Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On making a movie

OK, I'm going to try to do a quick update since it's 12:15 in the morning, it's been an insane long day, and I have a very busy day ahead with two littles.

Today I filmed my story.

It took about 1.5 hours to get everything right for a 4-minute film.

That's right. 4 minutes.

Which made me totally appreciate everything that goes into a full-length feature film THAT much more.

And, it seems kinda crazy that I could try to fit, well, the entire contents of this blog into 4 teeny-tiny-oh-so-short minutes.

The cameraman/producer guy was super nice, although a perfect stranger.

The pastor's assistant at church coordinated everything and conducted the interview. (I'm sure she did more, and I certainly don't want to discredit any of her efforts. I think the whole video layout was really her idea.)

Once we realized we all love coconut in every form (especially the "coconut almond cream cake" tea form), we bonded. Yay coconuts!

So, why do this film anyway, you might wonder.

You should know that I didn't really want to.

RIGHT after our loss of Olivia, while at church, I pictured myself up there on the screen sharing our story. That was at our home church at the time, and I didn't know when or how I'd ever have the strength to share. But I knew that one day I would.

For months now, I felt like God was laying it on my heart to share my story again. I went to submit it a few times online, and for whatever reason, just never clicked that "submit" button.

At church one Sunday in December, they had people share their testimonies, and I felt like God was just telling me "THIS. THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!!" (It's hard to ignore Him when you feel like God is shouting.)
I seriously almost just went up to the pastor in the back to tell him I needed to share my story too. But my palms were sweaty, my heart was palpitating, and I worried what everyone (especially my husband) might think if I just randomly went up front and shared about our losses and God's redemption.

I didn't know. I just knew I needed more preparation. I did, however, go up to a pastor AFTER service and let him know God was asking me to share my story.

He called over the assistant, Lindsay. It was my first time meeting her, and it was weird to say, "Hi, my name's Rachel, and I feel like I need to tell the story of my miscarriages." Awk-ward. (even for church.)

We followed up by email later in the week, and I sent her this blog. She approached me about sharing for Sanctity of Life Sunday, which I readily agreed to. We also discussed if I wanted to do it in person, or if they could film me.

Since I hate crying (but I always do), and since I lose my voice when I cry (which I always do), I told her it seemed pointless to do it in person as I would likely just stand up there and cry. And have no words eek out.

She agreed. Doesn't make a lot of sense.

So we decided to film it here at our house.

It was a little more involved than I expected. I wrote out a VERY condensed version of our story, then cut it, then cut it some more. I sent her home videos, photos of the last 5 years, and she sent me back a "script" of sorts to go by.

Parts of filming today were really awkward. Other parts were easy breezy.There were parts I wished I could share more of, because there really is so much more. But she kept me on track. We had to do a few shots over and over.

Despite my background in theatre, this was nerve-wrecking. I worried about crying. I worried about looking to stoic. I worried (I think) about everything. (Except maybe the tea -- they all loved the tea!)

My hope, of course, is that God uses this to reach people who need it. People who need to follow through on this idea of fostering or adopting. People who need the idea put in their heads in the first place. Families who need the recognition that their miscarriage really was a precious life that deserves to be mourned. Women and men who feel isolated and alone in loss, and need to know that there is support out there for baby loss families. All of these people -- I hope to reach!

But I'm still a human, and I have a few hangups. This probably sounds weird, but I think I am more concerned about what people will think about the cleanliness/organization/design of my home interior than what they might think of me.

When she mentioned putting my blog's url address in the bulletin, I must admit I panicked. Maybe a little. I later told Ryan -- "Well, I can kiss a social life good-bye at church." It's weird to let people into your darkest days ever (even as I still have them) before I even know a thing about their good days!

In spite of the fact that I'd been feeling super depressed and anxious for the last two weeks . . . in spite of the fact that I didn't have a chance to clean the dishes before they came . . . in spite of the fact that I'm just this normal, super normal person with a difficult story . . . I'm hoping that some hope, some light shined through.

If I am going to have to LIVE this story -- of wanted babies lost too soon, infertility, struggle and wait -- and of two of my biggest little blessings ever, both wrought through seasons of fire --- then I might as well SHARE it.

Because who knows who will be sitting in that pew in a few weeks and needs to know they are NOT alone.