It's been a while.
Sure, we have been busy. With all kinds of incredible, crazy, awesome, hard, trying, good, blessed things.
But more than that, I have worked on really being present. With my children, my family, my friends.
To really be completely in the moment with them. They are growing up so fast!
A lot has happened in the last year. Okay, that's an understatement.
It's been a pretty incredible year. Perhaps you saw me on the big screen. That wasn't something I thought would happen. Quite literally, I was plucked out of many people, and chosen to be featured in the film Miracles from Heaven.
Little did I know just how much I could relate with the film, when I began working on it. I hadn't had the chance to read the book, but have read it since. (Go buy the book! Seriously. So. Good.)
I could completely relate with Christy Beam. I know exactly how it feels to receive a diagnoses of an incurable illness for your child. The scenes I was in, God was preparing my heart in so many ways for. To re-live the hard times, the diagnoses, the unknowns, the isolation, the village God put around us, to go back and remember the last four years. But to not dwell. To simply remember. To thank Him for bringing us through it. Truly I spent 14 hours worshiping Him and thanking Him the first day of filming the church scenes. And happened to have an awesome "Worship team" too. (I had a fan girl moment when I had the chance to meet Third Day.)
If I hadn't taken the time, to be intentional and to be present over the last year. It might have been traumatizing working on this film. But, it wasn't. I was able to be in some very emotional scenes, and create an imaginary situation to draw the emotions from, and not dwell on what I have walked through and relive those awful moments. Because I walked THROUGH it. Been there. Done that. Praise God we walked through it.
And I suppose that is the Miracle of what we have been through. Elliott isn't healed, but we are walking THROUGH his diagnoses. Family in tact. In a big city, with no immediate family close by, God has sustained us, and we are so grateful. We are stronger, closer, and thankful.
That is a Miracle.
At one point, I was sitting in a pew, between takes, in one of the church scenes. Jennifer Garner sitting on one side of me, Third Day sitting on the other side of me. Everyone chatting. And thought "How is this even my life right now?", and I felt God whisper to me "Because I create the best stories. And I want you to share yours. Don't hold back. Because it will be used for so much good. Look at what I am doing with the Beams story!"
So here I am. Sharing our story.
So many people were shocked, I guess, by the fact that I was working in movies/commercials/ television. Believe me, I was too. I never could have imagined the doors and opportunities that have been presented to me. I didn't know Atlanta is a hopping hub of film sets. No, we didn't move here because of that. It's just something I discovered after moving here. I love the creative process of acting, always have. I dabbled in theater in high school. After I was married and had kids I was a lead role in a Christmas production at a church we attended. I had a dream of acting for a long time, but thought there was no way without living in LA. God has shown me, when we just say "Here I am Lord" He goes before us, and does exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or imagine.
The kids have worked too. Not because I pushed them to AT ALL. They wanted to see what it was like. And they have loved it. We have met great friends through it. And once a casting director figures out who you are, they remember you. They have been able to work on some fun things, and save up for college in the process. And every parent said. "Amen.".
God has brought every opportunity to us, and we are grateful. This song by Sara Groves has been a theme song for me this year. Each year I pick a song to be my song of the year. And this was it for me. Little did I know, we would be facing another difficult season. Some unexpected health diagnoses for our daughter. But no matter what, I want to be present. This cup, that He has given us, I want to drink it up. To be right here, in the middle of it. Right here.
Right here. The good, incredible, "is this my life?" moments, and the hard painful "Is this my life?" moments.
No other cup I would rather have. It is full, and blessed.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (or imagine), according to the power that works within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" Ephesians 3:20-21