Help! I fell in love with a dress rehearsal

Updated: Mar 31

26th September 2021, Desola’s house :), 21:16

Have you ever fallen in love with a dress rehearsal? I have, and goodness me, it can be very painful. What do I mean by a dress rehearsal? According to google, a dress rehearsal is defined as “the final rehearsal of a live show, in which everything is done as it would be in a real performance.”

What I’m referring to is when you fall in love with someone or something that isn’t “the one” or the “grand finale”. Before I go deeper, I want to be clear – by no means am I saying dress rehearsals are useless or that they’re a waste of time. On the contrary, they are necessary because they equip you and teach you invaluable lessons for the main show. Sadly, dress rehearsals cannot go on forever. At an appointed time, the show must come to an end. The curtains will be drawn, and you must take all the lessons you learnt from that practice run and use it for the real show. Still, it sucks.

Whenever I write, I write from a personal experience. This ain’t fiction people – I have lived through this i.e. from a personal and professional sense. What happens when you do the unthinkable? What happens when you find out what you thought was the real show isn’t? What happens when you find out you’ve been putting your best foot forward because you thought this was ‘it’ but then realise, it’s not ‘it’.

I’m referring to a person who pours their heart into a vision thinking it would give them their big break and it doesn’t work out? Or someone who pours their efforts into their career only to find out they are in the wrong line of profession? Or that relationship with the person who makes your heart beat and you think they’re “the one” only for you guys to end up being complete strangers at the end? Dress rehearsals – those are examples of dress rehearsals.

Now, I’ll cheat. Dress rehearsals are defined as the “final” rehearsal but in life I’ve found that we have multiple – perhaps infinite – dress rehearsals in various parts of our lives. I mean in our careers, our love lives and other parts. How do we deal with this? It’s a difficult question and I don’t have all the answers but I’ll share what I’m learning.

Photo by Adam Watson on Unsplash

This year seemed like the year of realisations that I had been going through dress rehearsals in various aspects of my life. Now as someone who puts their best foot forward into all she does, I’m doing this with the hope that by putting my best foot forward it goes the way that I desire. I perform like it is the REAL DEAL not like I’m going to have to do it again.

Think about it – if you found out something was a dress rehearsal, will you perform at your best? Of course not. You’d know you have an opportunity for a do-over which may cause you to give less than your best. This year, in various aspects I had been putting my best foot forward, only to find out that no, it was not going to go the way I dreamed. With this realisation came disappointment, frustration and even resentment. I felt discouraged. I felt frustrated and definitely hurt. However as time elapsed, I’ve learnt to see beauty in everything.

Dress rehearsals aren’t meant to hurt us. God once told me this “you are not a puppet in a divine play” and neither are you. Dress rehearsals equip you and teach you valuable lessons to be used in the later years of your life. They give us real experience with how to navigate complex situations.

They give us fresh perspectives and deeper wisdom on how to approach situations. They cause you to make friendships with people who you may need later on in life. Dress rehearsals aren’t held for fun! They play a significant role to the success of the “real” show. So, if you fell in love during the dress rehearsal, it is okay. I did too! So what next? What do you do with these confusing emotions?

The truth is I’m still navigating it. Some days I feel light, others I feel frustrated. But I’m a big believer in expressing all of my emotions (in bite sizes of course) and working through them so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m doing that and looking expectantly at the future. I don’t diss the dress rehearsal – no, because I learnt a lot. And quite frankly, it’s contributed to the woman I am becoming. I acknowledge that God will work everything for my good and this path, though painful right now will work out for my good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

I also remember that God is a God of Ephesians 3:20, which says he is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we can ask think or imagine. That means if the dress rehearsal stole my breath away, then what will happen when the “real deal” comes along?

That scripture alludes to the fact that God always does better than before when you look at the full picture. Hence, though I fell in love during the dress rehearsal, I have faith that there is more in the future and that the best is yet to come. I believe that the next run will be even more beautiful.

I know I write a lot of these messages in parables but I always say that I’ve lived through this and I’m walking through an incredibly painful and confusing season. The truth is I don’t have all the answers. I write as the Lord leads me.

I write to share some words of encouragement but more importantly, to let you know that you’re not alone. So if you’re reading this and you put your all into a relationship and it didn’t work out, or you sweat for a job only to be fired, or you were the friend that gave so much love to another only to find out they had betrayed your trust, or you simply put everything into something with the hope that it leads to a favourable result and it didn’t, you are not alone. You became attached to a dress rehearsal and its okay.

Today, I will love for you to first acknowledge that it happened i.e. work through the emotions. Next, look forward and hold on to the only anchor which can propel you in such a season – God and his Word. For His word states that all things work together for good for those who love him. It may not make sense now and you may be thinking can I even get better? The answer is yes, you can and you will. He will do more. The main show will be even more beautiful. The next relationship will be even more fruitful. The next job will yield even more joy. It will be better than the dress rehearsal and by his Grace, you will live to testify and tell the story.

Love always,


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