From rock to Z88.3: A journey of faith
“Don’t let the boys listen to my show on the way to school tomorrow morning.”
That sentence was said to my husband at least a couple nights a week during the late 1990’s, when I was part of the morning show at the rock station in Sioux Falls. My radio journey had taken me from light adult contemporary, to news/talk, and finally to a radio station that targeted under-30 men. That meant a steady flow of heavy metal music and off-color humor. And we were pretty good at it, too, according to the ratings.
I was a Christian at the time and I kept telling myself it was only a job. I could separate my radio persona from my real life. But, a voice inside me told me something wasn’t right; I was leaving the radio station each day with a pit in my stomach about the things we had said and done on the air.
One morning a listener called requesting that we play “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. She wanted it dedicated to her boyfriend who had committed suicide the week before. Instead of praying with her, which I still wish I had done, we played the song. It was at that moment I realized I was encouraging that kind of mind-set.
That was it! I knew it was time. I went home and told my husband, Jim, that I had to quit. He encouraged me to put together my resume and start looking for a new job.
“No, you don’t understand,” I told him. “God is telling me to quit RIGHT NOW.”
Jim replied: “Did God happen to mention how we are going to pay our bills with just one income?”
We were struggling financially at the time, mainly due to our own mismanagement. We needed every penny we made – and then some. But, Jim encouraged me to follow God’s command, and I gave my two weeks notice without having another job lined up. We would rely on God to show the way.
Three weeks after my last show I received a call from the station manager asking if I would consider coming back in the sales department. I’d be able to get the kids off to school, earn more than three times what I was making on the air, and, most importantly, stay true to my faith and serve God.
Over the next several years we were able to use the extra income to pay off our debts, and we learned how to manage our money through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. God was truly blessing us!
Eventually, our group of radio stations were sold and I wasn’t comfortable with the direction in which things were heading. Again, God told me it was time to trust him and I resigned without another job waiting. I spent a few months searching and even turned down a sales job at the No. 1 television station because God told me something better was in store.
That’s when I was contacted by the Christian radio station, Life 96.5, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Seven years after my last show on the rock station, I was back on the air – this time on a station I was proud for my boys to listen to!
In the Fall of 2010, we felt lead to put our house up for sale and just trust what God had in store for us next. So in Spring 2011 we popped a “For Sale By Owner” sign in our front yard with no idea where we would live if it sold. I don’t need to tell you that God had it all under control, of course. The next road lead us straight down to Orlando, Florida.
I now work afternoons at Z88.3! My husband Jim works in ministry at The Orlando Union Rescue Mission. Our oldest son, Joe, is 27 and is also a radio announcer; our youngest son, Matt, is 25 and works with the Phillies. Although we are now far away from our two boys, they are thrilled to have a permanent vacation spot in Florida; especially when spring training comes around.