Misty W. Gilbert will leave you numb with the horrors she endured, escaped, survived, and thrived! Resilience is in motion! Authentic. Delightful. Dedicated. Determined. Heart-Centered. Sassy. Intentional. Inspiring.
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Beyond Nightmares: From Horrific Childhood Survivor To Successful Tedx Talk With Misty W. Gilbert
Good day, beautiful souls. This is Charla Anderson, host of the Charla Anderson Show, collector and connector of fascinating people, and everyone is fascinating, especially YOU. We are so excited. I love my partners with WinWinWomen.com and WinWinWomen.tv. I love my partners with Podetize. We have Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and all these streaming services for this show. We are still learning through it here, I’m very grateful that you would take the time to read, learn, be encouraged, and have some hope, which is what we are all about here.
We are going to have, what I always do, a little breathing exercise or a little mini vacation for about 22 seconds. I want you to know who Misty Gilbert is and will be introducing her and her incredibly strong story of overcoming and being driven to have an incredible life instead of the life that she was raised to have.
We are going to meet her, but first, we are always going to do this breathing meditation at the beginning of my show. What we are going to do is breathe in 7 seconds of calm, hold for 4 seconds, and then breathe out 11 seconds of gratitude. If you will join me for that, we are going to get a little bit more centered. It helps me a lot, and I hope it helps you. Here we go. Seven seconds of calm, coming right in.
Hold. Release gratitude. Thank you. I love that whatever caused me to start doing that, it blesses me and I hope it blesses you. That is something you can take with you all day long and take that little breath and a mini meditation that will settle you when things are a little stressed. We are in a stressful world now, so every little bit helps.
I’m so excited. I have a friend, Misty Gilbert. I believe we met several years ago. It was 2010. I was new to networking. She was so focused on building her business and doing a good job. We became friendly. I don’t know that we became forensic back then as much because I’m like, “No.” She was like, “Cool.” That’s the truth.
We met in networking and became friends. We did a few things together. Over the years, we have been in and out of keeping in touch. Misty has got a story that I invited her to be on two consecutive shows because her life, which is her story, has been one of incredible overcoming at the very least. I believe Misty, when we met, and we will start here, that you had a horrific childhood growing up in a home of religious cultism or abuse. She has a TED talk called The Art of Authenticity. You must check it because we are not going to go into all that on this. She’s already told us that. When I met you, you had never cut your hair, you’d never worn pants, and you had not ever worn makeup.
That is correct.
That was several years ago.
It’s 2023 now. It would have been a couple of years ago. You met me before I began the transformational journey.
Yes, but you had begun your transformational journey because you up and left a horrific situation where you were imprisoned and showed up in Texas with virtually nothing. Tell us about that and why Texas. I know why I would do Texas, but you were in California.
I was born and raised in California. In September 1997, at the age of 20, I came to Texas to visit my sister who had moved out 3 months prior to her 18th birthday. She moved out in July 1997. Being very close to her, I missed her, and I wanted to see her. My parents didn’t want me to fly by myself because that’s part of the religious framework where women are not independent. They are controlled, always protected, and provided for.
Traveling by yourself was not advised, recommended, or authorized. I found an older couple to come to Texas to see my sister for a Christian camp retreat. I was born and raised in a religious organization. I call it an organization even if it wasn’t formally organized by the government. It was an establishment. It was a cult. Me and my mom were born and raised in it.
I came to Texas in September ‘97 to see my sister at a Christian camp retreat. While I was here, one of the ministers wanted to have a conversation with me and verify some things that my sister had been sharing in her 3 or 2.5 months of living in Texas. I committed to answering their questions without going into a lot of detail because my mom had made me promise on this trip to make sure that I guarded myself in the home situation and not get into any issues because those were their issues. They weren’t things that they wanted me involved in. I had a lot of fear about having a discussion with a minister about my home life, but I committed to answering yes or no questions.
That initial meeting was five hours where he planted some seeds besides asking me questions and it made me think. During the time that I was in Texas for about a week, I became emotionally disturbed. It was the first time I was away from my mother on my own as an adult. I’d been away from her as a child once before for a week, but never outside of those two circumstances.
I had an unsettling feeling the night before I was supposed to leave sitting in church. I knew I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t know what my options were. I didn’t know if I could even have any options, even though they had planted seeds that they would not recommend me going back to my home life environment when they learned about my situation of extreme abuse, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. At the same time, I had a lot of fear of making that step because my mom had made a lot of threats and statements, and I knew she would carry them out.
Long story short, we called my family that night. My parents and the ministers were on the other line of the phone call to my parents. My parents did not know that. They heard their reaction to me when I said I wanted to extend my trip because I was having an amazing time. In some ways, truthfully, I was not. It was a gut-wrenching week here, but it did open me up to the chance of looking in the face that I could leave the prison I had been in for twenty years. I could begin life on my own. I would have to have the courage to do so. Nobody could do it for me. There were people who were going to support and encourage me. When I say support, not financially or providing me any type of resources other than wisdom, counseling, and encouragement.
I didn’t know any of that part about your sister because I’m guessing that your parents were traumatized by her leaving at 18 and you leaving at 20. I’m sure they were traumatized by that or scared. She had walked down and moved.
My sister planned hers for a year. Me and my brother were not aware of her move until two weeks prior to it taking place. When she would go to the grocery store to run errands from her mother or pick up something, she would use a pay phone and call a minister. She got a prepaid phone card so nothing could be tracked.
She would call them and explain the home life situation and what her options were. She wanted to leave. She explained my parents’ belief and support of women needing to be married to leave the home. The other things that my parents approved of were helping the elderly and the mothers who didn’t have a husband and left with kids. The strategy for my sister was to move to Texas to care for an elderly lady where she would live there and take her to her appointments, doctor appointments, and things like that.
It was a shock to my parents. Ministry came to my parents’ house in July 1997. They presented this scenario and recommended that my sister be allowed to do this, and my parents didn’t have the ability to say no because she turned eighteen that very day. My sister had been planning. She got rid of a lot of her stuff and condensed everything into five boxes.
When the final discussion was over, my mom was like, “Let’s go pack your stuff.” She goes to the closet, and my sister’s things are already there. My mom came unglued. She realized there had been a strategy and everybody had been involved in this. Me and my brother found out two weeks prior. My sister explained what she had been working on, what her opportunity was, and asked if we were angry with her or if we supported her. We are both adamant. “We support you.” She said, “When I leave, your life is going to get more miserable.” We knew that, but we still didn’t waver in the fact that if you have a chance to leave, go.
In your TED talk, I re-listened to it. It was done in January 2019. You have described the bits and pieces of your childhood then when you were raped and had zero support. It became that it was your fault, and then ostracized from every single thing you’d ever known. Even your towel couldn’t be in the same space as your sister’s towel because you are contaminated now. It sounds so incredibly brutal and horrific. That’s why everyone should listen to it. It’s called The Art of Authenticity.
The Art of Authenticity: How to Show Up as the Real You. I share my story and how I lived in hiding, talking about my childhood and the trauma.
You were threatened with death if you spoke about it.
I was on more than one occasion. Due to the high level of abuse that my mother initiated with us I and my siblings had different experiences. My brother, as I refer to my TED talk, had his feet burned with matches three different times. I never had that experience, but I had other forms of physical abuse, whether I was thrown up against the wall with hands being put around my neck and screamed in my face. Once I was raped and they were paranoid that I had AIDS. They wanted me to get AIDS testing. There was a lot of physical abuse sitting in the waiting room at the County Health Department. She would slap and pinch me. She did it on the drive there. She treated me in an awful way. She told me I deserved this because of what I’d done to her.
Knowing when my sister left, these things were going to only escalate because mom knew she was going to take her anger out on me. I had a lot of decisions to make. I knew I wanted out of that home. I also knew I was risking a lot. After my trip to Texas and extending my stay, I immediately started looking for a job, created a resume, and made plans to move in next door to the minister who was helping me make this transition. We came to California simply to get my things, have a discussion with my parents, and leave.
You did see her again.
I did come back to California. We drove all night out here. The night before meeting my parents, we called and let them know I was in town and would be up the next day to have a meeting. My parents knew what was going down by this point, even though we didn’t talk about it because of how things had gone three months prior with my sister.
I had a lot of fear and practicality of things that had to be discussed and strategized because of the maliciousness of my mother. I had things on consignment in a craft store that I needed to pick up and get my final check. I needed to go by my employer who I’d abruptly quit. I extended my stay and then wasn’t going back to my job. I had to go by them, face them, and get my final check. I had to go buy the bank, cash the checks, and then close the bank account that my parents were in. Both my parents were co-signers on that account. They would not let me have any banking accounts or credit cards that they were not attached to.
There’s a lot of fear in strategy that we had to plan this so they had very little time to execute. We wanted to be up there as soon as the bank opened at 10:00. There were so many things that we did route to my parents’ house. It’s crazy, but we drove to my parents’ house in an eighteen-passenger van with no bench seats. The only seats that were there were the driver and the shotgun. The rest of us sat in lawn chairs in that, because, unlike my sister, I wasn’t packed. None of my stuff was ready. I didn’t have tons of things. When you are trying to go into a situation, you don’t know how much time you are going to have or what you are going to be allowed to grab or not grab. There was a lot of apprehension.
We did our best to strategize to be able to take all my things. I had an armoire, dresser, bookcase, and lamp, and then all the things that were in those things like my clothes. We initially started with a conversation with my parents in the living room, these two couples. My mom was not home, which was also a dramatic way to deal with the situation. She wasn’t there. She came in about 30 minutes into the conversation through the back door carrying something with her hands crossed over and tears running down her face. Her opening words were, “You have utterly crossed me. You are a disappointment to me. I’m not happy.”
She had already torn up your baby pictures and said you weren’t even part of her family anymore. She didn’t love you.
They didn’t consider me the firstborn anymore. They had changed my name from Misty and called me Ethel. It already ostracized me from the family. The amazing thing is that, growing up in that environment, you didn’t talk back. You didn’t express yourself. You learned to stuff everything inside. In this conversation, there’s a pointed question from my mom in front of this minister and their wives. “Why do you want to do this?”
On the fly, no plans, I said, “There is no love, peace, harmony, forgiveness, or happiness in this home. I have tried your way for twenty years and it hasn’t worked.” She made a curse and a death sentence over me that if I lived and moved out of the high desert in California, I physically would die. She’s like, “Do you realize that when you leave, you are going to die,” because Texas is full of pollen and all these things that are going to kill me. She said that I would die in two years. My words to her were, “If I only get two years, I will take it.”
A freedom. I have heard bits and pieces over the years, and I have visited off and on. I didn’t know how you got to Texas or why and all of that. I’m so grateful you did because we got you. To overcome what is brutal abuse compared to all those instances, physical and everything else, before I met you, you were still very much into the religious world, which is God in a box. I don’t even know. Were you really in the religious world? Were you still that you would never wear pants, do makeup, or never cut your hair? When you cut your hair, it was cute. It was so fun to see you start shifting out of that and evolving into Misty.
When you met me, I was still very entrenched in the religion. I believed I was doing the right thing with the way I was raised. I was raised that the cult I was in had the truth. Everybody else out there who proclaimed to be Christian wasn’t. Like you, Charla, I was nice and kind to you, but I had the internal belief that you didn’t know God or could not have a relationship with God because your hair is like a boy and you wear makeup. You wear men’s clothing because you are wearing pants.
I was nice to you. I would not be rude to you, but I didn’t believe that you had God, knew God, or had a relationship with him. You could not even possibly be saved because you are being a hypocrite to his word and the training that I was given. In Deuteronomy, it says in the Bible that women should not wear the apparel of men. They took that to be literal, which meant women wear dresses and men wear pants, and there’s no cross-contamination of any of these boundaries. It was so extensive. We didn’t even swim together in a swimming pool. It was girls only and boys only. A lot of activities were never of both sexes.
When you met me, I was still in a long denim skirt, long hair past my butt, no makeup, earrings, fingernail polish, dating, TV, movies, Christmas, Easter, and big jewelry-like things. I was living in the parameters that they set for me. Yes, it was God in a box. The choice to leave that in 2013 was a second point in my life, a radical decision-making. When you leave that fellowship just like my parents did to me prior, you are excommunicated, annihilated, rejected, abandoned, and ignored. They will have nothing to do with you.
If they were to see you in the grocery store, Walmart, or Office Depot, they would walk by you like they did not know you. They take that from scripture which talks about marking to avoid somebody so much so that you don’t even eat with them. They took that literally. That is how they treated the people who left the fellowship.
Your sister was with this pastor or these guys that were helping you. Were they also in that same religion? They weren’t quite as extreme.
They weren’t as extreme as some of the things of my mother as far as how she treated me after being raped or things like that. As far as the beliefs of what I’m talking to you about as far as how women were looked at and what we were allowed to do, that was culturally everybody. Were there some people who didn’t hold to them and did stuff behind the backs of the church leaders and did their own thing? Of course.
My parents were very law-abiding and rule-following, and they were extremists of the cult. The foundation of it as far as how women were to react and how they were treated, there was a lot of elevation to be a Proverbs 31 woman for the sake of a man and to elevate a man. There are points in Proverbs 31 where she goes and buys a field and sells her wares in the city gates. They don’t agree with any of that. To rise early, do all chores, and teach her family how to sew, clean, and cook, those things were excellent.
They are cotton picking out of the Bible and fixing it into their little manmade religion. What I want to bring you to is what I love. We are going to come back to this transition time. You went through during this horrific rule. There are so many people who step out of a bad religious experience. Religion, to me, the definition is return to bondage, but you and I love God.
We have a relationship that religion doesn’t allow for. There are so many people who deny that there’s a God or he was so bad, but I know that if God is love, he can’t be not love. He is love. He loves every single last one of his creations and we sometimes don’t know how to receive that. I want to know that little transition time. How did you maintain a relationship with God and did you turn on him at all at some point?Love is God. And if God is love, he can't be not love. Click To Tweet
My choice in how I moved forward was simply like I did with my parents. I made a decision to leave the family and there was no looking back. I was going to do the work to move past that no matter what happened in the future. In 2013 over Easter weekend, the preacher was speaking and said a phrase in his conversation about why we don’t celebrate Easter that we have an intolerant God, and it ingrained so hard on me. I couldn’t deal with it.
In the context of what he was saying, in other words, if you celebrate a paying holiday that God does not endorse, he’s not going to give you grace for that. That’s going to be a sin against you when you get to heaven that you will be judged in your wood, hay, and stubble. That’s their mindset. That’s how they operate. That’s how they work, but that’s not how I see God.
When I was there, it was an awakening for me. I had such grief over it. I decided I needed to stay away from church for a little bit to calm my spirit and figure out what was true for me. I decided I was going to re-look at everything I had believed up until this point, decide what the truth was, and let it shake out me and God. I had no intentions of leaving the church. I was going to take a little bit of a break and recenter myself because I didn’t want to lose all my friends. These were people who were my life. I didn’t have a life outside of the cult. Even though I went to networking, I didn’t have relationships. I didn’t go to dinner with you.
You were looking for somebody who needed account solutions. You were looking for business and you were building it.
I networked for a business purpose. I didn’t create family, connections, or friends through this. It was simply a business, but that’s also how they raised us. We were very sheltered so we wouldn’t get in outside influence. They controlled us. That decision was when I read a book called Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn. It was given to me by a client a year prior that I hadn’t even read yet.
I read that book and watched the movie Seven Days in Utopia, which was filmed here in Utopia Texas. It’s based on a true story about a young man struggling with his relationship with his father who’s a golfer. The house is a wreck and ends up out in utopia. An old man takes him under his wing, shows him how to practice the game of golf, and deals with the inner struggle going on in his mind and heart.
The essence of the movie is to see, feel, and trust it. See God, feel God, and trust God. See the puck, feel the puck, and trust the puck. See the vision of where you are going in your life. Feel the vision of where you are going in your life. Trust the vision of where you are going in life. It was a radical life-changing moment for me because I had never seen, felt, and trusted God that way. Seeing, feeling, and trusting God was through the eyes of the Bible interpreted by the religious leaders. My seeing and feeling God was what I was told. He loves you but you have to accept him into your heart. He loves you but you have to follow his will. He loves you.
It’s conditional and God isn’t conditional.
No. I had the opportunity to start unraveling that. In that unraveling process, I started learning a lot about myself and learning about who God was. I started seeing him in ways I had never seen him, which was the most inspirational, motivating, and life-changing experience when you don’t have God in a box and you start feeling him outside that box.
It was such extreme liberation I don’t even know how to describe it to you because it was in everyday moments that I started having an awakening and unraveling these layers of lies. In the movie, Seven Days in Utopia, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. You may not resonate with it being so life-changing, but where I was in my journey, it was for me. I walked my coaching clients through it because I felt it has such power for us to SFT, See, Feel, and Trust it.
I started carrying that out. On April 5th, 2013, I went to the site in Utopia, Texas where you can tour like it is in the movie. At the end of the movie, he buries lies from his father and I did. They allow you to do that. I did that. I wrote a letter to God, I put it in an envelope, I sealed it, and I put it in the cemetery. I put on my grave, SFT. I wrote about it on my blog several years ago this year, to be honest with you.
These little things were in the Bible I look at when they built an altar. They came to a place. They recognized the truth and they made a pillar and they moved forward, and that’s what I did. This was used in my life. I grabbed onto the truth. I let go of the lies and I kept moving forward. My transformational journey, I feel began at the next level in 2014 when I did a conference in Salt Lake City, Utah called Live Big.
I was going to say Live Big, Be Big, or something. I remember. That was everywhere around here.
It was huge. He helped me to see the fact that my parents had given me a gift, but I didn’t have to receive it. The gift that they had given me was their viewpoint of me, but I didn’t have to take that. That gift was a gift to me to move past these changes get on into my life and live intentionally in freedom.
I did it in January 2014 and then came back for a second round in March 2014. In between those two is when I cut my hair. It was also part of that transformational journey because I was now getting an outward look that was different from what I identified with for 37 years. My coach challenged me to do online dating to get over my fear of men. I’d worn a wedding band on my left hand for sixteen years to keep men away. Not that it does, but it gave me that feeling of being completely free.
On my own choice, it made me feel like I had a little bit of protection. I didn’t lie if somebody said to me. I worked in the medical field at that time and drug reps said to me, “What’s your husband do?” I would tell them, “I don’t have a husband. I just wear this on my left hand.” I didn’t get into why. I went forward with it, but it made me feel like I had power. Nobody was going to rape me again. Nobody was going to be in my life to control me, but I had a fear of men.
I had fear because of how I saw my parents’ relationship and knowing I didn’t want that. I had fear because of being raped. I had fear of all the controlling men that I’d known my entire life in this religion. There were some very nice fatherly figures too. I don’t want to paint everybody as a complete jerk, but most of the men were very domineering didn’t have respect for women, and did not treat them like queens. We were workhorses. We were for their pleasure. It wasn’t a dual relationship built the way God does.
No partnership. That’s a huge piece in my world. I’m not doing it if it’s not a mutual partnership anymore. I get that.
Each of these opportunities that I worked with a coach or something came into my world to learn from whether it was the book Toxic Faith or the movie, Seven Days in Utopia. I was able to take the challenge and work on myself, and every little bit of it has grown me to be where I am. It’s still an unraveling. I have only been out of the church for 10 years and that has been your foundation for 37 years. You even subconsciously still have things that will show up that you don’t even recognize are there because of the imprint and the programming.Take the challenge and work on yourself. And every little bit of it may grow you to be where you are today. Click To Tweet
You have blossomed. Where you got so raw and real is authenticity and that’s your talk, but you bear your soul. If somebody asks a question or you are not feeling something, you are an incredible storyteller and writer. Bearing your soul to Facebook. I will say Facebook is where I find it most of the time, but it’s going to be in a book or a movie most likely. You have such an incredible gift to express authenticity. It’s very awkward at times for the reader because you are like, “This is what I feel. This is how I’m dealing with it.” I’m always in awe of your inspiration. You are intentional.
It’s intentional and courageous. Even at times, it’s very courageous even for me to do it. I push the boundaries and the envelope of culture into what is supposed to be talked about on social media platforms and what isn’t. I write about my experiences. I share how I see something. I share my struggles. I share where there’s conflict and what I’m still trying to grasp, and I share my victories and how I work through them.
Overcoming is a constant thing when something like this has been ingrained in you. It’s a part of my DNA. To separate me, I have had to recreate a new identity, but I have had to believe that can be recreated. Yet value and honor who I was before, without making me wrong, bad, a criminal, or a horrible person for being born and raised into this belief system and living it. Even with my own family, my sister left the church group when I was 28, 9 years before I did. When she left, I had nothing to do with her. I did exactly what everybody did to me when I left.
Do you see her at all now?
We don’t have a relationship, but my siblings have not worked through our childhood traumas. My sister is very angry at God. At times borders on being an atheist. Where I’m at now is I’m not the person to help my siblings. They need to go on their journey and have outside people away from the experience that’s not going to trigger them and bring memories.
Did your brother leave your parents?
My brother was in a community home last I knew in California. He struggled with drugs and was in and out of jail and prison due to theft or attempts of suicide. He’s got a lot of things going on in his life. He’s been raped by men. He’s had a very hard experience. He is very depressed, bipolar, and lives on medication just to exist.
It seems to me that most people coming out of what you are talking about would do what he’s doing. Not what you are doing. It seems if you look at the big picture, the world, we have had all this stuff and we handle it. Instead of working through it, we suppress it and find it.
We create coping methods that lead to addictions, and codependent, enabling relationships. To answer your question, “How do I still have a close connected relationship with God? Why do I still believe in God?” I’m not sure how to answer that way outside I was willing to see how could I see God through a different lens and how could I not turn something that was a horrible experience into a contaminated viewpoint.
How could I still believe that God was who he says he was even though my parents, the religion, and the cult that I was entrenched in didn’t see it the way I did? How could I let life speak to me and God speak to me? That’s where I’m at. Is my belief in God the same as when I was in the cult? Not. Do I still believe in God? I do.
Even some of the beliefs I held a few years ago, I don’t hold anymore. I believe that some of the things I think now about God will change as I continue to evolve and grow in my relationship with him. I believe he’s in everybody. Not just the people who ask them to save them and come into their hearts like we are told to pray. There’s the truth that has come through Bible studies I have done, living experiences, and challenges I have done to myself.
2012 is when I went to my first church outside of the cult, which also played into my leaving, attending other Bible studies, and attending women’s Bible studies because women in the way I was raised were not allowed to study the Bible, discuss it, and talk through things. This was for men. There’s a lot that I got to experience. I did workshops with Women of Faith, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and things like that. I have moved on even beyond that culture because I even see God beyond the box. They keep him in.
Religion is not in a box.
People put God in a box because they can’t deal with the vastness of God. When he says it is finished, I don’t believe that means just for the people who have asked him into their hearts. There’s a lot that God is in every living and breathing thing. There is nothing God is not in. The difference is God is in my brother and my sister, but they are not awakened to him. They are not connected to him and he is not permeating their presence because they have lost that connection, but he’s still there. He’s still in them. They don’t resonate with it. They don’t feel the energy and they don’t feel the connection.People put God in a box because they can't deal with the vastness of God. Click To Tweet
I wouldn’t say anywhere near what you are, but we didn’t have music. We didn’t have all these manmade rules and regulations that they pull out and manipulate the scripture somehow or another to fit what they want. I told my aunt that they couldn’t have a kitchen in their church. They couldn’t have fellowship.
The rules and regulations that keep us controlled and get the masses, and divided probably. I believe that’s very much the case. You are one in a rare. My evolution too has been a little bit in the last decades going, “I need to be the creator. He lives in me, and that means I am him as well.” That has always been a little bit blasphemous in my upbringing, but he says he is in us. Even that, they tried to twist it right to where it’s not.
Some of it is Christians’ “religion” has a very difficult time understanding. I hate even to use the term unconditional love because it can’t be conditional or unconditional. It’s not love. Love is love, there are no conditions and there’s no unconditionally because love can’t be conditioned and it can’t be unconditional. It’s just love.
For the sake of how we relate to it, they don’t get grace. Unconditional love, mercy, and grace ever ending. It’s hard to understand that he met the woman at the well and showed her the path. Did she change? Religion says she did, but there’s no description of that in the Bible. There’s no knowledge other than she went back to her community and said, this man knew everything about me, and so there’s a lot of things.
The assumption is that she would change somebody.
Realistically, in this society, if you were in a relationship with five men, one’s probably paying you child support or 2 or 3. One is providing your food, one is providing your housing, and maybe paying for your car. Did she go home that night and leave that establishment kick all of them out or cut all the resources? Of course, not. That is not even realistic to think that a human would do that.
I bet she felt differently. She felt loved.
Whether she changed or not to me is irrelevant. Same thing with the thief on the cross. People say that he asked God into his heart, but that is not what it’s recorded. It doesn’t mean he didn’t. What he said is, I want to be with you in paradise, and God said, “You will and you are.” A lot of things get twisted and it’s hard for religion to read a scripture that is very hardcore and think that it can be anything other than those senses.
The more that I understood and experienced God in my life, the more I realized he was more omnipresent, more alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end than anything had ever been conveyed to me, and there was no way I could grasp it. My life also changed with a sermon series by Steven Furtick out of North Carolina with Elevation Church.So the more that you understand and experience God in your life, the more you realize He was more omnipresent, more alpha and Omega. The beginning in the end than anything had ever been conveyed to me. And there is no way you could grasp it. Click To Tweet
The series was a 5-part series called God’s Will is whatever for the 5 is spoken by him, and the fifth was a different preacher that took the session. The essence of that series was no matter where you go or what you do, God is with you. If you go down a highway and you have the option on this trip to take the first exit A. You get down that exit, you had a flat tire, and you are going to say you should have taken exit B. If you had taken exit B and you got stuck in, and I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact examples. I’m using these examples he had, but the scenario might have been a little different, but exit B, you are stuck in traffic for two hours, then you would have said you should have taken exit A.
Religion is always second-guessing. Are you doing God’s will for your life? His point was if you take exit A God is with you and you are doing his will. If you take exit B, God is with you and you are doing his will, he is in you. You can see, feel, and trust him. He doesn’t care what exit you take. He wants you to love him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. That is it. He’s not looking for you to make sure you get to exit A and you do everything right, but I was raised that if you got a flat tire, you got stuck in traffic in those two examples. You might need to reevaluate. Are you doing God’s will for your life?
It’s so fear-based. When we understand that there’s nothing but the two emotions love and fear. There’s a pendulum and anything that puts you on the fear side is not of love and fear. Love is God. If God is love can’t be not love. I said that early in you and so we are talking about that same thing. You have got this fear, then instead of standing in the confidence that you are exactly where you are right this second, where else do you have to be? As is where you are, you might as well accept it and love it. Even if it’s a horrific circumstance. This second is the only place you have to take the next step. This is all we have got and we might as well embrace it in that moment so that we can receive and take the next right step.
It’s hard to do when you are reading scriptures, the bible, or documentation that is very fear-based redeem the time because the days are evil. I don’t believe the days are evil. God created this world and he said it is good. Everything he created, he said is good. Study the Ant, thou sluggard, and consider her ways and be like it like all this driven. Redeem the time, be like an aunt, and hurry, hustle. Prepare for heaven. Get a bunch of jewels and for your crown, no hood, wood, hay, and stubble. All this striving for performance, for value, for connection is not love-based.
They still a no, but they don’t preach that very much anymore. They also said, you can do what I did and even more. You even can do what I did and even more. That means, it’s so funny how this comes up almost in every one of my shows because we don’t even recognize that we have been given the power and the authority. We have the authority. We don’t have to get second-guess. We get to do what we want to do.
We are not a knockoff. He said we were made in his image, which means we are identical to him. We are identical to him. There’s so much to do when you take a step back and go, “Why do I believe that?” That was a Bible study I did which challenged me in a lot of my beliefs. Even if you start in Genesis 1, why was it called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?
It was supposed to be something that created death in us. Why wasn’t it called the Tree of Death? There are a lot of things that get twisted, God wanted us to live in a world of duality, right and wrong, good and evil, and dark and light. He created everything in nature. We turn hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning into bad things.
God called all of that good. Every last bit of it, and yet we have a hard time understanding how we can be in this presence in this duality and truly be centered and God be in us. It’s culturally, I don’t care what ethnicity or religious faith. They all have it at the Crocs there is this performing for value for the connection. You have to be perfect. There’s this subtleness that you are a sinner and you are bad and you are a horrible person, and he never said that. He said that he was good.
I love this conversation. It’s so different than what I thought we were going to do. I saw this verse, Romans 8:18, and the pain that you have been feeling can’t compare to the joy that’s coming in this world we are in right now. It feels that was felt like a very hopeful statement and I thought I would share that.
We have only got about ten minutes here. I told you it goes fast. This whole first segment I’m grateful that you are going to be here again because we have not even scratched the surface of where we have the opportunity to. It’s just like, “Where have you been? How’d you get where you are? How do you have the confidence to stand on that stage and speak about those horrific things that happened to you?” Knowing your mother is still probably hating you. I assume. Still have the courage, and confidence, and come out. You have got a successful business. You have done incredible workshops.
I saw you are having Entrepreneur Manual, a virtual workshop to help business owners do the right thing, and the statistics on there. There are so many businesses that fail. You have a passion and a gift to help small businesses primarily. We went through all that where you have gotten this change and then you are on your path and you are all of a sudden, we are driving to Austin and you are in a Corvette. How many weeks or months ago was that when you had your Corvette that you loved? Doesn’t it feel miraculous how you were outside of that car looking at it?
Completely. That happened on January 5th, 2023, the miracle 1) To be alive, and then 2) With very few injuries for what I should have sustained our complete God moment because I thought that I was going to die. My final words were, “This is it.” My cruise set at 75 miles an hour had crested a hill. Probably was going closer to 80, because when you are on a cruise, it propels you forward.
They pulled out in front of me, I said, “You didn’t do this.” I screamed at them. “Go.” As soon as I did that, I hit them and I said, this is it. T-boned them right on the side, a truck in a long cargo trailer, right at dust, 6:00 on a Thursday night, and hit the trailer, pulled away from me, rebounded then elevated, smacked the right side of the windshield, the left rear tire.
I went airborne. I landed in the grassy median, which is also a miracle. I could have been on 287 stuck there or upside down, and my canvas top wouldn’t have saved me. I could have been stuck on the freeway and an ATV would have come right along and creamed my bum. There are so many ways that the whole experience could have gone differently that the hood could have come straight through and sliced off my neck because it was dangling off the side of the car.
There are so many ways. No broken bones, no punctured organs, no internal bleeding. Yes, massive internal and external bruising. Yes. PTSD. Yes, for weeks, my bladder was so inflamed I couldn’t feel when I needed to pee and I was peeing on myself. A lot of challenges. I lost four big clients about 40% of my business. I couldn’t work during tax season. Unbelievable stuff going on behind the scenes.
To tie this back into your original question a little bit about God and the challenges, I chose to try to see God in a whole new light every day, it’s like taking the chalkboard, wiping it clean, and being engaged with God and see him and fill him and trust him. That movie propelled me. Later on in my journey, I believe it was 2016, working with a spiritual coach.
I made a challenge to myself to not read the Bible for 30 days and to sit every day and spend time with God. No scriptures. I was told the Bible is the word of God. It says in the beginning was the word and the word was God, and that is not the Bible. The more I removed everything that people, religion, philosophies, concepts, and beliefs away and sat with me in God, I got a new perspective.
That is what’s propelled me forward. To tell my story is a basis of I’m going to begin my life by being courageous. Yes, I hired and signed a contract videographer. We are going to start working on preparing my story into a movie. People have asked me, what do you think your mom is going to think about this?
“I’m not doing this for my mom. This has nothing to do with my mom. If my mom gets ahold of it or somebody shares that with her, she’s going to be freaking livid, mad.” This isn’t about my mom. This is my life, journey, and story. I believe people need to hear the message because there are too many people who are stuck in fear, shame, guilt, and regret, and unable to move forward past these bondages of divorce, a physical illness, a gender issue, or all the cultural things we have going on in our society, race. They are stuck here. They don’t have the courage to face life and all their pain and turn it into their power. Everything has been a painful experience. As much as it looks like I have breezed through it. I have had to work through it.
You express your journey. You express the difficulties of working through these things, and yet you still maintain grace and the grace and the beauty that you are, and you still claim your heart center and you are growing more and more, and there is no end to that growing. It’s unlimited. The potential is out there beyond anything we can ever ask or imagine. It’s a couple of more minutes on this episode. The first episode of two.
What we wanted to do is lay the groundwork of how you got where you are and you have built a very successful business. I saw a testimony, “Misty is the ultimate no BS overcomer.” Somebody on one of your testimonies. I was like, “That’s who she is.” It’s like straightforward to have seen you come from such a small box to ultimate freedom, flexibility, grace, and unconditional love.
Like you said before, infinite love is probably a better term if we had to describe it. What is your last word here or this last message that you want to bring home that we can open up next episode because you dropped a big thing? You are going to go to the movies. We are going to see where you are going next time. How can people find you? That’s as well.
The one thing I always leave people with is a question that I ask myself and my coaching clients every day. What would I do today if I wasn’t afraid? Most things are done out of fear. Fear of what people are going to think about us, fear about what’s going to happen if you make the wrong decision. Fear about if this doesn’t work out. Fear about if your dreams can’t happen. Fear about what if nothing changes. There’s a lot of fear.
That’s one thing, and then what would it look like today if I unapologetically was myself? We live behind a mask and that was my term and framework before the pandemic, but now, it makes more sense to some people when I say it. I’m not referring to a mask that covers your mouth and your nose, but a mask like a whole face and body, hiding your heart, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.
It was challenging to share my journey on social media because I still have people from that cult who are in my sphere. To vulnerably share things that then got shared with my mom, and then she calls and harasses me for three days by phone and I don’t answer, and finally leaves me a message telling me she’s going to sue me if I share my story.
There were repercussions to my choices, but all I can share with you is any obstacle in your way, the way to overcome it is to go through it. What would you do to get to be where you want to be? The vision you have for yourself outside of the limitations, the box you have been put in, the black labels that have been put on you, the curse that has been spoken over you if you walked in integrity to who you are and who God made you to be.
Incredible questions and we will open with that next time. Let’s ask that question again at the beginning of the next episode.
I’m available on all social media platforms under Misty W. Gilbert. I’m most active on Facebook where I engage the most with my tribe, but I am on Instagram and Twitter. I have a TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest. You name it. Misty W. Gilbert is what I’m on all of them. If anything has come up as a question, I have a Calendly link on my website where I can send it to you. You can link and have a call with me. It’s called sharing each other’s lives. There’s no agenda. It’s in a conversation with me. You can ask me questions. You can talk about your life free coaching or a friend. A friend, or pick my brain. I love people, you have a story, I believe in you, and let’s do life together.
MistyWGilbert.com is also the website there. We are out of time and we will do this again next episode. I’m so grateful that I had the forethought to have you on for two. I like, “There’s no way we can get through this,” but I have got to hard close right now and I love you so much, Misty. Thank you. Thanks for reading the Charla Anderson Show. We will see you next episode. You guys are blessed and choose joy. Bye, Misty.
I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, Collector & Connector of Fascinating People (and EVERYONE is Fascinating!) on live TV, streaming, and podcasts. As a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, a retired award-winning flight attendant, Olympic Torchbearer, a personal development junkie, an Inspired Speaker, a Published Author, and Your Courageous Coach, I want to share my passion for living life full-out, saying YES to intriguing opportunities, and encouraging YOU to do the same. Let’s jump on a discovery call and get to know each other. Find all things Charla at CharlaAnderson.com/links.
On The Charla Anderson Show, We discuss Mindset, How much Your WORDS matter, Princess to Queen energy, mantras, HOPE, Faith, Miracles, Overcoming, and much, much more, including learning from amazing guests.
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About Misty W. Gilbert
In 1997, I made a very scary choice and took a huge risk to leave everyone and everything I knew in my hometown in order to escape a lifetime of repression, control, abuse, and limitation. I moved across the country, with limited funds, with no family and almost no community with an absolute commitment to live my life in freedom and choice.
In 2013, I experienced another traumatic event that was the catalyst to the transformational journey that created a dramatic change in my life. Through the process of working through my own struggles, pain, and fears I discovered the powerful positive person inside me who loves life, people, and God.
Most of us live life with fear, shame, guilt, and regret reacting emotionally to the circumstances of life not connected to our vision and who we really are at the core. We are unable to move forward out of the box that keeps us trapped from being our true selves, fighting to share our voice, allowing others to dominate, control and manipulate us to prevent us from accessing our own truth and God-given power inside.
I’m committed to sharing my story, life lessons, and helping others achieve amazing things regardless of the fear, pain, shame, or circumstances they may have experienced. As I share with you my own personal journey through abuse, rejection, fear, and inauthenticity, I boldly call you to take the steps to overcome your own story and have an abundant life.