". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Bridgette Cameron Ridenour Shares the Beauty in Waiting on God, Even When Feeling Overlooked

April 4, 2024

Sometimes prayers are answered in days or weeks. Other times, according to God’s perfect will, we wait months or years to receive an answer to our prayers. But either way, waiting can be utterly strenuous, and there are countless testimonies that attest to this fact. Indeed, Bridgette Cameron Ridenour’s story is one of dreams, rejection, pain, and waiting. And what did it all lead to? A better understanding of God’s immeasurable faithfulness.

While Ridenour always had a dream of being an actress, her siblings Melissa Cameron, Kirk Cameron, and Candace Cameron Bure gained Hollywood success far quicker than she did. A Jack of all trades, Ridenour could sing, dance, and act, and yet, she never seemed to make the cut. Even auditions where she would make it nearly to the end of the casting process, Ridenour would get the news that someone else had been selected.

“As a child, and even into my adulthood, I felt overlooked by the casting agents [and] the casting directors,” she shared with The Washington Stand. “But there was also a time where I was feeling overlooked by God.” She would ask Him, “Did You forget about me? … Why do I have all these gifts” but can’t share “them with the world?” Ridenour only felt more overlooked the more her siblings got welcomed into the limelight while she got propelled into the shadows. Ridenour’s story is not merely about a sister jealous of her siblings. No, it’s a story about someone who lost sight of her calling and her purpose.

When you have goals, special talents worth sharing, or yearn for something deeply, it can make hearing the word “no” outright painful. Ridenour came to a point where she didn’t know what to do. The door she wanted to walk through appeared to be shut, and yet, no other doors were blatantly open. “What is my purpose?” she asked herself. Up until one fateful night in 2015, Ridenour lived with this question floating in her mind.

But that year, Ridenour and her family went on a road trip from Palm Springs, California to Nashville, Tennessee. During this trip, they got caught in a dirt storm while driving through Texas. It “basically engulfed our car,” she said. “We couldn’t see,” and before they knew it, they were hit by two semi-trucks going full speed. The accident resulted in the death of one of the semi-truck drivers, but by the grace of God, Ridenour, her husband, and their three children were spared.

In the middle of this chaos, even while their car caught on fire, Ridenour kept getting the same thought over and over. The Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11, just circulated in her mind. “And I kept seeing it. I kept seeing it in my eyes,” she recalled. “I could not have told you what that verse was, but [God] was obviously trying to tell me something.” It wasn’t until she and her family were taken to a motel for the night that she ran to the room and found a Bible in the nightstand. She explained, “I burst through the door, opened up the nightstand drawer, took out the Bible, turned to Jeremiah 29:11, and that’s where God gave me my life verse.” It reads, “‘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 a future.’”

Upon reading the verse, Ridenour began to weep. “I literally just broke down and just cried because God was talking to me,” she recounted. “God was telling me something. I heard Him say: ‘Bridget, all of those years you’ve thought that I’ve forgotten you, you’ve thought that I’ve overlooked you, and I’ve never put you in those opportunities that you wanted. But I have bigger plans for you, and I just saved you and your family from a major, major car accident. I have plans for you, Bridget. But you’ve got to trust me that it’s in my timing that I will show you where I need you and what I want you to be doing.’”

It was in that moment, all those years ago, that Ridenour knew nothing she went through was an accident. No rejection was a mistake, and no pain was without purpose. She realized that things didn’t go her way because they had to go His way. “I’m sharing my story [because it demonstrates] God’s purpose and God’s faithfulness in all of our lives,” she expressed. “God writes such a perfect story for each one of us.”

No matter who you are, or what you go through, “Each one of us has a beautiful, beautiful story that’s so different from anybody else’s. And God writes a better story than any of us ever could. We just need to give Him the pen and let him write.” But as Ridenour emphasized, we easily allow ourselves to think we can write a better story. We often think that God doesn’t care about us when He doesn’t answer us right away. But when we focus on what God doesn’t do, we forget what He does do.

In her recent book, “Overlooked,” Ridenour outlines that the beauty of her testimony is found in the waiting. “I mean,” she said, “waiting is a beautiful word, but also waiting is such a hard word.” Because when we wait, it often “comes with fear, anxiety, and stress.” Especially since we live in a world where we can get answers instantaneously through Google and other technological advances. But as a result, “we forget that we really should be turning to God and waiting for His answer,” Ridenour contended.

Today, Ridenour is traveling and sharing her testimony and the truth of God’s goodness with the world. “God has a plan and a purpose for everybody,” she concluded. “And we just have to trust and have faith that God will show those plans to us if it’s His will.” But His plans are certainly “bigger than we could ever imagine.” As author Vaneetha Rendall Risner once wrote, “This is the most precious answer God can give us: wait. It makes us cling to him rather than to an outcome. God knows what I need; I do not. He sees the future; I cannot. His perspective is eternal; mine is not. He will give me what is best for me when it is best for me.”

For Ridenour, it took a life-threatening car accident for her to realize that waiting is not meant to be punishment, but rather an opportunity to trust the Lord more deeply. “If God told me in 2015, ‘I’m going to have you traveling to share this accident story,’ I [would have thought], ‘You’re crazy,’” she reflected. “But here I am. And it’s been absolutely incredible.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.