“I’m not where I wanna be, but I’m not where I used to be.” Brand New Day recorded by KJ-52
In this week’s multifunctional blog, I want to pick up with The Hobbit and its spiritual implications, tying it into my continued post-SHINE journey. If you haven’t seen the first Hobbit movie or haven’t read my previous blogs concerning these two subjects, now would be a good time to do so.
The complete title of the movie is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Everything about my SHINE and post-SHINE journey has been unexpected. Nothing has gone like I thought it would or wanted it to. And for someone like me, that’s not a comfortable thing.
I’ve always had my schedule and plan of how my life should go. I’m going to be an actress and a writer, as well as a speaker who holds conferences with her best friend musicians. I’m going to marry a beautiful, musician husband, and we’re going to change the world for Jesus.
Now, I still fully believe all these things are going to happen. These are the desires and goals that God has shaped my heart for (including the beautiful musician husband part, wink wink). However, the “how” and “when” have still completely been in my hands. Or at least I try to hang onto them.
Keeping that in mind, let’s jump over to the movie. Near the end, the dwarves and Bilbo battle the disgusting orcs amid flames, fire, and hatred. Even after Bilbo’s courageous act, their situation looks pretty desperate. Then, of course, they get rescued by the eagles, because these gargantuan birds always come in at the last minute, and are swiftly deposited on a rock far enough away from the orcs that they are not in any immediate danger, yet far enough away from the mountain that there can be another movie.
I looked at the distance between them and the mountain, and I looked at the eagles that were now flying away. I looked at my best friend and said, “Why in the heck don’t those birds just take them to the mountain?”
Almost immediately, she heard the Lord answer my question. He said, “If they didn’t go on the journey to get to the mountain, they wouldn’t be prepared and equipped for the battle at the mountain.”
Enter me, post-SHINE, with my expectations and plans crumbling in my hand as I still scramble desperately to hold them together. But it’s only my expectations and plans, not my dreams and desires, that are crumbling. Not the “what.” Just the “when” and “how.” I’ve already given Him the “what,” allowed Him to call forth the true desires of my heart, but He wants it all because, honestly, He will probably do better with “when” and “how” than I would.
I know I’m going to make it in this industry. I just do. (Although I did have a small crying session last night doubting that exact thing, but I’m back on stable ground today.) I’ve just learned there’s a lot of work in between where I am and where I want to be. I already want to be at that mountain with the hills of gold. But am I ready to face the dragon and the battles that await me there? Am I ready to have that amount of gold in my possession?
Am I ready to move out to LA or New York right now and start work? Honestly, no. But am I ready to visit Nashville or Dallas, be an extra in a movie, and soak in every opportunity I can? Just tell me when and where, and I will be there!
I really want to enjoy this process, because I know it’s not here to torture me. It’s not like God said, “Oh, Sarah thinks she’s gonna do this and this and this. Haha, let’s change it up just to mess with her.” As much as I used to think He was like that, I praise the Lord that He has shown me His true nature in that aspect.
I walk on this path that I walk because my Father knows this is where I need to be. This is where He teaches me how to not only hold a sword but wield it with deft and deadly accuracy. This is the path where He teaches me to shoot a bow that hits its mark every time. Think Legolas.
And in real life terms, this is where I learn to walk into an interview or audition with all the confidence and purpose the Lord breathes into every stillness of my soul. This is where I submit myself to a hundred auditions, hear back from one, and still praise Him, knowing He has destined me for great things. This is where I attend acting classes and work to hone the talent He has given me so it becomes my craft.
This is where that confidence that was so lacking at SHINE builds into a beautiful monument that points to my Saviour. He’s what I want all this to be about anyway. When I was in Orlando for the conference, I reached this place where the only thing I wanted was to be in the Lord’s presence. I told Him, “God, I want to be in Your will, in the intimacy of walking side by side with You, more than I want any role. Nothing is worth losing this closeness I have with You.”
And so, for me, right now, God is not in LA. He’s not in New York. At this exact moment in time, He’s not even in Nashville. He’s right here next to me, in a city I don’t really want to be in with a job I’m not even close to passionate about and my best friends scattered across the country.
Have I been having a good attitude about all this? Unfortunately, no, but I want that to change, starting even right now. Easier said than done, am I right? And maybe that’s part of why I’m here. Because God is enough. No matter where I am or what I’m doing. He will always be enough. He needs to be enough for my joy and for my contentment, and that’s part of why I’m still here.
Maybe I won’t be confusing trolls or running from goblins or fighting orcs, but I’m battling my own bad attitude and building up a foundation on the One True Cornerstone. That’s where I am on my journey right now. Unexpected as it may be.