“Thy kingdom come, Thy
will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 (KJV)
When I was six years old, my mom had divorced my father, married my stepfather and moved us to a new neighborhood in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Back then, kids walked everywhere, even through the woods to get to school. One day walking home from school, this big tree said gently, “Child.” I had such an overwhelming feeling that I sat down, and I just started having conversations, not even really knowing who I was talking to. It was very comforting, especially at that time of my life when I’d suddenly been pulled away from everything.
Every day after school, I’d sit with this tree, and have these conversations. I have just recently begun to understand—here at St. John’s—that voice was the Holy Spirit.
A short time later, I was riding in the car with my mom and I asked, “What’s that building?”
“That’s a church. A Baptist church,” she said.
“Are we Baptist?” I asked.
“Yeah, I guess so,” she replied.
“Can I go?” I asked.
“Okay, but you’ll have to go by yourself,” she told me.
Now, in my Mom’s defense, she got me up, dressed, and prepared my favorite breakfast—Fruit Loops with no milk and handed me 10¢ for the offering plate.
At Sunday school, we did lots of arts and crafts while learning about Jesus. I thought it was so much fun! After Sunday school, I went to “Big Church” and sat alone on the back pew and again not really understanding what was going on. There was just this presence around me.
That 10¢ never made it into the offering plate. It became a pack of M&M’s from the 7-Eleven across the highway from the church.
At six years old, I had so much freedom and very little parental supervision that it would be a while before I learned the importance of obedience.
Not my will, but Thine.
So, many years later and after my divorce, I headed for Hollywood. I was a trained actor and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and I just knew Hollywood was waiting for ME!
After four years of waiting tables and getting mostly stand-in work for other actresses, I ran out of money and patience with God. My friend in Naples asked me to help with her parents who suffered from dementia, and so I moved to Naples.
Within a year, both of Kim’s wonderful parents passed away.
Out of the blue, I received a call from a friend in L.A. whose family was well-known and had connections. He was producing a movie, had a part for me. I could stay at his family’s house in Malibu, there was an old 550 SL Mercedes in the garage, the maid knew where the keys were and he’d pick me up at the Naples airport in the family jet.
Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!This is exactly what I wanted!
Two days before he was to pick me up in the family jet, I received a text that there was a family emergency in London, so the plans were postponed. I booked a flight to L.A. anyway.
My three L.A. friends who were to pick me up at the airport backed out at the last minute one by one, and my friend in Naples cried when she brought me to the Fort Myers Airport and said, “You know, you don’t have to go.”
God tried to stop me, but I wasn’t listening.
Back in L.A., I didn’t have an audition the entire year. After a particularly rough day at the restaurant where I waited tables in West Hollywood, I decided to walk home.
I found myself sitting on the steps overlooking the La Brea Tar Pits.
Once again I heard a gentle voice say, “Child, are you done yet?” I nodded yes and then a little more firmly I heard, “Then reach into your backpack, past that flask of vodka that I know is in there and pick up your cell phone.”
I picked up that 10,000-pound cell phone (you know that feeling!) and made the call to Naples.
People ask me all the time, “If you’re an actress, why are you in Naples, God’s waiting room?”
And I answer, “I am waiting humbly for His will and His calling on my life.” Tamara Connolly