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Speaker talks about finding her way to faith

September 14, 2007|By MARIE GILBERT

Like all great ideas, Karen Knight's light-bulb moment came to her when she was 7 years old singing in front of the bathroom mirror, holding a hairspray can as her microphone.

She wanted to become a singer.

"If American Idol would have been around when I was a little girl," she said, "I would have been the first to sign up. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to sing."

Her biggest fan was her mother, who told her she was born singing. But it was the hometown minister who told her God had a purpose and a plan for her musical career.

"All I had to do was remember to trust and rely on him, no matter what was happening. He would always be my best friend," Knight said.

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But life's journey is a funny thing, she said.

"Just when you think you've figured out what you're doing, something comes along to change your path. And sometimes that change is not for the better."

A professional singer and actress, Knight shared her personal story Thursday morning during the Hagerstown Christian Women's Connection's breakfast meeting at Annaffiare restaurant at the Venice Inn.

After graduating from college, Knight said she realized her dream of singing, performing across the country in a variety of venues.

"But what people didn't know was that I was dealing with a boatload of problems and was looking for a life preserver," she said.

As an adult, Knight said she began making decisions, based on emotions, and that turned out to be costly.

"I never asked for advice or guidance and thought I knew what was best," she said. "Somewhere in the back of my mind, a warning signal was going off, but I wouldn't listen to it."

Knight said she began making "unwise choices that took their toll. Pieces of my life began to fall apart, along with my marriage."

She lost her confidence, her love of life and her desire to sing.

"Failure and rejection - all my brokenness - took root inside me. I was sure everyone had given up on me," she said. "So I gave up singing for a long time."

Knight credits a friend who was a pastor with putting her back on the right path.

"He told me I didn't have to deal with my hurt alone," she said. "And he invited me to sing at his church."

Knight said she was scared and not sure she could do it.

"But that country church showed me love and acceptance," she said.

Shortly afterward, Knight got one of her biggest breaks - the role of Noah's wife at the Sight & Sound Millennium Theatre in Strasburg, Pa., near Lancaster.

"But my past with all my fears and scars were still deep inside," she said.

It was a white dove she held during the show that opened her eyes.

"It was always flying away when it shouldn't," she said. "The trainer told me to loosen my grip and the bird will trust me and sit quietly. It was an awesome moment. I realized I had been holding on to hurts and problems for so long. All I needed to do was let go."

Life is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows, Knight said.

"But just remember you have somewhere to turn. It's alright to walk through a storm," she said. "Because your best friend is always there."

Hagerstown Christian Women's Connection has no dues or membership. Visitors may attend. For information, call Mary at 301-791-0242 or Judith at 717-597-9287.

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