The Story Behind The Movement
"Every woman has a story and every story can change the world."
Life can often seem like it's filled with ingredients of pain, rejection, failure, shame or heartbreak. I like to call those the bitter cocoa or baking soda ingredients of our past. On their own, they make you want to cry, "Yuk, Yuk, Yuk"! But somehow, when we put those bitter ingredients into God's hands, He has a way of turning our mess into a masterpiece of sweetness that can radically change the lives of others. I know this to be true because it is the recipe of my own story of tragedy to triumph.
When I was a baby, I was diagnosed with a disease of the lungs called Cystic Fibrosis. My dad was a pastor, and he called the church together for a "prayer meeting" to ask God for a miracle. My body was miraculously healed from that disease, and in replacement of very weak lungs, God gave me a 5-1/2 octave singing voice, fierce boldness, and a deep desire to make a difference in the world.
As a natural-born "fighter," I developed a competitive spirit on the basketball court and the mat as a black-belt in karate. I took every advantage to "conquer" but my hunger to be number one was slowly growing into an approval addiction that would lead me into a dark cycle of pain.
I hungered for applause and acceptance and no matter how many trophies or championships I acquired,
I was still longing for more.
By the time I was 18 years old, I had a thriving career, singing for a 21-piece orchestra, running my own fashion consulting firm, performing in Off-Broadway Musicals, and I became the youngest National Marketing Director of a billion-dollar company. Companies and leaders soon wanted my skills and talents at any cost, and I learned how to play the game of manipulation for reward. Success enabled me to become powerful, yet deeply broken. I was confident yet aching inside for relationships that loved me for ME, not for what I could do.
I was shackled by the addiction to keep producing in business and life, hoping that someday I would turn my success into something more meaningful and spiritually significant. By the time I was 21 years old, I had hit a brick wall, suffering through an abusive divorce, suicidal depression and mental bondage due to shame.
I was a Pastor's kid who believed that my dysfunctional past would disqualify me from ever being "good enough" to impact the world. The voices in my head said, "You are worthless, abused and unwanted. You've messed everything up, and there is nothing you can do about it. You will never be accepted. No one will ever love you now."
But God had a different plan. It was at a large conference, where a woman was speaking about her faith that I found deep and lasting healing from the scars of my past. I realized that the very scars of my past could become stars that light the way to freedom for another woman's future. Three years later, I fell in love, remarried and had two beautiful children. That was 23 years ago. I soon began to use my story and music to positively impact other women and girls at local churches, women's groups, shelters and prisons.
On July 7, 2007 (7/7/7), I decided to take a leap of faith and launch EMwomen (EMpowering Women) to help other ladies realize that their life and their story could make a monumental difference in the world. Soon, we were feeding up to 400 homeless people each weekend and hosting missions trips around the world. We held large conferences for women, leadership summits for entrepreneurs and we worked with local churches and non-profits to create life-skills training classes. I was living my dream and loving the results of seeing lives so drastically changed.
Then, in 2009, after the stock market crash, our funding for EMwomen ran out. I was forced to take a corporate position, putting me back in the grind for success. It felt like my dream was shattered. Not knowing if EMwomen would ever be revived, I launched back into nine years of raising up companies into the hundreds of millions and scaling teams into the hundreds of thousands.
From the outside looking in....my life seemed perfect. I was living large, grinding hard and winning big. The money was flowing, and the popularity and applause were increasing. But deep inside, something was missing. I was unsettled and wanting more than money could buy.
Then one day, I woke up to hear these words in my heart:
"Will you say, 'YES'? Will you sacrifice your life?"
I wasn't sure what those words meant, but I knew it was God setting me up for transition into something bigger than I had ever known. I was unsettled in my heart and my hunger for success was being replaced by a search for spiritual significance. My husband, who was raised by a single mom below the poverty level had also worked in the C-suite of many companies and together, we were longing to use our lives to find solutions to unsolved problems that plague our society.
Together, we stepped away from our ivory white towers of success and corporate achievements and re-launched EMwomen (Empowering Women). We have never been more at peace than we are now. We live to give and long to serve those who are in need around us. We know God has uniquely blessed us with the compassion of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring hope, help and healing to the communities we reach.
EMwomen exists to advocate for the complete and total freedom of the women and girls we reach. By providing Spirit-led mentors, faith-based programs, bible studies, real-world skillset training, online workshops, marketplace connect groups and family enrichment, we see those we reach experience LASTING DELIVERANCE, accountability and sustainable transformation. As we align advocates with those we reach, we see powerful change occur daily.
Statistics say that 90% of women and girls rescued from human trafficking, abuse, homelessness and domestic violence will return to their source of pain. By offering deliverance and healing through our faith-based programs, we are seeing a much different story. We see women and girls set free, equipped and empowered to re-enter society with strength, dignity and hope for the future. Through our training seminars, online webinars, Connect Groups, podcasts, blogs, books, etiquette courses, financial studies and publishing programs, we are liberating the voices of women and their life-changing stories so that the power behind their stories can be revealed.
Your story may be different from mine, but chances are, you've longed to make a bigger difference in the world. Perhaps you've felt the pain of rejection, isolation, addiction or have simply longed for freedom from your past. Maybe you've been abused or have had leaders around you manipulate your emotions or even violate your body. Perhaps you are longing for something greater than money can buy.
God has a plan to turn the ingredients of your life into a wonderful recipe of hope for some else's future. YOUR STORY IS POWERFUL BEYOND WORDS and EMwomen can help you find your ultimate breakthrough.
"Every woman has a story….and every story can change the world."