Between Heaven & Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream
By David A. R. White
I was given the chance to read this book and be a part of David’s book release team. Being on his team has not made me biased regarding this book. In fact, if anything, it has opened my eyes further to God, and has actually given me the chance to dream again.
Between Heaven & Hollywood is compelling to say the least. White’s story of how he chased his God-given dreams isn’t simply the glitz of Hollywood or fame as this book encompasses much more. I love White’s quote, “I cannot guarantee you a perfect life, but I can show you how to perfect the life you live.” If you really think about that quote you will realize that no one has a perfect life no matter what the media may say otherwise. I was struck by this quote, “If you allow fear to get in your way, to stop you from getting to where God wants you to be, you run the risk of a far less rewarding and fulfilling life than what could have been.” This is true in more ways than one. Fear begets additional fear and that makes Satan happy. With medical issues, fear is something I battle most days. Or I did… Now, thanks to White, I give my fear, and my battles, up to God, He has control anyway, and not worry as much like I did in the past. That doesn’t mean fear doesn’t sneak in because it will and it does, but putting your faith and trust in God is really all you need.
“Don’t let fear cheat you out of your dreams. God is bigger than whatever you’re worried about.” ~ Unknown
“Fear is an insidious monster. Fear of what could happen can ensure nothing will happen. But as with all monsters, fear can be defeated— especially when you realize it’s a monster of your own design and it only has as much power as you give it.” White wrote, and so with that in mind I have made changes in my life. Fear isn’t allowed to thrive like it once did and I can relax knowing that God is truly in control. We truly do discover God’s strength when we lean on him with our fears. He wants us to lean on Him, and remember He made us. So take all your fears to God and He will give you the courage you need. “This is something fear does not want you to do. God is to fear like kryptonite is to Superman.” White wrote, and God will strengthen you. Of that I am sure, 100 percent sure! God is the one who has brought me through so many trials in my life and He made that possible. Remember God made us, and He loves us.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
White wrote, “I believe God included a dream, a destiny, and a uniquely specific reason for living in each of our unique blueprints (DNA).” Each person is unique and each person brings with them just what God planned for them to bring into our/His world. It is up to us as to what we will do with our specific reason for being here on Earth. Everyone has at least one thing they are good at and they can share this blessing with others. God put a dream in our hearts, and it lives there. It is up to us as to how or what we do with that dream. Once you know your dream, take the time to write your goals down so that your plan may come to fruition. Write down the steps you need to achieve in order to get to that large dream you have.
White wrote, “Unlike wishes, dreams are passions you can achieve and should commit to. They are more than fantastic notions providing amusement and entertainment or relief from boredom. Your dreams are the keys to your future. Your dreams define who you are, and setting and achieving realistic and well- thought- out goals will help you accomplish your dreams.” At this time my dream is to have a Christian feature film made in regards to my memoir, When Angels Fly by S. Jackson & A. Raymond. White didn’t give me that dream. God did! I had this dream long before I watched any of White’s movies, too. Now, before you think I just want a movie made to boost my ego or something along those lines allow me to explain why this is my dream, and some of the steps I have taken towards this dream. I will elucidate further in my narrative so please keep reading.
“Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you, it just means God has a better idea.” ~ John Maxwell
“God wants us to be successful, but it will be on His terms and His time table, not ours. He may throw failure at us to strengthen us in our faith… God may have different plans or desires than we ever thought we wanted, and his plans are more gratifying.” ~ David A. R. White
Think about this quote. Once you realize that you aren’t going to have things they way you want them, you will see that God’s plan is better for you than you can imagine. “There are going to be times in your life, most probably during your quest for dream fulfillment, when you are going to experience a failure. Your knee- jerk reaction might be to blame God or to feel that somehow he has shorted you, but the truth is, he is not the cause of our failures, although he does allow them from time to time and for a variety of reasons.” ~ David A. R. White
Job 14:1 tells us, “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble.”
“Many Christians simply aren’t prepped to face or to deal with failure, and therefore the experience can be debilitating, and the questions it raises can be very disheartening: Where was God when I needed him most? How did he let this happen to me? Did I do something wrong? Is God angry with me? Does God really exist?” ~ David A. R. White
I failed God. I was quite angry at God. At one point in time I hated God. You will come to see why I felt this way. As a child, I was mentally, emotionally, and physically abused by my mother, and this abuse didn’t end until her death in November of 2013. Throughout all the cruelties, I knew something better would happen in my life and I knew God was in control. My battered body cried out, but I thought God must be too busy to help me. From that abuse, I went into another relationship post high school and it turned out to be abusive as well. I just couldn’t get away from domestic abuse and I was in that vicious cycle of abuse.
My oldest son, Shane, was stillborn. I had been to my doctor, and he said that my baby boy no longer had a heart beat and that labor had to be induced. The one thing that I thought was all good and wonderful in my life was snatched away from me and I was angry at God. I lashed out at Him with so much anger and I fell into a deep depression, a hole I just couldn’t climb out of. I had tried so hard to become pregnant, and ended up burying my son.
After about a year, I learned I was pregnant again! Elation and fear took turns in my head and my heart. When I reached eight months gestation, I decided that I would, indeed, have the baby I dearly wanted. After 36 hours of labor, my baby boy came into this world blue! Feverishly the staff worked on him and then I heard his cry. I knew that God had intervened and touched my newborn with His Holy Spirit, and that He breathed life into my baby. I doted on my baby boy, Gene, and I felt completely blessed by Jesus.
Fifteen months later, I had another boy, Sam. Elation soared and my boys took to each other instantly. Best playmates, best friends, they were inseparable. However my husband remained abusive in all imaginable ways to me. He let me know that if I left him, he would kill me. That was the only thing I ever believed that came out of his mouth.
When my boys were ages four and five, I knew I had to leave him for their sake. Long story short, we moved into an apartment. Time and again their father would harass me. Sam started having multiple sinus infections, upper respiratory issues, and more. Tubes were placed in his ears, CT scans were done multiple times, and he never remained well. In hindsight, those scans were misread and my son was misdiagnosed for eight months!
By then, cancer had spread from his neck into his brain and metastases found in both lungs. For seven and a half months he fought for his life. My son suffered horribly!!! I was at his bedside day and night. My faith wavered and faltered throughout this time, and I was angry at God!!! By then, Sam was age five. Most remarkable is that Sam wanted to go to Heaven!!! Sam knew Jesus!!! Sam knew God!!! Even though I was afraid to teach him about God, my son somehow knew!!! My son said to me, “I want to go to Heaven, Mom.” What would you say if your child stated this to you? I told him that we don’t always get what we want in life and that he might just have to stay with me. Instead, I should have asked Sam why he wanted to go to heaven. I should have been brave and asked him what he knew, what he saw, and what he felt from heaven. But I didn’t…
Twenty three years later, I started the process of putting my journals and events into digital format, followed by an award winning book and memoir, When Angels Fly. Now my dream comes into play. I honestly want a Christian feature film made with a screenplay already written and inspired by my memoir. Do I want this for my glory? Do I want to get rich from this? No. Allow me to explain why I want this dream to come to fruition. I believe God gave me the inspiration to write my memoir and He gave me my dream of making it into a feature film. Why? I will tell you.
In my memoir, I hope to help others in a variety of settings. I want to inspire battered/abused women to have the positivity, which enables them to get out of bad life situations. Abuse ~ all forms of abuse is a biggie. I want to help women, and some men, who are in abusive relationships find the strength to get out before it is too late, and something worse happens, such as being murdered. I want to get out the hotline numbers to call, and safe houses to go to. The cycle of abuse needs to stop, and it won’t without more people talking about the help that is out there. A feature film will help get the word out!
I want to empower parents to be advocates for their sick child. I want to help other parents who have lost a child or children that there is hope, that faith will waver, and that this kind of loss is the “King of Loss”, and to take it minute by minute, day by day, as they rewrite the life they had planned when their child was alive. I want to spread what my five year old little boy knew about Jesus and Heaven!!! I want to help parents and educators know how to speak to a student who has experienced the loss of a sibling. I know that validation, along with encouragement and faith are the keys in making this happen. All of this will glorify God!!!
“For some of us, failure can be a way in which God gets our attention. It’s a tap on the shoulder in an effort to get us to come back to him if we have wandered away and gone astray. Sometimes that tap can be a painful experience that he uses to express his fatherly love.” ~ David A. R. White
I found my way back to the Lord, but I certainly struggled in getting back to Him. The hardships that my children and I endured may very well have set on track my dream of a feature film and helping others in their situations. God will be glorified in this film. My dream may be my extraordinary destiny. I believe that, and maybe some producers will believe in that, too.
“WORDS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT LOST A CHILD/ CHILDREN
Does it get any easier losing a child/ children? Somewhat…
Is it possible for a parent to be happy their child/ children are perfect in Heaven above and feel peace with that? Sure… (It took me twenty-three years for Sam and somewhat less for Shane)
Can a parent ever “get over” losing a child/ children? No. This is the KING of loss. We can be happy that they are perfect in Heaven and sad at times when we miss them the most.
Bereaved parents are continually re-writing each day as this is the new “normal.” This won’t change. We will think of our loss when other children reach milestones such as first tooth, first steps, first words, kindergarten, holidays, best friend, graduation, prom, falling in love, first kiss, learning to drive, getting married, the list is endless.
The WORST things you can ever say to a parent who has suffered the KING of loss, ever after one, ten, twenty, or more years? “You should be over it by now,” or “Move on with life.” You see we are moving on with life, we just do it one hour or day at a time, re-writing life as we go along.” ~ Mary Schmidt
I say again, my dream may be my extraordinary destiny. I believe that, and maybe some producers will believe in that, too. God wants me to help others and I believe in that deeply. That is why things happened in my life and now I can use that to help others. God wants us to be kind, and he wants us to help others. In my case, I believe he wants me to help many other people, and God will glorify.
“Trials are meant to transform and shape you for the better, not cripple or destroy you.” ~ David A. R. White
I was destroyed, or so I thought. I was hung up for so long and my soul was crushed. I knew that I couldn’t stay in that way of living as I still had my middle son, Gene. I had to be there for him, support him, and I did!!! I could have gone down the road of alcohol or drugs, but I chose against that. I could have left God forever, but I chose Him!!! White wrote, “God does not enjoy it when we suffer, but such is his love for us that he will resort to doing what he has to do for us to learn some tough lessons. Pain and suffering are a part of life. We have to accept it, expect it, and learn from it. There are going to be times in your life when you have to forget what is gone, be thankful for what you still have, and look forward to those things yet to come.”
“You turn to God for his guidance and strength. If you think you can go it alone, then you’re not dreaming big enough. So ask yourself, does the enormity of my dream scare me? Does the impossibility of my dream cause me to cry out for God’s direction, strength, and wisdom? Is my dream only possible by faith?” ~ David A. R. White
White wrote, “Does Your Dream Glorify God? Everything God made, he did so for his glory.” To glorify God is to praise and exalt his attributes, including his mercy, grace, love, and omniscience, to name just a few. It means to honor him with our behavior, how we act and think. We glorify God with our faith, trust, and obedience. To glorify God is to submit to him in all our ways and to acknowledge his glory, valuing it above all things.” If you are still reading this then you know my God-given dream is to glorify God, and my dream most certainly will help others. “Will your dream soothe human suffering in some way, fill a need, or solve a problem, or does it simply get your picture in the newspaper?” Yes, David, my dream will help so many people in so many different ways.
“We all may come to a point in our journeys when we have to let go of what was and have faith in what will be. But the dream is never the destination. Christ himself is always the endgame” as well He should be. Remember that God is always in control, and He will guide us in the right path if we allow Him fully into our heart.
Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”
White wrote, “We learn not to depend on ourselves or on our friends and family but only on God. Only God can make it happen. The sooner you realize you are helpless and that you need God, the less you might have to wait. You always run the risk of having your God- given dream thrown back into your face, but don’t let this stop you from sharing it. The gift I’m speaking of, that of grace and eternal life is worth your taking it on the chin from time to time. If you have a dream, live that dream now. Act and behave as though your dream has been fulfilled.” Yes David, I believe that completely. Despite my many health issues, I am doing all I can to live my God-given dream.