The End Of Myself

“Bend your legs! Get down!” my prof told me. Timidly, I wobbled my legs a bit into a crouching position. “More! Don’t be afraid of your legs!”

I tried again. And again. And again.

He told me to do more things. To move in more ways. But I just couldn’t. I tried for what seemed like a thousand times, but every time, he’d tell me to do it again.

‘”Run around the room and scream!”

I ran. And tried to scream. But I could only laugh. Awkwardness, timidity, insecurity crowded my soul.

I’d asked my professor for help with my physicality as an actor. We were working one of Titania’s monologues from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’d told him yesterday that “I knew I could do it because I wanted to.” But just then, we hadn’t even gotten past the third line.

“I can’t do this,” I told him before we parted ways. “I’ll just never get it — all my life I haven’t,” I said through tears.

~~~~

My pastor says that when we are at the end of ourselves we find God. Job was a the end of himself. Brought there through suffering and strife.

As Christians, we often see the end as something bad and to be feared. We stay in the shallow end or maybe on the sand, too afraid of the deeper waters ahead. We don’t like the word ‘end.’ But the end of ourselves is only the beginning when we know Jesus.

~~~~

I held back the tears when I got home. I put on a flowy skirt and a tank top — clothing that made me feel like Titania. I thought it would help.

I went outside and shivered. Even late March was much too chilly for spring clothing.

There, in the comfort of my own backyard, I tried it again. I tried to move, alone, outside. But it was the same as before. I couldn’t. I fell down in a ball on the ground. The cold grass absorbed me and my tears and trembling limbs.

 I was at the end of myself.

But at the end of myself, I prayed. Prayed like I’d never prayed before. Prayed for something I never thought I could or would pray for.

~~~~

Job lost everything. Everything he’d ever had or known. He was at the end.

But in that end, He found God. Not that he hadn’t known God before, but I don’t think he’d really known Him until that point. At the end of himself, Job saw God.

~~~~

“That was wonderful!” My prof burst out, less then a week later, after watching me perform my monologue. This time it was complete with an active physical score; I was bold and daring beyond belief. I had moved fluidly and without shame.

I smiled hard. His affirmation tasted sweet. But even sweeter was the knowledge that I had reached my end and come back even more whole than before.

I recalled the beginnings of my monologue creation. I had laid on the living room floor after leaving the cold outdoors. I prayed on the ground, long and hard. And then I got up. And it happened. All at once. And looking back, I know that it wasn’t my doing at all. At the end of myself, I found the beginning of Him.

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2 thoughts on “The End Of Myself

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    It’s been so long since I commented on your blog. Sorry! 🙂

    I loved this post. You have been working SO hard on your passion; and it seems that hard work is paying off!!
    I really identified with “reaching the end of myself”. I was listening to a song the other day called “The End of Myself” by Paul Colman:
    “Been down a roller-coaster
    Seen lot’s of highs a lows there
    And felt the thrill just to be hanging on
    But life’s no roller coaster
    Though there are highs a lows there
    You never end up where you started from
    ….
    How could I know that this road leads?
    To the end of myself
    The seed that started out
    In the soil began to sprout
    Grew up like a tender shoot beneath the sun…”

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