A lot of people think the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year”, but for a young(ish), aspiring actress in Los Angeles, award season is definitely THEE most wonderful time of the year.
I loved watching the Golden Globes last night. I get butterflies in my stomach when I watch these beautiful actresses on the red carpet and I cry with all the winners as they accept their awards.
I can relate to some of their struggles. At some point in their lives, most of those actors were exactly where I am. I always have that in the back of my mind when I watch these shows because if they can do it, I can do it, right?
Which brings me to Part 2 of the reason why I chose sobriety. (I know, I promised this last week. My punctual blogging may need to be 2016’s resolution).
I’ve wanted to be an entertainer for as long as I can remember. In fact, I remember the day I decided that this would be my career. I was in a production of “Free to Be You and Me”. I was sitting on the edge of the stage, looking out into the audience, singing as loud as I could, and my heart started racing. I was the most excited I had ever been and I knew I wanted to feel that as much as possible for the rest of my life. I was six-years-old.
I think about that moment a lot. After a really bad audition or another “no”, I want to travel back in time, to the early 90’s, and smack some sense into mini-me. But, then there are the times when I do really good work or book a role and that intense, excited feeling pops back into my heart and I know, this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
I didn’t have a lot of the latter in 2014. I was more frustrated and pessimistic than ever before. I stopped praying and started begging God to just give me a break. The more my “prayers” went unanswered the angrier I got and I genuinely considered giving up.
Then one night, in the middle of this prayer-begging, I finally got a response.
I’m not one of those Christians who hears from God very often. I have friends who constantly talk about what God has been saying to them or what He’s put on their heart and I’m usually the one listening with envy, while at the same time thinking “maybe you should get your head checked” (thou shall not judge, I know).
So, what did He have to say?
“I can’t trust you yet”.
Yup. You read that right. Ouch.
“Hearing” from God is a weird experience. It’s definitely not what I thought it would be. I really expected to be interrupted by a voice sounding similar to the guy who does the movie previews, saying something like, “Thou need not worryith, my child”. But, instead, I got what kind of sounded like my own voice saying “Nope. Can’t trust you yet”.
One could argue that it was my own voice, knocking some sense into my own head. But, the problem with that theory is, I didn’t hear any of this in my head. I heard it in my heart and I felt it in my toes, and I just knew that this came from something much bigger than me. I took a deep breath in and felt comfort and relief for the first time in months.
I was relieved that God couldn’t trust me… yet.
That “yet” saved me. I started to reflect on what that could mean and it really didn’t take long for me to figure it out.
I don’t make good choices when I drink (who does, really). I’m not proud of the person I become under the influence, and if I feel that way, I can only imagine how that makes God feel. Frankly, my drinking and the choices I made were cringe-worthy to God (and probably a lot of people around me).
The most obvious solution then, quit drinking, which was also the most difficult solution.
This moment of clarity happened early on in 2014. If we went back to our imaginary line graph you can mark “heard from the big man upstairs”, right after my birthday, when the drinking was just starting to escalate. I spent a lot of the year trying to bargain with God, “I’ll just drink a little”, “Only on the weekends”, “I had a bad day, one cigarette is fine”. It took so many more months, and a few failed attempts, before I could finally follow through with His command.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know if my sobriety will lead me to my own Golden Globe. What I do know is, God is good, and His promises are true. And for Him, nothing is impossible.