If you’ve read my book, I mentioned being on the Today Show. I was on it twice, once in January of 2004 and again in May 2004. As most of you know, my affair took place in the spring of 2005. So, this is me almost exactly a year before that happened. Anyway, a little background about the Today Show appearance: I saw that the Today Show was asking people to write a 300-word essay talking about their relationship with their daughter and it had to go along with the song ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes.’ I hadn’t heard the song, so I listened to it and started bawling. That song was so us.
My daughter Natalie had no idea what my childhood was like or the way God used her arrival to change my life. I didn’t know how I would tell her or at what point I would tell her, so I saw this contest as the perfect opportunity. I thought I would write it down, send it in, and keep the entry as something to put in a memory book so that she would know my story and her significance in it. I never thought I would win. But, I did.
I am a very private person. I never talked about my childhood because I felt like it didn’t represent me well. It’s not who I was. I didn’t want people to see me as damaged goods or have pity on me. I’m just not …that.
I remember sitting on the hotel bed in New York the night before my appearance. I had just finished a pre-interview with the producer of the ‘Today Show’ and cried during the whole thing. I dreaded repeating that on the ‘Today Show.’ I dreaded it because I can’t stand crying and because this would be the first time most of the people in my life would hear me talk about these things I had buried.
I’ll never forget my how God answered my prayer when I told Him: “God, I don’t want people to see me as this victim. I hate what I went through and I just want it to disappear. I want to be ‘normal’.” God’s answer was very clear and it continues to give me the courage to share this part of my story. His response was, “What happened to you is not a reflection of who you are. It’s a reflection of who they are.” (‘They‘ meaning the people who hurt me.)
Thankfully, Katie Couric didn’t interview me as planned. She let me read my entry as a way to tell my story.
Someone found the footage from my ‘Today Show’ experience and showed it to me, so I want to share it here. My last name was different then and I didn’t live in Buzzards Bay, I lived on Cape Cod near Mashpee. But, that’s just a side note.
Another side note, me sharing my story – whether it’s about my childhood or about my sin – is not how I would normally be. As I said, I am very private. However, I lost the right to my life and how it’s used when I died to myself. I have no doubt what God has called me to do and it’s out of obedience that I set aside public opinion and the desire for a normal, private, life to answer that call. God gave me my life back out of sheer grace and holds me together with His love. I have no rights left. I belong to Him and I’ll pour myself out until I am no longer here.
This is the music video that I was in. They didn’t make an ‘official’ video for ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes’ because it had already been out for too long. It wasn’t a financially wise decision at that point. I am in the video for ‘How Far’ and I’m only in the first verse. That’s me and my daughter on the television in the living room.
After the video shoot, which took place in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the ‘Today Show’ found out that Martina and I had become friends and wanted to surprise her by bringing me back on the show when she was there for an outdoor concert. I had no idea how cold it would be that day and felt goofy in my fancy outfit, but the experience was amazing. I’ll never forget how unbelievably kind and generous Katie and Martina genuinely were and are.
You can listen to ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes’ here: