What I want you to know about having a famous televangelist as a grandfather
What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by Angie Schuller Wyatt.
My grandfather is Dr. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral. He's sort of a big deal. For three decades he was the most widely watched televangelist on the planet. He created televangelism in the 70s when people only had three television stations to choose from - which roughly means that any American over 45 knows who he is.
I've discovered that a lot of people think this makes my life easier. My famous family was also a male-dominated one. And so, as a woman with big dreams, there wasn't a place for me. What I want you to know ... is that having a famous televangelist for a grandfather doesn't cushion my life.
People think that I grew up wealthy, and my education was paid for. They assume that I got ministry jobs through family connections. And now that I have my first book out, they think it was probably published by some hot-shot publishing company. Nope. None of the above are accurate assumptions.
I worked my way through college, and still have an ongoing relationship with Sallie Mae. I didn't want to build my career with nepotism (okay, it's also true that there was no way I was going to compete with my own family members for any sort of ministry position at the Crystal Cathedral, so I didn't try.). Instead, I moved out of state, didn't tell people about my family, and found employment the old fashion way - hard work. And my book title [God and Boobs] basically wiped out the hotshot-publisher fantasy.
Like a lot of women, I have big dreams. I want to be a writer for the rest of my life, as in the kind where I'm popular (hate that word, but its true) enough that I don't have to get a different job. I want to use my writing as a platform to help women break free of religious constrains, embrace their truest identity, and fulfill their greatest potential.
What I want you to know is that growing up in a famous family doesn't make me different from other women. I'm not on a pedestal, unable to relate. Instead, I like to say it this way: "If I can stand at the heart of religion and still feel isolated, how must women feel who stand at the outskirts of faith."