To Where, From Here

I’ve been dead much of my life. I have bits of moments, good ones, that linger, but dead for the most part. You could say I’ve been hanging in the balance between life and dreams and death. Lost, brilliantly lost, in the fog. A dense fog that breathes deep sadness into my bones and drags my soul against the pavement of waiting.

Jonah and Aniston, our oldest twins, just turned five on the 15th of January. It’s been 6 years since God found me in that fog, dead. I didn’t fully realize it then, but I was about to embark on a journey that would finally begin my life. I can’t tell you how good it feels to come out of a depression that’s lasted for a lifetime. I can’t explain to you what it feels like. Maybe it feels like waking up from a 12 year coma. Disorienting, but miraculous. Knowing that, from an early age, I’ve suffered through life with mental illness and medicated for the vast majority of those years, I know all too well what waking up feels like. I still have moments everyday where it tears at my soul, but nothing like it was. Now, three years ago, I stopped my medication and haven’t felt better. For someone on the see-saw of emotions, completely incapable of ever being “normal,” taking meds is vital to everyone else’s sanity, but I can tell you I am perfectly fine un-medicated. It was a leap of faith I had to take to follow God’s will for my life.

Many hear of me going into the Hollywood industry, acting, and have disdain and contempt for me.They assume this is for my own wants. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I set out in New Orleans to be a preacher/evangelist, to get my doctorate degree, and to share Christ in the “conventional ministry” setting. While there I was completely taken by surprise to find out that God wanted something different and scary for me. LaRaye was not on board, at first, and even angry. However, after I prayed for God’s will, apart from her, she came to me having been convicted that this is something we must do. That was two years ago. She and I have grown a lot more in tune with exactly what our objective is in this.  We sincerely want to share Christ with those individuals that are in the movie business, whatever and however we can. Our objective is not to be in movies or to even have a name, but rather just the opportunity to love others and lead them to Christ.

Over the last two years we have accepted our title as missionaries. Not just missionaries, but unconventional missionaries. We don’t have a mission board or church signed up to fund what we are doing; we don’t have specific instructions. We are obeying God’s call completely dependent on Him. We are roaming into unknown and unestablished territories with our ministerial careers. What’s more is that the majority does not view this as ministry. This does not phase us. One day LaRaye and I will enter into glory and have the chance to meet every single person we’ve helped to change. I don’t need any other affirmation except for that. God has called us, and we must go.

So, where from here? Georgia. After bathing ourselves in prayer, running from and doubting God, we are now stepping out on faith and going. We are moving to Powder Springs, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. The opportunities for acting and modeling and writing are abundant there, meaning that there are a lot of lost souls there pursuing a career in that business. LaRaye and I also want to get involved in fostering and adoption. Call us crazy and unfit. I don’t care. God has given us the heart for children, and HE can take care of all the other details. He’s given us the room in our hearts, we will not say “there’s no room here.”

I don’t know what’s on the other side of those Chattahoochee mountains, but I won’t know if I stay home. Many people have many concerns about what and why and how and when and etc. and etc. I know, I know. It’s crazy. We have three sets of twins, six kids practically the same age, no family there, chasing “unrealistic dreams.” What is so unrealistic about following the dreams God has called you to? What is so outlandish about abandoning everything to love people so that they have a chance to know and experience Christ? That is really what we are doing here. Win or lose, accomplish or fail, we are sacrificing everything to go and love and lead. Faith says yes when everything else tells you no. I’m tired of being dead. I’ve lived my entire life asleep. No more. I’m tired of being comfortably uncomfortable. God has called and I’m going. I’m not waiting for anyone I love to get on board. I’ve never had “settle” in my heart. I’ve always had big dreams and I won’t stop until God has fulfilled them. They are His. They were put there by Him. I don’t care what I have to go through to obey His call. I will obey His call.

So, Georgia here we come. I hope you’re ready. We are.

 

–Josh

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