Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

Was Hollywood actress Erin Bethea -- star of "Fireproof," "Facing the Giants" and now "This Is Our Time" -- the stereotypical pastor’s kid growing up in a fishbowl, gawked at by the congregation as either an awful little hellion or hated by the other kids as a goodie-goodie?

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“But most of it was because I have such a great family and we’re really close.”

Can she identify a time where she began to feel like her faith really wasn’t hers – just her parents’?

“I think it happened for me at the same age that it happens for a lot of people,” recalls Bethea. “At college, I realized that for the first time I wasn’t living under my parents’ roof. So who is going to know if you aren’t doing right? That’s where I had to decide who I was going to be

– and what I really believed. That was when I had to decide how I wanted to exercise my faith out there in the real world.”

Erin and friends

Erin and friends

So, how many times as a college freshman did she skip going to church?

Bethea laughs. “A few weeks. You know, I skipped church more in college than I ever had in my younger life. It was like ‘Hey, I can sleep in. This is amazing,’ but I also found that I missed it. I found an incredible group of Christian friends who were just encouraging and we all sort of kept each other accountable. I was really, really blessed in that way. I think that was definitely part of God’s plan for me.”

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A divine plan for each of us is the theme of Bethea’s new film, “This Is Our Time.”

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Erin Bethea in “This Is Our Time”

“The takeaway is that God’s plan for everybody is different,” she says. “He had a unique plan for you when he created you. He created you as a unique individual. The Apostle Paul talks about that – you know, ‘I don’t have this gift and I don’t have that gift you know, but this is who God created me to be.’

“That’s a lot of what ‘This Is Our Time’ speaks to. I may not have this calling or that calling, but that doesn’t mean that my life has any less value – or that I can be any less used by God.

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