Sometimes you are lounging on a lily pad in Monet’s Garden and sometimes your legs are fried on a plate in a Micheline Star Restaurant. Beccalynn navigates it with theology, humor, art, crafting and words. If we live a life filled with love the more love we discover. No matter where our flippers land.
Offered to perform play in LA my apprehension took form of a dandelion puff leaning into a slight breeze. I grew up in an environment where worth was measured by the
amount of disappointment a person created. This pattern fueled the trap I found myself in. I was asked to
portray on stage my greatest lifelong abuser, a "righteous"
Christian. After many years of therapy, medication, and prayer, I walked
away from this type of Christianity. Taking this role would put all of that work in
I vigilantly sought wisdom, I found peace. I felt His hand
take mine. I understood He had a purpose for this dark path: "Learn
Each time I examined this character’s motivation, wrote
her thoughts, or spoke her words: I experienced anxiety. It started as a
cricket crawling around my sternum. As the show loomed, anxiety became pulsing electricity.
I knew I needed help and support from those around me. I asked. The show was
taxing everyone. I realized help would need to come from outside of the show.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is the definition of a good
wife and mother.
Their view of forgiveness is skewed. When in the wrong, they
only need to pray, asking God for forgiveness. They can never wrong their
neighbor if they are right with Jesus. No conflict exists. The impact upon
others is irrelevant. Their backs bend under this weight of legalism and fear. True
peace and joy is impossible. In getting to know this character, I felt a deep
compassion for those who live this type of Christianity.
Joy was in discovery.
Even though twenty years have passed, LA still feels like
home. Everyone is inadequate, has a therapist, attends a recovery group, and is
not afraid of being a "Hot Mess." I learned more about my
shortcomings and inabilities and found freedom in facing them.
Guarding the streets around the theater, I met Lewis, a 6'10" former NCAA Final Four basketball player. Homeless for the past
10 years, his patrols keep the area safe. He will not accept money he does not earn,
is a beautiful storyteller and kind listener. Ase and Zaney have a new standard
for washing a car, after watching him work. GirlyK will remember him as he danced
with her and two friends. The four of them strutted the sidewalk and sang
"Party Rock Anthem" at the top of their lungs.
A Facebook friend came to see the play. Tahnee gave me
unearned friendship my senior year. Walking between classes she told me one
day, "Ya know, everything I heard about you is not true. I like you."
It was the single best moment of my high school experience.
We spent hours catching up in a coffee place on Orange and Vine.
Lewis and Tahnee
filled me with overwhelming Joy.
By the closing weekend, anxiety overpowered logic.
Flashbacks of past condemning confrontations and absolute rejections shattered
my grip on reality. The doors of insanity burst open. Both nights on closing
weekend, I raced to my car, curled up in a ball and sobbed for thirty minutes.
I rode out those memories my brain thrust into view. As the waves of crippling
anxiety washed over me God whispered, "Ride it out." When it was
over, I still existed.
Joy was in survival.
I write this with significant cracks in my sanity and realize: Father was with me. Jesus carried all of my pain with Him on
the Cross. He knows what a reality split feels like. Holy Spirit
was an ever-present help in my time of trouble. Those old wounds feel drained
of infection and cauterized. For the first time in years I have access to
tears. I am better acquainted with my limits. Never again will I be afraid to
Joy was in
understanding Divine Love.
As I read the latimesblog and backstage reviews about the play: it occurred to me that I could have survived as a
working actress. Had I taken those few acting opportunities when I lived in LA, back when I was young and with stars in my eyes, my life might have looked differently. I know it wouldn't have been much, but a commercial here and there
could have bought groceries once in a while. Knowing is good enough for me.
Joy was in realizing
In the end I was granted Joy in an unexpected place.