Recently, I attended a woman’s empowerment conference called “Bent But Not Broken,” held by Women of Fruit Magazine! Sure, I’ve been to many conferences but this was my FIRST women empowerment one! I was invited by a friend but after reading the invite summary, I went for me. Lately, my confidence level has been lessening. This has never happened to me before. I am always the STRONG one; the one that keeps EVERYONE together; the one that NEVER complains. But, not lately. Lately, I’ve been wanting to be left alone. Lately, I haven’t been feeling pretty. Shoot, I feel like crying as I write this… ummm one second… let me pull it together… I’ll be right back.
Even a Queen feels Broken
…. Okay I’m back. Why have I been feeling this way? I’m not sure; honestly, I’ve been trying to figure it out myself. It could be a combination of things. For one, I continually pour out motivational and inspirational messages to others that I may be becoming drained. [Now I know how the Pastor of a church feels.] It could be that I have a birthday coming up. I’m just a few years shy of turning 40. Never have I felt upset about my age. I am very proud of the many years God has blessed me on this earth. But on the flip side, I could sub-consciously be thinking of somehow I’ve failed in various ways.
As a Woman, I feel Bent
During the conference, the opening speaker Dr. DeNae Lemay [Sr. Pastor and Founder of Champion Kingdom Center] told the story of a woman in the bible that came to Jesus feeling bent (Luke 8:43 – 48). [Click here for a video version.] Physically, she was bent– always walking with her head down to avoid eye contact, due to her continuous bleeding for over 12 years. Emotionally she was bent. She was considered unclean in the eyes of the public so no one wanted to be near her. As a woman, do you see the symbolism in this story? As women, we take on so many life stressors. Carrying all of those heavy burdens will weigh anyone down. You may as well call me Quasimodo b/c that is the way I would feel! I am a fixer. So when I can’t fix something, I become- not depressed- but close enough. I go into a state of disappointment to where I just want to be alone.
Pray Queen, Pray
As Dr. Lemay continued to speak, I had to look around b/c I was like… has she been in my house?! Jesus, you are playing with my mind right now! She can’t be real b/c it’s like she is speaking to me and only me! But of course, she was real! In summary, her sermon (that’s exactly what it was… it wasn’t a speech) was the start of an afternoon, learning how to pick yourself up no matter the stressors! She reminded me to first pray! What do you think God is here for? Yes, He is a God of miracles but did you forget… He is a Healer! I partly did which is part of the problem. I just told you I am a fixer. For whatever the reason, I may pray about what’s going on but in my mind, I’m thinking… I can handle it. I’ll figure out how to get over my disappointment. Yet, currently why am I crying? Why do I choose to be alone? It’s because I can’t figure out… I’m tired… I’m bent.
Shake yourself off Woman and Stand Up!
After Dr. Lemay, there was the panel. Jennifer Cook, Miranda Burton, and Dr. Lemay took their seats in the front and spoke of various situations that caused them to be broken. One spoke of a broken marriage; one spoke of being molested as a child; another spoke of remembering the minute she stood frozen and scared as she watched her mother die due to a gunshot wound. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as each woman told their story. But jooooooyyyyyy comes in the morning! There was no room for pity. As each woman wrapped up their story, they explained they could have remained broken but it was their faith and determination to help others which caused them to walk straight! [Click here for an example of what was said during the panel discussion.]
I Failed as a Queen
Towards the end of the conference came up my favorite speaker, Barbara Pinson Lash. Don’t get me wrong, I loved each one of the ladies and appreciated their stories but Mrs. Lash… I felt she was me and I was her. Picture a beautiful, professional, well educated, woman of God. No, I am not talking about myself- LOL! But now you see what I speak of. To top it off, her degree is in the same industry I went to school for… communication (specifically, journalism)! She told a cunning, witty story of how she became broken when she was let go from her prominent position as a news anchor at a local station. At that moment, I felt the disappointment in her story. I pictured her feeling the way I felt when my marriage deteriorated or when I continually get turned down from well-deserved promotions- like a failure. I am unsure if that was her exact feeling but it seemed pretty close. By the time she finished her story, I (and the rest of the room) couldn’t help but give her a standing ovation!
Woman, Failure isn’t an Option!
She went on to mention her achievements after being let go. She morphed into a media coach, then to writing her first book, then growing into a media consultant to celebrities! I could relate to Mrs. Lash and more. Why? She gave me the most tangible exercise I can do after praying… reciting daily affirmations! You would think a woman of my stature would do this already but truth is- I never saw value in saying affirmations. In fact, I always thought it to be a frivolous activity that people who aren’t confident in their well-being perform. Wait… Currently, that’s me. This is why it is time for me to do something new in my life. She reminded me to take a look at my accomplishments and notate why and how I accomplished them. Reciting those accomplishments would be my first set of affirmations.
Below are some examples:
- I have a Master’s degree b/c I was determined to be the first one in my family to consummate this task!
- I am not a failure b/c I have a well-paying career that I can do what I do best… motivate/push people to their fullest potential!
- The one achievement that I am most proud of… becoming a Mother!
Thank you, Mrs. Lash and I look forward to your next book! Yes, you will it finish soon 😉
Now it’s Your Turn
Take a walk down memory lane to bring back the memories as to why you are awesome! Write down a few affirmations and place them in areas where you will see them daily; ex: bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, or maybe the refrigerator. Say them often so they are engrained in your brain. Each time you become bent or broken, one will shoot to the forefront of your mind and then say it OUT LOUD! Oh and don’t forget to allow a few bible verses to be some of your affirmations. Lastly, don’t become a fixer like me. I am a work in progress so as a reminder to myself and a tip for you… PRAY and ask God to heal the pain!