When Sheri Rose Shepherd was crowned Mrs. United States in 1994, the achievement felt the culmination of a long, hard journey.
People throughout her life stripped her of self-worth, driving their hate through her like a spike through her soul.
Her English teacher once told her, “Sheri Rose, you will never amount to anything in life.”
Another time, she received a gift in the mail from her mother. When Sheri Rose opened it, her birth certificate was inside with a sticky note that read, “I wish you had never been born. No one caused me greater pain than you.”
There was also her high school’s homecoming king, who asked her if she was going to the beach party after the prom because that’s where all whales belonged.
Sheri Rose turned to drugs and alcohol throughout her teen years. Her home life was broken. She struggled with her weight. She battled dyslexia. Then, one night, she overdosed.
After her release from the hospital, Sheri Rose tried to take control of her life. She stopped using drugs and alcohol, and she lost weight. But it didn’t take long for her to realize that she could heal her body, but not her soul. Make-up could cover her blemishes, but not her insecurities. Attention from men could make her feel pretty, but they couldn’t make her feel loved or give her purpose.
Her encounter with Jesus started the night she checked herself into a hotel room with plans to end her life. She lay on the bed with a bottle of sleeping pills in her hand, crying at the top of her lungs, “God, do you exist?”
That night, the Lord met with her and sent her on a journey of discovering for the first time who God had created her to be.
Sheri Rose Shepherd’s story is a remarkable example of how your reaction to life’s circumstances can become an opportunity to discover your identity in Christ and to better understand how God has wired you physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Overcoming the Heartaches of Life,” we’re airing a recording of Sheri Rose Shepard sharing her story with a group of women a few years back. Listen on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app.
Sheri Rose’s book, titled His Princess: Love Letters from Your King, is available from our ministry for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website.
If you would like to speak with one of our caring Christian counselors, call us, leave your name and number, and they’ll get back with you just as soon as possible. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).