Exactly a year ago today my life was about to undergo the most ultimate change that I have yet experienced.
On September 20th, 2017 I was sitting in a Starbucks in Indiana doing homework. I just started my masters program for my MBA and was getting easily distracted through social media. I recently graduated from my undergrad in May and all of my friends were already starting their first entry-level positions in schools, healthcare, and other corporations.
My dream had always been to move to California and work in the entertainment industry ever since I was a little girl. I was the one who wanted to be a singer, who worked on tv, and be in the hype of all things. I studied public relations and loved being in the pit of shooting off ideas left and right for the next campaign or project that we were about to work on. I loved the excitement and thrill that day of and live events would give me. Seeing the shining faces of guests and other leaders at the event would truly make me feel content that I was making a difference.
As I was scrolling through social media I found myself coming across one page in particular, The Disney College Program Spring 2018. I applied for this internship on the fly. I in no way thought that I would have a chance. Hundreds and thousands of applicants apply for this internship all across the world and the possibilities are endless once one begins this journey.
I clicked throughout the posts on that specific page and thought about how cool it must be to finally be accepted into this internship. I saw post after post seeing students get their acceptance letters and all I could think of was
“God, what about me?”
I wasn’t too sure what my next steps were after graduating from my undergrad and I thought that i literally applied for every job possible even ones that I could care less about. I would spend hours day and night applying for positions everywhere including Illinois and Indiana.
However, God made it very clear that I was not supposed to stay in the Midwest whether that meant staying in my college town or going back home to Indiana. It wasn’t meant to be.
At this time I wondered, what are the odds out of all of those applicants that they would pick me?
Honestly, I didn’t think I was too special compared to a lot of the other kids because many of them had done internships with the company before, have worked in entertainment, or just have really strong connections within the company.
I prayed for many nights. I prayed and told God that no matter where it was that He wanted to send me just to use me and make a difference in my life and the lives of others through this next opportunity.
I was tired of trying to make things work out for my own good. I wanted to make a difference and do more than just your typical 8-5 job. I wanted to be challenged, stretched, and to experience life. I wanted to take what I knew that I was good at and passionate about and use that to further the kingdom.
And I was.
I opened up my email and refreshed my inbox a couple of times
and there it was.
I was officially accepted into the Disney College Program in Southern California.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
It finally hit me that I was moving to Southern California in only a short matter of months.
My life was about to completely change.
And it did.
From the time of transition, to the move, to getting to a new area my life completely changed and it felt like a never-ending roller coaster.
(And if you really knew me you would know that I really don’t do roller coasters that well).
I had my fair share of highs and lows.
I would question my purpose of being here.
I would question my strengths and abilities.
I would even question my faith and if the Lord was really looking out for me.
But then throughout this entire time of questioning, and worrying I realized one thing. Although, I had no idea the answers were to my questions God did. And maybe I wasn’t ready to have all of the answers that I was searching for just yet. During this time I really questioned my identity and it make me question if I was cut off for the entertainment industry after all. It made me challenge my core values, my relationships, and even my personal life.
I loved the thrill that the transition gave me. The move, new experiences, meeting new people, and endless opportunities. And then I realized throughout this entire experience I forgot to invite God back into it. Therefore there was a pretty deep void in my life. I didn’t start going back to church actually until a few months ago.
I was so excited for this “new life” that I was about to experience that I forgot to take God with me. The replaced area of my life that I used to give complete control to God with fear and insecurities. I tried so hard to perfectly piece my life together and be picture perfect, just like what I wanted to see on TV. I didn’t want any possible problem to ruin it. I became so paranoid with trying to prevent anything from happening that I became extremely careful about every decision that I made including little ones.
I didn’t know why I was so scared of the worst thing to happen but then it hit me.
I was fearing the unknown.
I was afraid of the possibility of failure.
I was afraid of the possibility of disappointing others.
I was afraid of not meeting up to expectations made by myself or others.
I was just afraid.
In the beginning I realized that God gave me an amazing opportunity to live my dream but He gave it to me through Him and I cut Him off.
When we replace God in our lives with temporary satisfaction we open ourselves up to fear, and disappointment.
And that’s exactly what I did.
For a good portion of this chapter… (It gets better I promise).
Thankfully, I serve a God who although has 99 sheep right where He wants them, He not only chases after the one that goes missing, He pursues them until they come home.
He pursues them even if they don’t pursue Him back.
I am that one sheep.
Even when I made poor choices and didn’t make the best decisions, He still continued to pursue me and be there for me when I didn’t take any consideration for Him.
When I was letting fear and the unknown control my life Jesus was holding the door open since day 1 waiting for me to come home.
When I was falling and felt like I had no other place to go, He held out His hand for me to hold to know that I was wanted.
And when I felt I was alone He surrounded me around bodies of believers that continued to love and encourage me even in my lowest points.
This year has a been a roller coaster with its fair share of ups and downs but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the ride.
I finished my internship with the Disney College Program last month and I have to say it was worth every moment. I have gained much patience, strength, and endurance. I have learned not to take things personally in this industry and how to have tough skin.
I am revealed everyday that I have a gift with relating to a diverse group of people and that’s not just because of my degree in communications (okay, maybe a little… Thanks Dr. Jay ;)).
I have learned that I am a talented and strong individual that was cut out for this industry and that no amount of negativity will make me backtrack like that again.
I know this because I hold onto the truth and proof that God is at work in my life. The moments where I have brought friends to church that haven’t been to one in years or at all, the conversations started that have helped others open up and discover who they were really created to be, and the moments I have seen where the ones I care about deeply have legitimate breakthroughs and begin to turn their lives around.
Upon the end of my internship I decided to continue living in Southern California and making my dream a reality shining the light of Christ in an industry that is in desperate need of a Savior. I have a huge passion for people, events, and media and it is my life goal to make the name of Jesus known and alive in the entertainment industry.
I am no longer afraid of the unknown but encouraged by the endless possibilities of where God can use me next. And I know this is just the beginning.
I want to give a huge thank you to all of those that have believed in me and have been praying for me since the very start.
Here’s to making a difference one day at a time,
and telling fear to go back to where it came from.
Here’s to living where the summer is endless, going to the beach everyday, and discovering just a little more everyday of this thing do we called life.
Love you all.