Author, Get Over Yourself (2011)
Minister and Motivational Speaker
Attended of Flagler College, Florida
Married to minister Anthony and mother of two, Cole and Jordan
Jennifer Beckham: Get Over Yourself!
The 700 Club
ONCE UPON A TIME
Jennifer grew up in Palm Beach County, Florida. The fourth of five children, she was raised in a loving, close-knit family. She recalls family dinners and family vacations. When she was seven she remembers one special family trip to Disney World.
She spotted Cinderella in her magical stagecoach and snapped a photo of the princess. Then looking up at her mother and said, “That’s what I want to be when I grow up, Mommy. I want to be a Disney Princess!” This is a dream she would actually see fulfilled later in her life.
Jennifer and her siblings were raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. She enjoyed going to church with her family, but attending Catholic school was often unbearable as she began having major difficulties with girls – bullying, backbiting, and jealousy. It was during this time in her life that Jennifer suffered one of the greatest losses in her life.
In high school, her father, Darryl Mitchell, passed away at the age of 50 after a very courageous battle with cancer. His death created a tremendous void in her heart at a very fragile age. The mistreatment from girls at school became so brutal after her father’s death that she swore off female friendships altogether.
Unfortunately, in the absence of good girlfriends to see her through this difficult time, Jennifer began looking for love and acceptance in the arms of boys – one unhealthy relationship after another. Since Jennifer came to despise school, she immersed herself in sports. Her true passion was girls’ softball which she played almost year-round from the time she was five years old. Her high school team won several consecutive 4A Class State Championships. However, upon graduation, Jennifer chose to hang up her cleats and concentrate on a career outside of softball.
A DREAM COME TRUE
During her college years, Jennifer began pursuing her dream of working with The Walt Disney Company. In her freshman year she was hired by Disney to do “character work” on weekends. Then, after several months working at Disney’s MGM-Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Jennifer auditioned and was chosen out of thousands of girls to be a full-time “face character” for Tokyo Disneyland. She was hired to play the princess roles of Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Mary Poppins. She deferred college for her eight month entertainer’s tour to Japan.
Shortly into her contract in Japan, Jennifer found herself bombarded by fierce competition and the constant demand to look perfect at all costs. Her childhood dream of being a princess turned into a nightmare as she found herself caught in a cycle of destructive behaviors including an eating disorder, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Feeling disgusting physically and emotionally, and mentally battered, Jennifer soon found herself looking for love in all the wrong places in an attempt to gain some sense of self worth. She became more miserable and lonely each day. “It wasn’t Disney’s fault. It was my pursuit of the endless search for fulfillment that took me to the depths of despair and back,” shares Jennifer.
A HARSH REALITY CHECK
On January 14, 1994, friends urged Jennifer to go with them to a Billy Graham Crusade at the Tokyo Dome. Although reluctant, she went to the crusade. That night Jennifer asked Christ to come into her heart. Her decision
marked the start of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It didn’t take long for Jennifer to recognize that she wasn’t sent to Japan to become the perfect Disney Princess, but rather to discover that her true worth and beauty could only be found in the reality that she was God’s cherished Princess.
“God wanted me to get over my own self issues – my self hatred, lack of confidence and self-esteem, my fears, feelings of rejection, and deep seated anger so I could begin to reach out to others,” shares Jennifer. As she worked through these issues God taught her seven principles that revealed earth shattering truths and developed in her a real faith in God. “He delivered me from myself,” shares Jennifer. Her Princess Principles include:
- Choose to Act on Faith, Not Feelings – Faith is about believing, not feeling. Walking in faith is always an active and deliberate choice.
- Trust God’s Wisdom in Choosing You – Realize God chose you, despite your imperfections and differences, to participate in His perfect plan.
- Allow God to Heal the Tender Places in Your Life – Confession shows that we are willing to take action and allows you to experience unconditional love and acceptance. Jennifer shares how after over a year of a very rocky marriage God revealed to her how she was still struggling with her past. God began dealing with her heart and told her to tell her husband about her past –everything. She desperately did not want to reveal the painful details of her past to her husband fearful that if he knew he would never love her or want her anymore. In obedience, as God directed Jennifer began to uncover the dreadful details of her past life while her husband listened in silence. She expected him to look at her in disgust, but instead he said, “I love you.” That one event changed her relationship with her husband, her relationship with the Lord, and her relationship with herself. It all changed for the better.
- Mourn Over Your Past One Last Time – Grieving or mourning is that God- given process that allows true healing to occur. Then get up and wash your face and get on with the plans that God has for you.
- Form a New Attitude Based on the Truths of God – Daily renew your mind and your thought life.
Jennifer recalls one particular day as a Disney Princess. She was exhausted from the endless cycle of binging, purging, and not feeling well. She managed to make it to work but her supervisor, Tommy, asked what was wrong with her. “I don’t feel like a princess today, Tommy,” she said. His response: “Who ever asked you to feel? You were chosen to be a princess. Now go, wash your face, get a new attitude, put on your clothes, and go be Cinderella!”
- Step Into the Shoes Made Only for You – When Jennifer stepped into her costume or into her Cinderella shoes she shares, “I seemed to become my character.” The Bible says we are to put on Christ, righteousness, the armor of God, love, strength, and our “new self.”
- Show Up and Fulfill God’s Role for You – God will use a willing vessel. Don’t let shame keep you down when God has delivered you from the past.
After her salvation experience, life didn’t instantly get easier for Jennifer. She still struggled to fit into her new self. It was during those three years of floundering in her newfound faith that Jennifer met an evangelist, Anthony Beckham Within eight weeks of meeting, the couple married and began seeking God’s purpose for their life together. Before long, Jennifer was standing in front of her home church ministering.
She has spent the past 14 years traveling extensively---with Anthony and independently---ministering in twenty-two states throughout the U.S. and throughout Canada.Since then, Jennifer has had the incredible opportunity to minister for the Women’s Ministry of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas as well as serve as a motivational speaker and “character educator” in public school assemblies. She speaks candidly about the tough topics of promiscuity, depression, eating disorders, cutting and low self-worth.
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