So often in life, it’s through trials that God really moves.
Actor Mackenzie Mauzy, known for portraying Rapunzel in Disney’s 2014 film “Into the Woods,” recently spoke with CBN’s Faithwire about learning to “navigate who you are” in the midst of challenges.
That realization came after filming her newest project, “Sun Moon,” a movie premiering May 5 on the faith-based streaming platform Pure Flix. The film tells the story of Kelsey, played by Mauzy, as she takes on a missionary job in Taiwan after her life is upended when she is left at the altar by her then-fiancé.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
“[Kelsey’s] journey, I think, is relatable,” the actor said. “Feeling like you’re at one of your lowest points and having to navigate who you are on the other side of that and what your purpose is, and redefining your relationship with God, even.”
“I think that it’s a powerful story and journey to kind of go through something where you realize God works, even through some of the hardest times in your life,” she continued. “And that kind of sounds cliché or trite when people say it when you’re going through [a difficult time], until you experience it and look back.”
All people face trials at different points in their lives, some more challenging than others. The reality of difficulty is so certain in this life, in fact, that it’s addressed repeatedly throughout Scripture.
Perhaps one of the most popular references to the adversity Christians face is found in the New Testament book of James, where James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV).
Finding the kind of “joy” James was referring to so often requires people to set aside their perceptions, Mauzy said, of what life ought to look like.
“My expectations of what life should look like ended up limiting me and I think blocking this view of everything my life could be or even what it already was,” the 34-year-old reflected. “And sometimes, it’s at — or through — difficult times that that perspective can really come. … I think through all [our trials], God is working in ways that are so much bigger than I could have imagined for myself.”
“I get that those things can sound cliché,” she admitted. “But there’s evidence in my life, when I look back and I think, ‘I’m really thankful for that.’ We all go through difficult times and it’s important to be able to lean on each other and know each others’ stories.”
At several points in her life, Mauzy acknowledged having felt as if all of her work — either personally or professionally — was for naught. And said it has been in those moments that she’s “let go” of her control “and just time and time again, that’s when God has done something beyond my imagination.”
Mauzy’s role in “Sun Moon” served as a reminder that there is a purpose to the pain in this life. She opened up about having dealt with “significant heartbreak” and the loss of loved ones who passed away at young ages.
It was tapping into those personal tragedies, Mauzy said, that helped her tell her character’s story.
“I think having been through those experiences, that emotional life lives in me,” she explained. “I’m not one of those actors who tries to think about my own life when I’m acting; I want to get out of my way and get into the character. But I think having been through those experiences definitely influences my capacity to be able to play them believably, hopefully.”
Ultimately, Mauzy said she hopes the film is “encouraging to people who are going through a hard time or have gone through a hard time” and serves as “a reminder of how God can work through those in ways that open you up to things you might not have seen otherwise, if you hadn’t been challenged.”
To learn more about “Sun Moon” or stream the film beginning May 5, click here.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***