At age 65, Kathie Lee Gifford is all about new beginnings. On Dec. 11, she announced her departure from the Today show, and now, she’s ready for her next chapter. “She wants to now, at this point in her life, be responsible only for herself, not her family or Today,” an insider told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s newest issue, on newsstands now. “This is a pivotal time for her.”

She can attribute her desire to start over to her faith. “She believes 100 percent in Jesus Christ, so nerves have never been a part of Kathie Lee’s character,” the source added.

On top of that, Kathie Lee’s late husband, Frank Gifford, taught her some important life lessons. “Frank encouraged her, while he was here and well, to do what was in her heart,” explained the insider. “And Kathie Lee is an artist in her heart.”

Kathie Lee has been ready for a change for a long time now. “Everyone knew that she wanted to leave for at least two or three years, longer even,” the source told Closer. “She stayed because of her love for Hoda and for the crew.” A day after her announcement, she proved how confident she was in her decision to exit. “I feel so relieved,” she said on the air at the time. “I’ve known it was coming for a long, long time.”

Kathie Lee Gifford
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The mom-of-two is taking this next chapter in her life as a time to work on exciting new projects. “She wants a shot at having a successful faith-based musical on Broadway,” the insider revealed. “She loves doing TV cameos, and wants to do faith-based indie films — to act, write, produce and even direct!” We wish her the best of luck!

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Kathie Lee Gifford Closer Weekly Cover