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The 700 Club

Move Into the Light and Experience a Life of Joy

ALL THAT GLITTERS

By her early twenties, Brenda Epperson-Moore seemed to have it all. She was a successful actress on the well-known soap opera, The Young and the Restless. She was a Sony Tristar recording artist who traveled the world as the opening act for Lionel Ritchie. She rubbed elbows with famous A-list actors and musicians at the Cannes Film Festival and stayed in lavish resorts on the breathtaking Mediterranean Sea. But the glamour, fame, and fortune and the thunderous applause from adoring fans could not drown out a silent cry from within. Why isn’t this enough? Why do I feel so empty? And what is this darkness that seeks to engulf me? She knew she could not go without answers to these painful questions.

I HATE YOU GOD”

Brenda remembers a happy, fun-filled early childhood with her siblings and loving parents. Until the fateful day when she was nine years old and awoke to the grief-stricken cries of her mother, and the words, “Your father is dead.” The famed country artist Don Epperson died instantly in a horrific car crash at age 32. Brenda says her world, “shattered into a thousand jagged pieces.” No one knew this devastating loss came on top of an unbearable secret Brenda had buried. Sometime before, she had been molested by a family friend. Brenda says the incident left her, “broken, numb, confused and angry.” She remembers the day when she raised her 6-year-old fist toward heaven and screamed, “I hate you God.” She also recalls feeling “a distinct shift.” Brenda now believes that shift was spiritual; the moment she opened herself up to an evil presence and stronghold.

Brenda turned her anger inward and began to gorge on food. When she entered the fifth grade, she weighed 180 lbs. and was diagnosed with diabetes. She was incessantly bullied about her weight by her classmates. Her self-esteem plummeted and her self-hatred grew. She says there were days she didn't want to live.

FROM SELF DESTRUCTION TO JESUS

Church was a familiar place throughout Brenda’s childhood. Her mother continued the family tradition of attending services at various Pentecostal churches. But Brenda’s anger and bitterness kept her deaf to any words of comfort and far-removed from God. Because this was the God she believed took her father and did nothing when she was sexually abused.  Until one night in a candle-lit chapel, God melted Brenda's hardened heart. "I felt this overwhelming sense of love and peace come over me …as tears streamed down my face, I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart.”

In the ensuing days, Brenda says her life began to change. She began to pray, and she satisfied her insatiable craving for food by consuming the Word of God. She revealed her painful secret of sexual abuse to her mother and found healing in her loving arms. Brenda entered high school 40 lbs. lighter with a confidence she’d never known. She even dared to dream again. She became the leader of several student organizations and performed in school plays. A budding star was born. 

OVERNIGHT CELEBRITY BRINGS BIG CHALLENGES

In her early twenties, “the actress with no acting skills” became an overnight celebrity when she landed a recurring role on the well-known soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Her musical talent earned Brenda a prestigious recording contract with Sony/Tristar Records, and a world tour with Lionel Ritchie. But privately Brenda agonized over a painful question, “How can I have so much and still feel so empty inside?”

Brenda continued to perform and hid the aching void within. But a series of setbacks left Brenda reeling as she grasped for solid ground.  She suffered a deep disappointment when her first marriage ended in divorce and she “felt like a terrible failure.”  A few years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to fight for survival. Brenda remembers, “When I couldn’t get out of bed to face another day.” After her recovery, she met a man she believed was “the love of her life.”  She later discovered he was very immature. They argued frequently and had more bad days than good. Sadly, she had to surrender the love of her life, “in obedience to the Lord.”

Yet Brenda’s losses soon became a testimony to God’s love and faithfulness. Her true love later returned a changed man. They married in a joyous, lavish ceremony, Hollywood style. Brenda now calls her husband  “her prince in shining armor.” Later, when the couple suffered 3 unexplainable miscarriages, Brenda realized she was stronger, and that what she learned in previous crises sustained her through the latest tragedy. It wouldn’t be long before God blessed the couple with three beautiful, healthy daughters, and their joy was full.

FULL CIRCLE TO EXPERIENCE JOY

Brenda says the lessons she learned through her suffering and losses were the long-awaited answers to life she sought, and the seeds that grew into pure joy. She realized that in every painful situation, there is a choice; to languish in self-pity, bitterness, and anger or choose to move forward and find joy. “No matter how lost, angry, or confused you are, you can still forgive and move forward into joy, that settled state of contentment and peace that surpasses anything this world has to offer.” She believes every setback is "an opportunity to rise up with confidence and faith in our loving, all-powerful Father who promises to "heal the brokenhearted” and comfort all who mourn.” Brenda says, “Never give up, never stop praying, never stop giving thanks, and search every day for ways to help others who may be suffering more than you. Giving is an essential part of experiencing joy.  You may still be grieving your losses, but don’t let that stop you from living.” Always remember that God declares in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”

Today, Brenda shares from her personal brokenness how she found “a joy unspeakable” that is available to anyone who chooses to receive it.  My greatest reward is seeing one person experience the joy I found and meet the giver of joy Himself, Jesus Christ.”

 

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info

Credits

Actress, The Young and the Restless (1988-95)

Recording artist with Sony’s Tri-Star Music Label, her latest single, “I Cry Freedom”

Author of several books, including her latest, Rise Up

Brenda is the co-host of a national podcast “Morning Cup of Faith”

Founder and Co-Director of Ascend Women, a national, faith-based women’s organization; philanthropist and volunteer with the Hollywood Urban Project and Mercy Multiplied.

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