You may know her from Everybody Loves Raymond or more recently, from The Middle. Patricia Heaton,TV star and two-time Emmy winning actress, has fans from around the globe.
In an interview article by Rebecca Cusey at CT Women, Heaton shares candidly about her Christian faith, and how she’s using her influence for greater things in this life, by helping the poor around the world through the ministry and work of World Vision.
In the early days in her career, Heaton talks about a pivotal moment when she realized God’s leadership and direction in her life. She had moved to LA at 30, with no agent, manager, or car – just one commercial to her name. After returning to LA from a mission trip to a Mexican orphanage, she shares, “I woke up the next day and I had this deep sense of peace I’d never felt before, and it made me realize that up until that point, my entire identity was in the success or lack of success as an actor. That’s when I realized I needed to give that thing over to God and ask him what he wanted me to do, not what I wanted to do. I said to him literally, pretty much out loud, “I will go back to Mexico or to whatever mission field you want to send me to, but I have a few auditions her in LA so I’m going to keep doing those. If you want me to change course I will do it gladly, but you have to open the door really wide in one direction or another.”
That’s when, Heaton says, she started getting acting work. “I feel like God really held (back) any success until I was at a breaking point.”
And here’s how her faith has helped her through many years of the Hollywood scene:
“Being an actor can be an intense, unstable experience. You’ll be the big thing for a while and then the crowd moves on from you and goes on to the next big thing. If that’s your identity, you’re going to be in for a really hard fall. It reminds me that God is the one who opens these doors. It’s not that I don’t work hard. You have to be really good at what you do. You have to show up and do your best, but the rest is up to God.”
Heaton has joined forces with World Vision in the quest to bring clean water to Africa. In a trip to Zambia, she and her son, then 16, experienced the joy, as well as the extreme conditions and poverty, of the people.
“Everywhere we went, we were greeted in song. When you see the human potential that is being restricted because some basic things are not being provided, it’s heartbreaking.”
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