Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-09-18 - Michelle Schubert Claussen

Author Recorded Wednesday September 18th, 2019

There are 31 episodes in the Versus:Protestant series.

Michelle was raised Christian, but had a dramatic conversion at the age of 24. She now works for Pioneer Bible Translators. Back in 2016 Michelle made it to day 23 on Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X. I really enjoyed hearing about her faith journey, and I hope she'll send some more castaways my way.

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Under Construction

These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi my name is Michele Schubert Clausen and you're listening to Catholic versus Protestant tell the listeners a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and how you came to believe what you believe okay so I currently work for Pioneer Bible Translators and it's a Bible translation in church planting organization and I work for them because of how the Bible drastically transformed my life or I should say how God used the Bible to Jurassic Lee transform my life about six or seven years ago now I had grown up in the church specifically Protestant maybe Baptist when I was little but nondenominational when I was older but I did not know God I had never had like an experience with God that I could point to or or you know something that had been really transformative and in my life showed it and then when I was 24 I had a spiritual encounter or series of spiritual encounters and I guess those have continued to this day so because of of the direction that that then like spurred in my life I got involved in work like I'm doing how were you raised what sort of environment were you raised in was there religion in the home just sort of talk if you would about some of the earliest memories about God and religion place so I was born into a family that's very religious my grandparents were missionaries on one side my dad is a pastor preacher and so I grew up in church always all of the church functions all the events you know awana if you're familiar with that no yeah you know an event that you bring your kids to every week and they learn Bible verses and do different tasks and so it's kind of like I would almost say it's kind of like Boy Scouts or something except that specifically Church focused and so I was around it I was very familiar in fact I have memories of you know sitting around the dinner table and my dad quizzing me on what Martin Luther said about such and such or certain theological points about this background or this belief and so yeah so I was very well very well acquainted with Christian faith growing up how old were you when you decided that yes you you believe in God you love God you want to worship God and you want to give your life to God do you remember a specific moment you said that 24 it happened but did it happen earlier perhaps in a more naive fashion because when you're 24 you're already an adult but I'm talking about a sort of an earlier moment where without the sophistication of theology you decided that you believed in God and that you loved God can you remember any moment like that so I think growing up I mostly believed because of what I was told by my parents you know it's kind of I think most children at least start that way you just kind of believe that there is a God and that he's like whatever your parents are are telling you if he's like I would pray in times of sadness in times of pain probably like most people I feel like even atheists probably do that and or maybe if I really wanted something you know times of eagerness or desire for one thing or another and I would definitely have said that I was a Christian and the thought that I was or you know I I did have a naive or childlike faith when I was a child so yeah I would I would say that's fair before we get to the 24 year old experience I want you to talk a little bit without embarrassing yourself about the dark years your rebellion did you go as far as to deny God explicitly or can you just talk about the dark side to the extent that you're comfortable place yeah so so my parents are very very strict and as soon as I was outside of their care outside of their shelter you know going off to college that's when I really started to realize what do I actually believe and between the age of 18 and 23 I realized by the time I was 23 is what I realized but this is what had been happening since I was 18 I thought that Christians were people that did this list of things and didn't do that list of things and little by little my list would change to include the things that I was doing or not and so little by little I guess I started to realize that I didn't know I didn't have any proof for what I believed other than you know there's apologetics and you can learn facts about this or that or you know little things that you think make the Bible sound true or more realistic or I don't know indifferent things like this but ultimately if you don't experience God for yourself for me it felt like I had no proof that was just this ideal that everyone was working toward everyone was hoping for this cool experience or this or a coincidence so big that they had to say it was God and eventually all of these things kind of came to a head when I was 23 I started to realize that I was my own god I was the judge I was the one that decided whether or not an action was sinful or righteous and and I finally admitted that I don't know God you know I finally admitted if there is a God I've never heard from him nor have I ever felt him or met him and and I guess I never went so far as to say there was no God I think I always believed in a creating force and I believed that that creating force had to be knowable and that was just a simple philosophical journey for me was if something created anything that being is powerful and would have known I think would have known with that much power would have known what it was creating and it created me who has a desire to know what the creator and so if he's not knowable if he she or it is not knowable then it's worthless and it can't be worthless if it created all this there was this kind of circular reasoning that that kept assuring me that there was a creator who is knowable and so that's kind of then what spurred on my actual pursuit of that being mm-hmm can you talk about the moment or moments that brought you to a solid faith in God where were you what were you doing and just describe it for us if you can yeah so when I was 23 once I started to have that feeling or that acknowledgement that I didn't know God and that I didn't know anything at all it was humbling and it was scary and I would cry on my knees in prayer or meditation whatever you I don't know just cry out to whatever God was there whatever God would hear me whatever God would respond and that probably took place for months I would say daily or close to it and I just I guess I I hate not knowing things and so that drove me to yeah a fervent prayer or fervent cry begging for if anyone was out there to make themselves known to me and that of course that time was was also then riddled with exploring all the different ideas all the different possibilities you know different religions or different ideas if it philosophies and when I was 24 there was a time that I was surprisingly reading through the Bible something in the Old Testament I want to say that it was something to do with Elijah in one of the you know grand miracles that is described involving Elijah and I remember pushing the Bible away from me and thinking and I'm out of even said this out loud really I'm supposed to believe that this is factually accurate history and maybe what's more unbelievable I'm supposed to believe that the Christians that I know believe that this is the God they're praying to this is the they're praying too when they you know have the glazed overlook on Sunday mornings with their hands in their pockets oh great you know this like very bored look and that's hard to believe that they think this is the God there they're singing - and this is God they're praying - when they pray for you no wimpy prayers Lord maybe please if it be your will could you possibly give us traveling mercies and that was hard for me to believe and I was sitting there I guess having a conversation with the God that I didn't know yet and saying if I believed this my worship would be dramatic if this is who I thought I was worshipping thought I was connecting with thought I was praising if I thought this was the God I was praying to my prayers would look dramatic I would ask for crazy things if I thought this is the guy that I worshipped or the God that I knew like my life would look different my life would look exceptional and somehow and this is the part that I can't that I have no explanation for because I was at a pretty hard location of of disbelief and somehow at in that same moment then I was given faith and I remember saying to God okay I believe this book speaks truth about you and I'm gonna live like it I'm gonna be in it a hundred percent I'm gonna do all of the things that I think this book is encouraging me to do and I'm going to seek the God that's described in this book one hundred percent and if in ten years or in 10 minutes I find out it's wrong I will feel good about walking away saying that I was in it a hundred percent and from that day on I was blown away so what did your parents make of your perilous journey away from and then back to God were they aware of any part of the drama or no I don't know if they knew the extent of it while it was happening they definitely didn't know maybe the angst I I didn't feel comfortable sharing with too many people the emotional or spiritual like angst that I had been going through during that time and so I don't in fact I don't remember sharing with with just about anybody yeah that to me tells me that we do have an intimacy with God a personal relationship with God but it's hard to explain to someone that hasn't been in that desperate situation yet it's hard to explain the intimacy but I think it's very very clear for all that just listen to your story that you had an intimacy with God even while you were doubting him and you have that personal relationship with God do you want to comment on that am i right or am i way off base I think you're right I think for a lot of us when we are in those moments of deep emotional or spiritual angst and we're crying out to God even if we don't necessarily believe in him I think that's easier to do than to a person because worst case scenario God doesn't exist in your crying to yourself and so there's not much downside and then best-case scenario he's a loving God and he's gonna answer you and hear your you know see your tears or hear your your cries but I I do absolutely believe that that intimacy with the Creator is achievable or attainable or yeah it's not impossible it's not foreign and strange it's so natural it's so familiar that we just don't recognize it most of us until we go through something like what you went through and then you have the grace to recognize it but I think that everyone is always experiencing that and they just don't have the eyes to see right yeah and of course they're not taking advantage of it that's the downside of not being aware of that relationship but I I'm a firm believer in that sort of one-on-one relationship that God has with each of his children and that he's cooperating 100% 100% of the that's a hard one for me because I went through I went through a really tough and dark time my young adult years and I feel like I did reach out over and over and over for help without response and so I think that was actually I should have mentioned that earlier I kind of had glossed over that in my memory that was something some part of my story that in a sense kind of pushed me away from the church and away from God and away from the Bible away from Christianity was because I did feel like I had reached out over and over and over and I'd always felt or I'd always been told you know well draw near to God and he'll draw near to you or something like that or the prodigal son story or anything's like this and and yet I felt like I had done that over and over kept reaching out my hand and grasping at nothing and so I don't know what the difference was what was the difference between that time of crying out and the time and when I was 24 I don't know yeah yeah I don't know if you know about me but I was atheist for 25 years my whole entire adult life and I too had gone through some dark stuff and I you know I I can admit that in the darkest moments I would have questions about is it possible that this God exists and you know something akin to a prayer not really a prayer but something akin to a prayer maybe would bounce around in my troubled and confused head at those dark dark times and you know so if I wanted to I could say the same thing like why did God wait so long so patiently for just the right moment to touch me and such a gentle touch I want to talk also about the gentleness of God the patience of God the kindness of God the mercy of God and I was a dark dark atheist and very anti-christian and when I converted there was never any mention of that there were no reprisals there was no guilt trip there was nothing there was just love and gentleness so I want you to talk about the gen of God when he when he welcomes someone back how gentle and how soft he is can you just talk about that from your personal experience place yeah oh I wish you could see my face it's all smiles right now on this subject even the word God you know we can't we can't absorb all that that means and we'll you know our minds can't our hearts can't or we just can't I feel so grateful that when I did come into a relationship with the creator that I feel like he erased all of the things I thought I knew about him like I and about religion I I didn't care anymore about the right theology and who taught this and in what book says that and I didn't care about who's sitting in what way like it became just personal and it became hopeful everything all experienced became hopeful and it wasn't me striving anymore it was me waking up excited to ask God his opinion on the day and the tasks at hand and it was so different than any other day of my life leading up to that point so I I don't have any better words well I'm picturing sunshine after a dark and stormy night that's what I'm picturing as you're speaking just that gentle warmth the light the clarity the vision the hope and you're in the here and now and you see you can see the future ahead of you and you're not worried about that dark night that you've spent sopping wet in the rain and the tears right yeah it's interesting because I also felt like I I felt like and I don't know if this is true I felt like I struggled and maybe still do struggle with sin more than everyone else I don't know why I feel that way cuz logically that doesn't seem likely but I'm living it and so I'm like well no that's what's going on and so I feel like it was also interesting - for the first time in my life understand grace even though I knew the definition of grace from the time I was five you know and I could quote verses throughout the Bible about grace but it was when I was 24 that I felt Grace and realized that you know that moment of of contrition once you you know after sitting is also an extremely happy moment it's a grateful moment it's a celebrating because once again you have you can thank Jesus praise Jesus for what he's done and then and then that also gives you so much grace than for others because you know the more the more grace you experience I feel like the more grace you can extend to to those around you yeah and this brings me to my next question which is sort of a misunderstood aspect of certainly Christianity if not other monotheistic religions Judaism and Islam but we'll stick with Christianity for the moment this misunderstood notion is the fear of God and those who don't know God really mischaracterized the fear of God but it is a filial fear of offending and when you and I decide that we don't want to sin we don't want to offend our loving father that holy fear is not full of dread it's not full of anxiety on the contrary it's full of light and warmth and love and hope and and joy and energy and it's anything but a cowardly slavish fear right for me i yeah and I totally agree it's not this it's not a fear and anxiety it's it's a reverence or a in awe the first couple thousand times I prayed after first encountering God I was always on my knees I would I would kneel down to pray out of that reverence out of this realizing this is a holy presence I'm coming into or that I'm beckoning as I as I say these words and I want to show how Reverend how uh filled I am and still to this day I do but it's not every single time but at the same time there's like a trust in him you know it what is it what does the verse love casts out fear or something that and that's true you know I think when we think of the end of our lives I think everyone is going to have an initial fear and those who love God will you know that love will take over not not the fear I kind of feel like there's really two good reasons to obey and the first one I don't know if you'd call it the fear of God I I would almost say like even in a in a normal relationship with a human that you love and you want to please you want to do the things that they want you to do you know you want to do the things that make them happy and so that's the first reason I think for obedience and then secondly out of wisdom because you know if this being really does know the best way to live and then told you well you're kind of an idiot to go against that and not do that so I don't know how the fear of God kind of works into that it does somehow but I'm tiptoeing around it right now and I haven't put my finger on it quite yet how where the connection is hmm when I came to God it was only to God the Father and so I assumed that I must be a Muslim of some sort because even though I didn't believe in Muhammad and the Quran and all of that I did not I definitely did not want to be Christians so I only had God the Father but through divine providence or sheer luck although I don't believe in luck so I guess it must be Providence I I ran into a monk and he educated me in the faith because I asked him if I could talk to him about God because all of my friends here in Montreal are atheist or agnostics so he welcomed me into his monastery and he educated me and I said I don't believe in Jesus Christ I don't believe in the Trinity I don't believe any of this Christian stuff but I do worship your God I know that for sure it's the god of classical theism because I have a background in philosophy so I had encountered a lot of classical theism so long story short I started with God the Father and was very trepidatious having been a staunch enemy of Christ and His Church for my whole adult life but through the grace of God and through a sound education I came to accept all of the teachings the fundamental teachings of Christianity and I'm sure you would agree with most of them although there's some doctrinal differences between the Catholics and the Protestants but the essentials we would agree on things as fundamental as God being a triune God with Father Son and Holy Ghost so I want you to talk a little bit about your relationship with Father Son and Holy Ghost I still am very jealous of God the Father I want to make sure that he is never offended but I am obviously now it's been 10 years I've been Christian I am obviously growing close to Jesus Christ and I feel a little bit like I'm neglecting the Holy Spirit so I sort of characterized my relationship with the three persons of the Trinity and I'd like you to return the favor and sort of talk about how maybe you place a little bit too much emphasis here or not enough emphasis there or if you have a very balanced relationship with the Trinity or if you don't even worry about that sort of thing at all just talk a little bit about the Trinity if you would yeah definitely when I first came to faith I was interacting with God the Father but I also very quickly because of my upbringing or because it was in the Bible that I that I kind of like met God the Father you know Jesus was a very very easy addition and I don't have too much of a distinction between the two I mean in one sense like you said you know God the Father is is the is the one we're reverent toward and I do kind of in a sense feel that Jesus is more of my he's more my friend or my brother and so actually I don't have any idea of this is good or bad I sometimes will ask Jesus to like pray for Jesus can you pray that this happens cuz I know I know God listens to your prayers and so and you know I think I do remember you know in the Bible talking about Jesus interceding for us so yeah so I guess I feel a close Ernest if that's I'm gonna say that's a word a closer to Jesus and more of a reverence toward God the Father but I do definitely give praise to both like as I'm singing or praying or all these things the Holy Spirit though I grew up not seeing evidence of the Holy Spirit and I think creation is evidence enough of God the Father and there might be historical facts that can be said to be evidence of Jesus and when I when I feel like I met God the Father I feel like I instantly had the Holy Spirit with me as well and that was very very clear because of conviction of sin because of leadings things that I felt led to do that I would never ever ever do and would never want to do and then I would do them and it would be it would turn out amazing something would happen that you know I it was confirming that was what I was supposed to do that was that was what the Holy Spirit was leading me to do and then even even things blatant you know because some people could say oh you just felt like you should do those nice things or those good things or the hard things and they worked out and that could have been a coincidence but even things like I was struggling with sin and I was feeling like and this was probably like a year into following Christ maybe a little bit more and I would sin and I would literally kneel down pray ask for forgiveness and then stand up and immediately sin again and it was this cycle I just felt like I was constantly sitting there was constantly temptation around me and I had zero power over it and so I called my prayer partner and I had her come over Teresa and I told her what was going on I think she probably already knew we've been talking about it for a bit and praying together and as I'm praying to God I said god I don't know what to do about this I'm not supposed to be a slave to sin anymore but Here I am I keep saying and I don't even I don't know what to do about it like I've asked you to help me not but I keep sinning so that's not it it's not just asking you should I fast like I don't know I had only fasted at a handful of times prior to this and I had no idea why I was fasting I just saw it in the Bible so I decided to do it and so I asked those words I said should I fast over this I don't even know if that would help and then I just kind of shut up and sat there and Theresa started praying and right then almost kind of like across my vision I saw Jonah 3/6 I don't know what Jonah 3:6 says I mean I do now but at the time I didn't know what Jonah 3:6 said so I stopped Theresa and I said hold on we need to read Jonah three six and I open up the Bible and the Holy Spirit was a little bit off because actually the verse starts in three five and it says something like when the king of Nineveh heard of their sin he called for a fast for repentance throughout the whole kingdom and I just like sat there and like we both are like jaws dropped off our faces and we're just like wow clear answer to my prayer I guess I need to fast and so I thought and I had never fasted from food and water but that's what the verse said and so I was like alright god I'm gonna fat do a fast for repentance I'm gonna fast from food and water I fasted from food and water for a day for I think he was like you know 24 hour fast and at the end of that 24 hour fast it was like a oak had been broken off of my back there was no more temptation around in anything that was around I was strong against it and it was this amazing testimony to me that God's Spirit is in me you know that he that he wants my sanctification so badly he'll answer that prayer like yeah Michelle you should fast for repentance over this that is a thing so just stories like that that's one of quite a few just interactions with the Holy Spirit that often the Holy Spirit will be working in conjunction I find with with Scripture which is another reason I love the Bible so much yeah he's the primary author of Scripture and while you were speaking it was reminding me of my own awareness of the Holy Spirit through inspiration and those moments of peace the moments of consolation and above all I think it's inspiration just that little soft gentle voice not it not even a voice but just that inspiration to pick up and read or to say a prayer or whatever it might be it's always very natural to always very gentle it's nothing shocking it's nothing bewildering it's always good and if you respond to those Grace's than you of course are usually given some sort of light or some sort of consolation right so it's nothing earth-shattering but if we could get in the habit of responding to that yeah gentle voice what a change I would see in this world right you know that's something I wonder about like when you read in the Old Testament these prophets I'm thinking specifically of Moses but there was a time I think that Moses went up on to was it Mount Sinai he went up on one of the mountains for 40 days and 40 nights without food and without water and then he did it again like right after that and I just remember like as I'm reading through this and thinking over it like that wasn't the first leading that he had you know the first leading he had like you mentioned like these prophets at all are led to do bizarre what we think of as you know bizarre things that wasn't their first rodeo you know their first leading was get up and pray you know I'm assuming I'm assuming God didn't start off with a marathon you know with these guys and so I guess that's something I think all of us do need to work on is responding affirmatively when we do have those leadings the little leadings or whatever it is you know confront this person or confess to that person or you know whatever it is mm-hmm what about the devil and the demons can you talk about your experience with the dark side in terms of the spiritual battle in terms of temptation in terms of sin in terms of confusion in terms of nightmares and in terms of selfishness and pride just talk about how you think the dark forces trick us and ensnare us please yeah I don't know I mean I know evil is real and I know that temptation is real and you know there's so much coincidence if you just analyze kind of when you're temptation is coming or from where it seems like there's definitely themes as far as interacting or anything with demons or the devil I have definitely had some experiences that you know was was me encountering demons physically in in a country that I was working in and that was an extremely frightening encounter and it was it was also a bizarre one because anytime I've ever felt any like sinister presence I suppose you could call it you know I always call out the name of Jesus or bring God's presence through prayer but in this particular case that was not working that didn't work it didn't you know it wasn't at least successful for about an hour of prayer over this and it was a it was a location that you know I'm sure a lot of I don't know witchcraft or sorcery whatever different different names you want to call these types of kind of dark practices occur and so it wasn't all that bizarre to have this sort of encounter with demonic beings but I think it's different also in different locations like I feel like Satan's no dummy you know he's been around longer than we have and so I think in the States he does a good job of keeping people unaware of the spiritual realm and yet in other locations keeping people in fear of the spiritual realm so I think it does kind of depend where you are on on what you experience but one thing I know for sure every everybody is experiencing you know temptation and people desire so I can't deny the presence of a dark force and in this world know I know you don't have the answer but I'm just curious what you would say if I asked you why why were you given sufficient grace to convert and others around you that you want to convert have not yet received that grace or have they received it and said no or is God waiting for the right time just play around a little bit with those ideas why were you able to say yes so young I was 39 when I finally said yes so that's quite a bit later in life than you but there are other people that have the faith all their life long and so there's temptation to be jealous of those people but on the other hand there's more celebration over that lost sheep that comes back so maybe I'm the lucky one just talk a little bit about the mystery of conversion and those that you would like very much to convert who are not yet converted they're stubbornly resisting and what's happening what's the timeline on their conversion do you think yeah man this is something I think about often and wonder about often because you know I don't believe that it was anything intrinsically in me that God was like oh I'm gonna cause her to love me and and follow me and understand me or at least to some little extent and not this person right next to her you know I don't I have no idea but what I do know is that I came begging in humility like I would literally I was literally saying god I don't care what's true just show me you know even if it's the worst thing I can imagine is is truth show me what's true because I'll follow it I'll do what I need to do I'll you know just show me truth and so I think there was a level of humility in my prayers that I had never had before because I always thought that I knew or thought I you know I had these preconceived ideas of what was true and so on one hand I think humility has a lot to do with it and we No God gives grace to the humble and he shows the humble his ways and so I think that's something and not to say that I'm humble in all aspects but definitely in that prayer that was a humble prayer just begging for truth in direction so I do think then - I think of Jeremiah when when God is talking and he says you will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart I think that's an important thing to keep in mind because I don't think too many people at least in my sphere could say honestly that they have sought God with all their heart you know and I believe that's a true statement you will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart that something's very seldom done in our culture and maybe it's because we're comfortable maybe it's because we kind of have most of the things we need most of the things we want and so we don't need to we don't have a desperation to search for truth or to search for help so I do wonder about that and and maybe there's just some of us that get so desperate for whatever reason that we do seek with all of our heart and not just like a knock on the door but knocking until it's answered but then I I think of also I think of people that I've prayed with or that I've experienced the power of the Holy Spirit with who then deny any knowledge of God and I do wonder about that thinking wait what you were with me when this happened you were with me how do you not believe anymore and and I can understand beliefs changing throughout the years denominationally or theologically I totally get that because and I think we should change if we never change our minds and we're probably never growing but to kind of deny the whole the whole picture after seeming to have experienced it on a very real level that definitely confuses me and I have had no idea as you were speaking you reminded me of the parable of the seeds that fell on the different types of terrain can you describe from memory the different types of train that the seats fell on and what so it seems that Jesus was talking and he said sower came along and was sowing seed some fell on was it on the path and were those the ones I think that were picked up by the birds and then some fell on the rocky area and some fell somewhere choked by weeds yeah they were choked by weeds and then some fell on good soil and then the disciples asked him you know what does this mean and he says there's some seeds that have fallen on the path and I don't know if how he says it but something like the evil one then comes and steals away their their faith immediately something like that and then the seed that fell on the rocky you know it begins to take root but then when the weeds come up in and choke it out that's the the worries of the world that the cares of the world these other you know the carrot that's being dangled in front of them from their job or their relationships or whatever it is and and so their faith gets stolen as well but then there's the good soil and that then yields something what ten twenty a hundredfold it's something I think we need to remember all people of faith to nurture that little gift of faith that we have and to look around and to see the stories of those who grew cold and who were choked out of their faith and who fell away from the faith and how tragic it looks from within the faith and to humble yourself and to say that there but for the grace of God go I there's nothing preventing me from suffering a worse fate and I think I've just realized now what the fear of God is I think that's it dear God don't let that happen to me don't let me ever grow cold in my love and my faith yeah this interview is coming to an end but I can't resist to ask you about survivor can you just talk a little bit about how that affected your faith or more importantly how your faith affect your journey and maybe even your friends and companions on the island yeah so I was on Survivor what now three years ago which so survivor 33 Millennials worse Gen X and I had just begun my job at Pioneer Bible Translators I think I'd been working there six months or so and I've been a believer two years at that point three years maybe I don't remember and that was an interesting that was an interesting journey for sure it was rough you know you you can't when you're watching it on TV if you do a really good job of imagining you can probably imagine the pain they're in but it's rough you know you you're starving all day you're freezing all night you're trying to form friendships but you also know that they're gonna vote you off and get rid of you as soon as possible and you're gonna do the same to them so it's this emotional game as well as physical and you're with people that just from all different walks of life you know I have I have donors donors support is is you know how my my paycheck comes through is people that know the work that I'm doing and support me to do it through donating to through the organization and once the you know on the show that you have cameras on you all the time lots of cameras and so I just remember when I got home from the show I remember emailing my supporters before it aired on TV saying hey guys so you probably know you know I'm on this upcoming season of Survivor I just want to ask for grace ahead of time because I probably sinned and they have it from three angles so I had cameras on me 23 days like 24 hours all day so anyways that was kind of a weird fear is like putting yourself in this location where if you sin or if you do anything wrong or even that could look wrong it could be exploited you know very clearly and that could be detrimental to my now my job to which in other people's lives that you know they don't have to worry about that like if their boss thinks they're an idiot on one episode like no worries but there's a little more costly for me and it was interesting you know being on a reality show being a believer on a reality show I was I guess I wasn't surprised I was it was interesting to see how many people hated me just for my beliefs people on the island or viewers um there were there was definitely some pushback on the island but viewers particularly social media I would receive a lot of angry tweets or messages from people that just hate Christianity or whatever and that was like I said that wasn't surprising but it was definitely you can't it's still hurtful nobody likes to be hated and the worst part though was actually fellow Christians or at least people that are that are you know churchgoers I received also hate mail from them and that was a harder thing because I already felt kind of like I was down and then like I was being kicked by my own team while I was down and overall I'll say you know it was an interesting experience it was a tough experience but I'm glad I did it so I'm not like sitting here lamenting oh so awful to be on Survivor now it was great to be on Survivor it's really neat awesome experience but there was definitely like spiritual turmoil is a strong word but a period of time where I felt just scrutinized by everyone no matter which side they're on and it was interesting because that was about a year of my life where God was silent I felt like he was just not responding and just never did respond during the whole year and that was kind of when I needed him to respond the most or what I felt like and so all together that was pretty rough pretty rough time but I growing like I grew a lot in my understanding of the church in my understanding of myself of my understanding of people's perceptions all of those things you know helped me grow because I was forced to be a lot more introspective and a lot more I don't know yeah I just thoughtful to the scenario that I'm in and in the the perspective everybody else had do you think you were selected during the profiling phase like the interview phase they like to get different sorts of characters but do you think you were the Christian girl like what was the interview process like did it come up at all well actually it came up all the time in the interview process and not on purpose like they would ask me an honest question like do you like coconuts and you say praise Jesus no like I don't know they would ask about my dating life or something and so if it came out that I'm you know celibate at the time I wasn't married and so then they're like wait why you know and so then my honest answer had to be kind of the full gospel like well my life is transformed let me tell you about this time I was reading about Elijah and then God said this and I did that and so now I'm celibate and so whatever the question was my my honest answer if I was to explain anything about my life what was an answer that came from the Bible or or you know my faith so that was definitely in the interview process but I don't think that's why they selected me I think they selected me because if I had to guess it had a lot and I'm articulate you know I think they wanted those things and I think I think it was more to do with my storytelling than my story so just I have to get this question out there because my friend thinks that all reality TV is scripted it's all fake it's all actors and models so you can put that myth to rest it's real right like that you're a real person yes okay so here's the thing is Survivor is kind of like geared towards family like it's kind of a family show it is about to see but it's it's pretty clean they don't show a fourth of the drama that's going down on the island like they're keeping it clean they could make it really dramatic and they just they don't you know they they show the strategy and they show the fun things and they I think they do a really good job of showing what needs to be shown but everyone's starving everyone's angry if you think about it this way they have a perfect scenario they put 20 strangers on an island they don't feed them they are not sleeping so everyone's hungry and tired and trying to win a million dollars like you're not gonna need to manufacture any drama and I have heard from production assistants that other reality shows are not so real that was why these production assistants were saying that they really loved to work on Survivor because you're just watching people live and watching people interact so it's authentic are you allowed to talk to the cameraman and the guy holding the microphone oh no you're not there were times that you do because like the cameraman will like this one time kept stepping on my foot every time you try to get a different angle and so I finally just like looked I was like dude that's my foot oh sorry that was a stump no every time you've been like he's been like propping his foot up on my foot to try to get a different angle and so yeah you do end up talking to them and like tiny bits but it's for the most part you're supposed to act like they're not there and just well I can give you a little hint if you ever go back on the show when you're looking for a hidden immunity idol just look at where the cameraman is pointing the camera they always know where it is that's a story for another time but I learned the hard way where where the idol was was hidden mm-hmm do you remember some of the earlier seasons I know if you've seen them where they were like Christian prayer circles and stuff like that and yeah I do there was prayer on our season for sure our whole team circled up before challenges and would pray together they didn't show any of it and so I would say just because you don't see it you know doesn't mean it didn't happen okay you do see a lot of yoga on the beach leave in many seasons now we're starting to see more and more of it no I think I think they're trying to of course as any you know popular TV show does they're trying to hit Hot Topic buttons Christianity you know don't think it's as cool so we don't need to show it mm-hmm you know I eat a lot of rice and I'm really good at making rice and when I watch you guys make rice I feel like it's a little bit too claggy and sticky and it's not falling apart the way my rice is why can't they cook rice on the island what's wrong I don't know I felt like if we got to eat rice that day it was great Oh some days you don't get rice well it depends like when the challenges are and when you get back from everything because if you go to a challenge and Tribal Council you might not have time to make the rice and and yeah everybody's so starving that like if you get to eat anything like it tastes amazing I looked forward to low-tide because I'd go eat the snails off the rocks in the ocean and now that sounds Wow amazing so at the end of my episodes I asked my guests to leave a closing thought just something nice a positive uplifting message of hope for the listener so you don't know who's listening but just keep it general a positive message what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening though I would maybe encourage people to look at many of the components of the faith and maybe you're not at the point that you're willing to believe or to say that Jesus Christ is Lord or not willing to say that you know you know that God the Father created you but maybe you're willing to try to give sacrificially out of your income to those less fortunate than you maybe you're willing to forgive people that you're bitter against or to work toward forgiveness if that's you know too big of a step initially maybe there's a step that you could take that you could try on God's ways and just see how that goes you know is it really better to give them to receive is it possible to forgive someone who's hurt you and wrong to you and is that better than not forgiving them things like that that would be something I would I would encourage you to do because I do believe that God has a purpose and a will for our lives and the more we can align our lives with his purposes really the better we're going to thrive and in the better or relationship you're going to thrive the better our work is going to go the better our lives are going to go so that would be my encouragement