1 Peter 3:15
"You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it."
Dance has almost always been the biggest part of my life. From the beginning, I grew up in church and a faith-based home but dance was Lord over my life, and sometimes it can still feel like it.
When I was a tiny girl, I would dance around my living room to any music we had and perform multi-act performances for my family. It was the way my quiet self could have a voice and express my heart to people. My first time on a big stage was at church, sparking my love of performing for others.
Before long, I became involved in a rigorous schedule of dances classes, rehearsals and traveling around the country for training and auditions. I became consumed by the pursuit of a career as a professional dancer, from graduating early, three hour commuting just to get to rehearsals, down to every last crumb I put in my mouth. It very soon became all about me.
At nineteen years old, I recommitted my life back to Jesus and repented for some very wrong choices I had made. However, I hadn’t realized yet that my whole life had not been surrendered to Him. I started down a path of greater perfectionism, trying to make up for the wrongs I’d done, something, I admit, I struggle with still. But upon moving to NYC to further pursue dance, something I felt God calling me to do, I discovered the thing I loved most needed to be given back to Him.
Today, I struggle to live in this city while also dancing. I took dance for granted, it was ways there, something that fostered great discipline and work ethic in me, but also obsession and idolatry of self. Whether I “make it” in this city as a dancer or not, I have not experienced greater joy than the chances I have to dance and use it to worship my creator, returning to my child-like love of how I first experienced dancing. I can use dance as a way of celebrating the love and grace Jesus showed for me on the cross, forgiving me for my sins and hopefully sharing that joy to others around me.
Joanna Farmer moved to NYC in the summer of 2014 from Tacoma, WA (near Seattle). She graduated from the University of Washington with a major in dance and she works at Starbucks. She came to The Journey on her first Sunday in New York and she is co- leading her first growth group this fall!