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Eish London
by Shannan Lea
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Friday, 25 September
I wasn’t finding success at solving anything. Still no income on the horizon, I had to officially find a new place to live as of 1st November (it wasn’t a very pleasant meeting between my housemates and the landlord), and my faith that all was going to be ok was being drowned out by over-analysis and worry! Nevermind that I was going to the Netherlands, which would involve spending money, even though I was staying with friends. To a person of faith, worrying is not supposed to be an option. Yet I find myself moaning every time I see friends. It’s not good; but I feel like I can’t talk to the people in the house I’m staying in. I have all these thoughts running around my head and because I can’t let it out I know I’m getting stressed out. My back is sore, I’m not sleeping well and my stomach is not happy again. I hate asking for help, but right now I have to get over my pride and ask someone…
Subject: Please send a prayer / thought for me :-)
To: Very Special Family & Friends
Date: Friday, 25 September, 2009, 12:03
Hi there
Due to unforeseen circumstances I find myself growing anxious and waning in my ability to uphold my faith! Not a good thing to say the least... It wouldn't be good to start panicking.

My housemates have handed in notice on the house's lease, so I have to find a new place to stay. I was unsure, but kind of expecting it. I had a contract with the TC, so I knew money would be coming in and I'd be ok because they had signed me up until the end of September...
BUT upon my return the TC abruptly terminated my contract, without any notice, and now I'm incomeless when I thought I’d have enough to move and pay a deposit and all the rest...

SO ... PLEASE could you take a moment to pray for my faith to stay strong, and for my belief that God will look after me not to dwindle during this time... I'd REALLY appreciate it right now.
Many thanks & have a super weekend!

After sending the email, I was motivated again, apparently my antibiotics were working too. I had sent the email upset and struggling to figure out how to get through the upcoming weeks; after I had sent it I felt empowered, I felt that I wasn’t alone, that people would read it and think of me and send positive energy my way. I felt ready to take my life back into my hands gracefully and responsibly. I had done nothing wrong and had not deserved such an abrupt termination of my contract. I sent an email to the agent, who had confirmed that my verbal contract had been terminated, telling her (and cc’ing Jonn) that I was going into the TC offices to clean out my desk.

I made sure I dressed confidently and held a great deal of self-respect about myself. I went into the TC offices to deliver a Chinese fan to my manager as I said I would, and I always keep my word. I also needed to leave some sweeties on the table where people put nibbles for everyone to share from all their travels, because I had said I would. I prayed as I climbed the stairs up to the office that all would be well. I pushed the buzzer and the person who opened the door was very shocked to see me; but I took a deep breath, smiled and got on with it. Thankfully, very few people were in; I went into the manager’s office and her boss was there instead. He was also taken aback to see me. I quietly and honestly explained what I felt I had gone through and how things looked from my perspective. I didn’t cry or make a scene. I openly stated my case. He listened and stated his case. He said that my role was a temporary one and, because my manager was on leave, it didn’t make sense that she would ask me to be here. I agreed with him and said that it didn’t make sense to me either. He said he would look into it and let me know. I cleaned out my desk.

Whilst proud of myself for being honest and dealing with the problem, I made my way to the audition I had told myself I would go to. I had my audition photos and information on hand. At first I couldn’t find the venue and headed back to the station where I heard a group of people chatting about their audition, so I asked them where it was and they told me how to get there. I went back and found a very run down, sad office block. (No wonder I missed it!) Inside the fittings were falling apart and the vibe was so unprofessional that I was automatically on my guard. They were doing photo shoots at a price and making us all wait in a tiny little room. There was the typical non-friendly competitive silence that permeates most audition rooms with new, young, want-to-be-stars. Another warning sign. I filled in the form and started chatting to people as I realised this might only be an opportunity to meet people if nothing else. The guy on my right was a professional guitarist, Mark, in a band called Sion he was auditioning because he needed extra cash. The lady on my left was an older professional accountant to had always wanted to get into modeling and she was trying anything that came along for the fun of it. Mark told me his next gig was in Camden on Wednesday and I should come. I was keen and said for sure!

As we were chatting a big ruckus broke out in the passageway outside. Apparently some of the auditionees had been chatting outside and they thought the whole setup was a scam. The head of the company and his manager were now trying to explain that they weren’t based in London. They were based in the Middle East and that there had been no charge for the meeting with the manager and the only charge was for the photo shoot which was optional. “There is no scam,” we heard them repeat. The young group outside would hear none of it and the foul mouths and ill discipline of the youths could be heard in the pin-drop silence of our room. Half the room excused themselves and left. I’d been waiting two hours by that time and apparently it was only to sit and ‘chat’ to the manager to join the ‘company’, it wasn’t even an actual audition. I found the whole situation highly amusing. Looking around I figured that the young people were right and it was a scam group, but the experience hadn’t cost me much. Mark decided to leave. The professional lady signed up to come back for the photo-shoot because she could use the photos for another time and for her Facebook Photos. I left my photos and the form with the boss as I walked out I felt sorry for the young want-to-be-famous people in that room who still had so much to learn about the audition process and that there are so many people who don’t make it, and so many taking advantage of those willing to give everything to try. Another lady who was as unfazed as I was due to her previous experiences gave me the names of two apparently good casting agencies to contact. Disappointingly, all my efforts there resulted in dead ends too.

That evening I received a voice message from my manager’s boss saying that I was down in the manager’s diary to work with the TC for 12 more days, that there had been a misunderstanding on dates and they would see me on Monday. I was so infinitely relieved! My prayers had been answered! The nature of the whole interaction and my behaviour probably meant that they would never ask me back after this, who would want to work with a trouble-maker? But I was ok with that, because at this moment I needed the work; and that I had been given. Anything after that would have to take care of itself.

With regards to my squash-the-pride-and-ask-for-help email: The response was fantastic and no-one judged me. Over the course of the next few weeks (pardon my time warp here, but I didn’t want to break them up) my family and friends motivated me with the following emails in the moments when I needed them the most:
“My darling please don’t doubt your faith now. These are obstacles in our path. We need to reach rock bottom to learn some poignant lessons in life. The lesson now is to learn that companies care for their bottom line. Don’t doubt yourself. As hard as this may be – look at it as an adventure. God has never left you. He’s watching over you. Make sure He knows you haven’t lost faith in Him. Even if you have – He will restore it. Lots of prayers coming your way my friend.”
“Hey sis! Sorry man, this sucks…but don’t stress about it you have been through many tough times and come out on top. Here are some words for you…“I know God won’t give me more than I can handle…I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” Love you lots, hang in there and God bless.”
“Have Faith my friend – God is never too early or too late and at times He may close doors and other times open doors which He wants you to pursue. A man’s mind plans his way but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. (Acts 16:9) Take Care & God Bless – will certainly keep you in my prayers.”
“I am so sorry to hear about all the SH*T going on! I understand about sometimes doubting in the faith that He has a plan and that if we ask it of Him He will help. We must also keep in mind that whatever plans He has for us, He will execute it in His time and not ours. The hardest part is being patient. I remember having a phone conversation once – I think it was for a New Years (not last NY but the one before that) and I remember you telling me how we must give everything over to the Lord and then leave it with Him – stop trying to take it back. I cannot remember the exact conversation but the feeling of EUREKA is as clear today as it was then. I am in a similar situation and it is scary... but that is what faith is – jumping off and believing He will catch you! But if in the meantime you need any help – please contact my cousin Gareth – he can help you out. I will resend his number in another email! Love you Shans and you will be fine.... Trust that He will guide you in the right direction”
“Shannan, Isaiah 43:1-3
1. Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
2. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
3. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
Psalm 40:1-3,16
"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my heart, a hymn of praise to our God.”
“Start in Psalms and read as far as you can! Never recorded is any soul more cast down, and up-lifted in God, than David's. You are in my Prayers Shannan…….don’t give up. Trust God completely, He is your strength and refuge and will never, ever let you down. Luv and hugs”
I genuinely can’t put into words how much the support helped me, calmed me and gave me the strength to ‘get on with it’. I asked, and I truly did receive. Thank-You!



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