“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV)
Being a Story Team film resident at The Austin Stone Community Church has shown me how unimaginably close God is. When I first started six months ago, it was evident that the Lord placed me here for this exact time in my life, and it was an answered prayer. The residency process has not been easy, but I’m learning that God is faithful and that there is goodness in the routine.
When I began this residency, I was anxious about many things. Would I have enough income to afford cost of living? Will I fit in with this team? Am I even qualified? Does the Lord truly want me here? Countless thoughts ran through my mind as I wrestled with various unknowns each day.
I knew I would learn about God and His people more and that my gifts would be developed, but it was still hard to trust. I first tried to position myself in an unattainable role that I could not live up to. God began revealing to me a misplaced joy, and He began to show me that the goal of our team isn’t to gain high esteem or success, but rather, to serve our church as a community of artists which tells stories of gospel transformation.
When God postured my heart with that truth in view, I began to understand the truth of who I am in Christ, and I started to realize the true reason God led me here to Austin from Denton, Texas. This stripped away preconceived notions of being something I was not. I didn’t have to be perfect; I didn’t have to perform. God has been faithful through this residency to draw me back into a state where I am simply present with my team and can freely say to Him, “You can be trusted, God. You are faithful. How can I serve today?”
The Goodness in Routine
During this residency, I’ve experienced a major change in my routine now that I am working in ministry. In the beginning, there was a day when I asked God to keep me from striving for perfection, even though I felt so run down. I felt like I lacked energy and motivation, but I kept it all inside, trying to make it seem like I had it all together. That same day, in His kindness, He brought a coworker to ask me, “How are you actually doing?” I just broke down and let the walls of fear of failure and perfection come down.
Since then, each morning, work day, and night, I’ve been praying and asking God to simply establish the work of my hands and to help me care about the things I need to be faithful to. I still wrestle with stubbornness in the increased structure and productivity. Discouragement and restlessness often seep in, but my role on Story Team is to be present and learn.
Through all of this, I’ve been thankful for the intentional conversations with caring supervisors and grace from my coworkers. The Lord is helping me see that being a good steward of work and rest is for my joy and overall health. It makes the sacrifices called for in this season worth it. I look back and see that God, in His kindness, has shown me how limited I am, how in need I am of Him, and that there are necessary disciplines—for my good—in routine and structure.
Overall, this residency has truly produced in me a deeper joy in Christ. He has gone before me in this ministry of artists that is bringing Him glory through storytelling. Story Team residency has opened my eyes to be bold and confident in the Author and Perfecter of my faith.