I loved the applause. I can remember standing on the stage after a performance and just drinking in the sound of it. It was intoxicating for me. I was filled with a deep feeling of approval and attention.
I was on a treadmill of seeking approval and attention. I was seeking to be known. To feel like I was somebody.
I grew up the youngest of 5 kids in the mid-’60s. I knew who God was based on a church upbringing, but I felt that he (God) was neatly tucked away in heaven. Someone I would see when I died. I had no idea that I could have a rich and real relationship with him before that day.
Music and acting filled a void inside of me. I would idolize movie stars and rock stars and dream that if I had their lives my life would be fulfilled.
I spent the majority of my time in my 20’s trying to break into the entertainment industry and live that dream. It was the prep work behind the craft of acting that started the ball rolling on my path to intimacy with God.
In the craft of acting, you have to be vulnerable. You have to be able to get in touch with your feelings so that you can express them, like making your body a canvas. My acting teacher was teaching us how to access our deep feelings by making up imaginary scenarios about tragic things happening to loved ones. There was nothing she could say to me to make me cry. In her words, she said I was worse than a man.
I decided to go into counseling to see if I could get to the bottom of my inability to cry. I could easily shed tears if something bad happened in real life. But, showing them in public and letting myself feel the tenderness of those emotions were off-limits. They were buried deep inside.
I tried regular counseling. It was good. But, it was when I switched over to Christian counseling that things really changed for me.
Through counseling, I discovered that the root of my fears and insecurity were rooted in my childhood.
I discovered that I was going through life pushing my hurt aside and clinging to others in a very unhealthy co-dependent way. It was easier for me to pretend to be someone else in my acting than to face the real me. It was like a hiding place for me. The real me was this hurt rejected little girl. A girl who only heard criticism from her father. I had so much anger inside my heart and I had pushed my need for intimacy away. I would crawl into these characters I was portraying and live life to the fullest inside of them, or so I thought. I could understand their need to feel their feelings, but mine had no validation. I didn’t like being vulnerable. I had become really good at stuffing my emotions. If you’re trying to be an actor that doesn’t work .. it doesn’t work in real-life relationships either.
Generations of hurt ..
My dad worked hard for us and wanted to best for us. He took us to church and provided the best he could but, like the many generations behind him, he struggled with intimacy issues. Anger, impatience, control, and a critical spirit. Just like his parents before him. He was caught in a cycle of shame passed down from a religious background. He never knew God as a loving father, only as the God who made all the rules that you had to try to live by and be perfect for. Like a lot of men in his generation, he had a difficult time showing affection.
All of this left me knotted up and unable to connect with others on a deep and real level as well. I longed to feel whole and accepted but I was not in touch with those feelings. I thought I was getting that through the artificial world of entertainment.
Forgiveness was the key to my healing
After I found these great counselors at my church, God started really pouring out his healing on me in all areas. He took me through forgiving everyone who ever hurt me. He showed me how to seek forgiveness for grudges and hatred and bitterness in my heart. The more I forgave, the more of his love I felt.
I started developing a real relationship with him. A relationship where we could talk about anything and everything. We talked about my feelings a lot. If someone would hurt me I would go to him. I found a confidant that I never had and had longed for my entire life.. He was so perfect and never judged me. He was not the angry God or judging God that the world seemed to paint him as.
I began to have many encounters with God after that.
He began to shower me with his love and acceptance. God revealed to me that all my desires to go into acting and entertainment were just my need to prove to myself and others that I was somebody. I had such a major identity deficit.
My encounters and relationship with God just grew and grew after that. I want to shine a light on the path for others, people like you, to the still waters. I want YOU to drink and be filled and find YOUR connection with him … Just you and him. And I want to help people like you to know how to access this peace in every season of your life, no matter if it’s sunny or it’s storming in your life.
If you want to read more about my first encounter with the sweet sweet love of God click <<HERE>>