I met Pastor Rick Warren on a photo shoot in September of 2007 while he was in New York to film a series of television interviews. Pastor Warren is the founder and senior pastor of the famous Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. He is also the bestselling author of several books, including “The Purpose Driven Life”, which he autographed for me the day that we worked together.
I had seen Pastor Warren on several TV appearances through the years, but I had not read any of his books. After reading “The Secret” and not receiving the bounty of riches I was expecting after spending weeks and weeks of standing in front of my mirror chanting and asking the universe questions, I gave up on the spiritual/self-help genre. Although I had heard of “The Purpose Driven Life,” I had never read it. When I would see Pastor Warren on tv shows, I really liked him. I thought he was very real, approachable and sincere. As I combed his hair, tweezed his brows and powdered his nose, we engaged in lively conversation. I told him that I admired his message and his work. We both agreed that whoever you believe your Creator to be, he or she has put everyone here for a reason, and we are all messengers assigned with different tasks. “The Purpose Driven Life” is a book that seeks to teach people to discover who they are and what you are living for, by first understanding what God’s purpose is for your life. The book is a tool to help people answer the question, “What on earth am I here for?”
About two months after Miss J was born, I received a call from another television producer. As usual we had the same conversation.
Producer: Timoria, we can’t stop talking about you! We have to get you in here to film soon. When is good for you? How about this Saturday or Sunday?
Me: I have a newborn. No day is good.
Producer: It won’t take long. Maybe an hour or two tops.
Me: Can you come to my house? I am breastfeeding. I don’t want to leave my baby.
Producer: No, we really need you to come to us. We have everything all set up with the cameras and lighting, so its easier to have you come here.I promise it won’t take long. We just want to do a camera test and ask you a few questions.
Me: What kind of questions?
Producer: Well we are thinking about putting together a beauty makeover show, where you will be part of an ensemble. You will be the beauty specialist.
Me: For who and what?
Producer: You know, for brides probably.
Me: What kind of Brides? If they are happy-go-lucky and their life has been perfect, then no thank you. I told you my idea a long time ago and I won’t change my mind. And I don’t want the show limited to helping Brides. We can help a lot of people.
Producer: Timoria, you are beautiful, look great on camera and we know you can pull this off. You’re personality is awesome. You know we love your ideas but we just don’t think there is audience for the show you want to do. What is selling right now are big family or friend dramas with lots of conflict. Your idea is too “nice” for today’s audience. No one is interested in self-help television right now in the way that you want to do it.
Gee, too bad I am not a mom of octuplets, who still manages to find time to date, does soft porn and indulges in too much collagen and botox. Bet I would have a show then!
Me: I already told you. I am not ever going to change my mind. I have been to hell and back. I almost died two months ago. As I’m talking to you right now, my vagina is still leaking blood and I am wearing a maxi pad the size of a Subway foot long sandwich. My breasts are hard and sore from breastfeeding. I cut off all of my hair after the surgery because feeling it against my neck reminded me of vomiting all over myself over and over again. Now I look crazy. I am planning my daughter’s Baptism. She throws up on me randomly throughout the day and doesn’t sleep at all during the night. I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway because I am afraid to. I don’t have any family help, so me and Bobby are just winging it ourselves. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I go and see a therapist once a week who I can’t stand. I think she is making me more crazy. If that is not enough drama for you, then I guess I am not the girl for the job. I want to help women like myself, who are coping with life-altering circumstances. That’s all.
We had a few more conversations that summer that went like this. Eventually they stopped calling. I was okay with it. I was a new mom, I didn’t have time for any bullshit. Most people would have jumped at the chance for their fifteen minutes, any way they could get it. After what I had been through, I was only going to use an opportunity like that to help other women.
It has been a long time since I thought about Pastor Warren. Writing about Christine’s journey and her purpose made me go and take out the book he autographed for me all those years ago.
Until I sat down to write this post, I had never really looked at Pastor Warren’s autograph. Wow, I thought once I studied it.
Ps. 19:21 Sept. 19, 2007
Thank you for making me look better!
What on earth am I here for? Maybe Pastor Warren knew. I have always known the answer. And soon, I was going to be given the chance to show everyone.