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Sheila Walsh: Bridge of Brokeness

By The 700 Club -- Sheila Walsh is a wife, a mother, and a busy speaker for Women of Faith conferences Who just finished up her new book, Extraordinary Faith. From 1988 to 1992, Sheila was known as a fun and witty co-host for The 700 Club. Then one day in 1992, Sheila found herself exhausted, so she checked herself into the psychiatric ward of a local hospital.

Today, Sheila uses the humor from her own experiences to encourage others and give insight on what it means to keep walking through difficult times. She recently sat down with Pat Robertson to talk about what she has learned from her journey with God.

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, Sheila Walsh is more than a friend of The 700 Club; she’s family. And that’s why we love it every time she returns for a visit. Please welcome back to The 700 Club a dear friend, Sheila Walsh. Hey, it’s good to see you.

SHEILA WALSH: Good to see you.

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I’m proud of you. You’re on the road 30 weekends a year with Women of Faith conferences. I mean, I ask you how you take care of that dear little boy [Christian] and take care of your own life. That’s a lot of work.

SHEILA WALSH: We all travel together.

PAT ROBERTSON: Oh, you do?

SHEILA WALSH: Yes. Christian hasn’t missed a conference since he was 6 weeks old.

PAT ROBERTSON: He’s become a woman of faith like everybody else.

SHEILA WALSH: Yes. If I see him in a dress, I’ll be worried, but so far we’re fine. He’s in a Christian school, and they send his Friday homework on the road with him. Wherever we are is family. So if we’re in a hotel room, as long as the three of us are together, we’re a family.

PAT ROBERTSON: Sure. Well, that’s good.

SHEILA WALSH: He’s very used to it.

PAT ROBERTSON: Are you still singing?


PAT ROBERTSON: Doing any records?

SHEILA WALSH: Until they ask me to stop. I have a new one out called You Raise Me Up. Do you remember that great Josh Groban song?


SHEILA WALSH: Well, we’ve re-recorded that with Integrity Music. We went to Warsaw, Poland, and used the Warsaw Symphony. I used it this year at the Women of Faith conferences at the end of my message, because it fits in very much with what my own heart of what God has done for me.

PAT ROBERTSON: You have a new book called Extraordinary Faith. Somebody said, ‘Write a book on faith,’ and you said, ‘I’m little reluctant to do that.’ Why?

SHEILA WALSH: I actually wrote the book for women like me who feel like they don’t have enough faith. When I used to sit beside you every day, I always think of you, and always will, as a man of great faith, but I never thought of myself as someone—now, I could talk about God’s love or mercy, but when it came to faith, I found that intimidating, until I began to study and realize that faith is more about God and His track record than it is about me. So I wrote this for every woman who thinks, ‘I don’t have enough faith.’

PAT ROBERTSON: So the focus is on the Lord. Really, that’s where faith comes from, isn’t it?

SHEILA WALSH: It’s like taking my eyes off my small amount of faith and fixing them on God, who is the object of my faith, and looking at His track record in my life. When you see who God is and what He’s done, it’s a glimpse of Him that changes us.

PAT ROBERTSON: The greatness of God. You were hitting some walls on this one. Were you having some creative block?

SHEILA WALSH: Well, no. I’d written about half the book, and I did the unthinkable. I didn’t back it up in my computer because we were so busy. Then we were out in California, and someone broke into our hotel room and stole my computer. My son was devastated, and he said, ‘Mom, I’ll sell my toys and I’ll buy you a new one.’

PAT ROBERTSON: ‘I’ll sell my toys.’ Bless his heart.

SHEILA WALSH: I said, ‘You know what, Sweetie? Here’s an opportunity to see what we believe. We believe that God will use everything for good. We get to feel our feelings. I don’t have to be thrilled that my computer’s stolen, but we’ll see how God will use this for good.’ Out of that, I had to start again at the very beginning and re-look at what faith is. Some people watching right now are in the best days of their lives. Some are in the worst days of their lives. Some are getting their prayers answered the way they want, and some are not. For me, the greatest reassurance of life is God is in control. God is sovereign all the time. Nothing happens that doesn’t pass through His hands. That really strengthened me losing that and beginning again.

PAT ROBERTSON: How marvelous! You were pretty frank in this book. You’ve always been pretty frank about your own personal situation, and you’ve had some serious depression. It hadn’t all been sweetness and light. So you lay it out for the people, and they appreciate it. What’d you say?

SHEILA WALSH: I discovered that our brokenness is a far greater bridge to other people than our pretend wholeness ever is. I still take medication for depression. I probably will all my life. I know God could heal me like that, but so far He hasn’t. But I remember that the Good News is not me. The Good News is Jesus.


SHEILA WALSH: You live in a broken world in a fallen planet. And if you knew, Pat, the number of people out there who struggle with depression, particularly people in ministry. I like to be able to say, ‘Look, you can make it through this.’

PAT ROBERTSON: It’s an overwhelming malady right now.


PAT ROBERTSON: So you’re touching a nerve in the American psyche. How did you cope with it? What did you do?

SHEILA WALSH: One morning I was on the show with you. By that evening, I was in the locked ward of a psychiatrist hospital, and I literally felt I’d gone to Hell. I’ve never felt so alone in my life. I remember thinking, How do I tell Pat, who represents this amazing ministry that sees so many healings and blessings, that his own co-host is in this place? I remember how kind you were to me, and you said, ‘You do what you need to do.’ I remember you went and got me a cup of tea yourself. Now, that was so sweet to me at the time.

PAT ROBERTSON: The ultimate act of kindness.

SHEILA WALSH: It was. I mean, you’re a busy man. But that touched me. I’ve spent all my life trying to be good enough for God, trying to be the perfect Christian woman. And at the lowest point in my life, when I had nothing left to say about myself, I discovered what I’d longed for all my life, which is to be loved by God based on nothing I bring to the table, just based on who our Father is. So it doesn’t matter if you co-host The Club or you work in K-Mart. God’s love for us is based on His character and His heart, and it never changes.

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