When I review my own life, I vividly recall periods that seemed like a lot of senseless struggle at the time, but which God later used for his own sweet purposes. As a young actress, I experienced what a lot of naive and desperate “wannabes” discover, as they struggle to make their way in the world of showbiz: moments of glory flecked into oceans of disappointment and failure.
I spent many years failing to build an acting career that would pay my bills and grant me some standing in the artistic community.
There were independent and industrial films, television pilots, one-woman shows, off-off Broadway plays, improvisation troupes, and a little modeling along the way, but the seemingly endless slog of competing and searching for that one defining opportunity had left me wondering if I would ever find my place in the world. In 1992 I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and everything began to change for the better.
Of course, there have been hard times along the way, but the blessings and healings have greatly outnumbered the difficulties, as my life is gradually being transformed in Christ. Whatever may come, I know that God, not me, will be the one who directs my steps and fills my days with purpose. He will be the one to bring beauty from ugliness, light from darkness, and joy from pain. His mercy will take my broken humanity and make something good come out of it.
Even though I chronically squander time on distractions, God hasn’t wasted a moment of my life. I often say that all those years on stage and in front of cameras prepared me for my real vocation as a catechist. When I walk into a classroom, an auditorium, or a television studio, I feel at home, all the stage fright long since defeated through a myriad of professional acting experiences. And when my heart senses that an audience is opening its heart to my efforts to inspire and equip them with practical and spiritual insights and tools, I am overjoyed. I know I am home, that my broken life has been reassembled and resurrected for the true purpose that God planned for my life from the beginning.
I love—and try to live—this verse: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Since God takes everything we give him and makes it into something beautiful, it makes a lot of sense to let go of anything we can’t control and to give him our whole lives, past, present, and future.
This blog is taken from the book True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life by Lisa Mladinich. A former actress turned Catholic catechist and author, today Mladinich holds up the mirror to our faith in Christ and illumines the dignity and purpose we possess as women made in the image of God.