Today’s Branch Winner announcement is: DONIVAN FLOYD from CYT North Idaho! Check out Donivan’s full story entry below:
Donivan Floyd’s CYT Story
I guess I don’t really know where to start, but I guess I can start with my name, or maybe like I do an audition. Hello, my name is Donivan Floyd, I am 15 years old, and I’m going to tell you my CYT Story. I would like to first off thank the Lord for the honor of getting to share, so that someday it may help kids like me find their passion. I was raised in a wonderful family, with two loving parents, and 4 awesome brothers. I was raised with 4 older brothers, who taught me how to fight… and well pretty much everything. The sad reality is CYT can show the best in people, which appeals and is amazing, but there is even more reality within the program. As a child, I had a brother who had a lot of anger and spitefulness towards my parents. I had to witness one of my best friends turn from a sweet adventurous young man to an angry teenager who started to turn to substance for relief. I was constantly around drugs, and people who entered my home… people I loved and trusted, but slowly I watched them get thrown into the prison system. I could never not ask questions with my family, but my Mom (God bless her) was in such a sorrowful place that I could not find comfort with her. Which as a Momma’s boy was hard for me, and especially new. My parents were preoccupied with my brother, as I was a young child did not understand the reality. My brother and his friends were the people I was around, and I was a witness to a lot of things that had happened such as drugs, mental illness, and the anger and rage each one brought. Through my brother and his friends, a lot of demonic things were brought into my house. I remember one night I was sick… so I could not go to my football practice, and I sat in my basement trying to sleep. I heard this loud beeping noise that I cannot describe, and it kept me up, and all I could feel was this chilling anxiety flow through my spine. I could not sleep, so I approached my Mom asking her what it was… but my Momma was occupied doing her best through my brother. I absolutely could not understand why my Mom could not talk to me, or help comfort me as I was scared. This noise continued, and I soon learned that I was the only one who could hear it. For 4 months I could not sleep, for I thought if I fell asleep… I would surely die. So anxious that sleeping at the end of my brothers’ feet could not bring me and sort of comfort. The demons that haunted me still roam in my head till today. When I slept I was on alert, and when awake I dreaded the night time and what awaited. I finally after months into asking my parents, my Dad walked downstairs to check the noise out, and he could not hear it. I did tell him where it came from and he tightened up this vent where I was sure it was coming. I finally was able to sleep, but there were continues nightmares, and the demons that terrorized me. That sound and those dreams were such a key part in my life because they have to do with demons and how they work. I know what you’re probably thinking, “What does this have to do with Christian Youth Theatre”? It matters soon I promise. I started CYT when I was 12 years old, and let me tell you it was not really my thing. It took me time to grow into it, but I slowly got used to it. This is where that sad stuff comes in, I had completely forgotten everything that had happened up to the point of middle school, and I pushed it out so I did not have to deal with it during middle school. At this time CYT is there, but what is different from now, is that it was not my passion. Freshmen year my brother moved back in, triggering the memories of my mind. Slowly I started to remember everything that I dealt with as a child, the pain, the terror, the witnessing, the environment, the loneliness. I could not process or understand any single thing that came in my mind. I could not process anything, and was so extremely confused. My relationship with God was there, but I had not understood what it meant to be his son or a Christian.
My Mind was in such a deep depression, I started to cope in extremely unhealthy ways. I did not trust my parents, I was so angry with my relatives, and I had hurt so many people. I started to drink, which lead to more of that, and more of that. To try and cope with my problems, I shut out God and started to try things my own way, and it hurt to keep falling back into my addictions. I had gained a relationship with so many people from CYT, and they were so amazing, but it seemed I always hurt someone. I saw myself as a mistake, a man looking for pitty, and a kid looking for anything that would numb the pain of his own heart. Closer and closer to my death, I started to consider the thought of killing myself, because nothing could numb the pain. I was so angry with God, because I felt he gave up on me. I had coped with dating around, vaping, drinking, tobacco, and more. Nothing helped me, so I started cutting, to just look at myself feel pain, and my demons started to come back. My heart was angry, I hated myself, and I only hurt people. Satan had me at check, and it seemed hopeless because every single thing I tried to fill my heart’s pain with, Satan knocked over a piece in our game of chest. This immense depression I was actually participating in CYT with, and not a lot of people knew this. I do not believe that CYT is all fun in games, with people that are not real. This is really where CYT played a part in my life. I remember showing up to a dance that a bunch of CYT kids went too, and I had cuts up and down my arm, with pen ink of every New Testament book in the bible, because I was losing my mind trying to connect to God in my own way. Trying to fix myself, at this dance I remember having an anxiety attack. Through CYT I had over 12 kids come around and pray for me, and I just cried. I was so confused, although these were my best friends, why they even cared for me. I spoke out about my addictions, decided to talk about it, and every single person wrapped around me and prayed. We all were crying, and I had just been so thankful
I continued to participate in shows at this time, not knowing what about CYT I even liked! I remember auditioning for CYT North Idaho’s Godspell, and I remember it was my greatest audition yet! Surely I’d have a chance, yet surely I was left with the ensemble without a callback. I was so confused and frustrated, for I did not understand why…after me getting a few callbacks beforehand was just thrown in the ensemble. I was so broken at the beginning of that show, and was so mad. This show I disliked at the beginning due to my envy of the leads, and the bitterness of the first director. Yet over time, God had used this show to humble me, and to hear his teachings… especially because most of the lines were things that Jesus truly said. I was staying with my Aunt Debbie for my parents were out of town and she had blessed me so much. Debbie never ceased to take care of me, pray for me, or talk about God with me. So she had tought me the importance of the Bible, and truly how to read it. I started getting a deeper connection with Jesus the more I read, and God lifted up my life! In January, 2019, I gave my life to Jesus Christ for real. People had mentored me, prayed for me, grown with me, laughed with me, cried with me, fought with me, shared Jesus with me, and all around loved me. Jesus Christ is the most amazing being, to come into my life, see that I was playing a Chess game with the devil, and completely take over and destroy him. It is unreal that as of now, I am growing in relationship with others still, meeting new people, and even that I get to share my story and how CYT helped me find Jesus. Not only did it do that, it finally showed me what I love to do, which is act. I can’t believe that next year I am to study Theatre at NIC, and do my best for God, lead or no lead, cast or no cast, thank you Jesus! God is showing me things to do in CYT to better myself, like as of now he’s given me the privilege of being the Spiritual MC for their HYPE program, a position I feel undeserving of. God showed me the Improv team and taught me quick skills when it comes to thinking on my feet. Even my latest challenge, which is that I get the honor of being a Wickersham Brother in our show Seussical! God is so good that as of now I am studying college-level Theatre books instead of Drinking. Spending time in God’s word, rather than spending time with a knife thinking what part of me to hurt next. Instead of thinking about ending my life, I’m thinking about Jesus dying to save it!
CYT introduced me to my best friend, Logan Gilge, who can seem like a punk, has one of the biggest hearts in the world. Without him I would surely be dead, he lifted me up, supported me, and encouraged me to get better.
1. Through CYT I made life-changing friends, that are too countless to count.
2. Through CYT I had met Moms who uplifted me and just showed me compassion. I remember my first show starting back up at CYT, it was my Son Pinocchio, and although I still shut out God and continued my ways, people loved me.
3. Through CYT I had learned my passion for Theatre, and Improv!
4. Through CYT, I have been able to build lifelong relationships.
5. Through CYT, I am now a follower of Jesus Christ!
6. Through CYT, I met my best friends, who I still talk to when I am struggling.
7. Through CYT I get to share Jesus with a younger generation than me.
8. Through CYT I get to practice my passion.
What CYT is to me?
I am not saying CYT is the only place I found Jesus, because it was also in other places for sure, but CYT is still an outlet that helps me grow… and it’s one of my favorite thing in the world. CYT is an after school program that gives teenagers something healthy and beneficial to do, instead of drugs and other ways of coping. CYT is an open-armed community of people who takes broken people and lifts them up. I do not believe that CYT is right for everyone, or that it’s perfect, but I am saying I am not the only person it has helped. CYT is not an immediate cure to your problems, in fact, I had to grow into it over at least 3 shows. It helped me find my passion, and I’m thankful that CYT is a tool God uses to fix certain broken people, and we are all broken!
Corinthians 6: 9-11- Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.