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Tell us about yourself? What is your testimony of forgiving/healing the impossible. Overcoming life's barriers, defying the odds? There is a lot that I have learned when it comes to forgiving the impossible. One of the main things that stands out in my mind is the fact that I personally forgave my abusers. I do not mean the private waiting to exhale moment in the comfort of my own home either. I intentionally sought out and talked to some of the men of my past that had beaten me, belittled me, and torn me down. I asked them to forgive me for not forgiving them. Although I had moved on with my life, I was still holding grudges against them and in a sense I was still a victim to the things that they had done to me, only I was victimizing myself through the memories of the pain. By the grace of nobody but God was I able to apply the same forgiveness that Jesus extended to me to them. This was not an easy thing to do, but it was a necessary thing to do. When I think of overcoming life's barriers, I truly think of the act of forgiveness as being the driving force behind being able to overcome anything. I use the word overcomer a lot when describing myself and the things that I have experienced. One of the definitions of the word overcomer is someone who establishes ascendancy and control by force or persuasion. For so long abuse controlled my actions and dictated the decisions that I made in life and when I finally found my way to the altar to an established and intimate relationship with Christ, I now had gained the control. I must also address defying the odds before we move on. When you look at statistics and what society says in reference to what the outcome of a person's life would be when you factor in all the variables that

affected me, technically I am not supposed to be where I am let alone on the path to where I am going. I had my first child at the age of 16, I dropped out of high school two months before graduation, I have been raped, I was a heavy drug user, and I entered one domestic violence after another for many years. According to some, my son's father was supposed to be a dead beat, but he turned out to be the complete opposite and has been a driving force in my son's life since before birth, my son certainly shouldn't be a college student now, although at first he had his sights on going to a local two year college and I encouraged him to look higher than that, I am supposed to be poor and unhealthy, and although I do have other children, according to some statistics I am supposed to be just ridden with kids and no means of supporting them. I ended up going back to school at the age of 22 and obtaining my G.E.D. in just one month's time and I graduated in the top percentile of my class. You have a very powerful testimony of overcoming sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug addiction, being a teenage mom and even being born of a congenital heart defect, in which you were healed of. Is letting go of the past or of any hurt an ongoing process for you? As I mentioned before a lot of the letting go helped me to become who I am today, but I must be honest and say yes, it is an ongoing process. Research has taught me that the average mind has an average of 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. We can not control what pops up in our minds at any given moment and sometimes a flashback of yesteryear pops up. It is painful to revisit, but then I grabbed hold of my faith in those moments and I remember what God has and is doing for me. There are also people that I have hurt that I have never had

the opportunity to apologize to and I often think of them. Having three daughters and knowing that ministry first starts at home, I also find myself talking to my children about things I experienced and opening the door for them to feel comfortable with coming to me to tell me anything that they are going through, no matter how they think I will feel about it. It really is a process, I know I have said that, but the more I think about it the more I have to say it again. And then there are those people in your life who just refuse to let the past be the past. I still have yet to understand how a person expects you to look at them as a mature new creature but constantly wave the "back then flag" in your face as if you could not have had the same growth. It truly takes prayer to get through challenging moments like this, but in the end it is worth it. We block our own blessings when we hold on to stuff God is giving us a way to let go of. We can't be accountable for someone else, only ourselves, so once we learn that, we are on the path to a beautiful place of healing. With the sexual abuse, it started at a young age. Why didn't you tell your parents not only that it was happening but who was doing it? Honestly, and this is still a very painful subject every time it comes up, I did tell but I was not believed. You know it seems so simple, just to tell and it would stop, but it was not as simple for me then. For one, there was an era where children were not allowed to call grownups liars, and I grew up during that time frame. Also, being that I was always in some kind of trouble, it was chalked up as just another tactic to gain attention. One of the dumbest slaved down mentality rules I think some of our ancestors passed down was " what goes on in the house stays in this


Another reason I did not tell was because I actually enjoyed the attention at the time as wrong as it was. I was never considered a pretty child, I was actually told that I was ugly as you will read in my upcoming book, "By His Stripes". I heard you the taunts of how cute I thought I was more than being told how beautiful I really was. So as sickening as it was, it felt good to be pretty for a change. How did the sexual abuse negatively impact you? I had absolutely no self worth. The value I placed on myself was little to none. Without telling too much because this is something that I go into deep detail about in my book, I will just say when you can put a price tag on your body, you are severely impacted in the most negative way possible. Would you attribute your the molestation to prompting you to have sex at an early age, which eventually led you into motherhood early? I absolutely do. I had a hunger, using

that term loosely, that could not be satisfied by just touches anymore. I did not realize until I started growing in Christ that a lustful spirit had been imparted in me from the molestation and I was not in control of my own body even then. How were you able to handle being teenage mom and a young mother period? Please explain the dramatic change that occurred in your life as a whole, mentally, emotionally, physically and also with your parents? Again, this is something that I speak of in my book, but I will share something that did not make the book. First let me say, my son's father was a God send. Although I did not appreciate him then, I know that I was blessed with a person many girls do not get to have in their lives, especially at a young age. He was a hard working man who immediately became serious about being a father as soon as the results came back. It was a very emotional time to deal with because I had my son during a time I hated to be home. I ran away a lot to escape the life I had. One of the times that I left, I remember my cousin took me back to get my son because although I knew that I did not know how I was going to support us, I knew I wanted him with me. My parents would not let me take him. His father was even against it. I was told if you want to run the streets you can but the baby stays here. I still chose to leave with my cousin. Yes, I wanted my baby, but I decided that I wanted to leave more. He has always known for me to be in and out of his life, but he never knew why. I did not have the choice to live and make my own decisions but at the same time I was treated like I needed to be an adult because I had a child. Emotionally and mentally it was a very exhausting time in my life. At times I felt selfish for leaving him but then I was comforted

in knowing that he was okay because he was with family. As life progressed for you, you found yourself in an abusive relationship. Did you see the signs before the actual physical abuse took place?

I saw the signs but I ignored them because I felt like I participated by initiating the fights a lot in the beginning and then later when my self esteem was just non-existent, I felt like it was all that my life had come to be. How long did you stay? Why did you stay for as long as you did? Did you grow up in an abusive household? If so, would you attribute that to why you were in abusive relationship? I was in abusive relationships from the time I was 18 until I was 30. I did witness abuse growing up, but ironically it wasn't from my father. The women in my family are very headstrong and sometimes a fist could come with that.

You are now a Domestic Violence Survivor!!! YaY, congrats, and thank God!! How were you able to get out of it?

THE BUSINESS 101 MAGAZINE: Lily of The Field with Sharisa Robertson -Christina Mial –February 2013

house ". That truly messed a lot of people up and served the setting for many walls to hold many secrets. It's unfortunate but the black community often shuns some of the very things that we needed to grow. Counseling for one and just being able to talk about what hurt. I don't blame my parents or even my grandparents for this because this was something that I learned was passed down even from the days of slavery. Ever notice how in movies about slavery how black women where taught when they were raped by "Massah" not to say anything. Even her mother would turn her head and pretend that it wasn't happening. Those are a lot of feelings and a lot of pain to be forced to withhold and not be taught how to deal with it.

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You begin the journey into experimenting with drugs. What drugs were you on, how long were you on, and how did you get started? This is something you and the readers will have to get from the book. What I found amazing about you, is that you were able to quit on your own and haven't looked back. Not many find the strength within themselves to do that. How were you able to? My best friend and I have this thing when we call or write to each other. One of us will say "dot dot dot" and the other will respond "BUT GOD". So to answer your question, It was by the grace of nobody ...BUT GOD. With all that you have experienced, what was the defining moment that propelled you to make the decision to change, to let it go, to live life? I finally looked at my life through the eyes of my children. I thought about what they were experiencing just from watching me and how the past of my own childhood had affected me and I knew I had to change for them.

Have you forgiven all of the people that have hurt you? Have you forgiven yourself? YES!!! I honestly do not think the book would of been released had I not. We all go through seasons and one of mine was a 'Season of Forgiveness'. I had to learn how to let go of past hurt and I also had to learn how to apologize. I had to

What was your biggest misperception of forgiveness did you have or you were taught? This was a lesson that was painful to learn. Sometimes I felt because I wasn't the offender, I should not of been the one to apologize, but there is a scripture in the Bible that even if a person did not apologize to me, I STILL had to forgive them. God even goes on to say that your sacrifices wouldn't even matter to Him until you have righted your wrongs. It's like, ok, I am the one hurting because of something that they did but I got to apologize to them because of me feeling some type of way? Yes.... Now that is deep. { Psalm 66:18 } Forgiveness is such a deep aspect of growth and moving forward and I did not respect the true meaning of it until God started pruning me to write this book. By His Stripes, is the name of your book. How have you turned your pain into purpose? Where can the book be purchased? I can answer that with just the simple reroute back to the book. The pain in my life was not for me, nor was it the end of me.... There was a purpose greater than myself being cultivated behind the scenes as Jeremiah 29:11 states. My purpose can be read in the pages of this book. I am to motivate and encourage my brothers and sisters with the wisdom obtained from the mistakes I made. My purpose is not to keep the goodness of God to myself but to share it with all that will listen and in this book I am doing just that. My book will be found at Amazon {www.amazon.com}, Barnes and Noble {www.barnesandnoble.com}, and we are currently in the process of getting it into local christian book stores as well as Walmart. You

can always find the links of where to purchase on my Facebook fan page and my webpage, www.christinamial.com .

You compared yourself to Book of Esther in the Bible. What are the similarities, in her and yourself? Like Esther, I considered myself unworthy at one point of time. When faced with the request to go before the King, she was doubtful as to why her life would be spared above anyone else's who had dared to approach the King without being called upon. I have felt like who am I that people would listen because of who I vauled or didn't value rather, myself to be. When you read the story, although His name is not mentioned, it is obvious that God is ever present throughout the whole story. From the beginning to the end God was there. I lived a very rebellious and shameful life. What word(s) would describe you and your life then and now? Then:: Broken, Hurt, Confused, Lost, Desperate, Shamed, Abandoned, Argumentative, Bitter, Betrayed, Belittled, Black Sheep, Defeated, Disempowered, Disgraced, Empty, Forced, Flawed, Inferior, Hurt, and Rejected

But NOW....... Now:: Competent, Intelligent, Guiltless, Virtuous, Honest, Blessed, Favored, Conqueror, Overcomer, Grounded, Stable, Beautiful, Faithful, Christ like, Relevant, Cordial, Joyful, Determined, Accepted, Loved, Admirable, Humble, Strong willed, Impressive, Stylish, and most importantly SAVED!! What are your past and upcoming projects, events, books..... Well, I am actually going to just focus on "By His Stripes" right now.

THE BUSINESS 101 MAGAZINE: Lily of The Field with Sharisa Robertson -Christina Mial –February 2013

I finally looked in the mirror and saw a woman that needed to be loved unconditionally and if I had to be the one to give it to her, then by any means I would do it.

learn how to go forward even when wronged and not apologized to.

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How can readers stay in contact with you? You can find me via Facebook by befriending me, Christina Mial or you can look me up by my email on Facebook at christinalmial@gmail.com . Also I have a fan page for my book, By His Stripes which you can also key www.facebook.com/byhisstripesbook in your address bar to reach. For more information about me or to send my your personal testimony, please write me at info@christinamial.com . You may also visit my website, www.christinamial.com and click on the Contact Me tab.

Sharisa T. Robertson Forgiveness FacilitatorŠ Founder of Lilies of the Field www.sharisarobertson.com www.iamalilyofthefield.com info@iamalilyofthefield.com 248-716-5459

THE BUSINESS 101 MAGAZINE: Lily of The Field with Sharisa Robertson -Christina Mial –February 2013

The things that the Lord showed me to do with this book and what He is going to do with it will be my focus. I do have two other books in the works, but they will not be revealed until Fall 2013. I will be reading from my book and introducing it to the public on February 9, 2013. On February 23, 2013 there is an event called "Divas N' Daughters" where I will be sharing and selling my books. I have linked up with several churches to start book clubs and participate in already functioning book clubs and will be speaking at their events as well. By becoming a fan of my Facebook page, you can always know what is going on with me and where I will be next. Visit www.facebook.com/byhisstripesbook and click the LIKE button.

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SHARISA ROBERTSON INTERVIEWS CHRISTINA MIAL