Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ms. Tenishia Lester!
Tenishia 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!
Me: 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 focused 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!
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.
I 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: