I don’t plan on drawing this out longer than it needs to be.
It’s simply a farewell to a two year chapter of my life that I did not anticipate arriving in my life after graduating college.
After careful contemplation and weeks of prayer, I’ve come to a place of peace in closing this chapter of my life as a writer and filmmaker.
There are factors that brought me to this conclusion. Several actually. But they’re not necessary to share with the public eye. This post is designed to be more of a memorial anyways than an explanation.
I loathed writing as a high school and college student so it still baffles me that God called me to be a blogger/script writer while sitting in the church audience one Sunday morning. I remember it like it was yesterday. The calling and impression upon my heart could not have been any more distinct and crystal clear:
“Challenge this generation. Your generation. Teach them to flee lukewarm Christianity and to seek their God authentically and personally.”
Besides not being a gifted writer (God never fails in qualifying the unqualified), I also grew up as shy and timid as a young boy could be. Heck, even in my later years I dropped out of the Communications major in college because the thought of being required to take a Public Speaking course spooked me! But hallelujah, His grace is sufficient for my needs.
Reminiscing, I was the ‘sheepish’ Israelite pathetic excuse of a soldier confronting a Goliath of sorts. I had not come cognizant quiet yet that I was equipped with a sling-shot. That sling shot, for me, was the empowerment and courage of the Holy Spirit that drove me to do what it was I thought I was not fit to do. All glory to Abba, all glory to God.
Fast forward two plus years later, and here I am reflecting upon the journey. The toil of learning to speak behind a camera lens (still terrifies me to this day), the eureka moments I would suddenly receive regarding a blog topic, the other ‘not so fun’ eureka moments when I realized my own behaviors were going against what I wrote about (oh the art of being humbled…), and witnessing my vocabulary become a bit more extensive (actually helped out with preparing me for Grad school).
It’s a joy to rehearse the awards, recognition, interviews, public applause, blog features, etc. Especially when these were all due to the fact that I was just a small Lego piece in a much grander set– a story being written by our God turning our undivided attention towards Him by unconditional love and a sacrificial Lamb. And yet…
It is not any of those accolades for playing my role in God’s redeeming story that I cherish as a memory for being a blogger and filmmaker. I do however, remember two significant irreplaceable things: learning spiritual disciplines and growing in my faith as a result of the work that God produced through me (the work I presumed was only for the benefit of others) AND receiving the exhortations and affirmations from the brethren of faith.
Overwhelming was the responses I heard on some occasions. Responses that forced me to look up to the heavens and say, “Thank you Lord. Thank you for Your goodness. Your love and faithfulness that is extending to me in this moment from what is being communicated by brothers and sisters.” It always felt like God was confirming what I heard that Sunday morning each moment someone reached out to say, “Keep moving, Ryan. Keep delivering the message”.
I want to give a personal shout out to Jodel Wright, Nathan McGee and Larry Shaw who began my blogging project with me at the starting line. A huge resound of thanksgiving to Bruce Proc, Travis Boothman, Justin Duval, and Larry Shaw for being my Support & Accountability Team throughout the blogging and script-writing process. Thank you so much to my special and loving mother Lynn Koch for constantly uplifting and encouraging me throughout this chapter of my life. Shout out to Thomas Leemon and Richard DeMoss, two incredible friends I met through social media and the blogging world. A big piece of gratitude to Matt Johnson who filmed and edited two of my films and even coached me quite a bit in the cinematography industry as well as Simon Eisenbach for producing another one of my short films. And thank you to every church who gave me an opportunity to speak.
Well, if there was ever one sentence I’d hope for my readers and viewers to come away with from reading or watching my material, it’s pretty much this:
Stop going through the motions, flee lukewarm Christian living, and make a life-long commitment devoted to living with your ear pressed up to the Father’s heart.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” -Revelation 3:15-16;19