I always knew there was a reason for my troubled seasons of life and that it's my nature to nurture and motivate others. My pastor preached about brokenness a couple of weeks ago, which confirmed that everything I have gone through was not in vain. He said, "you can't be a blessing to somebody else until you have gone through the process of being broken".
In order for God to get the best out of me, I had to experience the worse in me. You see, God uses people and their experiences to be a blessing to others. I now know that I had to be broken and rebuilt. It's uncomfortable being broken but it's life changing when you get to the other side.
A few months ago I connected with another author/publisher and learned about an anthology piece she was putting together called The Fragrance of a Resilient Woman. Her vision was to bring together resilient women who have been through some things in life. Women who thought their situation was going to break them but by the grace of God they overcame. That's resilience, being able to thrive in spite of the worst times in life. I am a resilient woman and I am proud to be part of this project and share my story.
Meet my co-authors of The Fragrance of a Resilient Woman. A collaboration of women authors who felt compelled to share their resilient story. I am honored to be co-authoring this book with these ladies and can't want for you to hear their stories, powerful testimonies.
My chapter is titled A Scent of Forgiveness. I am sharing my personal journey and how forgiveness set me free. How I blossomed in grace and God bestowed upon me undeserved favor, a sacrificial gift that I had not earned and can never repay.
I was a teen mom. Had my son when I was 15. I was responsible for a child's life when I was still a child myself and had to grow up faster than expected. I struggled with depression, trying to balance work, school while taking care of my son. I would look for the light at the end of the tunnel but it always seemed out of reach. I was afraid to fail and always felt like I had something to prove.
I would always try to find the lesson I needed to learn from each situation. Once I figured it out, things would move smoothly until something else would happen. Then, I would ask God "why and when would it end". I would always hear that I was strong enough to handle whatever came my way. Wasn't what I wanted to hear and I never felt like I was strong when I was going through.
Then there were issues in my marriage. We dealt with financial issues, both of us trying to be right instead of really hearing what the other was saying or feeling. Holding onto the past and not healing from it and infidelity. What I thought was a friendship turned out to be a physical and emotional affair that I tried to keep a secret. Then my husband did the same which resulted in the birth of a child.
It wasn't until I had a breakdown when I realized I needed help. I began therapy and learned that there was a broken little girl still living inside of me who needed to be set free. In order for her to be set free, there were some things that needed to be forgiven.
I carried shame and resentment for the things I did and the experiences I had. Now, I am in a place in my life where I feel it is necessary to share my story. My life has truly been a journey. I got some cuts and bruises along the way but I emerged victoriously with some powerful testimonies. Personal stories to share with other people who have been through similar situations and unsure if they will make it through.
Sharing my story is therapeutic for me. It's reassurance that I made it through and I no longer let what I've been through weigh me down. Some people are still holding on to the past. They are letting their past stop them from moving on to the next level in their life. I want to encourage people not to bottle up their feelings. Get them out! Sadly, there's a stigma in the African American community that counseling or therapy is a sign of weakness or a bad thing. Please don't think like that. Go see a counselor or therapist. Get you a notebook and start journaling. Write down your feelings. Know that you are a priority and no one can take better care of you than yourself. Make yourself a priority, mind, body, and soul.
I declare and decree that a lot of women will be healed by reading this book. Be on the lookout for the release date. Purchase a copy for yourself and another woman who may be going through something and needs reassurance that she will make it through.