If it’s okay with you, this won’t be a happily ever after. My 2015-2016 year began with high hopes and new beginnings. In the midst of all my travels and lavish living, I went back to my alma mater and worked with The Alluvion Stage Company. It was a safe place for me to work and I had the reputation I had so long desired. There I performed in Disney’s The Little Mermaid during the summer of 2014 and then in Sister Act during the fall of 2015. Why did God have me go from one extreme to another? Cruise ships to Liberty? Not the best transition if I say so myself. God was trying to get through to me and gain my complete focus, yet I was blind to His will and sought my own reasoning as to why I was at Liberty for the second time. It was during this contract that I encountered many “concerned Christians.” These are people of faith who are troubled by another believer’s lifestyle of sin. They then feel the need to pray over the sinner and share their struggles with other believers. If not careful, things get muddy and genuine concern can take on the shape of gossip. No one in the theatre department wanted to talk about homosexuality and thought that if it weren’t brought up, it would fade out. At the time, I firmly believed that you can be gay and love the Lord, so I opened my life and pursued the wrong person. As a result, I was fired from the department and left Liberty on another sour note. How could God let this happen? Who were these people to judge me? How could I be left alone in this critical moment of my life? With no one who would hear me out, I fell into a deep depression and could only fall to my knees in weeping prayer. Good news, God was there! He had never left, in fact He had already provided grace that I had let go unnoticed.
God puts people in our lives to redirect us and accomplish kingdom work. You may often find yourself asking, “Why is this person speaking truth right now?” Please don’t ignore it, seek God’s voice through them! I met Dr. Voelker when I was performing in Hairspray out in CO. A mutual friend introduced us because we both had connections with Liberty. Little did I know at the time that I was talking to one of my future prayer warriors. We met again at the closing of Little Mermaid. It was just a brief encounter at dinner, some laughter, and then off I went to travel the world. When I returned to Alluvion, Dr. Voelker was such an encouragement throughout the run of Sister Act that I started feeling God’s purpose for her in my life was to be more than just a pal. She was the very first person I went to for help and guidance after being fired from Alluvion. There was spiritual work going on, and I discovered that she had started praying for me during Hairspray! I didn’t think I needed it at the time, so why was I on her heart? Not my will, but God’s was at work. In my last moments with Dr. Voelker in her office, she handed me a Bible that she had used at her own rock bottom and a copy of Mere Christianity.
It would be nice to end the story here and say that I was a completely changed person, but that’s not the case. Even with the truth in hand, conviction in my heart, God’s grace in letting me leave LU on a quiet note, I still felt the hurt, confusion, rejection. Instead of fully submitting to God and allowing Him to take control, I chose to figure out my life in the way I desired. I was a terribly broken individual. While I was closing the show, I had been talking with two guys and I allowed myself to express feelings to one and use the other. At the same time that I was having a solid moment with God and Dr. Voelker, I knew I was going to a place of sin that same evening. The people there understood me and could talk me out of what was going on. They would advise me to stay true to who I was inside. Then, what had started out as a friendship ended up being my first real relationship with a guy. Knowing I was leaving Liberty in the dust and heading to Vegas to start another contract, I really didn’t want the commitment. When I got to Vegas, however, I felt like it was time and so I made it official. That was how quickly I slipped back into the ways of the world. When we don’t trust God and refuse to seek His will, He lets us wander, whether that be for seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. God rescued the Israelites from slavery, performed many miracles, parted an entire sea and provided land to start anew. Sin was washed away, the past was in the past and a second chance was provided. God did all of that because He loved them unconditionally, but in return the Israelites lost faith and lived only for themselves. Because of their lack of faith, God led them to wander in the desert for forty years. Thank the Lord I wasn’t lost for quite that long, but I did feel as if I were on the brink of a life away from Christ. It would take a miracle to change my life for good.
My relationship with my boyfriend lasted for about 6 months and all along I was waiting for the complete peace to accept it and seal the deal. I had moments of certainty, but I had just as many other moments which led me to question everything and have little faith in our relationship. I thought the compliments and gifts and everything that came with the package of “love” would fill my heart with joy and I would finally be able to come out to my family with the person I thought would be my partner forever. But what I thought was love wasn’t love at all. Society today likes to spread the lie that “love is love.” But the love the world celebrates isn’t real love, rather it is infatuation. In that, you get hurt, others get hurt, and life sucks. Because I was finally working in an established theatre scene with another job on the side and future work lined up, plus a signed lease in NYC, I thought that I was destined for this life and all I had to do was accept it. Once again, however, God stepped in and provided much more than I deserve by introducing me to the person whom I now call my spiritual mother.
I was cast in Olney Theatre’s production of Carmen, and since I was not from the area I needed a place to stay. God quickly provided (#grace) and a friend from Sister Act told me that her house was only twelve minutes from the theatre, so I took the offer. Pulling up to the house, I had no idea what to expect with this family and I just hoped my time there would be well spent. Tammy Harman opened the door and welcomed me into her beautiful home with open arms. I knew there was something special but couldn’t put my finger on it, so I just handed her a bottle of wine and thanked her for opening her home to me. For four months, my relationship with the Harmans remained casual, and I only talked to them when I had an audition coming up or if my boyfriend (who they knew as my “friend”) wanted to visit or if the bathroom needed toilet paper, nothing truly personal. Now that I was back to a life that seemed too good to be true, I began to lose sight of what God wanted to do in my life and I stopped praying and reading. It felt so wrong to spend time with God when I was following my own way. The end of this phase of my life left me with two simple options: A) continue my life for the world and flesh or B) start my life with and for Jesus. Can you guess which one I chose? The answer is none of the above.