So about this seed of pride I mentioned earlier. It is probably the thing I am most
ashamed of, even now that I am well into my adult life. It is the thing that will instantly bring me
to tears thinking about, and bring me to my knees in praise remembering how the Lord broke me
of it. Here is how it happened.
It was 2001, I was 18 years old, and I was standing in Orlando, Florida about to audition
for a musical character at Walt Disney World. For the past several years all I wanted for myself
was to be famous. I wanted to be a singer on a big stage, in front of thousands of fans, and
this was my foot in the door. I was quite confident the audition would go well too. I had the
experience from high school performances, I had the talent, and I had a story of tenacity that
would bring people to tears. Not only that but I had an all-powerful God who would give me
anything my heart desired. (That’s what the Bible says right? Ask and ye shall receive). In my
mind and in my words my obsession with being famous was meant to draw attention to Christ.
On the surface I wanted a platform to share my story of perseverance-through-trial in hopes that
people would turn to Christ upon hearing it. I imagined myself being a role model to young girls
across the country. In reality though, my motives were less than pure. What I really wanted was
to draw attention to myself. I wanted to be in a position of constant accolades, I wanted to show
the world I had talents and not just a disease, I wanted to prove I had worth. Deep down I wanted
my birthfather to see what a great person I had become. I wanted him to realize it was him who
was missing out on me, not the other way around. And I was going to use God to give me all
those things. But in the audition room, where all my dreams were about to come true, the Lord
graciously crushed all of that pride and egotism, and brought me all the way back to my 12-year-
old-self, so I could get reacquainted with humility.
During the actual audition it was like someone else took over my body. I could not sing
for the life of me. The judges let me start over three times before they excused me and sent me
on my way their words, “this isn’t for everybody” ringing in my ears. I was devastated, and
angry at God, until His spirit gently rebuked me on the plane ride home:
Gretchen, you’re acting as though the gifts I give to you are meant for you. You are
acting as if I were some genie in a bottle waiting around to grant your every desire. You are
acting as though I owe you something. No. You have a sad life ahead of you if you think glory
belongs to anyone but Me. Choose this day whom you will serve: yourself or me. Then spend
your life on that.
Affects on Counseling
I am not sure whether this event will directly affect my counseling, but I can say this: if
I succeed as a counselor it will be because of the Lord’s mercy and not my talents. My decision
that day on the way home from Disney World was to serve Christ and His glory. I hope that
shows in my entire life, whether in being a counselor, a wife, a worship leader, or whatever I do.
I want more of Him and so much less of me.