by Victorya Michaels Rogers
For more than a decade Love & Life Coach Victorya Michaels Rogers was a prominent Hollywood agent bringing in millions of dollars for her clients in the TV and film business. It looked as though she had everything she could dream of right there in the heart of Beverly Hills. But what Victorya did not have was one special man with whom to share her life--a dream she held dear since she was a little girl. Here is her story of dreams, perseverance and God’s precious timing. We don’t know the future, but God does and he is always faithful. God had a plan for Victorya and he has a plan for you!
When I was a little girl, I had two distinct dreams: marriage and fame. I wanted desperately to get married, have babies and living happily ever after. I wanted the fairytale. I was ready for a husband at age five. Decades passed without a husband. I also wanted desperately to find my place in this world and impact those around me; I thought God wanted me to be famous for that to happen.
Growing up I was very insecure. I didn’t know how to be popular and I was terrified of rejection, confrontation or any kind of conflict. I did everything I could be to perfect. I was definitely a “people-pleaser,” always afraid I’d be rejected if I crossed anyone.
Better Watch Out or You’re Gonna Get Burned
It was in the midst of being a people-pleaser that tragedy when I was twelve years old. We had just left for vacation five minutes before and were on the freeway in our camper. I attempted to pour my dad a cup of coffee out of a boiling hot thermos. We hit a bump on the freeway and the entire thermos spilled all over my left leg giving me second and third degrees burns.
I had often been clumsy. This wasn’t my first trip to the emergency room. I believe there were six trips by age 12. First I stepped on a rusty nail, then I stepped on broken glass. Next, I split my head open while spinning around the room with my cousin, broke my arm playing a silly game in the house, and when that bully chased me, I got a major concussion by running into the metal bars at the snack shack. You’d think that would be bad enough, but the burn was was by far the worse.
Can’t Act, Can’t Sing
Getting burned didn’t deter me from my dreams. Aside from being clumsy, I excelled in school (as far as grades), but I didn’t know how to be popular and the boys just didn’t notice me. In fact, I didn’t have my first real “boyfriend” until I was 21. So to say I was crashing and burning on the husband dream is an understatement. But I was determined to keeping praying and persevering.
As far as the dream of fame, by elementary school I figured my way to stardom would be through singing and acting. I grew up during the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family, the Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift of my day. I wanted to BE Marcia Brady. But the reality was—I wasn’t the world’s best singer or actor, certainly not for lack of trying. I tried out for every play at my church and school all through elementary school and junior high. I made it into the choir and received a few minor parts. In junior high I even landed the part of seven year-old MARTA in the Sound of Music!
Then audiocassettes were invented. And at first, those audiocassettes were very poor quality. I mean, with passion I’d sing in the car, in my room, or in the shower and I was good. Then I’d record it in my dad’s small recording studio and it sounded terrible! I just didn’t understand it. I was asked to sing in a wedding once…and never again.
I was starting to get discouraged. And then, in college, I had this cute little dog. Buffy and I used to drive down the road and sing at the top of our lungs. Our favorite was Juice Newton’s “Angel.” I’d start singing and pretty soon Buffy would join along with howls. I thought this was so cute until I took Buffy in for her shots and the vet announced that dog’s only howl when their ears hurt. Okay, I get it. I gave up.
From that moment on I decided to focus on broadcast journalism. I was in the midst of getting my bachelors degree by this point and I was wasting no time. Several jobs fell on my lap. First, even though by now I knew I couldn’t sing nor act, I had developed a skill for appreciating both. And besides isn’t it true that “those who don’t do, critique?” Well, I couldn’t sing, so I became a music critic. One of my three part time jobs was working two days a week as an editorial assistant and music critic for Contemporary Christian Music Magazine.
Freelancing for the magazine also offered me the opportunity to attend my first Hollywood movie premiere! It just came at a rather inopportune time. From my early to late 20s I experienced several medical scares. The premiere took place one day after my first surgery to remove a suspicious lump. Even not knowing what the film was about, I would not let pain deter me from my first Red Carpet. Would you? Besides I had pain pills. So I rode along with my boss and coworkers to the new film starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson and Debra Winger...yes that film was Terms of Endearment, probably the worst film to watch while you’re awaiting your own lab results. From that moment on any time another lump would appear, fear gripped me that maybe this time it would be malignant. Thank you Jesus, it never was. Over and over, a precious Scripture comforted me:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
The Dreamer Finds Her Place
By 22, I achieved my bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and set out to change Hollywood, this time behind the scenes. A temporary job turned up for a receptionist at a prestigious Beverly Hills talent agency. One week later I was moved up to president’s secretary. And a year and a half later I was promoted to a full-fledged Screen Actors Guild franchised talent agent. I was now officially an executive. God has such a sense of humor. As I’ve said, I was timid—terrified of confrontation and rejection, and here is this little girl thrust into a man’s world filled with mean people and dozens of rejections every day! I persevered and became a good agent.
The Manhunt Continues
I was surviving my medical traumas, achieving great success in the agent world, BUT I was still single and I didn’t want to be. By my mid-twenties I was determined to learn to fit in and be accepted by men. I got caught up in searching for physical perfection and beauty. (Oh my, how exhausting! Isn’t it?) But I was convinced, if only I learned how to be beautiful and knew the walk and the talk, then men would fall in head over heels in love with me.
Well, it worked in that dating lots of men became a busy pastime. I was even pursued by a country music singer, a Grammy winning rock star, and an Academy award-winning actor. But it was empty. By the end of my twenties, I was filled with a quantity rather than a quality of dating, and it left me feeling shallow and unfulfilled. And no date thus far in my life had met my list for “Mr. Right.” You see I had made a special commitment at a very young age.
That Sunday Evening
It was a Sunday evening. I was seven years old and the pastor of my church made a profound statement I never forgot. He said,
“There comes a time in the life of every person, when you have to stop just believing in the religion of your parents, and make a decision for yourself.
What are you going to do about Jesus?
You have a choice. You can either accept him or reject him. But you will decide.”
At that very moment, even at my young age of seven, I knew it was my time to choose to accept him. I believed Jesus was real and invited him into my life. I said a simple prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I need you. I’ve messed up in and done things that Mommy and Daddy don’t know about and I want you to forgive me. I want you to be my God, not just the God of my parents. I believe you died on that cross for me and came back to life three days later and still live today. Please come take over my life and help me be who you want me to be... In Jesus Name, Amen.”
It was so simple to do and yet that prayer changed my life forever. And Jesus has been my closest friend ever since. And I promised God I was only going to marry a man who loved Jesus as much as I loved Jesus. Well, I was in Hollywood. It’s hard to find anyone who loves anyone but themselves in Hollywood! Heartache after heartache, I kept pressing on.
My agent career was stressful, yet exciting. My clients included a wide range of people such as actors, writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, stuntmen, and others. Many clients won awards including Academy Awards and Emmy Awards. Weekly I’d walk onto sets during filming. On top of many glamorous movie premieres, I also attended many award shows, from the Grammys to the Emmys to the Golden Globe Awards. The best part of the award shows and premieres was that once inside, if you had the nerve, you could just walk up to anyone you admired and strike up a conversation. A few of the fond memories include occasionally sharing an elevator with former President Ronald Reagan who frequented our office building, working with singer Lionel Richie on the Closing Ceremonies of the Los Angeles Olympics, dining with singers Kenny Rogers & Reba McEntyre at the American Music Awards, dining with Columbo star Peter Falk and Darth Vadar himself--James Earl Jones--at the Emmy Awards, hanging out with Kevin Costner and Rene Russo while on set, sharing a limousine with football star Troy Aikman, and flirting with Brad Pitt, Don Johnson and many others. On the outside, it looks like my life in Hollywood was as glamorous as anyone could dream. This is the side the public sees glamorized in TV and magazines. But that is just a small part of the story.
There is another more prominent reality to show business. And that’s the side that takes up 90% of your time. You see there are only so many premieres and annual award shows. There remains some three hundred more days a year that life and career take place. It’s in the daily living that you search for the meaning of life. It is in your daily life that you discover either happiness or emptiness. That is where the rubber meets the road. And that is where I’ve been so privileged to know Jesus, and to depend on Him to keep me strong, happy and content through life’s trials.
Sure, like all of you, I’ve had my share of difficult times as well, aside from heartache after heartache. A former client tried to to get rich quick by making up terrible stories about me personally and suing my boss for millions. Thankfully, nine months after it began, I was cleared of all charges. But it was very painful to show up at work every day for those nine month to a cloud of suspicion
“I bet that goody-two-shoes Christian isn’t really all she claims to be...
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Just saying...”
“I can so see her secretly doing all that she’s accused of.”
Ouch, rumors and suspicion. Not fun. Hollywood, so high school.
Of course, there was more. Like the ten days my roommate and I were stalked by a rapist. The police were great and protected us those were rather unpleasant memories. Yet through it all God took care of me.
One Day My Prince Will Come
By my thirties, it seemed that I had it all—money, success, and prestige. But my dearest dream had eluded me. I was still single and I still wanted to find Mr. Right. Though I decided that God probably wanted me single forever and I was learning to accept that.
It was January of my thirty second year and I was attending the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. A cute businessman from Oklahoma just happened to be staying at the hotel where the awards were held. He met my girlfriend and asked to see her program. She handed it to him and snapped “You better not take off with it.” He just laughed. Cathy was so charmed that she took him under her wing. She got him into the show, into the parties and happened to introduce him to me. Now it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Not only was he GU (geographically undesirable), but Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner were in the other room. Would you care?
BUT NOTHING can stop God’s plan! TEN months later, he came back to town. He called my girlfriend and said “Let’s do lunch”. We ended up making it a Saturday morning hike and it was clearly Love at second sight! It didn’t take long for me to see that he loved God every bit as much as I did. Finally my prince had come! We were married two years to the day of our Golden Globe meeting.
I’d spent 32 years searching everywhere for my husband and God had Will picked out all along. And he was the first man I ever dated that was worth every tear I had shed in search of Mr. Right. God’s timing is so exact and amazing. You see, my husband is several years younger then I. We often joke that if we met any earlier it would have been illegal.
God came through for me big time! At the thirty four I married the most incredible husband I could have every dreamed for. We’ve now been married twelve years and have two precious children. Sure life still has its challenges. As long as you are breathing you will have problems. But I’ve learned that God always knows the future, God has a plan and God is faithful.
I’ve been devastated in relationships; I’ve been disappointed, discouraged, even burned. But through it all I have experienced ongoing peace and happiness. And that was only because God was and is always there for me. I know what the Secret of life is and that is knowing Jesus personally. It didn’t take long to discover how much discontentment and unhappiness there is among the rich and famous. After 16 years in the entertainment world, I’ve seen first hand that money and fame do not satisfy. I've known many millionaires and movie stars who seemed to have everything on the outside, but were miserable and empty on the inside. As I’ve mentioned earlier the Bible says:
Be anxious for nothing, but in all things through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.
That is how I have lived my life. A hectic career is NOT easy. Whether you work or you’re a stay at home mom, raising a family is filled with stress and anxiety, BAD things do happen to good people. But I’ve learned many valuable lessons in my life. I learned Jesus loves me even when I’m ugly and no one seems to care. I learned that Jesus loves me when I fail Him and let Him down. Most important of all, I learned that Jesus is faithful. God’s promises are true. Jesus said,
“...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
My Career, in fact my entire life, has been about perseverance, and God’s faithfulness to me.
“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.
Throughout my life God put me into situations I didn’t want to be in, in order to stretch and mold me into the person he wants me to be.
Andre` Crouch wrote a song my father’s quartet often sang.
THROUGH IT ALL sums up my life:
I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow.
There’s been times, I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation, God gave his blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.
I’ve been a lot of places,
I’ve seen millions of faces, but there’s been times I felt so all alone,
But in those lonely hours, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus let me know I was his own.
So I thank him for the mountains and I thank him for the valleys
And I thank him for the storms he brought me through.
For if I had never had those problems,
Then I wouldn’t know that my Jesus could solve them
And I wouldn’t know what faith in my God can do!”
(Andre Crouch, “Through it All”)
We can keep making our plans and God’s going to keep directing our steps. Isn’t that reassuring! My God is, and always has been there to pick up the pieces of my life and make all things work together for good. You too can have this same rich relationship.
How to Know God:
What do I mean by know God? You can know a lot about a celebrity, but do you have their personal cell phone number? You can know a lot about God, but do you communicate back and forth? The easiest way I know how to explain beginning a relationship with Jesus is through the ABCs.
ABC’s of knowing Jesus:
A is for Ask, Jesus to come in. One of my favorite verses in the Bible Jesus says “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in…” That means every single person, including you and me, can have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. All we have to do ask, and God will say Yes.
B is for Believe. Believe Jesus is who he said he was. Jesus said he is God’s son, sent down to earth in the flesh to be a sacrifice, once and for all for all sin. He died and was buried and three days later was raised from the dead and now lives forever in Heaven. We too can live forever with Him just for ask, believe and ...
C is for Confess. Confess your need for God. Confess to the things you’ve done that are wrong. Confess that you’ve lived your life according to your plan, not according to His. Look, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of and God already knows what that is. So you might as well confess it.
If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Would you like to invite Jesus into your life right now? Here’s a simple prayer you can pray right now to begin your relationship with Christ:
“Dear Jesus, I need you. I’ve messed up and done things that no one else knows about, but you do. Please forgive me. I want you to be my God, not just the God of my parents. I believe you died on that cross for me and came back to life three days later and still live today. Please come take over my life and help me be who you want me to be. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
As you begin your adventure with Jesus, pick up a Bible for yourself and get to know him through his book. Every time I read the Bible I first stop and ask God to reveal himself and help me understand what I read. I encourage new believers to begin in the New Testament (which is found 3/4s into the book). First read the book of John (the 4th book of the New Testament). After that, read all of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These four books make up the “Gospels” which are four first-person accounts of men who were personal friends with Jesus. These four report what they heard Jesus say.
Love and Life Coach Victorya Michaels Rogers is the author of Finding a Man worth Keeping and The Automatic 2nd Date as well as the co-author of The Day I Met God and How to Talk About Jesus without Freaking Out. Prior to opening her Life Coaching business in 2000, Victorya spent more than a decade as a Hollywood agent, representing many award-winners from Academy Awards to Emmy Awards. She also taught on Hollywood Careers at UCLA. Victorya earned her Master’s Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing her doctorate in leadership. With a passion for helping women make better choices in life and love, this relationship coach has been seen and heard on national TV, radio and print--from MTV to Focus on the Family, Woman’s World to Cosmopolitan, Today’s Christian Woman to Charisma. Victorya speaks across the country and lives in a suburb of Dallas with her husband, Will, and their two children Matthew and Katie. To learn more about Victorya go to www.victorya.com.
At Life Story Foundation, we are continually looking for inspirational stories that describe a person's life before and after they found their Christian faith. If you know of a Christian testimony story or video online, please email us the link so we can post it on our site.
Thanks for the link,
Life Story Foundation