I Had to Believe AgainGabrielle Johnson
It’s funny how when you’re younger, you take risks so easily. Think about a baby. When the dad is playing and throws the baby in the air, the baby is usually having the time of his life. The baby laughs hysterically, probably while the mom is having a nervous breakdown. And of course the dad does it again and again, just to hear the baby laugh and giggle. The baby doesn’t know to fear. The baby never thinks the dad will drop him or her. The baby just has faith that the dad is going to catch him. The mom fears the baby will get hurt, but the baby is having a wonderful time.
I seemed to always have faith as a child. As a young person, I would speak something and it would happen. I would desire something, and it came to pass. I never really thought about it not happening. Just child like faith, I guess. As an adult, I knew I wanted to be a scriptwriter. I studied screenwriting in college and just believed it would eventually come to pass. I was asked to write a stage play that would give hope to a hurting people. I did so, and with the Fishers of Men ministry, we produced the first show in December 2000.
I went on to produce the show several times after that first one. Some did well, some did not. Over the years, I started looking for an Executive Producer, someone to invest in the show in order for us to take it on tour. At one point, I spoke to a producer, and he told me he did not want to review the show on DVD. He wanted me to stage a live production. I did so, at my expense of course, but he didn’t show up. Another time a pastor wanted to support the show, so he said. I sent him my only copy of a show we did in Alabama. I told him that it was my only copy and that I needed them to review it and get it back to me. He never got it back to me, and he never helped produce the show. Another time we did the show, it was by invitation only. We invited producers, investors, businessmen, etc. It was very classy, and we laid out the red carpet for them. We got a lot of interest and people that just wanted to see the show for free. Each show we thought, “This is our moment. This is the time. This one is going to be our big break.”
The show had an excellent storyline, great music and the best actors and acting this side of heaven. I say that because I couldn’t understand why it didn’t take off. Why wasn’t the effort and work we all put into it getting the rewards it deserved? Not Tony’s or Emmy’s, I’m talking about the big-break-type rewards. Each time we did a show, no matter how it did, I always went home and started planning the next one. I would dust myself off and start again. I had such an awesome cast, and we were in this together. We vowed never to give up, and at some point somebody would pick up the show. We had faith to believe it would happen. Each show, after the very first one, I funded myself. One other person that truly believed in me and absolutely loved the show, invested in the show as well. He believed the show would be a hit and that eventually we would get the investors needed to take it national.
Well, we did the show some years back and had an excellent turnout. I went forth believing this is the one that will take us over the top. The box office didn’t do well. I couldn’t pay my actors. Again. This time I went home and felt defeated. I didn’t have the zeal to get up and try again. I realized I was actually angry at God. I was embarrassed. I was exhausted and just could not understand why. I knew God gave me the script. I knew He anointed the unbelievably talented actors, and I knew He gave me the message. So, why God?
Even when the show wasn’t as successful as I would have liked, I still tried again and again. Years went by, and I was still kind of down. I had so many projects come to mind, and I would get excited about them, and then stop. I would be so excited about a creative endeavor, start doing the research, and stop. I did this several times. I would start a book and wouldn’t finish it. I would start a stage play, screenplay and project and just stop writing. I was depressed. I was frustrated, and some days I didn’t want to get up in the morning. One thing I know about myself, if I’m not creating, I’m not living.
I didn’t understand what was happening to my faith. I didn’t understand what was happening to my zeal. I went to God and admitted I was angry with Him. I believed what I was doing was what He told me to do, so why wasn’t it successful? Of course, He’s God, and He knew I was angry with Him. He knew I was hurt. Failure is a part of success. Was I doing the shows for fame and glory? Or was I doing the show to truly minister to the lives of hurting people? That’s where my true frustration came from.
When I repented and humbled myself before God and admitted I was angry at Him, He showed me. He showed me some things in me that He was pruning and purging in order for me to go to the next level. He showed me that where He was taking me, my character needed to be able to sustain me there. It was at this time that I finally realized why I would start things and wouldn’t finish or wouldn’t have the excitement I used to have when I started a new project. It was because, I was afraid to believe again. I was afraid to get my hopes up again. I was really afraid to let myself get lost in something and see it die with me. I didn’t have the energy or the faith that I once had when God would give me an idea. I had lost hope. I knew what I went through was still to grow my faith. God had to get me to a place like Abraham. The Word says that Abraham believed beyond belief–when there was no evidence and no reason to believe. Abraham believed beyond hope. So, I brushed myself off and began again with my new swimsuit line that I mentioned during my guest appearance on Vivid Talk™ Radio, knowing that everything is working for my good–knowing I will trust and believe God–even when I can’t see any reason to keep believing.