Hebrews 13:8 states: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In Malachi 3:6 God Himself proclaims: “For I the Lord do not change…” But for us mere mortals, our lives and our very beings are intended for change. There are many scriptures regarding change, but Ephesians 4:22-24 speaks volumes: “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” King Solomon adds: “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, …” In other words—seek, be prepared for, and embrace change.
Anyone that knows me well, knows that I have not always welcomed change. I could site many examples, but the one that was perhaps the hardest and most profound was giving up my dream of the limelight. I pursued acting with reckless abandon for most of my life. It’s all I ever wanted to do since the age of five. I worked really hard and had mild success—national commercials, theatre awards, and a down payment on my first home in Los Angeles, but nothing close to a career. I told myself that I would never give up trying. But surprisingly, I was able to let my dream go, about seven years ago. In 2019, I officially retired my Screen Actors Guild card and no longer pay dues or take peeks at current casting notices. So officially, I guess, 2019 marked the end of my acting career, or lack thereof.
I won’t go into detail about how I misdirected my dream. Also, this is not a directive for people in the performing arts industry. Everyone has their own path, obviously. Dreams and ambitions, of almost any sort, are better than none at all. But here is where my change—my discovery happens. I was so wrapped up in accomplishing my dream that I had blinders on. I saw nothing but what I could visualize with my limited worldview. I did not allow for life to come to me on its terms. I tried to tame the wildest of entities and the result was a lot of missed opportunities.
When I gave up the pursuit of an acting career, there was no feeling of defeat. I acknowledged the failure to succeed in my chosen profession with a positive attitude. But honestly, I was surprised by the lack of bitterness and remorse. Another pleasant surprise was that this wild untamed world quickly presented an exciting safari of opportunities. Now that I was applying King Solomon’s and Paul’s (Ephesians 4:22) teachings, so many opportunities began to emerge. I discovered the ability to learn new things, explore multiple paths, and create more dreams (note the plural). What’s more is that I have no idea what the future will bring. I’m in constant prayer, eyes wide open, and faithful that God’s plans are the only plans that never change. I rest in God’s word, such as that in Jeremiah 29:11: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
If you have a dream or goal that didn’t quite work out as you thought it might or should, have no fear, welcome the possibilities that failure can bring, you just might be surprised and forever grateful. So, in 2020 and beyond, may all of your prayers be answered in the most unexpected of ways. I’m living proof that change is God’s way of remaining faithful and keeping all of His promises to prosper us.