Dancing through doubt – Claudia Appaduray

Life never promises to be easy, or to even make much sense. After an arduous period of slogging, I have found myself looking up in gratitude for the mercy of God, which has come in surprising packaging. After years of a university degree promising employment opportunities and opened doors, I find myself with a job selling high‑end shoes, and (too few) casual hours that force me to live beyond my means.

All of a sudden I am emptying my bank account each month. Every day, I wake up wondering if it will be chicken, or the usual cans of tuna. Thank goodness for this spiced shredded carrots recipe. It tastes amazing.

I flip my laptop screen up, and begin my search. I customise yet another cover letter. Doesn’t matter if it’s nothing to do with what I enjoy or love, it’s just something to help get me by. I toss my worn-out dance shoes in a bag and rush to catch the tram, only to find my Myki is low on balance. So I walk to my Latin dance school.

Then my heart smiles, in fact, it does a little dance, like my shoes will in about half an hour. My wallet is empty, but there is fullness. I find purpose in the dance.

God activates my passion and I’m lifted up.

The dance and friendship are God’s merciful gifts to me. Whether it’s a lift home from dance class, the words ‘my shout’ or a cup of green tea, I feel like God is filling me up when I’m almost on empty.

And from the dance and from friendship come the opportunities.

Suddenly, opportunities are springing up from the dreary dullness: A singing competition, a chance to expand my love for writing, a chance to sing harmonies in the church choir.

Suddenly, things start to make some sense. I recognise mercy, and shake its soft hand.

I make the most of it. God can be pretty cool like that.

‘Show the world what you’re here for’ God says, in the voices of my friends, in the steps of my dance shoes and in the words I sing.

One of the hardest things for me has been relying on both my faith in God, and the mercy of others during this time of emptiness.

When we are struggling financially, it can seem easier to turn our backs on God, and yet, God is there.

If I am without a well-paying job or enough to eat, is this a sign that I have failed in God’s eyes? Thank goodness for my little bible, because scripture tells me differently. I’m reminded of the story of the little sparrows and the lilies in the field. Aren’t we clothed even more beautifully than these?

This time of emptiness has helped me so much to look out for the signs of God in the people that reach out their hand to me and to others. Those that help me in small things, help me realise that my name is written on God’s palm.