Belinda, 48, Atlanta, Georgia
[as told to Then God Moved editor Adira Polite]
It began five years ago at a toy drive. I was organizing donated items when a stranger began prophesying over me. She told me that I’d soon become a writer and an entrepreneur. I’d never even thought about writing before, so I was surprised, but I received it.
Soon after, I began working with my church’s youth ministry and decided to write a skit for their play. To my surprise, I found that I loved to write! Then, I met a guy who was putting on a play of his own. I volunteered to help out and invited my best friend, Angie, to join the cast. Things did not run smoothly; progress was slow and people slowly stopped showing up to rehearsal. It got so bad that Angie eventually turned to me and said, “It’s time for you to write your own script.”
The two of us started brainstorming that very day. We came up with a story about three couples, the core issue being faith. I knew that it had to be about faith, because of my faith. I went home that day and prayed. I prayed and prayed and begged God to help me write what He wanted me to write. And then I wrote a film that, at heart, is a story of forgiveness.
We initially thought that we would buy a camera and film it ourselves…maybe upload it to YouTube or something. But, God had other plans! He made that clear. So, we started looking for a filmmaker.
We found our director, Rahim, on Craigslist. He could tell that we were lost and he took us under his wing. As soon as he joined our team, things took off. We scheduled two casting calls and were shocked by the number of people who showed up. That was a God move.
God really shook up our plan during casting. We weren’t casting for any young roles, but a woman brought her fourteen year old daughter along and she astounded us. We ended up writing her into the film and, as a result, we flipped the script. We also initially casted a different actor for the lead role, but he had to pull out. After he dropped out, we learned that another actor had tried and failed to make it through the front gate during our first casting. We called him and invited him to audition with the female lead. From the start, it was magical. It was immediately clear that he was the right guy.
After four days of filming, we entered into post-production. Then, amazingly, the movie we planned to upload to YouTube premiered at a sold out red carpet event. Sold out! I mean, really? God did that. And it’s not just for us. I’m watching God use my work to lift others — not only through the message of the film, but also through my new knowledge of the craft. He’s given me ample opportunities to mentor burgeoning writers and connect them with the right people. We also just launched a mentorship program called M.O.V.E. (Magnify Our Vision and Elevate), which teaches kids to write down their visions, per the teachings of Habbakuk 2:2.
It’s crazy to think that just five years ago, I didn’t know that writing was my passion. But then God did His thing and now I have a side-gig that never feels like work! I’m joyfully fulfilled.
Now — onto the sequel.
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