Good Morning sweet friends. I hope this little note finds you well. I wanted to pop in to share the full trailer for an upcoming film that is very near and dear to my heart, She Has a Name.
I often reflect on this journey God has had Matt and I on since we first started dating when I was 19. We were both at a place of such passion, yet especially for me, brokenness. Our hearts were hungry to seek out God’s calling on our lives, and we were ready to go wherever he would have us.
Matt proposed to me on January 11, 2006. Just a few days later he got on a plane along with 5 of his friends, to make a film called E for Everyone. A film about happiness and what it really takes for people to find it. He travelled all over the world- including Europe, India, Kenya, Malaysia and Thailand- asking a series of 9 questions to everyone they met. It was a remarkable and ambitious film project- one that the little crew worked very hard on- and made happen despite being told it was too ambitious and couldn’t be done. They were gone just over 3 months.
When Matt returned home, just 2 weeks before our wedding- we got to work doing spring clean ups for yard care customers. I had never been so tired at the end of a days work in my life! That summer I mowed lawns, while Matt worked with the crew to pay off the money they had gotten to make the film. That little film was edited in the basement office of our duplex. It was premiered at the Arts Centre in Red Deer, Ab, in January of 2007.
Over the last 10 years, there have been many times when we have wondered if Matt would be making films. Yet we felt a call. It is a piece of the puzzle that has been intricately knit into our lives. We just realized this last year while watching old home videos, that the very first time Matt ever operated a camera at about 9 years old, he was filming my family.
Adding kids into this journey of self employment, and contract work has been stressful, scary and beautiful. It can feel easy to stand here ready to premiere a film and say “I knew this is what we were supposed to do” yet, over the years there has been so many doubts, set backs and struggles.
In 2013 we felt like it was time to either pursue this “film thing” whole heartedly, or lay it down. It is a decision we made as a couple, to have Matt put all of his energy into it, and for me to support him as best I could. That was the hardest year yet. We jumped into a renovation and financial commitment of a downtown studio- no more working from the kitchen table. Matt said goodbye to his best friend, and business partner, as he moved to the other side of Canada. We were halfway through our addition build and everything came to a standstill. We lost a baby. I got pregnant again and had never been so sick in my life. The start of my chronic stomach pain began.
We were so excited to step forward hand in hand with both feet, yet doors seemed to be slamming all around us. Matt had never been pulled in so many different directions. It felt like our hopes were being crushed. It was a struggle.
We always hear these stories- that fighting to hear God’s voice and follow it is the road less travelled. That it isn’t an easy thing to do, yet, somehow in the thick of it- we found ourselves asking again and again- is this the right thing? It’s so hard- there are so many struggles- how can this be right?
I’ll be honest, I still question things all the time. It doesn’t seem like it has gotten any easier- but I think I have become more accustomed to having to rely on God’s plan, when everything feels chaotic . There are days when I crave a more normal life, one that I am certain only exists in my naive girlhood imagination. And there are days when I am humbled beyond belief. You see, we are the lowly fisherman, plucked from the sea. The tax collector along the road… the doubters, the ill equipped. I am slicing off ears in my pride and anger, as my flesh beckons to take down every obstacle before me. Yet there is a voice around me, calling to me, reminding me to be still. And Know.
Be still and know that there is a God that calls us deep unto deep. He is plotting our path, and carrying us through the fire. When I grow weary, I must press in, because I know there is no promise of it ending this side of heaven. Yet I carry hope.
This film She Has a Name is not perfect. It is not the be all and end all, yet it is an answer to a call. It is an offering to put a drop in a bucket that will prayerfully, hopefully, extend ripples into the atmosphere to make lasting change. There are children, men, women- trapped in the bonds of slavery. If our family and others like it can speak up for them- to try and help in ways in which we can- through film, and the arts, awareness and dollars- then I think, we can make a difference.
This is a film that has overcome setbacks, has taken a huge team of like minded individuals to put together, and has been a beautiful testament of faith. Without the belief in the message of this film by the many who pulled together to make it happen- the story would not be here today. It is in these types of projects that the meaning of team work, perseverance and creativity come to life!
It is with a prayer and desire to see captives set free that I share this trailer with you, and invite you to join us on December 2 to #fundfreedom, and watch the film. She Has A Name will be screened in Melbourne, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; London, England; Belfast, Ireland; and Red Deer, Alberta on December 2, 2016 which is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and expands to screenings in Paris, Berlin, Ottawa and Courtenay through December 10, which is the UN’s Human Rights Day. Twenty percent (20%) of all sales during this release window will be directed to She Has A Name’s global anti-trafficking partners to Fund Freedom.
If you can’t join us at one of those locations you can stream or download the film- just head to www.shehasanamefilm.com I have included the link to tickets below.
I hope that in sharing this, and sharing my heart- you will know that if you find yourself in a hard place- it doesn’t mean you are in the wrong place. In fact- it may very well mean it is exactly where you are meant to be. Take heart, take courage- for you are not alone!