"I'm Not Ashamed", a film from Pure Flix featuring the true story of Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine High School, has inspired audiences of all ages to live for Jesus and stand for the truth - whatever the cost.
The film, which opened on 500 plus screens and quickly became the most popular new film in the country, earning a 93% rating from fans at the popular film website rottentomatoes.com, stars newcomer Masey McLain as Rachel and Sadie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame as her cousin Charity, the person responsible for her conversion to Christianity.
"Sadie was so sweet," Masey shared with The Gospel Herald. "We still text each other and encourage each other in what we're doing. It's so cool to see another young person out there boldly sharing her faith - it really inspires me."
As a newcomer, Masey never expected to land the role of Rachel. However, she felt something - or Someone - drawing her to the role.
"It was interesting - when I first heard about the role, I just felt like I was supposed to do it, and I didn't really know why," she said. "The odds were against me; I'm an actress in Atlanta, and they were scouting the nation, but for that whole year, it was the Lord preparing me even, through the audition process."
Rachel was the first of 13 people - twelve students and one teacher - killed at Columbine on April 20, 1999, and was singled out because of her Christian faith. While she sat on a patch of grass, eating lunch with her friend, 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold approached her, shooting her three times. After realizing Rachel was still alive, the killers returned and asked her, "Do you still believe in God?" She answered, "You know I do", whereupon he replied "Then go be with Him" and shot her in the head.
Masey said that playing Rachel was a transformative experience that showed her the meaning of courage and faith in a brand new way: "Rachel was such an inspiring person to play because she held fast to her faith and did what was right even when it wasn't popular," she said. "I really didn't know the details of her life until I got to read her journals and talk to her mom, and of course all the research I did on the internet. I was blown away by her story and so inspired by her dedication to living out her faith, even in the face of death."
Because of her experience playing Rachel, Masey felt called to write a devotional encouraging, challenging, and strengthening other young people in their faith. "It's Worth It" is a 21-day devotional that encourages readers to live out their purpose and refuse to settle for less.
"I really felt God calling me to write this devotional," Masey shared. "I want to encourage people in their faith and remind other young people that they are special and unique - God made them for a purpose. He loves you and big plan for your life. Through Christ, we have the power to do whatever it is He's called us to do."
"I'm Not Ashamed" is based on journals and pictures Rachel left behind, in which she wrote about her faith and expressed a prophetic belief that her life would be cut short. In one entry, she prayed, "Father, use my life to touch the world and let your light shine through me."
Like Rachel, Masey wants to inspire young people today to stand firm in their faith and understand that they're not alone - regardless of what society tells them.
"I encourage young people to live like Rachel, live for eternity. Life is hard and the truth can become unclear, but when we stand before God, we'll see that it was all worth it. Rachel believed that and lived by that truth."
You can order "It's Worth It" here.
I'm Not Ashamed is now available on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and On Demand.