Manifest winner on finding value in Christ
Her booming voice is unmistakable—the excitable Anna Beaden, wearing odd thongs, wanders over. We talk swimming, celery, mathematics and toenails. This is classic Anna. We eventually move on to something more meaningful: the Manifest Creative Arts Festival.
Winning a prize at the festival this year surprised Anna Beaden: she entered a “dodgy” recording in the song composing competition on the closing day.
Anna, a “laid back” arts and teaching student at Avondale College of Higher Education, received a $500 discount off her fees for winning the Young Achiever Prize. Not a bad result. “I wasn’t going to participate,” says Anna, 18. However, she asked God for inspiration. “If You help me finish it, then I’ll submit it,” she remembers praying.
When you hear the song, “God Chose You,” you begin to understand why it may have won.
You won the Avondale Young Achiever Prize for “God Chose You” at Manifest earlier this year. What’s the song about?
I’m passionate about people feeling accepted, feeling comfortable in their own skin. Being the youngest child, I’ve never really struggled with confidence.
That’s fairly clear! Tell me more.
I want people to realise God created each of us differently, and I want people to embrace that. Satan tries to make us feel worthless and that’s reflected in the opening lines of the song: “Stop, who do you think you are? You don’t belong here . . . you’re not worth it, you’ll never make it.” But Jesus died for each of us—He chose us—so I turned it from a negative message into a positive one: “Listen closely now, you were made for much more . . . don’t give in to all the voices, don’t give in to all the lies.” Instead of dwelling on negativity, accept who you are and spend your time doing worthwhile things.
So, the song is about identity?
Encouraging people to find their identity, their worth, their value in Christ, and then going and living that and letting that change your life. The last couple of lines sum it up: “Go and live like this is true, like the Creator of the world chose you.”
What is it about your music that brings you closer to God?
I love how you can just make it up—improvise, be spontaneous. There’s so much potential to be creative and to express yourself.
Manifest celebrates and encourages the production of creative arts for ministry. It is coordinated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific through the Adventist Media Network and Avondale. The entities are offering $4000 in cash for original creative pieces in filmmaking, fine arts, song composing and writing. Entrants can win up to $1000 in each of five competitions. The competitions close on March 8 next year.
Likes: Mathematics, hedges, talking to others
Dislikes: Pessimism, being run over (ask Anna’s sister)
Wants to improve at: Swimming
Hidden talent: Occasional tin whistler
I know nothing about: Politics
Fun fact: Making pesto in a mortar and pestle “fills my soul with joy”
Josh Dye/Sofia Ruiz
Public relations intern/Bachelor of Arts student
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia