According to the world, I had it all: leading roles on three different television shows, more money than I could spend, first class world-wide travels, and everybody wanting my autograph.
Hollywood was good to me...in the natural realm. It was fun! it was exciting! I was living my dream. But on the inside, I was still searching. For what? I wasn’t sure. “Truth” was the closest I could come in defining the missing ingredient. At times I wondered what on earth was wrong with me! I had everything I had ever wanted...but there was still some- thing missing. Handsome men, fine champagne, and mink coats didn’t fill the void. So, I began searching in the spirit realm. Buddhism, Hinduism, and New Age Philosophy all left me empty. But one day, I visited a psychic who told me many things that actually came to pass. “This must be it!” I exclaimed. “She said it, and it happened! That’s truth!”
This brief encounter led me down a dark path of deception which lasted many years. The psychic world promises you the rainbow, but gives you the rain. There was no end to the enticement, false hopes, and disappointment that followed the brief highs...not to mention the endless resources spent on readings and other psychic experiences.
At the time, I thought these supernatural gifts had been sent by God to help people. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Unknowingly, I was opening doors to the demonic, giving the devil permission to work in and through my life. He wasted no time. Many heartaches ensued as a result of this deception. But God, in His great mercy, opened my eyes on New Year’s Eve, 1990. He showed me that the spirit guide I had been channeling was one and the same with the devil. I was shocked! “That can’t be!” I said, “he (the spirit guide) only spoke good things! There was never anything dark or evil.” God responded in a gentle voice “Satan himself transforms him- self into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) I ran to find the bible a friend had left at my house. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it said. My eyes were opened. It was as though I’d been walking in darkness all my life, then Jesus came in and switched on the light. I could see! And I could see clearly that I had been deceived. Right then and there I gave my heart to God. “Take my life” I declared, “I don’t need to ever act again, or sign another autograph; just use me for Your glory, greater than the enemy ever used me for his.” That was the best decision I ever made. I wasn’t at the bottom when this happened. I was working on a show, Generations, for NBC; but God took my life, and began to change my heart as He showed me His ways. All I wanted to do was be closer to Him and leave Hollywood for a healthier moral environment.
God, however, had a different plan. Two years later, He put me back on television in another show–California Dreams. It was a comedy; and since I had never done comedy, I was sure they were going to cast someone else. (All I really wanted to do was to get out of town!) As it turned out, they chose me unanimously for this role, the producer told me. When he said that, God said this, “I want you to know that when I have a plan for you, I will cause the very hearts of man to turn in your favor.”
I had more fun on that show than any show I’d ever been a part of. And my assignment from God was to talk with many of the young teenagers in the cast about Jesus. Before my last day on the set, every one of them had asked for prayer. God is Awesome! And His plan is always exceedingly abundantly above all we have asked or thought. (Ephesians 3:20) I’m so glad God loves us just the way we are; but too much to leave us that way.
The most glorious thing about inviting Jesus to be Lord of your life is that He actually comes and takes care of you. As I mentioned earlier, when I first asked Him to come into my life there was no lightening or thunder, and the earth did not quake. But what did happen was that instantly I felt surrounded by a mighty army of protectors. When we make the choice to become His, He takes it seriously. He becomes our Protector, our Provider, our Helper, our miracle working Father. It has always been hard to explain; but what I did feel, was that all of my worries/burdens/fears/concerns had been lifted off my shoulders. Somehow, I just knew that He had taken them. I felt as light as a feather, and in perfect peace.
My life then took a total 180 spin. As I learned to listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him speak to me and lead me, I had peace about everything in my life...even the problems seemed to lack their power, because I knew that He had all the answers and would show me how to deal with them His way. Miracles began to take place almost daily.
The love I felt from Jesus and my true Father was beyond anything I had ever known. Even when difficulties came along, I knew that God had a plan to take care of me. I knew that He would either show me the way out, or miraculously make a way through.
Almost immediately God connected me with a new group of friends who were believers. (Sometimes you’ve got to leave the old behind in order to step into the new!) I began to attend a great bible-based church, Church on the Way, in Van Nuys, California, and learned about the things of God. Pastor Jack Hayford was so kind. He baptized both my son and me. Three years later God had a plan for me to attend bible college in Columbus, Ohio. I was so grateful that He was moving us to a healthier moral environment. My son thrived in the more wholesome midwestern atmosphere; and I thrived in the study of God’s Word. Soon He began to send me out to preach His word with signs and wonders following. He allowed me to see blind eyes open and many other healing and deliverance miracles. I was hooked for life! Although I had experienced many fun and exciting things in the world before I got saved, nothing compared to how glorious it was (and still is) to walk in the presence, power, and anointing of God. I felt at home for the first time in my life.
After my son was raised and into college, God moved me back to Los Angeles. I wasn’t sure what He had in mind, but I knew His voice, so I obeyed. Shortly after I arrived, He positioned me to lead a bible study for women in the entertainment business. It turned out to be a glorious, though often challenging, eight years spent with God’s daughters. Actors, producers, writers, musicians, stunt women, and even studio heads came together as we studied God’s word and learned to walk in the authority Christ died and rose again to give us.
When that season was over, the Lord instructed me to pass the baton to others in the group and move on. Problem was, He wasn’t showing me where to “move on” to! I have to admit, that was a difficult time. Where was I supposed to go? What was I supposed to do? I dragged my feet for a while on that one, but then obediently did as He had requested... which left me wondering (almost 24/7) “What now Lord?” Months went by without an answer. I became frustrated and discouraged. Then, one morning, I received a totally unexpected phone call from a friend in Kona, Hawaii, asking me if I’d like to come house-sit for her, as she and her family were going to Denmark for a month. “Yes!” I instantly replied. (Some things you don’t need to pray about.) Within a couple of days, I was on the plane.
I decided to use this opportunity to finish the book I’d been working on for several years. But it seemed that every time I would sit down at my computer, the Lord would interrupt me and ask me to come and worship Him and gaze at the beauty He had created in Hawaii. Well, needless to say, that was a hard request to resist! Problem was, I felt continually pulled to “perform” my “duties” as a writer, while my heart, as a lover of Jesus, simply wanted to sit at His feet and worship Him. One day, as I struggled with that tug-of-war, God said, “Just sit here, enjoy the beauty I have created, and let me teach you how to receive My love.”
What a concept! Just sit there and receive His love? I began to realize how much I struggled in that area.
Over the next six months, like dominoes, the Lord set up five more homes for me to house-sit. One stint would finish, and the next would begin the following day. It was truly miraculous. During this time, He very patiently taught me how to receive His love. He showed me how valuable I was to Him, and how much He treasured me. This was one of the greatest challenges during my entire Christian walk. Having grown up feeling unlovable, it was difficult to believe that God really loved me simply because I was His daughter. I had always tried to earn love; and now, I didn’t even have a clue about what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life! And still...He loved me.
As I neared the end of the final house-sitting job, I still did not know what God wanted me to do next; but my faith had grown, and I trusted His love.
Just a few weeks later the Lord moved me miraculously and permanently to Hawaii. That was in 2012. Today I live in God’s uncommon favor simply because God is a good God and a wonderful Father who loves and takes care of His children... as they learn to trust Him and receive His love.
I pray today, that if you have not yet invited Jesus into your life, that God would draw you, so that you too can know His amazing love. Jesus came to earth for you, and for all of us...to make a way back into right relationship with our heavenly Father. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
Receive Him today...you will always be glad that you did!