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How DeVon Franklin Learned to Put Faith Over Fear

Photo from DeVon Franklin’s Instagram

How DeVon Franklin Learned to Put Faith Over Fear

By Movieguide® Contributor

Movieguide® Award Winner DeVon Franklin has had a hand in some of the best movies in recent years, including BREAKTHROUGH, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, THE STAR, and many more.

“I’m proud to help produce family-oriented, uplifting and inspirational films,” Franklin told Guideposts. “It’s what I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid. Life is good, and I feel very blessed. But I didn’t always feel that way. My journey was complicated and sometimes painful.”

Franklin’s father struggled with alcoholism – and the rest of the family struggled as well. 

“​​Mom would beg God to take away Dad’s desire to drink, ask him to heal our family, but things only got worse,” Franklin shared. “Dad’s drunken rages were frequent. He would steal Mom’s hard-earned money – money that was supposed to keep food on our table and a roof over our heads – for his binges.”

He would eventually leave the family, but returned a few years later. 

“And he was different,” Franklin said. “He was sober. He found a job and a place to stay. He even began going to church. It was really great for a while, until he had a massive heart attack. Years before, doctors had said he needed a heart transplant. But he had ignored their advice, and the years of alcohol and nicotine abuse damaged his heart even further.”

Franklin’s father died, leaving the family distraught. 

“How could God let this happen?” the producer wondered. “Why did he answer Mom’s prayers only to take Dad anyway? Mom always told us that God had a plan for everyone, but allowing a man’s life to end just when he was putting it back together? That made no sense at all.”

Franklin used his grief as motivation to excel in school and life. He earned good grades, was involved in his school’s theater program, and preached his first sermon at 15. Franklin ended up at the University of California, where he could achieve his dream of working in the movie industry. 

While at school, he interned for Will Smith’s management and production company. Upon graduating, Franklin was hired as an assistant. He had big plans for his career, but became discouraged when it seemed like he had stalled out as just an assistant. 

“Was this God’s plan for me?” he worried. “Wasn’t my dedication to him and to my career enough to show I was different from my dad? I was going to church, praying regularly, preaching whenever my uncle called on me.”

“One morning when I got to the office, I felt frustration and depression overwhelming me,” Franklin continued. “I escaped to a quiet bathroom and locked myself in a stall. Call it my emergency prayer closet, but that’s where I had it out with God. ‘You said I can come boldly before you. Well, here I am.…’”

“I let everything out, my fears and my desires, my hurt and my confusion,” he said. “I’d been racing to beat the clock, determined to get to the top of the ladder before the age of 36. Thirty-six. When everything ended so tragically for my dad.”

“Was fear driving me instead of faith? Because I was scared my time would be cut short before I fulfilled my potential? I’d thought I was doing what God wanted, but my perspective was off-kilter. My ambition needed to be rooted in faith, not fear,” Franklin continued. “I took a deep breath. ‘God, I need you to move today,’ I said. ‘I can’t keep living like this.’”

Franklin ended up quitting his job at that company, relying on his faith that God had a plan for him. He got a job at a new production company just a week later. 

“The more I’ve surrendered to God, the more he’s moved on my behalf,” he shared. “I’m achieving my dreams, going on faith, not fear, which is what God wanted me to understand all along.”

“I always wonder what it would be like if my dad were still around to experience all of this with me,” Franklin wondered. “I hope that he’d be proud of me and my brothers. Yet I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father. I know that first and foremost, I am his son, and I will go anywhere he leads.”