiting Him.
I had decided to move home, and had no hope of performing for as long as I was planning on staying in Denver. I was intending to move to New York in March, and had literally started to apply for dog walking jobs near home. I hoped to save up some money and spend some time with family, but I wasn't excited to be returning to Aurora, CO. Trust me, I'm totally aware that in the grand scheme of life, this is not a bad scenario, but to me it felt like a major failure in comparison to my peers.
A few days into August I was sitting in my car and I was so fed up of being scared and ashamed that I just flat out surrendered. I cried out to God, "I trust you. If this is what you planned for me, I still trust you. You are still good." I think He needed to get me to that place. Where I had no other option but to turn to him.
Low and behold, a mere few days later, I recieved an email from Gary Musick saying, "Hi Suzanna, are you available starting September 1?"
The answer should have been no. With the number of auditions I had done, by odds alone I should have had some sort of job lined up during those 7 months. But I was totally free.
When I look back, it's almost laughable how distressed I was. And honestly, if any of those doors had remained open, it would have been a travesty. None of those other options for work come close to comparing to the experience this cruise will be. And in God's perfection, this job gives me three weeks in Nashville (an unheard of rehearsal location for a cruise ship) and I get back to the US only one month later than I was originally planning on moving to New York. .. but with way more money, and having seen half of the world.
If in my small amount of life-experience and limited knowledge I can offer one piece of advice, I would say be thankful for closed doors. In fact, be excited by them. Pray for them, and praise God for them. They are sign that He has something even better in store. I'm blessed to not have been offered those other jobs, so that I was available for this one. I'm so glad that in His infinite wisdom and love for me, he closed those doors.
Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed in dignity and strength, and laughs without fear of the future"