|“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Godspeed Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #wherehopegrowsmovie http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”|
I love movies. I mean, who doesn’t, really? Everyone loves a great movie… a movie that pulls you in, makes you laugh, cry, scream, smile, or all of the above. We want movies that make us think. Movies that teach us something. Movies that inspire us. Or even movies that just plain entertain.
Every once in a while you come across a movie that really takes you to a place where you can feel such a wide range of emotions and leaves you thinking about it for days after.
Over the weekend, I sat down with my husband and my in-laws and we got to watch a preview of the new Where Hope Grows movie that is coming out May 15th. I knew a little about it going into it based upon what I saw in the previews, but in many ways, I didn’t realize how much I’d actually connect with it.
I’m not going to sit here and recount the entire plot for you or blurt out any spoilers, but basically the movie follows Calvin Campbell, a former professional baseball player who’s dealing with some pretty dark demons inside of him. He struggles with alcoholism, pride, and selfishness and he’s unknowingly ruining the relationships around him – especially his relationship with his daughter. Until he meets “Produce” – the sweet, kind-hearted, gentle young man with Downs Syndrome who works in the produce section of his grocery store. The two become friends and Produce really inspires Calvin to turn his life around.
I’ve shared bits and pieces of my own personal story here and there over the years on this blog, and while I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years, I think there are still bits and pieces of my story that I have yet to verbalize… even to myself.
While I never struggled with alcoholism, I did struggle for years… YEARS with depression, anxiety, pride, greed, selfishness, and self doubt. For years I was broke and broken. I masked it behind putting on a “pretty face” and making other people laugh. I was a comedian, so it was pretty easy.
But the fact was, I was struggling so much with my own inner demons that my faith and my hope were pretty much lost. I felt so alone in so many ways. I knew I was damaging my relationships with my friends and my family, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to fix it.
In so many ways, there’s so much more to the story, but fast forward a few years and I stepped inside the doors of newhope church here in Durham. It was the first time I felt a glimmer of hope. It was the first time I felt as though I was worthy of love. It was the first time that I saw the chance to really turn my life around and make a difference in myself and in the lives of those around me.
That’s what really began my journey to where I am today.
Then I went on a mission trip to Kenya the following summer and that’s the moment I really felt as though my life was meant for something more. Something greater. A purpose.
The people I met in Kenya – the women, the men, the children… they inspired me to see beyond my own problems and my own struggles and really focus on serving others. They taught me what TRUE JOY is. The taught me the meaning of real, meaningful friendship.
And again, I felt hope. I felt my faith return. And I felt redeemed.
Today, I’m stronger than ever. I still have my struggles, but I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I love my friends and my family and my greatest joys come from serving others. Then I see the joy in my daughter… I see her innocence and her purity and her zest for life at such a young age… and it only further motivates me to continue to work to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Do you know what I mean?
I realize that’s pretty heavy and a little deep for a Tuesday… and I realize that it seems strange that all these thoughts came from just seeing a movie… but sometimes that’s all it takes to really get you thinking.
Here’s a clip of one of my favorite scenes from the movie. It’s one of those scenes that you just can’t help but smile while you’re watching it!
What about you? Have you ever dealt with any personal struggles and how did you persevere through it? I’d love to hear your story!
Don’t forget to check out Where Hope Grows in theaters May 15th! It’s an amazing family-friendly movie that will inspire you, too. I know it. 🙂