God is Present Through It All

Success doesn’t equal God’s approval; failure doesn’t denote His absence and most importantly disappointment doesn’t mean He doesn’t care.

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2016 was a rough year for me. Not quite as rough as 2015 had been– the year where I entered the work force; had 0 church community and started to struggle with depression, insecurities and negative over analyzing . 2015 was one of the worst years of my life thus far and 2016 followed quite closely.

In 2016, I became more self aware of my struggles and I gradually started to take steps to come closer to God to change them. It was an arduous process. My mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical state really were at rock bottom. Depression hit me hard at times; I was overwhelmed with insecurities, jealousy and a comparative spirit. Even my physical appearance started to reflect what was going  on inside (weight gain, minimal hair growth/hair breakage and acne breakouts). I’ve provided links to some in depth blogs I’ve written about some of those struggles so I won’t go into greater detail about them, but I will say that they all pointed to the fact that I needed help.

So that’s what I constantly sought from literally anyone that would listen. Any chance I got I would send ranting essay text messages to friends complaining about my insecurities, my jealousy, my heartache, my over analyzing, and etc. One friend eventually called me out for it, rightfully so.

I was spending so much time complaining to humans when I should’ve been intentionally, wholeheartedly running to Jesus to get me through the rough season. Sometimes I would, but sometimes I would wait. I would wallow in my self-pity and allow myself to be consumed by every negative thought, feeling and emotion that was entering my mind. It sounds crazy, but there’s something satisfying about indulging in your sadness and your anger. Maybe it has to do with the sin nature and a God complex; when I analyze a situation and perceive it the way I want to then I am in control of the outcome and it feels dangerously good to be in control. Until you realize that that control is robbing your ability to connect to God and to see the truth in an area of your life that He wants to help you through and take hold of. Moving on….

So what does any of this have to do with success or failure? Well if you’re connected to me on any social media site then you know what else I accomplished in 2016: I wrote, directed, produced and funded two short films that cost me thousands of dollars and that took a lot of time, creativity and energy. And as previously noted in this blog post, I wasn’t in the best place mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, yet I was still able to create two films that I’m incredibly proud of.

I’ll say it again: Success doesn’t equal God’s approval; failure doesn’t denote His absence and most importantly disappointment doesn’t mean, He doesn’t care.

When I look at those films, I think to myself 2016 was a successful year. God blesses us with success, right? Wrong. God blesses us out of His grace and mercy, but that doesn’t always mean we’re doing the right thing. I disobeyed God and chose the world over Him, more times than I’d like to admit (and I’m sure I will still do both of those things). Just like any Father, while I know He loved me through it all, I don’t believe He was pleased with my actions and my thought life. Yet, in His grace and mercy, He provided for me and enabled me to complete those films.

I was reading John 11 yesterday and verses 21 & 22 struck a chord with me:

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.”

To provide context, Mary & Martha’s brother Lazarus has just died. Jesus had received word that Lazarus was sick a few days prior; rather than running to heal him, Jesus “abode two days still in the same place” (verse 6). (SPOILER ALERT: Jesus raised him from the dead)…

Martha’s words are what got me thinking about success & failure and how we relate the two to God’s presence in our lives. In that moment when Martha goes to Jesus, I picture a woman whose disappointed, yes, but I also see a woman who hasn’t allowed that disappointment to change her faith and love for God. She still believes in Him. She still knows His character and she still knows that even in this dark hour, God can do something incredible.

I know I’m guilty of allowing disappointments and earthly circumstances shape my view of God’s presence in my life and also guilty of then questioning whether or not He will do something in that dark night of the soul. Logically, I know He’s sovereign, but logic goes out the door when a disappointment hits and when you’re at your lowest.

I was able to accomplish solid work in 2016, yet many other areas of my life were a mess. God was still there; I just wasn’t turning to Him enough. If I had failed to make my films, I would’ve been disappointed, but He still would’ve been there. If something “good” happens, it doesn’t mean He’s present (He’s present regardless of that outcome– not because of it) and if something “bad” happens it doesn’t mean He’s absent. It’s foolish to use earthly parameters to define God’s presence in our life. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, He’s still the same.

The Real Problem

It’s not you, it’s me. No. I’m not just using a line. I’m being serious because I am the problem. Unless you’re reading this post after you’ve made a dumb mistake, in which case– you are the problem.

Last week I got into the Christmas spirit and did some cookie baking. I used the Sara Lee mix and followed the cutout recipe. I melted the better, measured the flour and poured in the cookie mix and I mixed and mixed. Twenty minutes of mixing, my dough wouldn’t stick. Thirty minutes went by. No matter how much I mixed and kneaded and dropped on the counter, my dough would not hold. I rolled the dough out and watched it separate before my eyes when it should have maintained its form and spread out. I stubbornly pressed the cookie cutter into it anyway and watched the dough fall apart instead of adhering to the shape of the cutter.

You know you’re doing something wrong when you’re baking cookies  and you’re so frustrated that you’re on the brink of tears and you actually start to contemplate tossing the cookie dough in the trash. No problem is too small for my Jesus. There I stood at my counter, kneading and praying. Praying to Jesus for the wisdom to form the perfect dough. God’s got this. And yet there I stood, twenty minutes after having prayed with no change. I think I started to get a little angry at God for not helping me out. Baking cookies is very simple so why couldn’t He just give me a hand?

I paused my mixing long enough to turn to the other counter in my kitchen when I saw it: the egg. The egg that was supposed to be in my bowl of cookie dough was still sitting on the counter. Oops. I felt like an idiot.

“There’s a spiritual lesson in here somewhere….” I thought to myself.

 

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It’s not You it’s me. It’s not you it’s me.

God isn’t the problem. Your friend isn’t the problem. Your teacher isn’t the problem. Your boss isn’t the problem. Your boyfriend isn’t the problem. Your parent isn’t the problem. You get where I’m going with this.

You are the problem.

How many times have you gotten mad at someone close to you because their actions have upset you? Because they’ve been ‘inconsiderate’, ‘rude’, ‘disrespectful’, ‘insensitive’, etc.? How many times have you rationalized your anger? Have you told yourself that things would be different if they just changed or if the scenario were different?

Let me be less vague and be a little vulnerable– I haven’t done that in a while.

I spent a lot of 2016 getting angry at a friend of mine. I had strong feelings for this friend and was hypersensitive to any and all of their actions. If they didn’t answer my texts, I thought they were ignoring me because they thought I was annoying. If they talked to someone else more than they talked to me, I was jealous. If they were curt and didn’t acknowledge the times when I would go out of my way to do something for them, I was hurt. If they flirted with me and paid attention to me, I was hopeful. Until they ignored my texts again or flirted with someone else or didn’t notice how much I cared for them. It was a vicious cycle.

I told myself a thousand times, “if they just (fill in the blank with any action), things would be different.”

“If they treated me like this”

“If we spoke about this”

“If we got to know each other more”

Blah blah blah, essentially, things would be different. So I thought. So I hoped. So I was wrong.

Things wouldn’t be different because the situation and the other person didn’t need to change. I did. My perspective, my actions, my attitude all needed to change in order for me to break the cycle.

When I was trying to form those ingredients into cookie dough, I used all of my strength and efforts and even called on God for help. Nothing I did made a difference because I didn’t remember that I had left the egg on the counter. I didn’t see it. When I turned around to the other counter, my perspective was widened. I could see things ( the egg) that I didn’t see before. Things with my friend and I weren’t that different. When I spend time with him or talk to him– what I text him; what I don’t text him; what I wear around him; what I say to him. With every detail, I secretly hope ingredients are being mixed together to change how he views me and to form dough, which in this case is a more solid bond between the two of us.

I keep missing the egg. The biggest detail. Without it, no matter how hard I try, that dough will not form. Love. I can work as hard as I want, but love will always be the missing ingredient that makes it impossible for the dough to form, which is why I’m the problem. I think I can will something to happen with my own actions instead of believing in The Holy One’s plans. It doesn’t matter what my friend says or does or what I say or do; as long as love isn’t in the mix, that dough will not form.

Now what about your situation? What’s the missing ingredient in your relationships?  Is it one that can be easily added? Or is God calling you to throw out your batch of dough?

 

Fundraising Tips & Film Thoughts

I launched the fundraiser campaign for my short film, One of Too Many exactly 11 days ago, and what an 11 days it has been. This is the first time I’ve ever done a fundraiser for a film, and in these short ~2 weeks I’ve definitely learned a few things about fundraising for a creative project that I wanted to share. Note: my tips aren’t ones that’ll give you a successful campaign– because I have no clue how to do that– my tips are on how to stay sane when you aren’t having a successful campaign.

Be patient. In the first 12 hours of the campaign not a single person donated. Definitely not the outcome I anticipated, but I stayed cool; “You’ve got this, God” I chanted to myself in the bathroom at work. A little more time passed and finally the first donation came in! It was from an ‘anonymous’ donor…  I opened IndieGoGo’s e-mail with the details of the donation and I learned that the ‘anonymous’ donor was someone I liked to call Mom… Yeah I shouldn’t have to explain the mix of emotions I was feeling at that point… Patience. Patience is needed because every person and every campaign won’t instantly raise thousands or even hundreds of dollars. It takes time and sometimes hard work to raise anything.

Be Thankful. For every penny that people do give and for every share, like or comment. No one has to give or do anything nice for your campaign. You are begging people for money or for a social media promotion. These things make people uncomfortable. We see it everyday in the subways and on the streets; someone begs for money and 95% of the population will walk by this person without so much as a second glance. When you start a fundraiser campaign, you have officially become that street beggar– not quite literally. You really have to learn to appreciate and thank those people that take the time to give; to share your campaign and to offer words of advice. Which brings me to the next point.

Be willing to ask anyone. A wise woman once gave me great advice:”The worst I can say is, ‘no;’ you never know until you ask.” Asking people for money is hard. It sometimes feels embarrassing, which is why at first it’s easiest to reach out to people that you are really close to– best friends, family, etc. or to people that you automatically assume will donate because of any number of other reasons. You soon start to realize that you’re limiting your options by thinking like this. Ask everyone for help. The worst anyone can ever say is no and people can surprise you. I’ve reached out to people I haven’t spoken to in months & some even years, and yet still these people generously opened their wallets for the film.

Let out your emotions. I’m a crier. I am probably one of the most sensitive, emotional people you will ever meet so when something bad happens, I cry. Day 1 of the fundraiser, I told myself “You can cry, wallow in self pity and contemplating quitting for five minutes a day, but that’s it.” Naturally, I broke my rule a few times and wallowed a bit more frequently than I should’ve. The point of this rule is for me to be honest and vulnerable with myself so that I can continue to lead my cast and crew with strength. I’ve gone the route of bottling things up before and it has never ended pretty. But the key part with this portion was for me to let my emotions out to God. I didn’t just declare my fears and doubts to myself. I prayed about them and wrote them in my journal and released them to God. He didn’t magically make them go away, but when I brought them to Him, He gave me clarity and peace of mind, which gave me the strength to continue to work on the film and to try to raise the funds.

Be prepared to fail. A lot of my disappointment from the first day of the campaign came because I expected the campaign to be an immediate success. I expected an overflowing amount of funds to come to the film. So you can see why I felt a bit distraught every time I glanced over at my cell phone, praying for an IndieGoGo notification. When I saw that the campaign was doing poorly I realized I needed to decide how far I was willing to go for this film; how much would I sacrifice for it. The answer came simply: everything. I am literally willing and preparing to go into debt to make this project. So if the fundraiser fails, I will still do everything in my power to tell this story.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been so wrapped up in pre-production plans for the film that I’d temporarily forgotten why I’ve spent the past three months trying to create this project. Last night, I was reminded of why. I read an article about a survivor from the Columbine shooting. The woman is crippled and now in her thirties. She recounted the day the shooting happened and she talked about the constant physical pain she is in because of bullets that hit her that day. I teared up as I read her story. My heart ached as I remembered the pain and fear the victims of mass shootings and people that haven’t even been victims, now feel. Why do I think I can make a difference? Why do I think I should tell this story? Why do I think I can write a mini series that can heal wounds and change lives? This string of questions raced through my mind last night. The short answer to all of them is I can’t. I can’t do any of these things because I am inadequate and far too ignorant to grasp the depth of the pain that people are feeling. But that doesn’t mean, I shouldn’t try. So that is precisely what I’m doing- trying. Trying to tell a story that will bring some measure of peace and healing into people’s lives. I’m a lucky one. In spite of the violence and horrible things that have been happening in the world, I’m still able to believe in the spiritual– to believe in a Good God that loves me and that brings me peace. I know that everyone isn’t able to do that; it’s hard for a lot of people to believe that God can exist when we live in a world full of mass shootings, bombings, and other tragedies. I can’t make you believe, but I can try to impart to you the peace and hope that I feel.

Choosing

My day started off with some much needed God time. It was one of my usual mini fasts where I avoid food and social media, put my phone into “Do Not Disturb” and dig into God’s presence, giving all of myself to Him for a few hours. I felt compelled to do this today because as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve been on an up and down spiritual roller coaster and my connection to God certainly hasn’t been what it should be. While I have had a few of these mini fasts since noticing my decaying spiritual condition, the one I had today was a little different…

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Sometimes when I listen to worship music, I like to meditate; to close my eyes and see if there are any dreams, visions or thoughts God wants to instill in me. More often than not, my mind races and jumps, making it impossible for me to be still and for Him to really reveal anything to me, and today was one of those days. Not only did my mind race, but it jumped. It jumped into my hole of pain that I’ve done all that I can to bury. I couldn’t even focus on God anymore because I was so focused on my own past and sins. I cried and asked God to bring healing into this area of my life.

It took me some time, but I eventually wiped my tears, crawled out of bed and picked up my bible, my promise box and my journal. The promise I picked brought me to Isaiah 58– the scripture about fasting. I find it funny; almost every time I’m fasting, I’m brought to this passage, but God’s word is amazing. I can read a scripture 20 times and learn something new/relate to it differently on the 21st time.

Isaiah 58:6 reads:

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”

I’ve read this verse countless times, but it never impacted me the way it did today. I cried– not just tears– I cried out with my voice to God that this is who He is, and this is what He does for His children. Take my burdens Lord; remove my sins of overthinking, my fears of commitment, my complaining and bitter tongue and make me new again. This was the cry of my heart and as I declared it, that peace began to wash over me again.

Declaring these things verbally wasn’t enough. I opened my journal– something I haven’t done in months– to get these thoughts on paper. When I was done, I chose to reread some of my journal entries from two years ago just to see how things in my life have changed and what I still needed to work on. My heart broke and my regret sunk in because a lot of my journal entries pertained to the very sin of my past that had been weighing on me that morning. I saw the problem’s progression where I journaled about it in its earlier, slightly more innocent stages, asking God for help, only to see that the problem spiraled and got worse and worse.

Suddenly I realized why my meditation had been interrupted with the regrets of my past; it was God’s way of telling me that I can keep praying to Him about my current struggles, and He will give me peace and strength, but the only way a long lasting change can come, is if I actively choose to obey Him every. single. time I am faced with that sin. I had been guilty of choosing my flesh over His spirit too many times in the past in that area of my life and that is why the problem was never solved.

A lot of people negate the power of prayer, and I am in no way doing that, but I do believe that with prayer, must come action on our part; that is why throughout passages in the word, God tell us to “follow,” “obey,” “do.” Our walk with Him is an active one.

Put it this way: if I’m overweight and I go to a nutritionist and a fitness instructor for help, they will provide me with meal plans, workout routines, ways to break old habits and other helpful advice. When I talk to them, I’ll likely feel better and more motivated to change, but then I pass that bakery and I see that cake calling my name. I remember the advice I was given, but I want that cake… No. I cannot eat that cake. I walk by the store and pat myself on the back for resisting the temptation. The next day comes and there are free cake samples being handed out on the street…

“Just one bite won’t hurt… You’ll go to the gym tomorrow and burn it off… You deserve a cheat day…”

*NOTE: I am well aware that a piece of cake for someone on a diet isn’t the end of the world*

The point I’m getting at is that that cake represents the sin in your life. You may resist it once, twice, even three times, but Satan will always try harder to make you fall. He’ll make it more palatable, more accessible to you, and unless you make the active decision to choose God’s way and the strength He has given you, you will continue to fall, and you will eventually come to that place of shame and regret, questioning how you fell so far.

God is merciful and gracious. He does heal our wounds of the past, so I do know and believe that He can heal my old ones and any new ones, but two years from now, I don’t want to look back with regret and shame because rather than resisting temptation and allowing Him to really change me, I constantly chose sin. I want a long lasting victory. Two years from now I want to rejoice because the sins that once held me captive are gone. So today is day one on a new journey  of actively choosing His spirit over my flesh.

That One Time…

Last year in February I went on a retreat with my church that spoke to me about fear. What I never really reflected on was the prophetic word I received after I was prayed for. The woman that spoke the word to me said she felt God was telling her to tell me that I have to stop saying that things are too good to be true (she didn’t know, but this is absolutely something I always do) and that I have to believe that there are certain passions and desires in me because God put them there and I have to trust that He can open and shut any door laid before me. It is that one time that I reflect on fondly as I continue on my present path.


When I graduated from college in December I had a finite idea of what my next step would be. Unlike most college seniors, I didn’t spend my time networking, applying for jobs and going on interviews. I spent my last few weeks desperately trying to put together one final short film project; petitioning administrative staff to allow me to drop a class I didn’t need to graduate; trying to not fail said class when I wasn’t allowed to drop it; and picking up as many extra shifts at my job to milk the benefits of employment as long as I could. Work, future, and the “real world” were the last things on my mind.

When January arrived I was officially a member of the “real world” and I still had no idea what I wanted to do next in life. I’ve always had my abstract goal to make films that effect people in a way that surpasses the natural– a way that gets them to think more earnestly about life, death and the decisions they make everyday. How exactly I would do that has always been a mystery to me. I’ve always loved writing stories and screenwriting has always been a passion of mine. However, I believe the bar for writers should be set very high; they should be well read and have a mastery of words and grammar and I didn’t quite meet these standards. So calling myself a writer always seemed quite daunting. Plus, I’ve always known that writing does not pay the bills because the chances of selling a script are few and far between. So for a good amount of time I strayed away from the path of a writer; I did everything I could while in college to learn about the production side of film.

In spite of my dismal outlook on screenwriting, my love for it still pushed me to take two more screenwriting courses in my last semester at school (screenwriting 2 & writing episode drama)– the latter was a last minute decision that I only got into thanks to COM’s efficient use of Twitter. I took these classes while being the cinematographer in another production course. All of these courses deepened my passion for filmmaking as a whole. They provided me with the skills and experience that made me finally realize what I want to do when I graduate– become a cinematographer!

I sought as much as advice as I could about the steps one should take to become a cinematographer. I did this while commencing my hunt for employment.  In spite of the many places I applied to I received only one call back/interview for an unpaid internship that I didn’t get. Nonetheless, my quest for work and a deeper understanding of cinematography made perfect sense and I didn’t want to give up on either one until after two things happened.

Thing 1: while getting advice about being a cinematographer from a woman I used to intern for she made a good point that I had long since forgotten: She mentioned to me that she assumed I had always wanted to be a storyteller because I like writing. However, she did remind me that I’ll always be the writer and I basically will then just need a day job. Rationally, that made perfect sense, but something in me felt like writing shouldn’t just be what I do on the side– at least not during that time period.

Thing 2 (The MOST random thing): I had just finished watching a new episode of Arrow and the social media addict in me wanted to see what people were saying about the episode on Twitter. Somehow, I stumbled upon the Twitter account of one of the writers for the show. I read the person’s bio and saw that they were a graduate of the Warner Brothers Writer’s Workshop. I recalled my professor for writing episode drama, mentioning the workshops and the fact that she did one of them; though, I’m ashamed to admit that when she mentioned them I never thought twice about them. Now, for some reason I was very intrigued by them. I researched as much information on them as I could. I found out that there are a number of them out there, many of which had deadlines in May and 8 spots for the thousands of eager writers that would apply. I found such odds to be both terrifying and exhilarating. So I made the boldest and quite possibly stupidest decision of my life: I decided I was going to be one of those thousands of applicants and I would do so by foregoing my job search to write two solid scripts to enter while reading more, writing more and watching more TV (prior to this my favorite TV show was Pretty Little Liars and I was only following two other TV shows in other words my television knowledge was wanting).

So while I embarked on this journey of being a writer, I continued to look for part time work at film studios. Yet, as I looked at each job description I realized working in any sort of film company would seriously hinder the time I have to write and I didn’t want to just settle for writing on the side. It hit me that this is quite possibly the one time in my life when I can write without worrying about bills or other responsibilities since I’m still living at home with that lovely loan grace period. So I temporarily shut the door on finding film/tv work of any kind.

But the greed in me wouldn’t subside that easily. I wanted a job– any job. I hated not making money so I started to search for part and full time jobs close to home that wouldn’t be as demanding as film work. I kid you not… I did not receive even ONE response from a business and I was applying for jobs that HS students could do. I understand that the job market is pretty bad, but something in me felt that that wasn’t why I wasn’t getting work. It seemed in my gut like it was happening because this wasn’t a season where God wanted me to work. It felt like this was a season where I was to augment my comprehension of TV and improve my writing. I became more comfortable with this season as the days went by, but that comfort rarely lasted.

Every time I heard that someone I knew accepted a job or got into grad school, doubt, jealousy and fear crept inside of me. I really couldn’t tell if I was delusional or if I was actually doing what God wanted me to do. I took a risk, hoping it was the latter and decided I would not look for work until I finished both scripts for the workshops. It’s funny, the more I began to work on the scripts and study TV shows, the more I realized that this is absolutely like a full time job. Not only that, but it is the BEST job because the more I did it the more I realized how intense my passion for it was. I am so captivated by television shows now and even more enraptured by writing televisions scripts that I now know that THIS is what I long to do for a living. If you flashback to an old blog of mine prior to graduation I did not have a dream job.

My scripts are still under construction and April is more than halfway over, meaning that those deadlines, along with the end of my student loan grace period are coming soon. Today I started to go into panic mode again as I began to fear for my future. I wanted to just apply to every single job and do everything to find one NOW. But I don’t like to do things out of panic because I know that that panic is always the product of me relying on myself, my plans and my merits while ignoring the God that loves me. I prayed to The Lord to direct me and to speak to me. Before I connected with God I was washing dishes and in the process, the song “God of the Impossible” by Everfound came into my head. When I finally had my time with The Lord I made sure to listen to it and I am glad I did.

Here I am, Lord send me | I won’t look back cause I was made | To be a part of the impossible | You’re God of the impossible | Here I am, Lord send me | I won’t back down cause I believe | You are the God of the impossible | You’re God of the impossible | Here I am, send me!

This song’s lyrics overwhelmed me with emotions as the question formed in my head “Do I believe God is The God of the impossible?” That answer absolutely was a YES!!!! So my decision stood; I was and am going to hold off on looking for work until after I have, the best possible, most engaging, marketable drafts of my scripts. No, this decisions doesn’t come with the reassurance that I’ll be one of the eight people in a writer’s workshop nor does it stand with the promise that I’ll find a job immediately when I start searching again. I believe in my heart that it comes with the guarantee that God will be faithful to me because I’ve relinquished control of my life to Him and that that means that He will lead me to an impossible place that I would’ve never foreseen. In all honesty, He has already done that during these past four months; He has birthed in me a hunger to read, an improvement in my writing skills, a forgiveness for those who have hurt me, an independent spirit, a more humble spirit and a trust in Him that I haven’t had in years. These past few months have exceeded my expectations of what I would learn upon graduating from college and I thank God for that because I know this was a part of His plan for my life. So regardless of the rejections that are in store for me when I begin my job hunt once more, I will joyously praise Him because I know He’s the God of the impossible and every door that closes or opens before me is one that is bringing me to where He wants me to be.

Day 16: Abandoning Selfishness for Selflessness

Okay so I know I’ve been slacking with my blogging of late. I’ve been listening to a lot of church sermons online (particularly ones from Times Square Church NYC) and they’ve been challenging me to live more boldly and surrendered to Christ. In spite of how inspirational they’ve been, I’ve still been feeling spiritually off at times.

Today I started my time with The Lord with prayer for guidance in the many areas of my life. I then picked a bible verse from my “promise box” and was brought to Isaiah 58, which is about right and wrong fasting. Coincidence? I think not. Hand of God? I think yes.

While I don’t fall on the extreme side of the spectrum with the wrong reasons for fasting the scripture spoke of, I realized I hadn’t been doing enough of the right reasons. In my times with God as I seek His advice for work, living situation and etc. I’ve lost that part of me that once existed– the part that focused on the personal, small ways I could serve His kingdom. I’ve been so fixated on getting to my mass mission of making movies to glorify Him that I’ve forgotten that each step that gets me there can be a mission in itself.

To put it more clearly, I’ve been saying, “Lord, direct me to the job You want me to be in” when I should’ve been saying, “Lord, bring me to the job where others need me, where they need my work ethic, love & whatever else You can do through me. When I look for my own place to live, bring me to the apartment complex where a neighbor needs an awkward Christian girl to hear their problems and to let them know that You care.”

The two prayers aren’t massively different nor are they mutually exclusive, but my heart in each situation is. The first stems from my desire to do God’s will because I believe that that’ll give me a spiritually fulfilling and thus happy life (aka it partly comes from me being selfish). Meanwhile the latter comes from a more selfless desire to see how I can serve God’s people in everything. In the past, I’ve sought Him this way when I stayed in a swim class that I dreaded and when I did random housing in a few of my college years. And God never disappointed me in those times; in the smallest of ways in each situation, I saw a confirmation that a seed had been planted and that always brought me unexplainable exhilaration. Of late, I’ve forgotten that this is the type of selfless praying and living that God has burdened my heart with. I can’t run from it because when I do I feel incomplete. Ergo, I’m done running.

Day 11: Flashback to Day 9– Prayer Meeting

So I guess I’ve made a habit out of blogging every other day in the late hours of the night…

My commitment to biblical fasting over the past few days has proven to be quite rewarding. I’ve felt a peace and joy from The Lord that I haven’t felt in a while. Two days ago I went to a prayer meeting at my church and it was so uplifting! We worshipped to beautiful songs and prayed for different causes and burdens that came to our hearts and minds.

The service ended with an altar call for three different groups of people: those who had been feeling distant from God; those who had been suffering from depression, anxiety and etc and those who were hungry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I felt peace because as a result of the past few days, I was no longer a part of the first group, but I absolutely fell into the third. About 80% of the attendees and I went up for prayer. The pastor then asked the rest of the congregation to join us at the altar to pray for us. Peopled laid hands on one another, embraced one another and in prayer, selflessly lifted up those around them.

I’ve been to church an innumerable amount of times, but this was my first time at a prayer meeting. I left it feeling so inspired, rejuvenated and ready to embark on a deeper walk with The Lord. And that is what has happened a little at a time in the days since. I’ve been able to see some of my faults more clearly. I’ve received confirmation from The Lord about my spiritual gift of dreaming. Most importantly, I’ve been able to take baby steps to trust in His power to do miracles again. All thanks be to Jesus :).