The journey we had been on had taken years. Years of waiting, years of trusting. Years of what just felt like utter turmoil, waiting for a baby to come and for God’s promise in the Bible that “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children” to come true. Years of trusting God and believing that He would make a way where there was no way for dreams to come true—even my childhood dream of becoming an actress.
In the waiting we felt impatient, we felt like giving up, we felt like God was teasing us and that He didn’t love us anymore. The years became lonely and painful. The pain became bitter. The bitterness nearly made us lose faith and walk away.
Our current culture opposes the growth of character. The angst of desire suffocates the logic of our minds in the “wanting” instead of “waiting”. And the waiting seems impossible in our minds because of how society has bred us to live.
The deepest question of How to wait? sat inside of my husband and I as we battled our lives and our faith for answers. How to wait for God’s promise of a baby, a home, a particular career path? Or even to wait and trust in God for a dream to come into being.
I found myself reading the Bible in order to connect with God and hear His voice in my life. During that season of waiting for our dream to have a baby, God was conceiving in my husband and I a dream of making movies. After being fed up with the lack of good quality, soul-feeding content available, we decided to make our dreams of filmmaking come true.
Seven years of waiting for a child helped us develop a faith in God that encouraged us to believe the impossible can happen in the most impossible circumstances. Not getting what we wanted drove us to find something else in life, where we could say, “Well, how else can I make my life of value?” instead of drowning in self-pity. By then, we had suffered IVF failure three times and I was told to get a donor egg, but God told me to trust Him. The experience pushed us to do what we always wanted to do. We developed a drive (probably from our frustration) and started making short films.
Lyle and Lisa at the launch of their first feature film, Trust.
During the process of making 10 short films, we created a community of like-minded filmmakers. That was when I started feeling weary of waiting for a baby again and was at my lowest. God was really making us walk the walk of trust.
So I chose to envision the baby in my arms and worship Him for it, while continuing to read the Bible and pray. Shortly after, we fell pregnant naturally with our daughter Marvel—her name derived from the Bible: “Marvellous are Your works”—we knew we would marvel at what God had done in our lives.
From there, the inspiration was so great we felt it was time to make a real film—a full-length feature film. Lyle came up with the concept of the story of the movie Trust with our friend and writer Angus Benfield, and together we produced the film with our amazing community of filmmakers.
Inspired by the book of Job in the Bible, Trust is relatable to anyone going through hard times. Trust gives a modern account of an everyday guy, Daniel, whose life is falling apart. His marriage to Sarah (played by myself) crumbles and his children are caught in the middle as he begins to lose everything else in his life. Daniel, in his bitterness, learns how to trust even in the hard times—something we were very familiar with in our own journey.
Behind the scenes of Lyle and Lisa’s most recent feature film, Trust, which Lisa (top left) also stars in.
The film carries humour and warmth in its characters, even though it hits real life issues. Our desire was to give God a platform to speak through film—to encourage, heal and inspire people to faith once again. With the movie’s release, people have told us how it had encouraged them as they walked though some of life’s toughest battles.
Our own struggle of trying to conceive our dreams of having a family and filmmaking seemed to end all at once when we began making films. Our second child Dare was conceived during the production of Trust. The juggle and the struggle brought joy and fulfilment as we felt we had passed the test of faith, like the story of Job: “He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Of course this new season brought its own trials. Now we battled not only making a film and financial pressures, but fitting our children into our work/life balance—the irony was not lost on us. Looking through the busyness, appreciating what God had done in our lives and having a solid drive in us to complete what we had started (with the film) was what kept us joyful despite the chaotic life of a two-year-old and a newborn.
Lyle and Lisa with their two children, Marvel and Dare.
Through my journey, I have learned that God has a time and season we can trust in. He has a purpose in the waiting, as He develops in us treasures of character or birthing other dreams we haven’t even thought of. Frustration of waiting can turn us away or lead us closer to God. It can lead us to do and have far more than what’s in our dreams.
For us, we made our first feature film, Trust, I had my first lead role in a feature film and we had two amazing beautiful children, Marvel and Dare.
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, AMP; italics added) is the source of Dare’s name.
As for juggling a career and motherhood, we took our family with us and allowed others to bring theirs. At our movie premiere and cinema releases, we had new babies and our community brought their families. We had toddlers on set and Marvel got to star in her first feature film too.
I remember my sister bringing my daughter in for her evening feed while I was getting hair and make up done for a night scene for Trust. My daughter had insisted always on rubbing my hair on her face for comfort as she drank from me. But that evening, my hair was being prepared and couldn’t be touched, so my sister let her hair down and allowed my daughter to play with it while Marvel nursed from me. It was beautiful: a family bonding moment between aunty, mother and daughter/niece.
Today, we are moving close to family to continue to not only dream but do the dreams God has placed within us. We feel the need to be surrounded by people who love us and can help us and provide a village for our children. We need to be positioned in our lives for the next season. Positioned so we can hear His voice clearer, protect the health and joy of our family—particularly our marriage—and have room in our lives to unfold God’s future dreams for us.
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