My “sort of” Acting Career

**Warning: This post is long, and somewhat dramatic. I’m sorry, I just needed to write this stuff down.**

This weekend is yet another “dinner and a show” put on by the youth group at Hershey Free church to raise money for the trips that the youth take this summer. It’s going to be amazing, with a huge set, amazing costumes, and people directing this thing with everything that they have. The problem is… I can’t be there. I won’t be able to be a part of what’s going on, because I’m in another country.

Pity party aside, I have a reason for this to be a hard thing for me. Let me explain.

Since I can remember, I’ve put on shows for people. Little skits that me and my sisters and sometimes friends would come up with to show to our parents. For almost every significant holiday in our lives, we would put on a skit. It was always initiated, written or found, and directed by my oldest sister.

I remember playing Gabriel in the Christmas play that we did in Whitby. I thought it was one of the most profound and powerful plays ever. I remember us acting out our interpretation of my parents engagement. I remember doing a dance to a Steven Curtis Chapman song with my older sister, acting like we were the coolest thing ever! I remember some costume mishaps that happened in the last play that we did, a Christmas one in Hershey. We always “kept it a secret” from our parents. Like it was a huge surprise that every single holiday, we had a play to perform. But for some reason, I’m pretty sure that my parents were never actually surprised. I’m not really sure why, when we were SO sneaky. 🙂

Anyway, after our last play, there was a lull in the acting “business.” But not for long. We started video taping some reenactments of our finest moments, and compiled it into a huge video for my parents a couple of years ago.

So that was the start of my life on “the stage” if you could call my living room a stage. A couple of years later, my sister, the same one who was our play “dictator” for all of those years, realized that this wasn’t just a hobby of hers, but something that she was good at and passionate about, especially in regards to the ministry that it could be used for. So, after talking to a lot of people, she started a drama team for our youth group. It was really small at first. In fact many times, it ended up being really just me, my two older sisters and one other person. But it grew, slowly and became a family. We goofed off together and laughed until we cried, but we also got to be a part of some amazing things that God did. Throughout my high school years, I got to be the overweight girl in a monologue skit about identity, I got to play an obnoxious girlfriend who definitely wore the pants in her relationship in a blind-folded skit. I got to cry, yell, scream, laugh, and overall be a part of what God was doing to convict and encourage others in their faith. And in the process, I learned a ton. Not only about acting, like being able to do improve fairly well, and not getting super nervous when I got on stage, but I also learned a lot about being on a team. About serving God by giving it everything I had and then, when I was exhausted, enjoying watching what He did with it.

And then, it got even more official. My sister got asked to direct the dinner theatre. This was something that the church put on, often a play, done to raise money for the youth’s missions trips the next summer. People would come and eat some lasagna and watch the show, and then leave. When E, my sister, got asked to direct it, she decided that she wanted to do something that was meaningful. It wasn’t about just putting on a show, it was about putting on something with a message and a point. It was about presenting the truth of Jesus Christ to the audience. It was a ministry. So, she compiled a bunch of skits with a central theme, some extremely powerful songs, and someone to wrap it up at the end. That night, I still remember. We had worked so hard, and while it wasn’t professional, we had done our best and there was nothing left to do, but let God take it. It was that night that profoundly affected me. It wasn’t the show, so much as what was happening behind the scenes. Before the show, without any prompting, we all got into a circle, huddle style, and prayed like crazy for God’s will to be done. And throughout the rest of the night, we all, whenever we weren’t onstage, were constantly praying. It was one of the most amazing things, because you could feel the Holy Spirit surround the place.

After that, the team continued to do more skits and more dinner theatres. And with each one came more improvement and change. But, because of where we started, we were a family who loved what we did, because we saw how we got to be used in God’s ministry.

Last year, was the last one that I and the few of us who had been there from the beginning could be a part of. And, let me tell ya, it was an emotional time for us. It was the end of our part in it, because we were all heading separate ways for college.

Those memories are something that I will cherish forever, as clichĂ© as that sounds. I don’t think that I would be the same person without all of this going on in my life.

And hearing all about this next one happening this weekend, well, it’s hard for me. My friends who have also moved on are coming back, just for the show. But, see, I made the choice to move to a different country for my schooling, so I can’t.  Don’t get me wrong! I’m so excited for the cast of this year’s show and I don’t regret the decisions that I’ve made to get here.

But at the end of the day, I just miss everyone of those dear people in my life, and all of the amazing things that were a part of my “sort of” acting career.

Prayer: Pray for the cast of “The Ever After” who will be performing 4 shows at Hershey Free this weekend. Help them to do their absolute best, work their hardest and submit it to God in prayer. Pray that this experience will have the same profound effect on them as it did me.

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Worth it all…

I let go of all I have just to have all of You

And no matter what the cost, I will follow You

Jesus everything I’ve lost, I have found in You

When I finally reach the end I’ll say

You are worth it all – Meredith Andrews

Looking back at the past month and a half, I’ve got to admit something. I’ve wasted a ton of time. No, I don’t mean procrastinating in my school work, although that does happen sometimes. I mean in my active walk with Christ. I am so passionate about what I believe, about the God that I serve, yet my actions don’t really convey those beliefs. We had a night of worship at school tonight and the speaker was talking about our relationship with God being the treasure that we should cherish and give up everything else for, like the parable that Jesus taught in Matt. 13:44. And as we sang this song by Meredith Andrews, I heard God say, “What do you want from Me? You are feeling sorry for yourself, you’re struggling with figuring life out, and while that’s ok, it doesn’t mean that I get placed on the back burner. You are asking for comfortable and that is not even close to what you should be asking for right now. You, Anna, were and are totally worth My giving it all. I adore you. I have so much more for you than the life that you’re living right now. I need to know and I need you to decide: Am I worth it all?”

Yes, there is stuff that is not going my way right now, but, honestly, what have I sacrificed lately? And where has my heart been? I can tell you honestly and truthfully, it hasn’t been on my Savior most of the time. It’s been on me, and all of what I’m feeling and going through. It hit me today that I’m not asking to be stretched. I’m actually asking for comfortable and I wriggle when any mention or suggestion of uncomfortable comes up. So, while I still need to take time to figure out my place and who I am in some ways, that is not going to happen by me sitting here and thinking about it 24/7 and feeling sorry for myself. In all honesty, I’ve been acting really childish in some ways and I know better. I really do.

So, this is my first step. I want a vibrant faith, so I need to let go and I want to respond to Christ and say, ” You are worth it all!”

Prayer Requests: I challenge all of you to think critically of your walk with Christ right now. Because I love Christ with all my heart, but I have let myself become distracted, and I honestly can’t say that I’m willing to give it all for God. Are you? Join with me in seeking Christ with humility and asking for clarity and direction to change.

P.S. Please look up this song by Meredith Andrews: “Worth it all” It’s soo convicting, and I love it! 🙂

 

Find Your Wings and Fly

So, this past month has been kinda crazy for me. Really a time of trying to figure things out. I bet I know the next question that you’re going to ask: well, did you figure it out?

No.

I chose to come here. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that this is where I need to be, where God wants me to be. It’s just really hard, because not only am I now an adult and need to figure out what that means, I also need to figure out how to do well at university, while trying to find a community and some awesome friends here. See, I happen to have some pretty awesome friends at ‘home’ in Hershey which honestly mean a lot to me. But I can’t live my life in Hershey from here… So where’s the balance between maintaining my friendships at home and still be ALL here in Calgary, Canada?

I’ve also been really aware of the fact that as a Christian, I’m in a battle. And because of that, I’ve been feeling quite a bit of spiritual attack lately. Probably more than I’ve felt before. But, I’ve learned, especially this past week, that the best defense is the spiritual armor of God. Praying and asking for each part of the armor not only equips me for the battles ahead, but it also reminds me of the important things that I need to hold on to and cherish, such as the truth, righteousness, being secure in my salvation… etc. This has also led me on a journey of thinking clearly about what I actually believe without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve written it down, with the Scriptures to back it up, because, in times of attack, it’s important for me to be able to look at that and read the truth that I’ve written.

A couple of months ago, my mom and I had a really long talk about all that was coming in the very near future. For many of my decisions in the past, my parents have been a huge influence, and often the final say on the decision. But with Ambrose, my parents had some misgivings. Not about the school in general, but about moving so far away, along with a couple other factors as well. But, I believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was where I was supposed to be, and my parents supported me. When I was talking with my mom, she said that part of the reason they wanted to support me in this was for two reasons: 1. They knew that I was seriously seeking after Christ and so they wanted to believe that I was making my decisions based on God’s leading and extensive prayer. 2. For quite a while, I have second-guessed myself when it comes to something that I feel that God has asked me to do. There are reasons and events that happened that caused this several years ago, but it definitely has affected my decision-making process. And one of the things my mom said to me that day was that this was my time. This is my time to make some of my own decisions, figure out my faith for myself, find those wings and fly with them.

And I honestly feel that way. So much is happening right now, that I don’t think I can process it all. But I know that when I look back on this year, I’m going to be amazed at what God has done with me. He’s made it very clear that this is His time to make me new. And I’m super excited about that.

On a side note… love is in the air around me and I’m so excited for the people around me. My sister just recently got into a relationship, and one of my really good friends, and mentors and my boss over the summer just got engaged!!!! This is the first of my friends to get engaged… granted, she is quite a bit older than me. But, I’m SOOOO EXCITED, for her!! 🙂 So stinking pumped. And I’m already trying to figure out how I can get there for the wedding. 😀

Anyway, those are my ramblings… 🙂

Prayer Requests: That those of us university students will survive this semester enough to recuperate and start all over again next semester. And, that we would all allow God to mold us into new creations, the people that He made us to be.