WARSAW — Actress Shari Rigby knows all too well what it is like to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles and she plans to share her experiences during Heartline Pregnancy Center’s annual Gathering of Hope Banquet.
Doors open for the event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at First Christian Church, 115 Park Ridge Drive, Warsaw. Dinner and the program begin at 6 p.m.
Rigby plans to encourage women facing crisis pregnancies, single moms and those who have been through the abortion process.
“Just giving them a voice to be able to say, ‘This is something I’ve walked through. This is how it’s affected me and just encouraging them to move on from that,” Rigby said.
During her teen years, Rigby’s life seemed headed towards anything but success.
“I was a teenage mom the first time around,” she said. “I raised him and I really understand what it’s like to walk through challenging times, especially when the world and everything around you says, ‘you might not make it, you’re going to be a statistic rather than a strong, courageous empowered woman.'”
Through a little perseverance and a lot of faith, Rigby has proven them wrong and has gone on to enjoy a successful career making inspirational movies, writing books and speaking at public venues.
Rigby has starred in films like “October Baby” and “Not Today.” She will also appear in “Wildflower,” which she calls a Christian psychological thriller. “Wildflower” will air on Lifetime. She has also appeared in “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
She recently returned from India, where she has been working on a film titled, “The Journalist,” telling the story of a missionary couple who worked in the leper colonies. She is also working on one titled, “Extraordinary,” about runner David Horton.
Faith has been an important factor in Rigby’s life, a theme reflected in the movies she appears in.
“I don’t think there’s any way that I would want to do life without Jesus,” she said.
This is also the central topic in her book, “Beautifully Flawed,” in which she shares her story and how she has overcome the many obstacles in her life.
“I just pinch myself every day,” she said.”I was the 17-year-old pregnant girl who everybody told would never make it and in an abusive relationship and here I am today. I’m an actress and I’m traveling the world and I’m speaking and I’m now directing films.”
Still, she does not take the credit for her accomplishments.
“That’s not me,” she said. “That’s a beautiful walk in my faith journey in Christ. He’s taken everything in my past that’s been broken and flawed and brought it into the present to use. What could be a better wan than to express that through the avenues he’s given me.”