The journey begins with faith...
That has certainly been the case in my life. My walk with Christ has been a great adventure so far.
A while back, the television show I often watch while painting, 'The 700 Club', invited me to share my testimony on air. I was honored, excited, thrilled...and terrified. I am the kind of girl that has a hard time seeing photos of herself, let alone to be on television, talking...and talking about something so emotional and personal. And yet I had this opportunity to tell my story, and to give my Lord and Savior the glory for my salvation in a pretty big way, to shine His light, and to (hopefully) be a blessing to others.
The process was pretty neat to experience. I hadn't ever had any television interview experience. It started with a long phone call with an interviewer (after the initial e-mail I got) where I detailed my testimony for consideration and review. Next, I got the call that they liked my testimony and felt it would be valuable to their audience and that a crew would fly out to my house sometime in the near future. Another phone call was in order, this time with the producer, Zsa Zsa, who would be doing my story. She really asked some tough questions, trying to get to the root of my story. I was asked by the producer to get a hold of some of my old art for the re-enactments, and set about tracking some down since we had already purged most of it from the house. I was also asked to get some of my new angel originals ready to be filmed and to be ready to have them film me doing a little painting...exciting!
Fast forward to my doorbell ringing at 9:00 am on a bright sunny April morning this year, to the smiling faces of Zsa Zsa (producer extraordinaire and all around awesome lady) and Gus and Richie (camera-men extraordinaire and creative geniuses) :). The night before I had spent a restless, sleepless night fighting the doubts, the fears and the nerves of having to open my life like a book on national television. For those who may not know, I spent much of my childhood dabbling with the occult (Ouija boards, tarot cards, etc.) and that spilled over into my art that had gotten to be pretty widely known in the world, at least in certain circles. I knew talking about all that was going to be hard to say the least. But as I opened the door, and we had our greetings, they immediately put my heart at ease. We had an EPIC, 9 hour day of shooting...re-enacting scenes from my story, shots of my family, me painting, and my big interview. I was worried I might not say everything right, or might come across in all the wrong ways, but I let go and I let God guide me through it. I have some great memories of that day...some bring a tear to my eye, and others make me giggle like crazy because we did plenty of goofing around between takes. When the day was done, I felt at peace with everything.
Then came months of waiting. Zsa Zsa and I kept in touch and she let me know as she was working on the piece. I knew that she would take those 9 hours spent filming and condense it down into a few minute long piece. I also knew she wanted the same thing I did - to share my story in hopes of giving God the glory and helping others who may relate to my story in some way. I received notice that my story was going to air just about a week ago, and therefore spent this past week fighting for courage. I knew a lot of people would see this piece, and I knew all my friends at church, my family, even neighbors were rooting for me and going to watch it. I also knew that the angry, nasty e-mails would probably begin coming in again from those who don't agree with my decision to follow Christ. I was just a ball of nerves.
This morning, with Josh, the kids and my dear friend Jen here for moral support, we tuned in. There I was, on the screen, wow, that camera sure was close to my face - oh my. The intro was sensational and dramatic, detailing my darkest art pieces from before and scenes about some of my occult activities as a young girl. My stomach leaped, I think I was hiding my face at first in a pillow. But as I watched the story begin to play and unfold, a wave of peace came over me, and I felt this for the blessing that it was...to me, and hopefully to others.
Zsa Zsa's last question for me in my interview was, "What do you really want to say to those out there, what is your core message?". I answered, without hesitation..."To let others know, others who may be still lost, who may have dabbled with the occult in their past and feel like they can't be forgiven...that you cannot go too far...that God's love and mercy are BIGGER than anything you may have done and that He longs for you to return to Him...all you have to do is ask."