Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Has anyone else out there found a remedy for disappointment? OK, I know the ol' trust-in-God routine is tried and true, but sometimes I just get stuck in a little mope-y state of mind.
And right now, I'm just feeling a little disappointed.

I'm disappointed that the Chargers weren't playing in the Super Bowl this weekend, after another DISMAL playoff performance. I mean, seriously! But...give me a moment...*deep breath*...OK, I'm over it.

At a deeper level, I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to get pregnant. Jim and I are healthy, we eat [pretty] well (if you don't count my ice cream and chocolate splurges!), we exercise, we try not to stress, we're financially stable, we have well-balanced personalities...AND all of our tests have come back normal. So why can't we manage to conceive? It boggles me. But, you know what? Even on this one, I think I've rounded the hump of disappointment and am edging toward contentment. There's still a long way to go, but I'll get over it.

But here's the one I'm stuck on: I'm disappointed that To Save a Life hasn't done better in the box office. After another low weekend, we're now dropping down to less than 100 theaters nationwide. After only 3 weeks. Bummer.

What happened? Nearly every teenager that sees it loves it, and they're bringing their friends, and they're changing their lives...Which is exactly what we hoped and prayed for. But we also dreamed that this movement would catch on and spread like wild fire. We prayed that EVERY teen in America that needed it would get to see it. We imagined box office numbers that surpassed everyone's expectations and theater runs that lasted for months. God had wildly exceeded all we could think or imagine throughout this whole film-making process, so why wouldn't he continue to do so now? And while this has never been about the money (we're giving it all away anyways), we had figured it would be easy to break even and pay off all our loans and investors (not gonna happen soon, the way things are looking now!)...
What happened?!
I'm disappointed!

But then Jim and I start recounting all the amazing stories we keep on hearing. Like the one about the girl who dragged her boyfriend to the theater to see it after he tried to kill himself that morning, and he gave his life to Christ and is struggling forward on a path of purpose. Or the guy whose friend called him to invite him to the movie JUST AS he was getting into position to kill himself, and he saw it and gained new hope and courage to live. Or the student who wrote to Jim asking for prayer because inviting new lonely kids to lunch with him everyday is making his friends get annoyed with him, but he's intent now on reaching out to the hurting and the lonely. Or my former student who has come to youth group the last two weeks because atheism wasn't working for him anymore and the movie pushed him to seek out the truth. And these stories are just a drop in the bucket! I'm overwhelmed when I think of all the lives God is changing for good through the message of this film.
And how can I be disappointed in that?

So yeah, when I look at the numbers, and think about what could have been, I can't deny it: I'm bummed. But really, the only number that truly matters in the grand scheme of things is 1...Each 1 is an individual, a life, a human being that God loves so much that he would have died for just that 1. And God has allowed us to play a vital role in changing A LOT of those 1's.

So again, how can I be disappointed in that?


  1. I am one of those who constantly need to be reminded it isn't about me and that God is in control. Sometimes we think it makes perfect sense for such and such to happen but God has a bigger picture in mind. I don't know the answer to your questions but I do know that God is in control!

    I can tell you how this movie has effected my teenagers. My 15 year old daughter has had a movie that has been her favorite for years. Actually we all are sick of it because it has been watched so much and she can recite the entire movie...yes it is old. After seeing To Save A Life one time, she announced this was her favorite movie. This would be equivalent to us moving mountains. To me this signifies a change taking place in her heart. My 17 year old son has had a couple of suicides at his school in the past couple of months with one happening just last week. It was a young man he knew. It has hit him pretty hard. Since the movie he has been more aware of those around him who are not part of a group and making great effort to include them. I don't know how God is going to use all of this in their lives but I know it was not a coincidence they saw the movie and these changes are taking place in their lives, in their hearts.

    And even if the movie doesn't make enough money to cover costs, God will provide. I know from experience as I am a single mom who has not worked in nine months.

    Thanks for your willingness to share where you are but also your willingness to acknowledge God is working through this movie! Thanks for following the Holy Spirit's leading to make this movie. May God continue to use it for His glory!

  2. I agree with everything the above commenter said (Penny) and I know To Save A Life has been spreading down here everyday. I have students at school who just now got to go see it this last weekend and LOVED it. Equally, they are reading the book and LOVE it. One girl read my signed copy in two days. I see kids changing their perspectives about school and about people through the influence of To Save A Life - it's powerful.

    I don't have any magic words to make things better... I often have the same thoughts in regards to my own situation with Phantom Island. But God does see the big picture when we are just seeing a tiny corner of the photograph. If we could see the whole image, we'd be blown away with what He has planned.

    Hang in there, Rachel... I know your heart is in the right place and God sees that, too. :)

  3. It's still showing out here. In fact, we talked about TSAL at my Beth Moore study this morning. I plug it whenever I can. I've been trying like crazy to get the youth at the church we're attending to see it (the church is 4000+). The things that you wrote about are awesome. And to think, those are only the ones you've heard about.