God calls us to make the choice, either follow Him or go our own way.  When Edwina Findley-Dickerson, HBO’s The Wire and Treme, and soon to be released film, Get Hard starring Will Ferrell, made that choice for Jesus and the choice to follow her passion and calling in the theatrical arts it came with challenges and some strategic negotiations.  She started with prayer and a firm relationship all built on her Heavenly Father.  The scripture says He doesn’t take us out of the world but that He gives us wisdom for our journey to navigate through the unforeseen.  In today’s culture, maneuvering around nudity, cursing, and using God’s name in scripts for Christian actors is challenging and never easy.  Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up and with Edwina. Here is what she told me about the first time she had to deal with nudity and take a stand for what she believed for herself to be right.

“My very first scene test ever was for a role that required nudity.  I didn’t know it at first, but when it was time to sign contracts, negotiate pay, and prepare for the limo to pick me up, I was confronted by a ‘nudity clause’ to sign along with my contract (which offered me more money that I had ever been paid before). I was given only one evening to decide whether I was going to take the deal.  At 24 years old, I felt too overwhelmed to make a decision and really didn’t know what to do.

I prayed.  The next morning I woke up with the story of Queen Esther in my spirit and specifically, the portion in scripture where she boldly approaches the king despite what he might do to her.  I knew I had my answer.  I called my agent and asked her if I could speak with the director.  I might as well have asked to speak with the President!  Not only did my agent refuse, she insisted that the nudity wouldn’t be gratuitous, I was being ridiculous for making it an issue, and the nudity clause was non-negotiable.  The only recourse I was given was to either sign it or forfeit the entire opportunity altogether.  But God had other plans.  Although I had never met him before, I knew God placed it upon my heart to somehow contact the director, and sure enough, he ended up calling me.  God gave me the words to share with him, and he promptly responded,  “Call your agent, tell her what you are willing to do and not do, and I will see you in LA Monday morning.”

I will always cherish that experience, and remember that God, not man, is the author and finisher of my career and my life. I realized that very few things are non-negotiable, but it does take wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit to know what to ask for, what decisions to make and how to approach various compromising circumstances.  It is far from easy, but even if you have to walk away from a project or deal as a result of your convictions, you can always be assured that you are walking in the ordered steps that God has planned for your life. There is a special blessing in that.”

Edwina Findley-Dickerson is an actress and co-founder of AbundantLifeU. edwinafindley.com, Twitter/FB/Instagram: @EdwinaFindley