Allie DeBerry and I met a few years ago and she hasn’t stopped inspiring me since. In her story she shares the struggle and joy of pursing your dream while loving a dreamer. We all struggle with identity and can relate to this story no matter what career your pursuing.
“My boyfriend, Tyler Beede, and I have big dreams. He longs to be a Major League pitcher, and I want to be a successful actress on the big screen. To some these dreams may seem unrealistic, but for us the journey to get there is all we have ever known.
When we met 2 ½ years ago, I imagined the life of a professional baseball player to be oh-so glamorous and he assumed the same with my acting career. Quickly after we began dating we realized that was certainly not the case, but our worlds did have a lot in common. Baseball season is looooong. Ty spends 8 months busing in and out of cities to play game after game. I make every effort to spend time with him most home stands, but my schedule is unpredictable as well. My flexibility depends on how many auditions I have and if I have booked (aka landed the part for) any of the roles.
Just a few months ago, I was filming a movie in Honolulu. As thankful I was to be doing what I love filming on a gorgeous island, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. The man I love was 5,000+ miles away stuck on a 14-hour bus ride headed to another crummy hotel. With several weeks of working through the inconveniences that come with being on opposite sides of the world (ugh… hello time difference!) the feelings of remorse built. Am I being supportive enough of him and his career? Is it wrong that I’m away trying to pursue my dreams while the other women are at every game? Should I continue acting if it puts a strain on our relationship?
“Do not neglect the gift you have” 1 Timothy 4:14. The Bible has a lot to say (especially 1 Peter 4:10-11 and Romans 12:6-8) about how to use the special gifts God gives us. If I’m being honest, I would be okay with pushing my dreams aside knowing I’d get to be there for Ty and his career. But I must ask myself… would God have given me my own dreams and gifts if He did not intend to use me in some way?
Our passions are full of competition and rejection. We compete against the best to receive a spot in the lineup or a starring role. About 10% of minor league players make it to the Major Leagues, and landing a good role is more difficult now than ever. It’s a fight to the top and everyone wants to get there as quickly as possible.
I’m rejected daily in my business because I’m too tall or too short, too pretty or not quite pretty enough, too “curvy”, or because my values don’t align with the project. I’d be lying if I told you this constant scrutinizing doesn’t get to me. But when I find myself questioning my worth, I must realign my mind with what God thinks about me. He tells me I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and “worth far more than rubies”. He frees me from the pressure to conform to the ways of the world. When I realize that truth, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks about me, because Jesus thinks I’m DYING for.
The more time I spend in the baseball world, I’ve found us women become known as “so and so’s girlfriend/wife/fiancée.” Our identity can get lost in the shadows of our significant others, pushing us to question our self worth. My purpose and identity isn’t found in being “First round draft pick and Top Prospect Tyler Beede’s girlfriend” or “the actress.” My purpose and identity is found in Christ.
After 2 years of loving Ty and pursuing my dream alongside him, I have come to learn being 100% supportive of his career doesn’t mean losing my faith or myself. It means keeping my eyes on using the platform and opportunities God has given me to reach people! Ty inspires me the way he glorifies God with his gifts and talents. I can see him expanding God’s kingdom right before my eyes and it’s nothing short of amazing. Our main prayer is to always keep Christ at the center of our relationship.
I’m also learning there is NOTHING in this world that will completely fulfill us… whether I win an Oscar or Ty pitches a no-hitter in the World Series. Even if my career ended, I know that the biggest role I could ever land is in God’s movie: the story of Jesus’ great glory: He who was, who is, and is to come. No, I cannot write the script or attempt to direct it myself because that is His job. All He asks me to do is play my role in spreading His love and His word wherever I go. I know the greatest satisfaction and joy I could ever receive is at the end of His radical movie- getting to be face to face with my Savior at last.