“You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake!”
–Iris Simpkins, “The Holiday”
My favorite movie of all time is “The Holiday”. Call it my “guilty pleasure”, if you will, since it does contain a few themes, words, and phrases that aren’t exactly on the Most Wholesome list. I think there are three main reasons why it’s such a favorite. First, the characters: The four main actors are at their most charming in this movie, in my opinion. And dear, sweet Arthur—my favorite of all—is simply delightful. Second, it’s the overarching theme that true love wins in the end.
The main reason I love the movie so much, though, is bit of a paradox: I do want to be the Leading Lady of my own life. But the twist is that I don’t want it to be for my own fame. I just happen to believe those two goals go together like…well, like Iris and Miles, Amanda and Graham.
Because I wasn’t just put on this earth to be my own. I was created to bring glory to the One who knit me together.
I admit I haven’t always had a clear view of what it means to be the Leading Lady. When I was younger I thought it meant being able to recite the alphabet all the way through without missing any letters, or rattling off the days of the week or months of the year for all of my dad’s friends. After Daddy’s death, as I grew older and watched Mama struggle through one relationship after another I thought it meant being fiercely independent and never needing a man for anything.
When Jesus found me and moved into my heart, everything changed. Independence and personal power no longer held the same appeal. I met and married a young man who loved Jesus, too, and suddenly the need to control my environment and those around me melted away. I still had a few feisty edges to smooth off, but that came in time.
And it left me to redefine what it looked like being a Leading Lady who lives to please her husband and her God. To live humbly, always ready to offer out grace and yet still be a star.
As I age, I’m starting to recognize the star quality that’s been buried deep within me all this time. I’ll never earn an Oscar, never have my name carved into the Walk of Fame, never be lauded for my show-stopping abilities on stage or big screen. I’ll shine, but with a different kind of brilliance.
If I am only ever a star to my husband and family, if I am only ever famous within my tight circle of friends, if I am only ever awarded as a “good and faithful servant” of the God who saved me, I will be content.
Sitting here at a tiny desk in our little yellow cottage, I am a Leading Lady for God’s sake.