Anna Khait has always been drawn to games of strategy. Before she competed on Survivor Season 32: Kaoh Rong, she was a professional poker player.
“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.”
Born to a Jewish father and Russian mother, Khait grew up in church but says religion got in the way of 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.”
Then her parents divorced. It was around that time that Khait began to define herself as an atheist.
“I definitely felt abandoned. I felt rejected,” she said. “Even though my father was a good dad – in the sense that he didn’t leave my life forever. I still spent every weekend with him. There was a lot of pain there. A lot of pain. I was looking for satisfaction in a man. I was looking for love and I was never fulfilled.”
As a teenager, she fell in love with the game of poker, and later moved in with her boyfriend who was a pro poker player. “We would play all day. We would go to dinner, come home, play nightly tournaments,” Khait said. Yet, she never found the satisfaction she wanted even though everything seemed alright. “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 voted off the show about halfway through the Kaôh Rōng season, and returned home devastated. She said her life began to unravel, her relationship with her boyfriend was falling apart, and she questioned the meaning of her life.
“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.’”
Watch and find out how God revealed Himself to Khait and the journey to Christ that helped her find meaning in life.