When Shari Rigby arrived in Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, she never could have imagined the plan God had for her to impact the lives of other women looking to make it big in Hollywood.
4word: Tell our readers a little about yourself!
Shari: I’d love for us to get acquainted over a warm cup a coffee but since we are not face-to-face, let me share a little about myself. I love drinking coffee full of yummy creamer, studying the Bible, learning new things and walking as a warrior for Christ! With that being said, I have lived in Los Angeles, CA, since 2009, with my husband, Matt and my two boys, Donnie and Levi. I love my boys! My oldest son now lives in Norcross, GA, and runs our family business, Wiedmannbros. I am an actress, speaker, writer and director. I am a woman who desires to tell women’s powerful life stories revealing God’s grace and mercy. I am passionate about women and believing that the greatest calling on my life is to disciple, mentor and lift women up to see themselves as Christ sees them… as beautiful! Because of this calling on my life, I started a women’s group back in 2010, called The Women In My World. The group has grown from two women to 25 women who come to my home weekly and is now reaching to all the women that I encounter in my world whether I’m on a movie set, teaching Bible study at church or shopping in a grocery store because I know the meeting has been ordained by God.
4word: Much of your life’s story centers around listening to God and following His will for your life. How did you learn to do this?
Shari: I learned to listen to God after I realized I was pursuing the pictures that I continued to create in my head of what I believed my life was going to look like, instead of God’s will for my life. In 2008, all of that changed when I almost lost my life and had eight months of recovery. In that dark time came a refreshed spirit and I knew it was time for me to fully submit to the Lord’s will on my life. During that recovery time he gave me the verse Acts 20:24, “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I many finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” My time of recovery really made me press into the Lord, listen, read His word and write everything down that He spoke to me. What a love letter God has written over my life! I see His promises to me coming to life daily and these are better than any vision I could ever come up with on my own!
4word: How did God leading you to Hollywood result in you impacting the lives of women in LA?
Shari: I believe that God moving me to Los Angeles was Him leading me into a season where He would bring women into my world to receive an extension of what He was doing in my life. What was flowing vertically to me from Him was flowing horizontally to the women in my world. He speaks words of encouragement over me and my calling and in turn, I am able to do the same thing for others. It becomes a natural flow to speak truth, share God’s words, encourage women to serve others and to go after what God had called each of them to. God has given me a home to provide a safe place for women to rest, food to feed them and words of wisdom to speak into their lives while they are doing life in Hollywood.
4word: What role does mentoring play in The Women In My World?
Shari: Because of the calling on my life to minister to God’s women, the role of discipling and mentoring plays a daily part in my life and in The Women In My World. God has called me to many different roles such as a wife, mother, actress, speaker, writer, director and more, giving me the ability to speak to women and meet them right where they are. I believe we are called to disciple and mentor to pass down and grow up the next generation of Godly women. I see how just spending time listening, praying with or encouraging women helps to keep them grounded in Christ rather than listening to an inconsistent group of people in Hollywood. So I focus on sharing the following: the attributes of God, identity in Christ, prayer, serving, and focusing on God’s Will. I am called daily to speak into and help another’s light to shine!
4word: A few years later, God nudged you again regarding your life story. Can you tell us what that led to?
Shari: Yes, after moving to Los Angeles, studying acting, serving women, and doing life, God called me to a role in a movie called OCTOBER BABY, where I played a woman who had given her daughter up for adoption after her failed abortion attempt. Because so much of my story paralleled my character’s story, the Lord took me on a two-year speaking tour sharing my testimony, and then He prompted me to write about and share it with the world. Last year Beautifully Flawed: Finding Your Radiance In The Imperfection of Your Life hit the bookstands. I am so thankful that I said “yes” to the Lord! I receive letters daily via Facebook, Instagram, or through my website sharing how my story has impacted someone’s life: how he or she was able to see how the Lord has redeemed me, restored me, and gave me a voice to share the message of His gift of salvation; how He does away with the old life and gives a new one with a new sense of purpose.
4word: What advice do you have for those struggling with what to do with their lives?
Shari: My advice to people that are struggling with the question “What is my purpose or calling?” is to seek God in a new way. Start by just saying YES to Him no matter what. It’s a scary step but when we are totally in, He can take us on His journey. It says in His word that “He makes our path straight.” So if we dive into His word and start seeking Him like Christ did, we will be about the Father’s will and doing the Father’s business. What does this look like?
Here are a few questions to ask Him in your prayer and worship time: “How can I serve you? What breaks your heart?” As you start practicing abiding in Him minute by minute, you will begin to see that you are walking in His will daily speaking into other’s lives and doing His will according to your calling.
Are you in the habit of abiding in God, or could your walk with Him be a little closer? We’re so thankful to Shari for speaking about her journey to stay close to God and learn and follow His will for her life!
Shari Rigby , a former model who represented numerous companies such as Mercedes Benz, Humira, American West Airlines, Suzuki, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cox Cable, got her start in acting as a lead in the Dove award winning music video, “Slow Fade,” by Casting Crowns. She also appeared in The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Her feature films include Not Today which received seven awards including an IFFF Spirit Award and Best Justice Film, October Baby named one of the “Top 15 Impressive Box Office Performances of 2012” by CNN, and leading roles in the upcoming films Boonville Redemption (starring Diane Ladd, Ed Asner) , Wildflower (starring Cody Longo and Nathalia Ramos), The Journalist (starring Sharman Joshi and Stephen Baldwin) and E xtraordinary (starring Karen Abercrombie, Leland Klassen and Lindsley Register)
Shari co-wrote her biography, Beautifully Flawed, with Claire Yorita Lee, which was published in March 2015. Shari recently directed and co-wrote several short films, Birdie’s Song, nominated for 8 awards at the 168 Film Festival, and The Church That Never Sleeps for Dream Center. Shari is currently working as an Executive Producer of Media for the Dream Center Los Angeles and is currently writing short films for YesHeIs.com.
Shari is the founder of “The Women In My World,” a women’s group focusing on identity, purpose, ministry, serving others, mentoring and living life in Hollywood. Shari’s passion is serving others through the Dream Center Los Angeles and The Gary Sinise Foundation. She has worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
Shari’s greatest gift of all is her family. Shari and her husband, Matt, have been married for nineteen years and have been blessed to raise two boys together.