I am about the liberation of myself and others from self-imposed prisons.
Broderick McBride

Broderick L. McBride is a thought leader and master communicator. He fully embraces the notion that mental health and spiritually go hand in hand; an idea that is deeply engrafted in his teaching and counseling style.  Quickly rising as an influential voice in various sectors and communities, McBride travels locally and nationally as a lecturer, public theologian, and mission-based activist.

Merging his faith praxis and interest for social justice, he has become well known for his meaningful contributions to conversations that aid in the reforming of cultures. His academic repertoire includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the prestigious Morehouse College and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.img_0939

The Osceola, Arkansas native currently works as the Executive Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling Services at All Nations Worship Assembly – Atlanta. He is slated to release a variety of tools and publications centered on his most notable lectures and research. 

Okay, that’s the smart biography. Let me tell you about Broderick McBride. He’s loving, kind, and by far my favorite nephew! Now don’t tell my other nephews I said that, but he is. He’s honest and full of wisdom and integrity.

Broderick is a worldwide preacher, Pastor, and intercessor. All I’m saying is, a sixty-second conversation will fix your life! Iyanla who? If I were a person who believed in reincarnation, I would say that in his former life, Broderick was on the playground with Jesus. Better yet, he may have been one of the disciples…the militant one. Too much? Oh well.

As I spoke to McBride, I saw a mental picture of Mickey Goldmill, Rocky’s trainer. You know who he is right? Good. This is the person of Broderick McBride. He’s strong and wise enough to lead, while at the same time being bold and confident enough to get behind someone and cheer them forward. He’s a trainer both spiritually and naturally. He won’t quit, and he won’t allow you to quit. He encourages us to fight. He encourages us to hope and to believe God for the better. He encourages us to be better.

I have to admit, I am a bit biased about this one. He has definitely played the role of a trainer in my life during my struggles with anxiety, depression, and cutting. But I digress, this ain’t about me. Broderick has been one of the people who have literally and figuratively snatched me back to saneness. 

Let’s get to the interview.

img_0932Me: Tell me about Broderick.

Broderick: I am resilient, self-aware, and an empath, which means I am emotionally aware of others. Being empathic actually helps with my career and calling.

I am a militant and rebel. I am about the liberation of myself and others from self-imposed prisons. I am militant about my own transformation.

I understand that who Broderick is today will be a totally different Broderick for the better this time next month, next year and so on. I say that because I understand I don’t know everything and as the world continues to turn, not only will I mature in age, I will mature in preference, desires, and what I need. 

I believe that what I need now, as a thirty-one-year-old will be completely obsolete when I’m thirty-three. And will change as I grow older. Yes, I am committed to my own personal growth and change.  It’s painful as hell sometimes. Life has taught me that pain is worth it. (Yes, you may quote me.)

Me: What does being an overcomer mean to you, and what have you overcome?

Broderick: An overcomer is someone who has endured; they have established a level gain or accomplishment. To prevail against direct opposition. Direct opposition against their destiny, against who they are internally; direct opposition against their own personal growth and healing. 

An overcomer is one who has championed the cause against adversity.

img_0931It doesn’t mean that you won’t have bumps and bruises. It means that you push through the pain. You push through the strength of the opposition and you push even when telling yourself stop, it’s not worth it. And say, “no, this is what I want. This is the end goal.”

An overcomer one who is tenacious and has the audacity to say, “I am not giving up until I get what I want.” “I am not giving up what has been promised over my life.” 

I’ve overcome many things. Some to which I’m not aware of. I have overcome death, survivor’s remorse suicidal thoughts. I have overcome, and am overcoming low self-esteem and low self-value and view. 

I am aware this goes against me being a militant and my fight for freedom from self-imposed prisons but it’s true. There are moments I live in a dichotomy within myself. As much as I fight for my liberation and receiving the liberation that has been given to me by the spirit of Christ, there are still areas within me that are still committed, to an extent, to stay bound. (Wait, because sometimes being bound can feel safe compared to the alternative. Crazy, right?) I have to consistently come back to the mirror, have an interview with me, and remind myself that I will not stay in this space. There’s too much at stake. 

img_0933When I say I’ve overcome death, I mean I’ve always had to fight. From birth up to now. Had my mom knew she was pregnant, there’s a possibility I could have been aborted because she didn’t want another child. When she finally found out she was pregnant with me, she was too far along to do anything about it. They wouldn’t accept her for an abortion. She was pregnant and still having a cycle. In this, I know God kept me covered in the womb.

As a newborn, I had to have major surgery to which they told my mom there was a slim chance of my survival. I went from surgery as an infant, to being abused by a family friend before I became a toddler. An act that ultimately led to the death of my brother, leaving me to be raised as an only child. I wrestled with, “God, why did you take my brother and not me?”

Survivor’s remorse also from coming out of the delta in Arkansas where the average family lives below the poverty line, and move to Atlanta with nothing to my name. All I had was my faith. Not the faith of my parents, my faith. I knew there was something in this city I wanted. It’s something I’m called to and I’m pursuing it by any means necessary. 

Sticking my feet down in the ground and not letting up even in the way that I pray. Many admire what I do in intercession. They say, “Mac, you pray so hard. You’re six-foot, but whenever you engage in intercession it’s as if you’re nine feet tall or invincible.” 

The way I approach intercession is the way I approach anything I desire in life. No doesn’t stop me; it can be overturned. In my history with God, what I’ve seen God do with me, in me, and for me, gives me the energy to still stand in the midst of adversity and refuse to accept anything that doesn’t represent God’s truth for me.

I body slam adversity. I mean, I put it in a full nelson until it surrenders to me. 

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Having never met Broderick, this baby decided she could not rest until he was holding her. Such a precious moment.

Me: That tenacity and resilience, is it something that’s grown over time or something you had to work at?

Broderick: Fight is embedded in my DNA. I come from a family of fighters. My dad is a fighter, fighter naturally. And as far as know, he’s never lost a battle, praise God. My mom is a fighter as well, but she is a fighter with her words and actions. When I look at the history of my family, my ancestors were fighters. 

I come from entrepreneurs. My great grandfather, an entrepreneur, was one of the first black men in the state of Arkansas to owned a T Model Ford truck when they were first invented. He was a blacksmith.

To be a black man in the rural south with your own business, in lieu of Klan territory was something powerful. This same grandfather killed a klansman with his bare hands because he refused to pay him.

When I look at my history, fighting is in my blood. It’s all I know to do. Over time, however, I had to learn what to fight for. Just because you are a fighter doesn’t mean you are a healthy fighter. You can be a toxic fighter, like a man beating up on women or fighting to keep people oppressed – that’s not me, fam. Not at all. 

I have a strong heart for the underdog on any level. I hate to see people misused, abused and bullied. I hate to see that. My parents had to “straighten me up” as a kid, in order to redirect it. If they had not, the fighter in me would have become very destructive. Had my mom not introduced me to Christ at an early age, the fighter in me would have been a destroyer. 

It’s interesting that when hell realizes it can’t destroy you personally, it will attempt to use what’s in you to destroy you. It will attempt to gain access to what’s in you to cause you to self-destruct or self-implode and utterly destroy yourself. (Read that again. Selah.)

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Broderick & Sharde having fun. They are co-hosts of the famous podcast, The Let Outt.

My mom saw the fighter in me at a very early age and redirected it. I was introduced to Christ, the power of community, and being surrounded by my elders shifted the fighter in me to where I wasn’t as physical per se, but I would fight with my words. I’ll fight you by my actions, I’ll fight you behind the scenes, especially if it’s something worth fighting for. 

Me: There’s an ongoing discussion about introverts vs extroverts. How do you manage introversion as a Pastor? How do you manage self-care knowing that you are called to people, but you need time to recuperate and refresh?

Broderick: I’m going to tell you a story, and I hope the story explains how I do it.  (Hold on children, this is about to get good.)

So, in the Bible, there was a brother who was paralyzed. I believe the text says he was paralyzed from birth. He has four friends who hear about Jesus in this small village. The scripture says, the Spirit of the Lord was present to heal. I had never read that in any text whenever Jesus worked miracles (Luke 5:17). For this particular miracle, the scripture points out “the spirit of the Lord was there to heal.”

Jesus was inside of this house teaching and it was impossible for them to get their friend inside to Jesus. They take it upon themselves to climb on top of the edifice and they tear the roof off. They lower their friend down in front of Jesus and Jesus heals their friend because of their faith

What blesses me the most about this story. (Wait! There’s more?! Ssshhh, pay attention! Okay.) The text doesn’t imply they had any tools. It doesn’t imply they had a ladder it doesn’t imply they had rope it doesn’t even imply they had architectural skills on how to detach a roof and ensure the building doesn’t collapse or fall in on the people. What it does imply is they had enough faith to inconvenience themselves in order to get their friend to Jesus. 

In my role, I am committed to inconveniencing myself to get the people to Jesus. So what I am an introvert?

So what I am an introvert? (Wait, what? 😯) I know that my smile can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus. I know that my hug can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus. I know that me stepping outside of my comfort zone of being quiet and being able to walk up to a person and spark a conversation can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus.

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Show ’em how it’s done, neph!

I’ve pushed myself in whatever environment I’m in because along with me having a heart for the underdog, I know what it feels like to be overlooked and mismanaged in the presence of other people. I never want it to be said that I mismanaged or devalued another human. Whenever I am in the presence of another person, I don’t care who they are, I want them to feel as if we are family, that we have known each other for a long time. I want them to feel that their differences don’t matter that I see them as human, worthy of respect. That’s it.

However, when you show me something different? Well… that’s another talk show. That’s when the introverted side of me kicks in, but I am always willing to inconvenience myself for somebody to know Jesus.

The way I manage the introverted side of me is by committing a lot of time to silence. I almost live in silence. If you were to come to my home, I don’t have a television on. I may be on my phone but I don’t watch tv. I read physical books. I have a kindle, but I don’t use it. (OMG!) Its something about picking up a book off the shelf and flipping through its pages, touching its pages, writing in the margins. (Has he been here before? My word!) 

If I had a choice between music and TV, I pick music. It’s how I re-up myself. I drive in silence. I aggressively protect my off days. I will usually stay in, and it feels good to sit in silence and not do anything. Sometimes people misinterpret my silence as being standoffish or stuck up, but I’ve resolved that the way people interpret my silence is a personal problem that has nothing to do with me. That’s a battle they have to fight, not me. It took some time for me to come to that resolve. It took me about twenty-five of my thirty-one years of life to resolve that I don’t have to explain my silence. My silence is mine. This is a piece of my soul that I choose to be selfish with and I have the righteous choice to be selfish with that part of me because my silence is how I commune with the divine. It’s how I replenish the water to me. I take the responsibility of being revealed by other people off of them. 

Me: Should we be expecting a book from you soon?

Broderick: I am committed to getting something out soon. (Keep your eyes and ears open, fam. Really)

Broderick is also the co-host of the popular podcast, The Let Outt, which has recently finished its second season. Run over to Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts to check out this show. It’s hilarious, serious, and educational along with a dose of “get your life together, fam.” They have hot topics, a segment called mirror, mirror,  unpopular opinion, and tips for being a better intercessor. You can thank me later.

You may find Broderick:

Website: www.broderickmcbride.com
Fb: Broderick McBride
IG: broderick.mcbride 

 

Let’s meet Eddie Sanders

img_0845Eddie Sanders, M.Ed., is a native of rural Toomsboro,GA. He is an alumnus of Savannah State University, graduating with a degree in English Language Arts. Eddie is recently an M.Ed. graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University.

Eddie teaches elementary school, but has launched OSEA (OnSite Education Anywhere). As a Private Family Educator for working minors and home-schooled students, Eddie’s primary purpose is to provide a unique learning experience for the student who is on-the-go.

In addition to all Eddie does, he is an advocate for justice. I’m proud of Eddie for boldly proclaiming “unpopular truths,” even when feeling apprehensive. He knows he must speak out. Not only does he speak out, he seeks solutions.

I had so much fun speaking with Eddie (as I always do). He’s expressive, funny and serious simultaneously.

Let’s get into this conversation:

img_0843Me: Tell me about Eddie? (I gave Eddie my little speech about what this question means. On the many interviews I’ve done, people often answer what they do instead of who they are.)

Eddie: I am a small town country boy. Rural Toomsboro, GA had a population of less than 1000 people. I grew up weird, counting trees because my imagination ran wild. I hated being in a small town with little opportunities. As a kid, I wanted more and knew it would be through education.

In my mind, education was the key to my success. I had an uncle who did well for himself and advocated for college. I thought I would go to college and get money. I thought people who went to college had money. When I began my college career, I didn’t know what I wanted to do I just knew to major in English.

I had a fascination with creativity which at first was limited to people in img_0842church. I knew a lady who could sing like Dorinda Clark Cole and play the organ like Twinkie Clark. I wondered if people loved her beyond her gift. She would say she wanted to be in the entertainment industry.

I remember the discussion around this young lady. People was saying she was crazy. It bothered me that people are used like Christmas gifts – used until it breaks. It was then I knew I wanted to become a personal assistant or counselor.

I am humble enough to follow, but confident enough to lead. I’m concerned with justice for the “underdog.”

I’m also: Shy. Loyal. A Leader. Rebellious. An Advocate. Innovative.

Me: What does an overcomer mean to you?

Eddie: Imagine a mountain…a swift exchange. Imagine an airplane flying over it. There’s quick movement. The mountain is such a large, object but the peak is a little smaller. Once you climb to the top, you have overcome.

When you look down, you can either pity yourself for having to climb the mountain, or you can look down and grab others that are climbing the mountain after you.

How you choose to respond makes you an overcomer. (👀 I forgot to tell you, Eddie can preach. This was one of those moments right here. Selah. Ssshhh, don’t tell him I said it.)

Me: What have you overcome?

Eddie: Hate for my father. I used to hate him so much. I began to realize that hate is directly related to hypocrisy – the child of hypocrisy. I could no longer ask God for the grace I wouldn’t extend to others. I listened to his story and how he was raised. He was neglected by his father. I realized his neglect came from being uneducated. Uneducated in the sense that he didn’t know how to be a father.

img_0844As a kid, I didn’t fit with the group because my parents were married when I was born and they were in the church, but my father left when I was two years old. I remember not knowing where my story fit and why his family didn’t hold him accountable. My father is very silent. There was no one around to ask them the right questions – if they had, my parents would have never married. Remember, I’m from the country and marriage is promoted more than wholeness.

Me: How long did it take you to get to the point of love and forgiveness?

Eddie: Years. My father grew up in the city, and I was in the country. We didn’t have much. When we did come to Atlanta, we would usually stay with an uncle or grandmother. They lived in nice homes; they had a completely different lifestyle. It was like two different worlds.

I felt less than. It affected my self-esteem. I felt like my father didn’t want me in the family.

I started the process after coming to All Nations Worship Assembly – Atlanta (ANWA) and began to hear about healing, forgiveness and rejection. Although I rejected this notion at first, I began to have compassion for him.

Me: Has this played a pivotal part in how you are today?

Eddie: Yes. I was one of the popular kids in school, but I still felt like the underdog. I was the homecoming king and class president. However, it didn’t stop me from being bullied. I had to learn how to “come back” very easily. This is why I am the way I am about injustice.

Me: I am glad that in everything you went through, you didn’t allow it to muzzle you. You didn’t allow it to take your voice.

Eddie: You know, growing up I really believed the bible. I believed everything they told me. I believed we are all the same and if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, no matter who you are and what your title is. I didn’t learn the alternative until I got older.

Me: Tell me about OSEA. How did it come about?img_0841

Eddie: In college wanted to work in the entertainment industry. You remember when Whitney Houston died? No one really knew that her and Kim Burrell was that close. Kim covered her, showed herself to be a true friend. I want to be a Kim Burrell for others.

My career is the epitome of the scripture that says, “all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28).

When I graduated college, I knew I needed to get a job. I wanted to travel, but I knew I needed to teach. I went to get  an MDiv but dropped out after the first month. Every day when I went to school, my head would hurt terribly. I knew I was supposed to teach and it wasn’t the season for divinity school. I thought I would meet an athlete and tutor his child.

I went back home and worked at Dollar General for a while. The people in my hometown encouraged me to work at the school as a teacher. Although I took the job,  I could not ignore the desire to work in entertainment.

Shortly after, I moved to Atlanta with a refund check and a promise from a friend to sleep on their sofa. People told me I wouldn’t find a job because I needed experience. I received multiple offers.

When I started coming to ANWA, people were asking what brought me to Atlanta, which made me remember why I came here.

Young actors and actresses, minors of actors. Who will educate them? God said, “You will.”

OnSite Education Anywhere (OSEA) was born!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ME: Tell me, where do see yourself in five years?

img_0847Eddie: I see myself as the founder behind a brand that is a household name. OSEA being in homes and on sets. Much traveling and touring along with the ability to hire.

Anywhere there is a working minor, OSEA will be and we won’t be too far removed from the local home-schooled students.

My vision is to purchase houses throughout the Atlanta area and the world and turn them into home schools.

Me: I admire your strong stance on justice and advocacy. What do you see yourself doing with that?

Eddie: Advocacy? I don’t know right now. And it’s okay you add that. People should know you won’t always have the answers. (Don’t you just love him?)

You may find Eddie “Mr. Osea” here:
Website: onsiteed.org
Facebook: Eddie Sanders
IG: onsite_ed

088a6e99-a83c-42b9-9955-fe315a41b5c9You know me, Nicole Sharon. My friend Margo asked me who was going to interview me for The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame. It would be weird to interview myself so I’ll answer the questions.

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame is an idea that I’ve been pondering in my mind for a few years. I was reading Hebrews 11, which is known as the Hall of Faith and I wondered, “What if I did this in a modern way?” In October 2019, during a time when I felt my faith level diving especially low, I decided to jump out “in faith” and invite some people on this journey.

I have more “Hall of Famers” coming soon. Stay tuned.

On Being an Overcomer:

5daafda6-8fc8-44f9-9824-818a40970ed7I look at everything in the face that tried to kill me and laugh – including the girl in the mirror. It’s not my first response, but it’s my final response. I made it through! Depression. Anxiety. Self-injury. Suicide. Ha!

Oh, I cried. A lot. I felt shame. I felt condemned. I felt angry. I felt defeated. Once I got through feeling all that, I recognized God’s strength is available to me. I realized I don’t have to lean on my strength at all. I also realized He puts community around me who really love me. It’s been hard for me to fully receive it, but I’m learning.

What have I overcome?

wordswag_1541009195712I’ve been writing this blog since April 2018, and I want to tell you something. This overcoming is one day at a time. Sometimes one hour, one minute, one second…

There’s always something. There’s always an irrational thought to destroy. There’s always a hurdle to, well, overcome. There’s always me. As long as there’s a me, there will be something I need to overcome.

I’m saying this because many times we attribute our issues to external circumstances when I’d venture to say about 97.5% of the problem is ourselves.

Not one person has the ability to stop my greatness but me.

Isn’t that life? Ups and downs? If you’ve ever been to the hospital or seen someone’s heart being monitored on the machine, the up and down marks represent life.

At the bottom of it all, I’ve learned that overcoming is giving myself the same grace I extend to others – forgiving me. That means giving myself permission to heal – no matter what the process looks like. Some days painful, frustrating, or sad. Some days are joyful and calm. Understanding the process. Knowing it’s okay.IMG_20180728_110329_435

I thought I knew how to receive love. This year has taught me to allow people in past the surface level. I didn’t realize how much I’ve learned to hide and isolate. I am learning, really learning, the value of community. Allowing myself to be loved, confronted, encouraged, and prayed for. I found myself asking why? Why are they being so kind to me? Why do they care?

I forgot my own advice: God will not put you on this earth and not give anyone the heart to love you. Somebody on this earth loves you. It’s up to you to allow them.

Overcoming is the process. Healthy decisions. Failures. Wins. Good days. Bad days. Learning from failures. Learning to love who I am. It’s all overcoming.

The suffix “ing” means action or process.
It looks like this:
I overcame.
I am overcoming.
I will overcome.

My Affirmation:

A fall doesn’t equate to failure. It also doesn’t mean I have to start over.

Having said that, my affirmation is that my journey is mine. I am learning to forgive myself quickly and continue my journey. This season is not a life sentence, it’s a part of my journey.

My journey is important. I am learning patience with myself in the journey.

I am learning that I am not a bother to others. I am learning that community is still important. I am learning it’s okay to fall sometimes as long as I resolve to continue on my journey. It’s like running into a McDonald’s in every city on a road trip. It doesn’t mean I went backward; I just ran into the same issue.

This year, I expected to have a great year with no setbacks. I found myself in a very low space and, for the first time in a long time, I considered the alternative. However, God is kind. He reminded me that I have a reason to live and this season will pass.img_0165

Every time I go through this, I learn something different about myself. I also learn more about the grace of God. He’s so longsuffering. I also learn something about the people He places in my life. I can’t imagine what they feel, and I am slowly learning to trust that I am loved and I am worth the investment of their time and prayers.

A bump in the road doesn’t mean stop, it just means slow down. Think, regroup, pray. But you may still proceed.

About 2019:

In 2019, I completed two manuscripts, Texts from an Angel and a devotional, A 7-Day Journey for the Overcomer.

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I took my first professional photo shoot in about thirty years.

I’ve officially launched a business! Business license and everything! Nicole Sharon, LLC: I am a professional writing coach. I offer these services: proofreading, transcription, and administrative support.

Where to find me?

My links are on this site. Feel free to follow.

On IG and Twitter:
@thenicolesharon
Facebook:
The Life of an Overcomer (blog page)
Nicole Sharon, LLC (business page)
Nicole Sharon (personal page)

Here’s a clip from the movie “War Room.” It sums up my year:

This is a tough time of the year for many. I understand. I can’t wait for January. You don’t have to lean on your own strength or try to fight on your own. God is here to help you. Allow your friends to be your strength. My Pastor said to me: “You have family. You no longer have to fight on your own. When you don’t have the strength, allow them to fight for you.”

I’m telling you the same thing. You are loved. You are worth the investment. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but you are. Feel free to reach out to me. Let me know how you’re doing. Have a great holiday season!

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ms. Tenishia Lester!

img_0746Tenishia B. Lester is a Certified Destiny Life Coach/Mentor for individuals who need assistance in finding their purpose in life. Her goal is to become licensed in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is a retired United States Postal Worker, where she served for twenty-three years. She was born and raised in New Jersey but currently resides in Georgia. Tenishia is her mother’s only child and the oldest of her father’s children. She is the proud mother of one son (another preceded her in death) and a grandson.

I felt a connection with Tenishia because our stories are similar. Speaking with Tenishia was a breath of fresh air. Starting off a little shaky which lasted four seconds, Tenishia took a deep breath and dived in like a champion!

Let’s get into the conversation:

Me: Tell me about Tenishia.

Tenishia: I don’t like being lied to or underestimated. I have a big heart. I will give to others, sometimes to my detriment without thinking of the consequences up front. I will help anyone. I’ve always been an introvert, but I’m learning to come out of my shell which began to happen when I joined a tribe at my church. (shout out to ANWA-ATL!)

I am good at leadership. I am trustworthy, compassionate, diligent and detail-oriented. I am serious, but I am also silly. I am tenacious!

img_0749Me: When you hear overcomer, what does that mean to you?

Tenishia: Survivor. No matter what I’ve gone through, I am not what happened to me. No longer seeing my history as shameful, but the ability to see purpose to help someone else. I see strength. Overcoming, for me, means purpose.

Me: Tell me about something you’ve overcome.

Tenishia: Unforgiveness and fear. Although I still have moments of fear, I am not as fearful as I used to be.

Me: How did you work through unforgiveness?

Tenishia: I had to understand that forgiveness is not for the person who committed the acts towards me. I thought it mean you gave them permission to do something else. I would forgive to a degree, but not forget. And that is not what the bible says. I also had to realize that holding on to grudges, and unforgiveness was doing more damage to me than any of the acts they committed against me.

There’s a local ministry in Atlanta that offers courses img_0751focused on healing. Going to these classes gave me a deeper understanding of forgiveness and a deeper understanding of my hurt. Along with that, I learned compassion and to extend the grace I’ve received – the same grace God gives me when I do something wrong.

I also wrote letters to the people I had offense with. I made phone calls, had the hard discussions, offered forgiveness and repented for my part in the situation. This is important, because we mostly remember what was done to us, not taking responsibility for our role in the situation whether great or small.

Me: I can see how walking through this process destroyed a level of fear.

Tenishia: Yes, fear and anxiety rise up because you’re apologizing for something you may or may not have done. I had to apologize or offer forgiveness even when it’s not reciprocated. You’re facing an apology you may never get. You’re calling to say, “I’m sorry for the role I played in this situation.” The chances of the other person apologizing is a 50/50. So, you have to go in not expecting to get an apology and be okay with it.

However, it’s a bonus when you get it!

Me: You recently release a book. Tell me about it.img_0747

Tenishia: My book is called Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. It chronicles my life of having been abused. How I discovered my purpose and identity through the abuse and as God sees me, not as I identified myself.

For anyone who reads this book I want them to know:

  • Just because things happen to you, it doesn’t define your identity.
  • It is possible to go through such egregious things hurts, pains, abuses, and still come out on the upside, knowing who you are or finding who you are. Your identity can be solidified in Christ and you can operate from a healthy place versus a broken place, which is what many of us do for the majority of our lives.

I want to be to others what I didn’t have. I wish when I was growing up there was something like this I could have picked up and referenced. Something that would have let me know it was possible to come out healthier on the other side.

This time next year I see myself coaching, flourishing, more speaking engagements, more products, more healing – as I help others, I receive a deeper level of healing.

img_0752I am a Certified Life Coach & Mentor and speaker. I specialize in walking with those who have endured childhood trauma realize that what happened to them does not define them; Nor does it have to continue to prevent them from moving forward boldly in life. I am the Author of Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. Beyond the Book Media Author of the Year.

Tenishia is launching a Mentoring Program soon.
For more information, you may find Tenishia on:
FB: @Tenishiablesterceo
IG: @tenishiablesterceo
Website: http://www.tenishiablester.com

Don’t allow others to dictate how your journey should look. Marissa Wilson

Meet Marissa Wilson:

Marissa moved to Atlanta from South Florida. She has been married twelve years. She is a Mompreneur, and mother of five children (four births).

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Marissa and her husband, Jerry

This article is about family, marriage, mommyhood and pursuit of destiny. I use mommyhood because Marissa is not just a mother, she’s a mommy, involved, loving, and all the mushy things mommy’s represent.

Marissa exudes confidence. She was always ready with an answer, and gave me the liberty to go off script and ask extra questions. I felt there are many mothers who would benefit from what Marissa had to share. Despite her nervousness (by her admission), Marissa showed up ready for the party! No standing on the wall for this Mompreneur. She got out on the dance floor! And we had a ball! (Get the reference? Too much? Okay.)

Without further ado, let’s get into this chat:

Me: Alright ma’am. Tell me about Marissa.

Marissa: I am integral, a daughter of the king, sincere, authentic, quirky and goofy. I love to laugh. I remind myself every morning that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I am loved by God. I can accomplish anything as long as I have God. (start of preaching then, sis!)

Me: What does Overcomer mean to you?

Marissa: Someone who is triumphant. Through struggle or circumstances, they come out victorious. Whether physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Me: Tell me about something you’ve have to overcome?img_0712

Marissa: Although I didn’t know about postpartum, I struggled with depression during and after all of my pregnancies. I was very young and I didn’t have the language for postpartum or what people would call the baby blues. I didn’t have any extensive knowledge of it the way I do now. When I look back on what I went through emotionally, I realize what it was. In today’s society mental health is talked about more and I can go back and pinpoint those low places and understand now what I was going through at the time.

I dealt with a level of shame by family members and people in ministry. I was made to feel I had done something wrong. I carried that into each pregnancy and dealt with it after having my babies.

Me: But you were married, right? (not that it matters, but y’all know…)

Marissa: I was not married with my first child. We were married within two years and by the time my oldest was three, I was pregnant with the second one. With each pregnancy, someone had something to say. They reminded me of our financial situation.

We were shamed because, although we were doing pretty good for ourselves, we weren’t well off and sometimes needed a support system from our families to help with the children. They felt we shouldn’t have them. It wasn’t so much about money, we needed emotional support as well. Periodically we would need a sitter or someone to pick up one of the children.img_0708

When we fell on hard times, we had friends who laughed at and mocked us because we had so many kids. They said they didn’t want to be like us. My husband, Jerry (who is an entrepreneur), had gotten hurt. At this time, we had two children and I was pregnant with the third child.

Me: How did you overcome that?

Marissa: It wasn’t until I had the last baby and we had moved away that I had to deal with those emotions. I didn’t realize how much it affected me until after I moved away. I started going through counseling and deliverance. I had to revisit those pain points.

I discovered I was hiding behind family. I was not confident and struggled to embrace having five children. Even going places with our children; being out in public was something I had to work through.

I had to learn to see myself and my family through the Father’s eyes. I had to see what the family unit should look like. Knowing His purpose and plan for me. Those were the things I had to accept and know He had blessed me with it.

I had to change my perspective on a lot of things. I had to embrace it because this was my life, this is where God had me and what He has for me. If He saw fit to bless me with my family then I had to know God would provide and take care of us. I had to know my family was pleasing in His sight.

Me: For those who are preparing for marriage and family, what advice do you have for them? Or for those who are in the early stages of marriage and family?

Marissa: Be confident in one another. Confident in God.

Find God’s purpose for your household. What is God’s plan for your household? Once you find out, grab hold of it and don’t let go.

Once you find out God’s plan for your family, grab hold of it and don’t let go.
Marissa Wilson

Don’t allow anyone to make you second guess or feel like you’re doing something wrong. When God gives you a mission and purpose for your house, you take it and run with it.

Me: In other words, your relationship is between you, your spouse and God.

Marissa: Exactly. Make sure you and your spouse are strong. Make sure you can communicate about anything you’re feeling.

When it comes to advice from people, I learned to eat the meat and spit out the bone. That means take the advice I know will apply to me, and what doesn’t apply to me I discard it. I don’t take it seriously. People give you their opinions based on their views and experiences. However, what they experience may not fit the mold of what your experience is.

For example, I was an only child. My mother doesn’t understand certain dynamics of multiple children and my household. She couldn’t understand how we ran out of groceries so fast or why we had to spend so much on groceries. She would try to give advice, but it didn’t work because her experience was different as a mother of one child.

img_0683Me: Tell me about your business and what you hope to achieve?

Marissa:  I am a Mompreneur offering admin support and consulting for businesses. I assist businesses in establishing processes and systems for their business as well as help them scale their business. This means if you already have systems and processes in place, I can help you scale them in order for your business to expand and grow.

My ultimate goal is to hire other moms who want to commit more time to being home while being able to work. I want to bring on other mothers like myself so they can experience financial freedom as well. So they can have the flexibility to integrate work/home life.

Me: In starting this business, what is the major hurdle did you overcome?

Marissa: Stepping out on faith. Trusting God that this is what He wants me to do.

A year ago, I started blogging and working on my business. Financially, things got scary for a while, so I made the decision to go back to work. I allowed some people to influence me so I went to work full-time. I took a job where I was working a lot of hours. We struggled more as a family while I was on the job than when I was working on my business and working from home.

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Marissa’s blog

I had to allow God to process me in that season. My husband travels a lot with his business. One particular contract called for more extensive travel, and I had to make the decision to leave the job. It was frustrating for me because I didn’t realize how addicted I was to doing things on my own – even if it wasn’t working.

Trusting God to walk away from the known and into the unknown was the hardest mental block for me to overcome. It took me thirty days to decide. Although I wrestled with the Lord, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Being a Mompreneur makes more sense and is easier for my family.

Me: Tell me about the process? What practical things do you do to motivate you?

Marissa: I had to learn to believe in myself with daily affirmations. There’s something profound about getting up in the morning, and reminding yourself who you are. Whether you create positive statements or scriptures, it’s something powerful. You take ownership of your day when you speak over yourself and speak love to yourself.

I notice the difference in my day when I do this. When I’m not focused it’s because I didn’t take the time for my morning reminders.

I intentionally take moments to settle my mind. Anything clouding my mind, I would set those things aside. I would clear my mind and be silent. Maybe take a walk or just sit outside. The battle we have is in our minds. I also practice meditating.

Me: When making these huge decisions, how did you overcome fear?

img_0713Marissa: I did it scared. I know we hear this phrase a lot, but that’s how it’s done. If I try to rationalize it, I would have talked myself out of it.

I followed the steps. I wrote a business plan. I submitted my plans to God. I got the revelation on how to do things. I was still scared. Something could go wrong.

Just so you know, nothing is going to go 100% right in business. It’s never going to all be right. Something will always go wrong.

With my husband being in business, we have experienced every possible nuisance. We have experienced many things, so I decided I would just do it. I’m going to rock with it because I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

Me: So, you’re saying that just because something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to happen.

Marissa: Right. It’s like this, when you’re already full steam ahead…When you’re eight centimeters, there’s no turning back. You may as well push! The baby is coming whether you like it or not. We already out here. Why not?

Take the leap! We already out here. Why not? Marissa Wilson

Me: Tell me about your family support? What does that look like?

Marissa: I take full advantage of the days when the children are not at home. I have a schedule. My mornings are used to take care of the home. There’s time blocked for business, and when they’re home in the evenings I try to make sure my time is dedicated to them. There are some Saturdays when I have to put some work time in, and we adjust as a family. I make sure all immediate needs are taken care of and conduct business.

My husband, Jerry, is really helpful by taking them outside or doing things to keep them occupied. As long as all the children are in one piece and there are no trips to the ER, it’s all good.

The key ingredient is communication. I have good communication with my family, a plan for my day and making good use of my time. When the children get home, I’m not so overwhelmed that I can’t be involved in their lives.

Along with being a Mompreneur, Marissa is a blogger and an aspiring author. She is working on her first manuscript. 

Blessings on your journey, Marissa! Thank you for allowing me to interview you. I pray blessings and long lasting success for your life, business and family!

Marissa can be found:
Facebook: Marissa Bell Wilson or
Marissa Wilson Admin Consultant
LinkedIn: Marissa Wilson
Website: www.marissawilsonva.com
Blog: Mom Voice

 

“Trusting God will have you out here winning in a losing season.”
Khas Dock

Khas Dock is originally from Newark, NJ and has been in Atlanta for about six years. Although he always wanted to move to Atlanta, he didn’t want to move as soon as he did. However, on a whim, he made the move. Khas says his career is a God thing. He is an author, ghost writer, and business consultant. And though he didn’t mention it, he is also a speaker. Khas says, “I do operations and project management. I’ve planned tours and hosted events, organized conferences, done a lot of consultations from a branding and marketing perspective. These are the things I dabble in as it relates to my purpose and career, passions and all those good things.”

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“I am what I am, by the grace of God.”

I am excited about what you will learn from this interview. I was not prepared for Khas’s story and the level of healing and confidence he displayed during this interview. Sometimes chuckling at his answers, sometimes taking a few seconds to pause and think, Khas spoke to me as a man who, despite what he’s been through, knows who he is. As I reflect on this interview, I can think of one word: refreshing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Khas Dock:

Me: Tell me about Khas, the man.

Khas: At my core, I am a lover of people. I often refer to myself as a grace agent. The concept behind that is I think a lot of people deal with silent battles and they are wrestling with something internally they don’t ever really speak about. I remember often walking around wishing somebody saw me, that somebody understood. Wishing somebody would say something that would make my world a little bit better. As a result, I’ve taken on the position to be intentional about extending love and making sure when someone is in my presence they feel a glimpse of God; a glimpse of grace.

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pose, then!

I am a people person; I am super down to earth. One of my biggest passions in life is to serve and to serve people. At the core of who I am is a servant. I’m a normal guy (I can hear the smile in his voice). I enjoy music, food and I’m adventurous. At almost thirty years old I am coming into myself more than I have at any point in my life. I see things a lot differently. Life is much different to me now. On this journey of self-discovery, I’ve done a lot of inner healing and learning who I am. I am owning it, and am okay with whatever that looks like.

Khas, the Overcomer:

It embodies strength and tenacity. When I think of overcomer, I think of a person who thrives through obstacles. (Wait! Did y’all see this? Thrives! Not just survive, but thrives! Okay, carry on.)

At the age of six years old I was placed in foster care where I remained until I aged out at twenty-one or twenty-two. This has been my biggest hurdle in my twenty-nine years.

Being placed in foster care introduced me to a pain I didn’t have language for or any concept of. At six years old, the only thing that causes pain are minor things like not being able to play a game or go out with your friends. This experience complicated life in a way I didn’t know was humanly possible. It introduced me to identity issues, feelings of abandonment and rejection. I wondered why my parents didn’t want me; why isn’t anyone coming for me? I had emotional trauma I didn’t understand until my teen years and early adulthood.

My life over the past couple of years has been dedicated to sorting through a lot of those layers. Recalling myself at six years old, not understanding, and not having language for what was going on, I had to deal with it. I didn’t get a say in the matter. So, I had to deal with. I had to adjust and learn to be okay with it – which I don’t think I’ve ever become okay with it. It was hard. For a long time, it made me angry.

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Confidence

I realize no one’s life is perfect, but it introduced me to a plight I wasn’t prepared for. As an adult, I can see that, for many different reasons it was necessary. While I was in the thick of it, I couldn’t see it. All I felt was pain, and it was terrible. On the other side of it I can look back and say, I kind of get why it had to go that way.

There’s a sense of ownership for that struggle. I can talk about it proudly and own it because I can see the beauty in it. I couldn’t see it then, because I was so blinded by the hurt and the trauma. I can proudly say I’m glad it happened. Wouldn’t want to live through it again, but I’m glad it happened and I was able to overcome it.

I have friends and people I grew up with who went through the same thing and their life turned out much differently. In all of it, there was a grace that sustained me. For that, I am grateful.

Community and Conversation (sound familiar?)

Khas attributes his success to God first and foremost. He says conversation and community has played a vital role in his process.

Khas: I remember times, especially once I was older, as I transitioned out of my adolescence into my adulthood, I was around people who had their own experiences. There was a commonality. Even though our plights weren’t the same, we had all experienced some type of hardship or trauma. We were able to gather around that commonality and offer strength through conversation. We were able to share with each other and say what we went through, how it made us feel, and how we overcame it.

Although none of our stories were identical, the similarity was that we all struggled and we had different things we had to overcome and journey through. I found out there is a great deal of healing offered through community and being around people who know what it’s like to go through something, you’re given the opportunity to sort through things that have been left underneath the surface for years. Once you begin to bring those things to the surface, you can now deal with it.

Community and conversation won’t heal everything, but it’s a great starting point. It can point you to counseling. It can point you to church. It can point you to wise counsel. Community will also be there for those processes, because once you start counseling you will still need a support group. You will still need somebody who can rally around you. You will still need people that understand. The biggest thing for me has been to find safe spaces which is sometimes found in a group and other times with one person who understands.

While community and conversations have helped me, it’s also been a hindrance because it hasn’t always been something I was open to because I felt like I had my vulnerability snatched from me years ago without me having any say so in the matter. It’s amazing that community and conversation is the thing I would depend on in order to journey through certain experiences.

Me: Tell me about Decoding the Creatives? What do you want people to know after reading it?

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Khas says: Trust your dopeness!

Khas: Decoding the Creatives is a book that gives language to people who are creative and for people who want to understand creatives. It’s a term that is widely used and sometimes misused. It is not a lot of definition surrounding it, so this is my attempt to explain it. One day I randomly wrote a Facebook status that was a combination of experiences in my journey as a professional creative and I wanted to put it out there. It got a lot of crazy traction. It seemed simple to me because I was venting. I didn’t realize at the time other people were looking for this type of language. People who are creatives as well as people who are surrounded by creatives. The consensus among them was it helped them to understand the creatives around them whether it be a friend or a child.

This is a book based on my experiences. At the end there is a letter from me to the reader and the message is to trust your dopeness. It’s my way of encouraging people to understand we are all different, even our creative abilities are different. There is something that unlocks when you hone into the uniqueness of who you are.

One of the things I’ve noticed about creatives is even though we’re widely gifted and can do so much, there’s nothing a creative cannot do when we put their mind to it. However, even in our awesomeness, there is this doubt. There is this fear; there is this shrinking back or dumbing ourselves down to magnify others. We will promote others before we promote ourselves. The root of it is this idea that we’re good but not amazing. It’s this tainted concept of how awesome we are. It’s something I’ve had to own myself and I figured it’s something, that if it’s a battle for me, it’s a battle for other people. That is my biggest desire for people to walk away with the knowledge as a creative or understanding one.

I want creatives to get to a place where they can say, “I am really gifted. I own this and I’m going to walk in it.” Khas Dock

Me: I thought you were quiet, but lately, I have seen another side of you. You’re more vocal. Tell me about that?

Khas: For the last two years I feel like I’ve been extremely muzzled. That’s not to say there’s always something to say or a need to say something, but I’ve been extremely laid back and didn’t say much. Some of it was because of work related stuff or stuff I was going through personally. I was also in a space where I felt like I didn’t have anything of value to say, or feel like I was saying something that everyone else was saying – if it’s a common thread or common trend, why would I need to add my input to it? So yeah, I had a muzzle on for about two years straight.

I’ve learned that language can solve a lot of problems in life. Sometimes people are feeling things and they are frustrated because they don’t have language for it. I understand because that was a lot of my frustration. One of the reasons I follow the Friends (The Pastors of All Nations Worship Assembly – Atlanta) is because every time I’m in their space they say something, oftentimes is unintentional, which gives me language for where I am and where I need to be headed. This is my thought, it may be insignificant to you, but nine times out of ten, there is one person who can benefit from it and we have a responsibility to share. It’s not always comfortable for me. I actually hate it, and would rather be quiet and in the background. I am learning to own the responsibility, which is why I’ve been more vocal.

Me: For this, we are thankful. For years, I have been one who has wrestled with my voice. I remember hearing, “Your voice is assigned to somebody.” The crazy thing about the world is, there are billions of people. You may say something and people won’t hear it. I will say the same thing and they will respond as if I’ve solved a great mystery! No, I’m just repeating what he said.

Khas: Exactly, I believe we have assigned audiences.

Me: And your audience is waiting. Khas, your life is blessed. I’m glad to know you. I’m glad to see the transformation in you. Its palpable. It’s beautiful. I am excited to see what happens in your future.

Khas has penned two books about grace. Shades of Grace and The Grace Factor. His most recent release is titled Decoding the CreativesThey can all be found on Amazon.com.

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Khas is a Business Consultant, Author, and Ghostwriter, Editor and Speaker.
He can be found on all social media platforms under Khas Dock.

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Feel free to follow, like, and share.

Greeting Overcomers!

I am embarking on a new project called The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame. The purpose is to highlight people who are pursuing their purpose in the face of tragedy, trauma, and the obstacles that come with life.

Meet K’la Fleming, the Author. K’la recently released her first book titled, WOW: Woman of Worth.

I had an awesome time speaking with K’la. Here is the highlight of our conversation:

Nicole: Tell me about yourself?

K’la: I took a step of faith and moved to Atlanta two years ago from Norfolk, VA. I didn’t initially want to move here but I had a dream that let me know moving was in my best interest. Although it has been a journey, I have embraced my new life as well as experienced tremendous growth. These past few years has taken me on a path to self-acceptance.

I light up a room with my loud personality. I am loving and I love people. I am also spontaneous.

Nicole: What does being an overcomer mean to you?

K’la: In the face of obstacles, it’s the ability to step over, go around or use them as a stepping stone. Keeping the boxing gloves on and polished. Being equipped with the armor of God. Letting go of something that would hinder your progress.

Nicole: The boxing glove is a great analogy for an overcomer. What have you overcome?

K’la: Saying yes to everything, being a people pleaser, low self-esteem and fear. Feeling uncomfortable because I was often accused for being extra. Not knowing at the time people will accuse you of being extra when they’re not comfortable with themselves.

Nicole: How did you overcome these obstacles?

K’la: I had to learn to stop dumbing myself down.

When I’m in a room with other creatives, I have to resist the notion to hide and decide to speak up. I realize I have something of value to add.

I had fear of moving here because I didn’t want to lose friends, having to navigate what’s next and tackling a big city.

Also, my safe space is my room. Learning to have the same confidence in a public setting that I have at home. Being able to notice things I love to do and display confidence without minimizing herself.

When I feel like shrinking back, I remind myself what God says about me by listening to recordings or reading something I’ve written. I choose to face and embrace those feelings and push past it anyway.

I remind myself to embrace who I am. I embrace my laugh which is unique and contagious. I celebrate my personality because it is big. People connect to me because my personality and laugh is contagious. It’s scary at times, but being confident that it’s how it’s supposed to be.

I have to get over assumptions, what I’d think people think about me. As a result of my assuming, I would shut down or remove myself from situations in order to avoid uncomfortable interactions that may happen.

Nicole: Tell me about WOW? What is the message you want your readers to know?

K’la: WOW is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend in April 2018. After the conversation, I began writing from the words that were coming in my head.

The purpose of WOW is to highlight God as father. It’s about transformation from a woman of insecurity to a woman of worth. In my mind I saw a vision of God as father and Him being available and letting me know I am worthy of His time and everything he has to give.

You may find K’la at:

IG: _worthsaving_

FB: K’La Marie and @WondrouslyWorthy

WOW: Woman of Worth can be found at:

https://www.amazon.com/WOW-Woman-Worth-KLa-Fleming/dp/0578577763/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=wow+women+of+worth&qid=1572469321&sprefix=WOW+Woman+of+Wo&sr=8-1

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