snakes in the water.

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When we won Best Film at the 168 Film Festival, I had no idea we were going to get to say anything. And I had no idea that I’d be the one to do it. But thankfully I had been thinking about this metaphor. So when Chris and Alan nudged me up there to accept our award, I had something decent to say… or at least I hope! I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s the gist of it…

I was thinking about that moment in our film where my character, Riva, steps into the water. She has been on this grueling journey, following a compass to find healing, and she has made it to the water’s edge. She is tired, there are strange creatures in the water, and she has to muster up the energy and courage to step into those waters.

When we were filming that scene, there were actual snakes in the water. Before we would shoot anywhere in that lake, Chris, our director, would get a long stick and swish it around in the brush to scare off any snakes that might be lurking. And before we filmed this particular shot, there was actually a snake that slithered off when he did so.

In that moment I didn’t have to do much acting. I had to muster up my own strength and courage. I had to have a ton of faith – and a ton of prayer – to step into those waters. I was pretty terrified. But I knew what I had to do to make this film happen. I knew what I had to do to get this scene shot (we filmed and edited the entire thing in just 168 hours!) There was no time to let fear hinder me.

So step into the waters I did.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.44.29 AMAnd guess what? I wasn’t bitten. The Lord provided – courage, strength, and safety. He delivered me to the completion of filming not only that scene, but our film as a whole.

I think the entertainment industry is like those waters. It seems intimidating. And Satan is clearly present, always lurking. It can seem daunting when you want to make a difference. I know I want to create quality content in this industry, but sometimes I doubt my ability and my path. I doubt I will “make it across.”

“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed.” We are called into the waters. Snake-infested and all. We are called to take all the courage and strength we receive from the Lord and put it to use. One step at a time.

And He will deliver us. If we are attempting to create that which is in line with God’s will and purpose, He will help us bring it to fruition.

I encouraged my talented fellow filmmakers to keep making quality content; God is on our side! And I encourage you – whatever industry you are in – to keep working for the Lord.

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“Whatever your hands find to do, do it for the Lord, not man.” – Colossians 3:23

“If God is on my side, who can be against me?” – Needtobreathe, Wasteland 

I felt the Lord calling me to create a film for this 168 Film Festival. I had no idea how I was going to do it – to put together a team, come up with a story, write it, secure locations, props, wardrobe, and actors, complete paperwork, get it edited and submitted in just 168 hours. But I did. We did. Well, actually, God did. I really can’t take credit for much. Truly I feel I was merely used as a vessel for Him in that experience. He was the one who opened up the doors, opened up people’s hearts, and provided for our film each step of the way.

He was the One who delivered us to the other side. And I got to stand there and accept an award for Best Film. But that was just a bonus. The greatest part was learning to trust God in the process. To lean on Him. To rely on Him to do the heavy lifting.

So next time I feel the Lord leading me to do something that seems intimidating, I will remember His great faithfulness. I will trust that He has power over the “snakes.” And I will move forward one step at a time as He calls me into the waters.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders; let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.” – Hillsong United, Oceans 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” – Isaiah 43:2

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