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CBN.com “Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy…”
…And one of those “little girls” was Cheryl Ladd.
They may’ve been striking a glamourous pose on TV but behind the scenes Cheryl and fellow "Charlie’s Angel” Jacquelyn Smith were much more focused on motherhood.
“[My daughter Jordan] was two years old when I started the show,” Cheryl says. “Jacquelyn so wanted to be a mother. So whenever Jordan came to the set, Jacquelyn just loved it.”
Cheryl’s life became increasingly complicated by sudden fame and a faltering marriage.
“I kept praying, kept trying to get ahold of Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor from Huron, South Dakota. I kept trying to hold onto that little girl.”
As everything else in her world began to crumble, Cheryl clung to her childhood foundation of faith.
“[The divorce] was such a difficult thing to go through. I was really frozen in a whirlwind of self-doubt, fear, pain, and stuff that I couldn’t talk to anybody about. I couldn’t find any peace, and I just kept praying and then one day I just found this peaceful place. I knew that I would get through it, and I knew that Jordan would be okay.”
The year Charlie’s Angels ended, Cheryl married Brian Russell who shared her desire for Christ.
Cheryl credits her faith to maintaining 25 years of marriage – something that is rare in Hollywood. “The fact that we started to go back to church together, that we pray together, that we both are on journeys, both of us individually and as a couple … I think that is why we’re together 25 years.”
With a happy, God-focused marriage, a grown daughter, and a beautiful home overlooking the California countryside, Cheryl seemed to live the ideal life.
Then she faced the very real possibility of losing her oldest friend…
“My mother went through just a horrendous illness. She broke her back and got a staph infection. She was three and a half months flat on her back, and we nearly lost her a couple of times.
“I remember going back to the hotel, dropping to my knees, crying, praying, and asking, ‘God, if You take her, that is Your will and thank You for the wonderful life that I’ve had with her. But then again if You’re not ready for her yet, give me the opportunity to love her and care for her the way that she’s cared for me all my life.”
God heard Cheryl’s prayer, and it wasn’t long before that her mother’s condition started to change.
“Truly within days she started to get better. It’s been a year now -- a slow process but she’s okay. She’s back living in her condo taking care of herself.”
These days Cheryl finds God in what might seem like an unlikely place -- the golf course. Even as she started learning the game, Cheryl realized God was speaking to her about her life.
“I would lose my temper. I would just get so frustrated because I couldn’t hit the ball the way I knew to hit the ball. In a really strange way it’s a little like life. You think you’re in control, and you’re trying to get that square peg in that round hole. You’re frustrated, and you realize that you’re not in control of everything. You need to just step back and let God. That’s kind of how you have to swing the golf club too.”
Now an accomplished golfer, Cheryl’s setting out to help other women improve their game.
She confesses that for her golf mirrors her spiritual life.
“Every time I start chasing my tail, and I’m trying to control all these elements of my universe, I pray, ‘I’m not in control of any of this. I can just do the best I can. Please guide me. Please help me figure how I can move through this in the way You would have me.’”
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.