In a moving interview with I Am Second, famous TV personality, Kathy Lee Gifford, shares her background, her love and loss of Frank Gifford, and her faith.
Gifford was born in Paris, France and grew up in Maryland in a middle-class family. As a child, she thought only about becoming an actress or singer. Her earliest memories were of nothing else but wanting to be on stage.
However, she spoke about having her share of rejection, including a story about trying out for Charlie’s Angels where she was told she was not going to be hired because she was not pretty enough. Gifford talked about how she kept her jovial attitude even in the face of such rejection saying God made her that way.
Gifford reminded viewers that God wants us to be individuals: sing our own song, write our own story, that’s the joy of living: “I may admire another person, but I don’t want to be that person and miss out on being me. That’s the adventure of a lifetime.”
Regarding her personal life, Gifford says that she has been in the desert as often as the mountaintop but learned her most important lessons in the deserts.
She married at a young age, which she says was a big mistake, causing her to be “tremendously unhappy.” She left that marriage and went to New York, became a successful new show host, and met Frank Gifford, a former NFL star turned sports broadcaster, and fell in love.
From this union of love, Gifford says she got her two greatest gifts in life: son, Cody, and daughter, Cassidy. God had taken something bad in her life like her unhappy marriage and made it good.
In the 1990s, Gifford was accused of running sweatshops for her Walmart clothesline, but it led her to become an advocate for children. Though the accusations were unjust, she felt God led her to work in the area of children’s rights, and she even helped to get labor laws changed
With the publicizing of an extramarital affair that her husband Frank was having, her life became much more intense. However, she stayed with her husband and became a role model for others in the same situation. She told of hundreds of thousands of people writing to tell her that they stayed in their marriages because she did.
Her husband passed away in 2015, but she said that she had tears of joy of rejoicing that Frank was in heaven.
These days, her biggest struggle is loneliness: her parents are gone, her husband passed away, and her children live far away. She still lives in the same big house where they made a “gazillion million memories”. In reference to her struggles, Gifford referred to Jesus who said in this world you will have trouble, but He said rejoice, take heart, I have overcome the world, and because I have, I will empower you to.
Her encouraging words for others were that if she keeps thinking about what she lost, she will miss thinking about what she has, and she refuses to do that. She says that her joy is non-negotiable and that a person must understand where their joy comes from and protect it with everything in them. God is not the enemy of joy, He is the creator of it, and we all have a lot to rejoice about.
Gifford promotes individual uniqueness, saying that we live in a copycat world, but that we are supposed to be unique. God did not make mistakes when He made us as we all are. She went on to say that you must partner with the right person—Jesus—if you want to dream big and see those dreams come true—Only Jesus… She ended the interview with, “I am Kathy Lee Gifford, and I am second” as a testimony to the realit of God in her life.