When the Curtain Opens on a New Stage

Sometimes life makes no sense… but sometimes it makes all the sense in the world. Life’s funny like that. Most of my life has consisted of things that are “Riley.” Things that I would have considered the things that made me who I am. Is that true? Absolutely. But those things simply helped shape me… they weren’t me.

Over the past three months, I’ve been traveling on a journey that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room here. Recently, I lost one huge aspect of my life- ballet. My life was flipped upside down when my every day schedule of 16 years completely changed. At first, it seemed like the end of the world (and believe me, some days it still does.) I’m not going into any details here, but sometimes God reveals His plan for your life in some pretty crazy ways. He was teaching me that security is found in Him and Him alone. Pointe shoes and a leotard might have been something I wore every day, but they did not define me. They defined aspects of me for sure, but they weren’t “Riley.” Did I know this at the time? I’d like to think that I did, but I’m not sold. Ballet as I knew it was a “rock” that I never thought would be moved.  Newsflash – God is the only rock that will never be shaken.

This is not sob story – it has a happy ending.

Going through one of the hardest seasons of my life turned into one of the most beautiful. Through the sadness and the impossible moments, I’ve experienced a peace that has left me absolutely speechless. I’ve experienced a joy that makes me smile bigger than ever. I’ve experienced a love that I cannot fathom.

I’ll never stop being thankful for the love God gave me for the art form of ballet. This art form has given me more than starring roles and cool opportunities. It’s taught me discipline, hard work, dedication and well – I could go on forever but you get the point. I will carry each and every memory with me every single day. I’m not hanging up my  pointe shoes or my class CD’s. If anything, this experience has given me an even greater passion for ballet than before. My desire is for my precious girls who call me Miss Riley, to have this same story to tell some day. Not a story of disappointment, but a story of love and power.

I can’t wait to see where my ballet slippers take me next.

Why am I writing you all of this? Well number one, this is my favorite diary and I feel as if this is a story to be told. I want you all to know how possible it is to not only overcome a difficult situation, but to discover something more beautiful than you could ever imagine through it. He’s in the waiting – don’t forget that.

All my love and lipstick,




4 thoughts on “When the Curtain Opens on a New Stage

  1. I thought you might be leading into an announcement that you were going to open your own ballet school or something like that; but whatever the future may hold for you, I know it will be awesome, Riley Johnson.

  2. Beautifully written, Riley. You are are a wonderful role model to all the little girls that adore you (my girls included). We grow the most in our faith and our depth as an individual as well
    as one of God’s children in difficult times. It is often hard to see it at the time but such a blessing once it has passed. You should be proud of yourself. My girls and I are so blessed to have you and your mom in our life. I know He has great plans for you!

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