“The Lord has called me into service to encourage, inspire, and uplift others to follow Him. If you would like me to teach at a writers’ conference or speak about my faith journey, please contact me and let’s talk about it.” —Barbara J. Scott
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
—Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
My Faith Journey
Did you grow up in a godly home and can’t remember a time when you didn’t attend church? Unlike many of you who can’t remember a time when you didn’t follow Jesus, I was thirty-five before I finally admitted I was looking for God in all the wrong places. I often tell others, if the Lord can rescue me out of a New Age, cult-following, sinful lifestyle, he can transform them into new creatures in Christ Jesus too.
Because my father had an “itchy foot” as he called it, we rarely stayed in one place for long. My parents, three siblings, and I lived in an eight-by-forty-foot trailer, so it was easy to pull up stakes and move to another city or state where my dad could start a new business or find work as a mechanic. I counted one time and realized I had attended seventeen different schools by the time I graduated from college, including four high schools.
It wasn’t until the year before my father died at the age of eighty-two that my older brother led him to the Lord and Dad received the medical diagnosis that explained my childhood. He suffered from bipolar disorder. One moment, he could be the most loving father anyone could hope for, and the next, fly into a rage. We learned to walk on eggshells.
Even though we were poor, Mom always found a way to put a meal on the table. Sometimes it meant squirreling away a quarter in the toe of a sock until she had enough to buy food. Both my parents had lived through the Great Depression and had learned to make do with very little. My mother, however, knew a good education was the key to climbing out of poverty. She expected us to make good grades and dream big dreams.
I was a good girl, not a popular girl, and dreamed of a career as a famous writer, or maybe I’d be a journalist and write stories that would change the world. It was always expected I would attend college. But how would I pay for it? With student loans and working at the local newspaper, first as an intern, and then forty hours a week as an editor, I managed. It took six years, but I finally received my English degree, even though during that time at the age of nineteen, I married my first husband.
At night in a smoke-filled newsroom, after we put the paper to bed, I learned to cuss and drink with my mostly male counterparts. It was the late 1960s…the Age of Aquarius, LSD, and the Vietnam War. But rather than sliding down the road of marijuana, hallucinogenic drugs, and campus war protests, I chased after New Age claims of reaching a higher state of consciousness, reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, psychic abilities, and soul travel. I loved Jesus because I had been born again at the age of nine, but I’d never read what the Bible said about chasing after other gods (gurus) and talking with the dead. Good and evil became relative—social norms passé. I believed the seductive lies about secret knowledge and a higher path to God.
I joined a cult, and my marriage fell apart. After we divorced, I slid deeper into the dark pit of promiscuity, a lifestyle of drinking and spending time in bars. While I searched for God and the secrets of the universe, I turned away from the Lord and chased after every shiny new idol.
When I married my husband Mike, we both worked at the cult’s international headquarters in northern California. He asked me to marry him thirteen days after we met, I said yes, and we were married in a pagan wedding at dawn June 27, 1976, on a beach in southern California, barefoot and wearing white robes. A bowl of fire, a bowl of water, and the guru’s framed photo sat on the boulder beside us as a “higher” initiate performed the ceremony.
For two years, we followed our spiritual “master.” Then as the scales fell from our eyes and we learned he had feet of clay, we left the group. We were shunned and lost our friends, but we had each other. I then became a hypnotist, guided people to remember their past lives, and learned how to read palms and horoscopes. But peace still eluded me.
Finally, one afternoon in 1982, I fell on my knees and cried out to heaven, sobbing. “God, if you’re real, show me!” And he did.
One beautiful fall day a few weeks later, Mike and I sat at our kitchen table, trying to make sense of our lives. At the exact same moment, we turned to each other and said, “Let’s find a church.” We had never talked about church, let alone attended one together. Since neither of us knew where to go, I looked in the Yellow Pages and found a church nearby. The sermon that first Sunday was about the Prodigal Son. The Father’s arms opened wide, and I ran into them, accepting his wonderful gifts of forgiveness and grace. My husband also returned to the faith of his childhood.
Eventually, the Lord opened the door to publishing Christian novels. Then I transitioned into acquiring and editing books for Christian publishers, encouraging and helping other writers in their journey to publication, and teaching at Christian writers’ conferences across the country.
The Lord has called me into service to encourage, inspire, and uplift others to follow him. If you would like me to teach at a writers’ conference or speak about my faith journey, please contact me and let’s talk about it.
Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
—John 10:1-4 NIV
What I Believe: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.