Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Plain Old, Inadequate Audy

When the suggestion of a reality show was first presented to Tyson and I, our reactions were exactly what (I think) people who know us would expect. It was Tyson's dream-come-true clashing with my worst nightmare and I said, "NO," for a good, long, difficult week. I wrote the story that explains why I changed my mind here.
I was a happy, shy kid who grew up into a happy, shy teenager. Even with all the happiness, I really struggled with self-consciousness and perfectionism. I did not have it all together and I knew that. I was jealous of the girls who did or at least appeared to. I so desperately wanted to be bubbly and out-going but the truth was, I preferred to hide in the safe cocoon of a few close friends, rather than be a social butterfly. 
Those feelings of inadequacy stuck with me into early adulthood and really affected the way I felt about myself. It wasn't until after I got married and had 3 kids that things began to change. A friend introduced me to a book called, "He Did Deliver Me From Bondage," that taught me how to really come to Christ. As I studied His life and doctrine, I came to understand what really mattered in life. I began to accept myself because He made me. I learned that introversion isn't a character flaw and has some incredible advantages. I had a paradigm shift as I came to understand that when we make God happy, we experience true joy and nothing else matters. 
I think God saw how much I was learning and decided to put me to the test in such a perfect-for-me-because-it-was-the-last-thing-I-ever-wanted-to-do kind of way. 
Enter reality show opportunity. As we Skyped with TLC and even filmed an audition video, I thought they would see how wrong I was for TV every single step of the way. I was just waiting for them to see through me. I was braced for the moment when they would. In the past, when I watched the first episode of a new Bachelor season, I would always point out to whoever I was with that I would be the girl crying on the first night because I couldn't handle the pressure. And I felt like that girl all the time, clinging to the hope that I could get through each step before the dam broke. 
My role on the show was to decorate our playhouse interiors. And if that wasn't pressure enough, I was being filmed by the same people who film Joanna Gaines (America's favourite decorator) on her hit show, Fixer Upper. Lets also add that millions of people would potentially see my work and have no qualms about voicing all the opinions on social media. 
Even when our audition video passed through test audiences and we were offered an 8-episode contract, I wondered how I snuck through and assumed Tyson was just great enough to carry us both. The months of filming never stopped being scary and I never felt comfortable. I did, however learn to trust in God even when logic told me this job was impossible. It really became amazing to watch it all unfold. How He can take a quiet, timid girl and somehow convince her to do the hardest thing she's ever done and in the end, teach her to be so grateful for all of it.
The filming months were the hardest of my life, yet I experienced more growth, peace, and joy, as I followed God's gentle whispers to keep moving forward. Tyson often reminded me of this part of one of my favourite Elder Holland talks:
'I ask all of you to remember Enoch as long as you live. This is the young man who, when called to a seemingly impossible task, said, “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, [I] am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech?” (Moses 6:31).
Enoch was a believer. He stiffened his spine and squared his shoulders and went stutteringly on his way. Plain old, ungifted, inferior Enoch. And this is what the angels would come to write of him:
And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him. [Moses 7:13]
Plain old, inadequate Enoch—whose name is now synonymous with transcendent righteousness. The next time you are tempted to paint your self-portrait dismal gray, highlighted with lackluster beige, just remember that in like manner have this kingdom’s most splendid men and women been tempted. I say to you as Joshua said to the tribes of Israel as they faced one of their most difficult tasks, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).'
When I'd come home from a long day, worrying about my lack of... everything, Tyson often replied, "Plain old, inadequate Audy," reminding me of the above quote. And I was inadequate. But that was okay. We all are. We have no choice but to be. If we can accept that without feeling sorry for ourselves, we're better prepared to understand that the only person who can qualify us is our Saviour. 

And I guess that's the whole point. Just when I thought I was learning to trust in the Saviour He offered me a new experience that tested my belief in that principle. And if He can qualify me as a cast member on a reality TV show then He can qualify you for whatever marvellous purpose you'd never expect He has for you too.

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