As a child, Kathie Lee Gifford’s family wasn’t particularly religious. “We were culturally Jewish on my father’s side and culturally Christian on my mother’s side,” she recalls. But everything changed one night when her mother and sister happened to watch one of Billy Graham’s televised crusades.
Both her mother and sister came to Christ that night followed by Kathie Lee Gifford a few months later. She was only 12 years old at the time. And when she headed off to Hollywood, she maintained that faith, partly through Bible studies with other Christians in the entertainment industry.
She recounts those years in Hollywood by saying, “That doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle, make mistakes, or break God’s heart on occasion. But the story of my life — and I dare say any Christian’s life—is not the story of my faithfulness to God but of his faithfulness to me.”
And that faithfulness has carried her through a successful career and marriage. Sadly, she was thrown a curve two years ago when her husband of 29 years, Frank Gifford, suddenly passed away at age 84. But her faith stood strong and carried her through that difficult season.
Inspired by her late husband and his faith, Kathy Lee and country songwriter Brett James teamed up to produce a moving song that looks for hope in the midst of tragedy. Recounting her husband’s death, she sings, “I found my husband on the floor one beautiful Sunday morning. He saw Jesus, and Jesus took his breath away…No I didn’t lose him, I know right where he is.’Cause he was never really mine, no he was always His.”
Gifford debuted the song in mid-October on the Today show, a show that she partly co-hosts with Hoda Kotb.
But Kathy Lee didn’t just want to produce a song that might inspire, she desired to turn it into something that could help people in a more tangible way. “So many people loved Frank. So many people still do. I wanted to honor his memory with it, but I also wanted it to do some good in the world.”
As a result, all proceeds from the song will go directly to fund Samaritan’s Purse, the international charity headed by Franklin Graham.
Graham expressed his thanks to Kathy Lee by saying, “A big thank you to my friend Kathie Lee Gifford who has just finished a new song to honor her husband, Frank Gifford, who went home to Heaven two years ago. … She is donating all the proceeds to Samaritan’s Purse. She has a great heart for helping people.”