Loud applause greeted famed life coach and female televangelist Paula White at her first public interview since the announcement of her divorce.
White appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network this week as both a guest and preacher, touching on the highly public divorce she's going through while encouraging others not to be swayed by life's trials.
"I embrace the concept that I would not let my trial be wasted in life," said White on a show hosted by contemporary Christian music artist Carman that aired Wednesday and Thursday. "I often say 'I didn't write the script, but I'm learning to live it out with the best of my ability for the honor of God, with dignity, with grace, with favor, embracing His word."
Paula and Randy White, co-founders and former co-pastors of Without Walls International in Tampa, Fla. – one of the fastest growing churches in the nation – announced their decision to split at a Thursday evening service late last month. Married nearly 18 years, the couple blamed the two different directions their lives were going. Both have been divorced before.
Quoting what Jan Crouch, co-founder of TBN, had once told her, Paula White said, "You know who you are and you know whose you are."
"I say this for Randy ... my former husband," she continued. "And Randy is a man of God. No one sets their life out and says, 'Boy, this is what I think I'm going to go through.' And people look at things as failure, why didn't this work. But I see 18 years of the rock that I was healed from and I'm grateful for the seasons in my life because I wouldn't be who I am without all the people that God has used to help me, to develop me, to cultivate me.
"Some of the greatest development in the men and women of God ... were those in adverse situation, those in opposition," White added. "But it pulled out because you had that decision. You can either gravitate and put your hand to the plow and say, 'Okay, God, I don't get this one; I don't even like this one. But still what do You have to say to me? I will not be moved.'"
White is releasing a new book in October that she says contains contents from her personal journals and that it exposes "the inner most of my being." In You're All That!: Understand God's Design for Your Life, White talks about discovering "who you are in Christ."
"Because when you know who you are and whose you are, I believe it gives you that inner fortitude and that strength to face whatever life situation you may have to go through," said White on the show.
"When I don't understand life, I'm not going to draw back. I have decided to do one thing even my mind doesn't comprehend it – draw nigh," she said.
"I believe when people can find out who they are, then you can be equipped to handle life's situations."
News of the trouble in the Whites' marriage was first picked up by The Tampa Tribune in May. The two were rarely seen preaching together anymore as Paula's own ministry works were keeping her busy and growing her renown while Randy was pursuing another church start in Malibu, Calif.
Criticism broke out from former Without Walls staff who said the Whites have shifted their focus to money and fame. Paula White earlier said she knows followers will feel disappointed by the announcement given that evangelical Christians hold marriage as a sacred institution.
Randy White, who took "100 percent responsibility" for the split, will continue to lead Without Walls as senior pastor.
Aware of the critics, Christian artist Carman said people who don't have the "wherewithal" to assess the situation should not judge or "open that person up to look," as he stated it. He told Paula White that she is at the top of her game right now.
Still, with her divorce taking place in the public eye, White said, "Everything God brings me through ... I promise Him, I will hold my hand out to someone else and allow myself to say 'He lifted me through this, He'll life you through this.'
"That's what I think it's about. It wasn't simply for me."
Preaching to the television audience, White said, "Life events will not define who you are. God says who you are. You are somebody."
On the Web: Praise the Lord video archive at