“I don’t want to go!” I sat up in bed, turned the light on, and looked tearfully at my husband, Rod, who was almost sleeping. The next day, I would be leaving for China for eight weeks to participate in a reality show called Survivor, and I was having second thoughts. My heart was racing, and my mind was going a hundred miles an hour.
Rod sat up slowly and looked me in the eye. I needed him to say something wise. I needed him to have the faith that I was not having at that moment. And he did not disappoint! We talked about the five and a half years of auditioning that we had gone through together. We recalled how we were in agreement that God was calling me to do this, and that we knew that my going to China was an act of obedience. He reminded me how much this dream meant to me and asked me what was scaring me so much.
I told him it was my terrible fear of dying while away. If I died while participating in a silly reality show, I couldn’t imagine how difficult that would be for my family. I knew it was dangerous. I knew I would miss my family! Was I being selfish? Should I forget the whole thing?
As I sat there sobbing in his arms, he calmly asked me a question that I will never forget. He said, “Leslie, doesn’t the Bible say that God knows the number of our days? If so, then wouldn’t it be safe to say that your day to die is your day to die, whether you go to China or not? Wouldn’t you rather die while being obedient, rather than running from something that God has clearly asked you to do?”
I couldn’t argue with his incredible logic. It was true! Did I trust God or not? This was not only an act of obedience, but also an act of faith. And I decided I would trust God with my life.
I did go to China that next day, and God completely changed my life as a result of it. In the first episode of the show, I was asked to bow down to a huge statue of Buddha as part of the welcoming ceremony. I did not. When confronted, I proclaimed with great confidence that, “I am not religious, but I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and I’m only going to put my face on the floor for Him.”
God used this time in my life to open many doors for me to share my faith, both on and off the show. I have been traveling around the world for over five years now, sharing the Gospel and encouraging others to stand up for Christ. To think, I almost gave it all up because of fear.
Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. Where we are weak, He is strong. When we are filled with fear, He reminds us that we can do all things through Him. When we are walking out our purpose with confidence, He is right there beside us, cheering us on and guiding us.
I thank God that He has given me a supportive, encouraging, and wise husband to walk beside me in this life! Without his support, I would have never had the confidence to pursue my dream. And without that dream, I would never have the opportunities to share my faith that I do now.