Chonda Pierce: Laughter's Not the Only Good Medicine
By Cynthia Savage and Mia Evans
The 700 Club
As an award winning Christian comedian, Chonda Pierce is constantly surrounded by spotlight and laughter. Yet in 2004, Chonda was in an unfamiliar place. A cloud of depression took the light and laughter away.
Mia Evans interviews Chonda Pierce:
Chonda: It just seemed like it came out of no where. I think depression was an indicator of some things perhaps that I had not dealt with; or a life change that I needed to make that I was not willing to make.
Chonda: And I can remember the first time my doctor said, ‘I believe you are clinically depressed.’ And I go, ‘Well I believe not!’ I mean this is true. I’m a comedian. I don’t get depressed. And that’s really going to throw a kink in my job.
Mia: Walk me through the period when you were out of order, physically and emotionally.
Chonda: You have a conscience effort to hold your head up where it’s not just something you think of to do. But you’re conscientiously going, ‘I have got to snap out of this.’ Or, ‘I have been sitting in this chair for three hours. I’ve got to get moving.’ And then the worse stages of depression - I call it despair, for me. I was thoroughly convinced that I didn’t need to be in this world. And you have these suicidal frightening thoughts that you never dreamed, especially as a born again Christian, that you would have.
Chonda’s family noticed her suicidal tendencies and checked her into a clinic.
Chonda: You had to go to group three or four times a day, which was life changing for me. You had to reveal yourself in gut wrenching honest tones, and words. And you had to tell exactly how you felt, not the church version, not the ‘well I’m blessed’ and you leave to go to your car and cry. You had to tell absolutely the honest truth. And you were in an atmosphere where you could find medicines that were not working against you but working to bring you toward healing.
Mia: What was going on inside?
Chonda: It became a humbling thing, to tell you the truth. It’s one thing to say you rely on God but yet you’re taking medicine. And I used to think, well that looks like I’m not relying on God. But you see the opposite can be true. If you are not humble enough to take your medicine and allow God to work in that way then what you’ve done is dictate to God how he’s supposed to help you.
Chonda: I had to write on that medicine bottle, ‘God is working in ways you may not see, so take your medicine.’
Chonda took off work for about two months. Her new plan of action helped her regain love for life.
Mia: After you came back to work, was it hard to go back on stage?
Chonda: I had to let my body tell my mind that it was lying to me. In other words, if I went through the step-by-step motion that it takes to either get on an airplane or get on a bus - then somebody would hand me a microphone. They’d say, ‘Here put some make-up on. It’s time. I’d do my 20 minutes and the crowd would laugh and I could hear them laugh and I’d go, ‘Well this is crazy.’ I’d step off the platform and begin to cry. And so was I two faced? No, I don’t think so. The great thing that it did was it certainly let me know who’s God.
Chonda: This is my job. I hope it glorifies God. I’ll do my best too, but if I fall flat on my face He’s not going to care. He’s just going to be glad that I get up and try again.
Mia: That’s so freeing.
Chonda: Makes you relax.
Mia: It’s making me relax more.
Chonda: Well good. Take your shoes off!
Mia: I am.
Chonda & Mia share a laugh.
Chonda is back doing what she does best. This time she’s armed with a healthy work schedule and a new perspective on life. Closer to home, Chonda works at Branches Recovery Center. She helped found this center to share the light of Christ during difficult times.
Chonda: Worship is such a vital part of the healing experience. We want to show you what it’s like to worship beyond yourself and just worship the King of Kings.
Mia: How do you feel today after coming through everything you’ve been through?
Chonda: You know today is a good day and I say that very, very honestly. You have to take it one day at a time. And that sounds so trite but it’s so true. This has been the first time in my life that I can serve God and love Him and adore Him irregardless of what is going on with me. That it truly is now all about Him.
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