A few weeks ago I stopped by the church to drop off a pound of coffee to my college pastor as a "surprise." The surprise seemed to be on me, though, because when I got there everybody had left for lunch. The idea was presented before me to go leave the beans with the church secretary to deliver.
I walked up the stairs, opened the door into the office and almost immediately exclaimed, "Sweet Peas!" She had a lovely bouquet sitting on the ledge and we almost immediately started talking about flowers...and then coffee...and then trips we're going on this summer... my involvement with the college group...and then she asked me what my dreams are. Seriously, I barely knew this woman and she wanted to know what my heart looked like...so I shared with her! At the end of our conversation, she told me that I should talk to another woman in the church about my passions for art (networking) and to write this all down. According to her, if I don't write it down, my dreams and ideas will stay at just that - dreams and ideas. I'm not sure I agreed with her fully, since these thus said things have been in my mind and on my heart (relatively unchanged) for a year now, but she seemed like a kind, wise woman. She also asked me for my name and told me that she'd be praying for me. So, here I am, taking her advice. Nancy, this is for you. :)
~ I want to write. Not only do I want to write, but I want to be published. And I want to write meaningful things that encourage or challenge others toward growth. I have two main heroes, authorically speaking: C.S. Lewis because the man was brilliant and because of the impact that he made/had on modern Christian thought; and Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, a book honestly written and which helped me get through some really dark times in my life. I love his writing style, and it helped me realize that I wasn't alone in my struggle. When those around me at church were unable to speak to me, God used his book to fill in their place. I also want others to know that they're not alone in their pain and their questioning.
(Two things: I know that "authorically" isn't a word, but I like it and it makes me happy. Hehe. Also, I have this secret dream that maybe Donald Miller and I would be friends if we ever met.)
~ Since the age of about 7, I've dreamed of the Red Carpet. I went to school and became a Theatre major with this ultimate goal in mind. After facing drama (not the kind on stage) and dealing with the politics of the department, I decided to take "a break" from the whole thing. I was just burned out. I currently still sit with doubts as to whether I could actually survive in the industry (I'm a sensitive soul and don't want to change the way that I look so that I can get roles), but something in my heart still longs for it. I got to get a taste of acting again when I took a roll in a grad student film at Chapman U., and it's left me hungry for more.
I'd like to start auditioning. This is such a huge mission-field in the secular realm; and such a potentially powerful means through which to express our God-freed voices, if we can work past the cliche mediocrity that we face now.
~ My last semester at school, I decided to take a class with a professor simply because I'd heard that he was amazing. "Beauty and the Christian Life" seemed like a really cool class anyway. I really had no idea.
The class almost completely changed my paradigm...awakening a realization about my passion for art and beauty, for the church, and for people. (This realization was subsidized by my Christian Heritage class.)
What it comes down to is this: as a theatrically trained artist; with giftings, passions, or at least appreciation for fine art, dance, the written word, and dramatic representation; I have a huge desire in my heart to see the aesthetic of worship within the church setting to grow beyond what is oral (and by this I mean what is spoken, read, or sung). Words are hugely important, but I think that we are really missing out on the power of what good art can do when harnessed to convey the beauty of the Gospel. Currently, my dream is to join a church where I could work alongside a worship leader in order to collaborate about creating a worship space where the congregation is exposed to the multifaceted nature of God's character.
~ I'd also like to continue swing dancing, improving to a level where I can start competing.
~ I've thought about grad school: writing (creative or analytical/research), acting (perhaps within a conservatory), and seminary.
For the past year, I've been leaning towards the third out of that list. Fuller Seminary offers an MA in Worship, Arts, and Theology - basically a theology degree for artists. My next step is to look into the school, consider the cost (and amount of debt I'll wind up with), and then decide if it's truly worth it.
We'll just have to see...