It’s the universal word for “enough,” “stop,” “cease.” I used to call it out when my dad and I would wrestle and he would tickle me so hard I couldn’t breathe. Lately I’ve been calling it out to my heavenly dad – and not because I’ve been laughing so hard.
Enough waiting. Stop the madness. Cease this striving.
Those are the thoughts that have been swimming through my head…
I’ve been waiting for financial provision in my career.
I am overcome by the “madness” that is the entertainment industry – so tainted, so lost.
I’ve been striving to be used by God in a big way in my acting and writing.
For seven years. I guess you could say I’m at the “seven year itch” of my career.
Yesterday, the 168 Film Festival announced the nominees for awards this year. I produced, co-wrote and starred in a film called Riva. I poured my heart and soul into this project. Pour out blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. I was scratched by thorns, eaten by bugs, drenched in rain. I was covered in mud, deprived of sleep, and swam with snakes.
And it was one of the best weeks of my life.
Sitting there with the cast and crew watching the completed film was so incredible, so rewarding, yet so… defeating.
Let me explain: While half of me rejoices in getting to create – to write and to act, to do what truly makes my soul come alive – half of me feels sad, longing to be able to do so more and do so for a living.
And to do so for the Lord? Well, what more could I ask? (This is a Christian festival. Each film is written from a Bible verse. Ours was Mark 5:34 – “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from suffering.’” You may watch the Riva trailer here).
Every fiber of my being longs to write, act, and create – beautiful stories, funny stories, just quality, wholesome stories. And while I have been doing so to a certain extent, there is only so much you can control in this industry.
For instance, I can create a concept, write a series, even film the pilot episode. But then it’s fate lies in the hands of others.
I try to stay positive, to let go, to remind myself that God is in control. But that in itself is confusing to me at times. If God is in control, then He has the power and ability to open all doors for my career…
But He isn’t. And I’m tired. Mercy, I’m tired.
My cute aunt once said in her Southern accent, “I’m tired… Mercy, I’m tired.” And it’s been our little family joke/saying ever since. “Mercy, I’m tired.”
Well, I was talking to one of my best friends yesterday who made me want to cry mercy a bit less and gave me a bit more energy to press on in this crazy industry. She said to me:
“What if you are waiting for God to bring you an opportunity, to provide for you financially… and He already has. What if you’ve already written that story, made the connection, walked through the door and just don’t know it yet?”
Such sweet truth.
When I feel like God isn’t showing up, when it seems He isn’t using me or providing for me, maybe He is. Maybe it just doesn’t look like I want it to. Maybe I just can’t see it yet.
So today, as I start anew, in the midst of the waiting, the longing, and the bittersweet victories, I will cease calling “mercy.” I will press on, face a new day, and find peace in Psalm 46:10:
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”
He is faithful. He’s never failed me yet. Why would He start now?
Riva was nominated for the following awards:
Best Director: Chris Wiegand
Best Actress: Meredith Adams
Best Supporting Actress: Andrea Cohen
Best Scriptural Integration (use of Foundational Scripture): Meredith Adams & Alan Tregoning
Best Cinematography: Chris Wiegand
Best Editor: Chris Wiegand
Best Sound Design: Chris Wiegand
Best Production Design: Robin Cook & Chris Wiegand
Best Hair & Makeup: Meredith Adams
Congratulations to my amazing team of fellow filmmakers: Chris Wiegand, Alan Tregoning, Robin Cook, Andrea Cohen, Luke Coffee, and Grant James. As well as my amazingly generous parents for helping out beyond what is normal for any human being.
The 168 Film Festival will he held in Los Angeles August 29-30.