When Dreams Come True

Sorry to do this to you again, but I’m taking yet another break from writing 25 days of memories in order to share something exciting! But don’t worry (not that many of you appear too worried about my apparent lack of consistency).  I will finish that series if it’s the last thing I do on this blog!

For now, I’d like to talk about dreams.  More specifically, my dreams.

For years, I’ve told people that I’d like to travel the world and make documentaries.  That’s it.  That’s pretty much how the dreams of traveling and film-making have manifested in my life.  I’ve been saying it for so long, that it’s become more of a mantra than an actual goal.

But the funny thing about dreams is, sometimes they change…imperceptibly.  And the thing you used to want for so long, you don’t want anymore.  I’ve always thought this to be true.  That dreams could change.  I had even prayed for God to change my dreams if that was necessary for growth in Him.  So instead of looking at my dream of a traveling filmmaker as black and white, I look at my dream in its simplest form.  What is this dream, exactly?! The travel part is a no brain-er.  I love the feeling of traveling to new places.  Of crossing oceans and experiencing cultures that were once only possible through news programs and specials on TV.  But wanting to make documentaries, now that’s something different entirely.

At its heart, a documentary tells a story: A story of the human condition, an event in time, or an institution itself.  I’ll admit, I jumped on the documentary band wagon after seeing the first Invisible Children.  The power of imagery in giving a voice to the voiceless…its overwhelming to say the least.  But it’s more than that.  I want to tell stories because there are so many amazing ones to tell! I’ve always been the girl who would sit through an testimony just to get a glimpse into that person’s life.  I love hearing about where people came from and what makes them tick.  I love hearing about their passions, and seeing their enthusiasm for life.  Because everyone has a different approach to life.  Sure, some people are similar to others and can be categorized as such, but each person’s story is different because each person is different.  It’s sort of the cool thing about humanity.  Good job, God.

Another thing about dreams is, sometimes what you thought you’d always want to do, turns out to be something you absolutely dislike.  You may have an idea of what you want to do, but until you actually go out there and make it happen, then it’s just a nice notion.  Film-making has been this for me.  A nice notion.  I’ve said since I was in 10th grade that I wanted to direct.  You can ask my 10th and 11th grade Chemistry teacher.  She laughed at me.  Couldn’t imagine me telling people what to do because I was so sweet and quiet (apparently I put on a good face for my public school teachers).

And I’ll have to admit, after I worked hard to make film school a reality (ok, with a little help from God), it wasn’t all I had dreamed of.  I wasn’t that great at it, first off.  I mean, perhaps that’s to be expected.  But really and truly, I was terrible at putting a story together.  The shots were jumpy and the audio was always terrible.  It was discouraging, sure, but it was helpful to get my hands dirty with some real film-making.  It helped me realize that perhaps I didn’t want to direct.  Or at the very least, that I was not a cinematographer.  This is helpful info to have.  Gave me direction in school.

When I first got into the job I currently hold, things were a little different.  I had learned enough in my two years at film school (and yes, I use the term loosely) to know that things really do get better with time.  So by the time I started this job, I had improved greatly since my first film class.  I got back into directing, slowly but surely, and realized that perhaps I wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought.  Perhaps I could do this.  It gave me a chance to dream again, and gave me the confidence I needed to realize that film-making was nothing if not a collaborative effort.  I’ve realized that working with other people is the only way to go.  I’ve learned to give up the control of certain aspects in order to let someone else much more gifted than I bring that specific area of the film to life.  Now let’s clarify, I don’t make movies all day.  Hardly ever, but there is a rare occasion where I am allowed to dream.  To create.  To write.  To cast.  To direct.  Even to edit.  And being able to do these things puts me one step closer to my once elusive, notion of a dream.

I feel I can share this now as I’ve had some confirmations via email today, but last week at work, I received an offer to take my dreams one step further.  Living them.  In early November, I will be traveling with a group of Women to Mexico to document the Children’s Homes in Mexico, City.  I don’t have all the details, and I don’t know exactly what kind of story I want to get or how I’m going to get it, but I’m going.  I’m traveling outside the US and collecting footage that will become the basis for an albeit SHORT documentary on The Salvation Army’s Work in Mexico.   A solid chance to give my dream a shot.

It just hit me tonight–in full force–what a huge blessing this is.  I’m literally having my dream handed to me on a silver platter.  There’s some pressure there to perform, of course.  I want to do a good job.  I want to make something awesome.  Higher ups will be looking at this and seeing if this is something that I can do in other places as well.  This is an amazing opportunity.  But at the heart of this opportunity, is a story.  An important story that needs to be told in only the way I can tell it.  And no, I’m not the best photographer, and no, I’m not the best writer, and no, I’m certainly not the best editor.  But by the grace of God, I’m the one going.  And I don’t think that’s just happenstance.  Perhaps there’s a story in Mexico that only I can tell.  Perhaps I’m only going because it’s a trip with a Women Ministries group, and I’m the only girl in my small department.  It truly doesn’t matter.  I’m going.  I’ll take this extremely generous gift to show what I’ve got.  But more than that, I’ll take this extremely generous gift and allow God to use me even more than I thought possible.  Because there’s no way I can pull out an interesting story on my own.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Comments
4 Responses to “When Dreams Come True”
  1. Joy says:

    Mexico will leave a mark on you so deep you will want to return over and over again – AND, you just can’t get a taco like you can get one in the D.F. Besides, don’t worry about the story – they always come to you – every time. All you have to do is listen. So excited for you!

    • Thanks Joy! I’m excited too! PRAY!!! ; )

      • Matt Trayler says:

        I would love to be the DP for this….I have a passion to tell stories through photography/video and sound. I too went to school for film making and thought I would tell people’s stories. As an officer, I don’t get that chance as much as I would like particularly without the equipment to do it. I will be praying for you as you prepare for this incredible trip.

  2. Thanks Matt! Yeah, I think we both went to Asbury! I know what you mean about not having the equipment to tell the stories. That’s frustrating! But you never know how your background will come back up one day in your officership!

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