Best-selling author Sheila Walsh is known for transparency in her writing and in her talks as a popular speaker at women’s conferences. In her first time speaking at Liberty University’s Convocation on Monday, she told students of a journey that took her from hosting a television talk show one morning to being admitted to a psychiatric hospital that night.
With more than 4 million books sold, Walsh’s writings deal with the heart issues that people struggle with every day. As a popular speaker at the Women of Faith conferences, she has reached more than 5 million women across the country.
In Convocation she told the wrenching story from her childhood of when her father, suffering the effects of a brain aneurysm, tried to kill her when she was 5. He was eventually admitted to a psychiatric ward, escaped, and took his own life.
|After speaking at Liberty University's Convocation, best-selling author Sheila Walsh met with students and signed copies of her latest book, "The Storm Inside."|
Walsh said that confrontation with her father left her, an innocent child, wondering what she had done to make him angry with her. She never faced the fear and confusion that arose from that traumatic experience, but instead learned to cope with it the way people often do — by hiding from it.
“I found the perfect place to hide — Christian ministry,” she said. “I was determined I would be the perfect Christian woman if it killed me — and it nearly did.”
A native of Scotland, Walsh attended seminary in London and went on to work with Youth for Christ in Holland. She also toured as a Christian singer in England and the United States. She worked with the BBC in London as host of a live gospel rock show and was eventually invited to be the co-host of “The 700 Club” on CBN with Pat Robertson.
“I had signed an American recording label, I was invited to be Robertson’s co-host, but inside nothing had changed. I was the same scared little girl who wondered what God saw and what my dad saw that made him turn on me,” she said. “I was very well-known and very lonely. To everyone else it seemed like I had all my ducks in a row, but God knew the truth.”
|Walsh met with students for a question-and-answer session at the Jerry Falwell Library Monday afternoon.|
She said she went from the set of “The 700 Club” one morning to lockdown in a psychiatric hospital ward that night. Her journey of dealing with deep depression (told in her book, “Honestly”) brought her from despair to freedom.
“I discovered that sometimes God will take you to a prison to make you free,” Walsh said.
Walsh stressed that having a relationship with God, as she learned, is “based on nothing you bring to the table.”
“Learn to become a daughter and son of the King of Kings who tells the truth, to make peace with what is true,” she told students. “It’s a bit of a relief; you don’t have to be alright, He has made you alright. You just have to show up.”
Walsh said it was a privilege to be invited to speak at Liberty.
“The power in this room to change the world is amazing,” she said. “And it starts with you (knowing) God’s love for you. You have never lived an unloved moment in your life.”