You never really see the tough times in your life coming, they just happen. At that very moment, you can’t stop it or hide from it—you can only hope you overcome it without becoming more broken than you were.
But imagine going through your tough time on television for millions to see.
For sisters Erica and Tina Campbell—better known as the Grammy-award winning gospel duo Mary Mary—this was the case last year as they filmed the third season of their self-titled WE tv reality show.
As Tina struggled to deal with her husband’s infidelity, Erica attempted to be there for her sister while also dealing with the demands of a budding solo career. In the midst of the turmoil, the sisters also faced the tragic, untimely death of their father, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Tina (who admits that at one point she was sure she was “going crazy”) considered retreating to a place where no one would know who she was, but decided to instead rely on prayer and therapy.
With Mary Mary season three, their hope is that people will see their faith and fight through it all and ultimately understand that God was faithful to them too.
Erica: It wasn’t fun. [laughs] I think people probably thought we were superwomen. But we’re not. We’re just carried by God’s grace through the whole process.
Tina: Even when we lost all of our fight, there was still some down in there. How do you have cameras in your face when your life is actually falling apart?
EBONY: When you signed up to do this, did you all stop to consider that the bad stuff would be captured on TV?
Tina: GIRL, NO! You don’t really know what the reality game is like until you get in it. You don’t realize that these cameras are really here at all times. I was just like, “aw nah, what did I get myself into? I’m not built for this!”
EBONY: So what was your objective with the show?
Tina: People are always referring to Christians as “not normal”—and I was like, we need to let people see what a normal Christian life looks like. I didn’t ever expect my pretty good life to all of a sudden become hell in front of the cameras. I never saw that coming…ever!
– Sincerely Syreeta