SURVIVOR Contestant Anna Khait: ‘Searching for Love, I Found It in Jesus’
By Movieguide® Staff
Note: This story is part of our Faith in Hollywood series. For similar stories, click here.
Former pro-poker player Anna Khait loved the challenge of strategy.
However, early in her career, she realized that her life still felt empty. In search of fulfillment, she joined the cast of SURVIVOR, but still came up empty.
“I love SURVIVOR and poker because they’re very similar,” Khait told CBN. “They’re both very similar to life. There are different situations you have to adjust to, there’s reading people, analyzing situations, [but] SURVIVOR and poker really became my two obsessions, my two idols.”
Although a portion of Khait’s family was Jewish and she grew up in the church, she claims she never had a real relationship with God.
“There’s all these rules, there’s all these things you have to do, I didn’t like it,” Khait said of herself at that time. “I felt very constricted. I really pushed away from God. I really thought ‘God isn’t real’ and that actually led me into the belief that, you know, there is no God.”
Due to her parent’s divorce, Khait began to feel abandoned by God and the people closest to her. Shortly after, she turned to professional poker.
“I definitely felt abandoned,” Khait said. “I felt rejected even though my father was a good dad in the sense that he didn’t you know leave my life forever. There was a lot of pain there. I was looking for satisfaction in [a] man. I was looking for love and I was never fulfilled.”
As Khait poured her attention into poker, she started to date another professional poker player.
“We would play all day,” Khait recalled. “We would go to dinner, come home play nightly tournaments. Relatively speaking ,I was not super successful. I didn’t play the major big tournaments, [but] I sustained myself… I had fun doing it.”
She added: “My life was spontaneous, but it wasn’t fruitful. I was so broken inside.”
The next step in Khait’s journey was her run on SURVIVOR. Although she was surprised to have made the series, she was eliminated about halfway through the Kaôh Rōng season.
“I went into a really deep dark space where I didn’t know what to do with my life because here I am, not wanting to play poker, and here I am with my ex who’s looking at me like, ‘Why aren’t you playing?'” Khait said. “I knew I was in a relationship that I had to get out of, and I remember I got on my knees, I mean bawling, weeping, broken. I remember I said, ‘God, if You are real, show me You’re real. What do I do with my life? Because I’m lost and I don’t know what to do.'”
God did not provide an answer to Khait’s question immediately.
However, while traveling on tour to share “positive messages” to young students, a fellow celebrity said that he felt a call from God to talk to Khait.
The person told Khait: “You felt the Holy Spirit before, and God is real, just so you know.”
Khait said that she immediately recalled an encounter with a friend at the West Wall in Jerusalem.
“Here I was with my friend, blaspheming God. What came out of my mouth was, ‘Look at these idiots praying to a God that doesn’t exist,” Khait remembered. “I heard this beautiful singing star, thousands of voices singing’, ‘Ah,’ and it was everywhere. I looked around and I couldn’t understand where the singing was coming from. It was the most incredible profound experience in my life and I never knew what it was, but I wasn’t ready to hear.
“I told him the story, and I remember at the end of the story, he goes, ‘You felt the Holy Spirit, Anna, and you heard angels singing,'” Khait continued. “I knew I heard angels singing, and that was when I knew that God was real and He was trying to get my attention.”
Shortly after the encounter, Khait’s search for love ended.
“I remember I fell on my knees. I repented. I said ‘Jesus, forgive me,’ and I gave my life to the Lord,” Khait said. “I remember all the burdens–all of the depression, sadness, brokenness–I remember feeling the weights of it lift off my shoulders.”
She added: “God has always been there for me. Jesus has always been there for me. He’s just the most amazing thing in the universe, and I just wish more people knew about Him, knew Him intimately, because knowing Him intimately is where all the keys are to His heart. It’s so fulfilling, and being lost and broken, searching for love, I found it in Jesus.”
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