The following is a note I posted to Facebook in late 2013:
Earlier in 2013, I posted about my music video endeavors with MC Jin. Just wanted to write a quick note concluding that journey.
In short, it didn't work out. I sent two cuts of the video in for review, but neither of them were approved. A full reshoot was scheduled. Then Jin's own schedule put him in California for the next couple of weeks. He wouldn't be able to reshoot in the East Coast. Another director was hired in LA.
Jin's managers still paid for the incomplete music video, which pretty much blew my mind. They told me they still supported me and believed that God had great things in store for me.
So that's the good news. I'm still working with Jin on some new video projects.
When I got that phone call letting me know I was being released from the project, it was disappointing yet relieving at the same time. The pressure of delievering a high-quality MV had been slowly crushing me.
I went back to working on my young adult novel. As I began looking for volunteer editors, something felt different. I couldn't look at my work the same way now. It was despairing. "This is crazy," I would tell myself. "What if this fails just like the Jin video?"
I told myself I was over the music video. God has better plans for me, I tried convincing myself. And it worked for the time being. But no less than a week later, I would fall back into confusion, wondering what happened to my dream project.
Last week, I went to the College of Prayer, a small conference hosted by Risen King Alliance Church. Every time I've been there, God never fails to show up in new and powerful ways. I came to the conference feeling lost and needing direction, but got something completely different.
It's difficult to describe exactly what happened. All I remember is the speaker briefly talking about fear at the end of the first session. The fear of man's rejection. While he's doing so, I'm thinking, "Is he talking to me?" It was like God orchestrating everything to address my current issues and problems.
When we take risks, sometimes we fall and get bruised up. And when that happens, we don't feel like taking risks again. It hurts to fall! It's scary and unpleasant and I rather just avoid it if I could.
It was a huge risk to take on the music video project for Jin. And it was a great experience, but I failed. It made me afraid to risk again.
But by the grace of God, I know now that I don't have to be. God's already approved of me. I don't create art for His acceptance, but from his acceptance. Every piece of art I make is for His glory and His glory alone.
On Chinese New Year, Jin texted me and thanked me for my passion and understanding with the music video. It was a nice way of moving on. Back then, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to watch the new music video, but now I'm excited to see the new product. As long as God is glorified, how can I complain?
When I write stories, I make a "Positive/Negative" map for the characters and the plot. This is a story principle that after every positive event, something negative must happen, and vice versa. Like an emotional rollar coaster that finally ends at the climax of the story.
Negative: Mark gets trapped in the Mansion
Positive: Mark organizes a plan to escape: find the three keys.
Negative: The three keys turns out to be a trick. Chelsea is captured.
Positive: Mark and Billy team up to rescue Chelsea, Roland, and Gordon and get out of the Mansion.
The past few weeks have been an emotional rollar coaster for me, so I decided to make my own Positive/Negative map of my life.
Negative: I am asked to reshoot the MC Jin music video
Positive: I finish a second draft of "The Mansion."
Negative: I am released from the MC Jin music video.
Positive: I get an internship interview with Trendsetter Media
Negative: I find out that my original self-publishing plan is invalid.
Positive: I devise a new publishing plan and embark on it.
The thought came to my head that it would be really cool if God was writing my life the same way I write Mark's (from The Mansion) life. He gives me choices, and as long as I adhere to His will, everything will be okay. But not immediately. 'Cause that would be a really boring story.
Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future."