I am an actress. Though the statement seems so simple, stating that fact, is not. I have run from this statement for decades. Yet, the farther I thought I ran, the closer God shoved me towards this admission.
I toyed with the entertainment industry in obvious and subtle ways. In high school, I volunteered to be an usher for school plays. I watched as classmates performed on stage and wished I had their courage. I worked for a major hotel in college, hoping I would come across a celebrity or two. Every time a document came through the office pertaining to entertainment business, I made copies and studied it in detail. I interviewed for administrative positions at TV stations and agencies, never revealing my deep seeded desire to be in front of the camera.
Finally, I decided to take an acting class at a national chain school. WARNING: These schools exist mostly to feed people with stars in their eyes, but no real talent. The instructors are usually actors trying to pay the bills. I got lucky though…or blessed. After a few months, an instructor pulled me into his office after class. He posed a question similar to Erica’s Question. As he spoke about the advanced level with which I performed, I was torn in my emotions. The idea that a professional was so impressed with my ability was flattering. However, I struggled with the idea of facing what I had been running from for so long. I stopped going to the class.
I spent the next couple of years working a very well paying ‘regular job’ and was fine doing just that. My spirit was not fine. Each day, I went to work knowing that I was not walking in my purpose. I thought it was a hole that needed to be filled. So, I searched for another job. I was still empty. I went back to school. The hole was still there. I threw myself into ministry work. That simply magnified the sound of emptiness. Silence can be deafening. I decided to listen. I opened His word and God spoke.
“…Get thee out of thy country, from thy kindred and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Genesis 12:1 KJV
God’s command to move was not exciting to me. It was against how I operated in life. It seemed crazy. It seemed impulsive. I childishly argued with God about this move. He was telling me things about his plan for my life that I thought I was not ready for and moreover, that I thought would not work. I did not want to leave my friends, my church and my comfort zone. As I questioned him about what he told me to do, suddenly I realized that I was feeling something at odds with my valid questions. Peace.
“Be anxious for nothing…let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
I surrendered to the move, but I gave God a 3 year time limit. I have been in Los Angeles for 12 years.
What has transpired in that decade has been nothing short of amazing. I have learned so much about an industry that was outside of my being. My talent has been challenged to grow into craft. (Thankfully, I found real classes.) I have become near family with people I watched as a child and growing into adulthood. I have experienced God’s heart through the moving of his hand. There are so many stories that I could not have imagined. And there are so many more that have yet to be written.
I spent a long time afraid to tell others what I moved to Los Angeles to do. I did not want to be another one of those people. I did not move to Los Angeles with stars in my eyes. I moved here on a word and a promise from God. I moved here to act but I also moved here to grow. I moved here to discover all of the gifts God gracefully placed inside me. I moved here, away from the familiar, to learn new aspects of myself and of my Wonderful God.
One of the big lessons I have learned in the past 12 years is that if you love God, you cannot run from his purpose for your life. You can try, but it doesn’t work. You waste valuable time going in circles or being forced to make constant U-turns. In the process, you delay your own blessings that God is so eager to give. I’m done going in circles. I made my last U-turn.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 NIV
I am an actress. I am not ashamed of pursuing the vision God has for my life. I am an actress. And as it is written at the end of good cliffhanger…
To Be Continued…