It was August of 2000 and there I was in an Acting class, attending a small community College, 10 hours from home The same College that months before I auditioned for a Disney World Show, fresh out of High School. I was sure I’d get the job (bahaha silly girl) but by God’s Grace I did not. In walks the acting teacher, tall, red headed, red lipped, vibrant, commanding your attention (by the shear presence of her light) kind of a woman and her smile matched the glow of the heart on her sleeve. I had never acted (officially) a day in my life yet in every acting class from then on a piece of me found its match. Of course then I thought it was because of the acting classes but in truth it was the holy Spirit living in her that was stirring my heart and beginning to put the pieces together. The music she played, the words she used, the belief she had in us, her wisdom, her talent, her patience, her vision, I could go on for days. Needless to say, a reverence for her grew. Surely though, I was just another student of hers. Surely, she didn’t really have much to say about me…..(or so I settled with)
The Spring performance curtains had closed and my first semester of college had come to an end. After the show the parents, students and teachers gathered for pictures and congratulations in the lobby. Later that evening, to my surprise, my mom said, “I really like your acting teacher”. She said that she had walked up to her and my dad and asked, “Are you Jesie Shalawylo’s parent’s?”. They said yes and she proceeded to tell them what a talent I was and how much I had grown as a performer throughout the year. What?! You know the Sally Fields movie when she says “They like me! They really like me!”? Well, that was my “she likes me, She really likes me!” moment. bahaha! In all seriousness though, that was a pivotal moment of truth that planted in my heart.
The transition of being an 18 year old girl from Northern Virginia to a college student in Franklin Tennessee proved to be very difficult for me. Learning how to be on my own and grasping for ideas of who I was, only to find I had no idea. Then here was this woman who I looked up to and she took the time to share the light she saw in me. When I thought there was no light to be found. Looking back on it now, isn’t that just like the Lord. To seek you out. To speak truth about you with the intention of bringing your light to the surface. Mmmm. I just love it. And I just love her!
Her name is Allison Allen. She was my college acting teacher and is now (among many other things) the author of “Shine”, a book about stepping into the role you were made for (that description pales in comparison to its actual fabulousness. We’ll talk about that later though). My point in all of this is that Allison has been in the Shine business way before #theshinebook. I have so many more God/Allison moments to share with you guys over the next few weeks. I wish it could be days but who knows the next time I’ll get a chance to sit down again. 🙂
I just finished her book “Shine” a few days ago and I want to read it again to be sure I’ve soaked up all it’s goodness. I also want to encourage you all to read it! It is full of awakening thoughts and tools to dive deeper into your trust in the Lord.
You can get “Shine” at the usual book stores and of course you can Amazon it right to your door step or your friend’s, or your daughter’s, or even someone who drives you crazy’s. hehe
Merry Christmas time guys!!