ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author | Substance Abuse Counselor | Associate Pastor| Motivational Speaker
Lady Anika is dedicated to encouraging women to be inspired through Jesus Christ. She teaches women to develop a greater relationship with God while standing firm on his promises for their lives. She teaches them to be content with his peace and grace in their minds, always knowing through their growth in God only. They’re equipped and empowered to overcome all trials; to be triumphant.
Lady Anika is a substance abuse counselor, motivational speaker, author, and Associate Pastor
Anika began her spiritual journey with Christ as a young child. Her mother, Pauline Smith, attended church under the leadership of the late Overseer, Rosie L. Johnson, of Holy Tabernacle Church of Love. Overtime, at the age of twenty-three, Anika was born again by receiving salvation and was filled with the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in other tongues. She is presently under the leadership of Apostle D. Roach III of City of Refuge Inc. and has been there since 2007. As a result of Anika accepting God’s call upon her life, she immediately began to work for the Kingdom of God by serving in various capacities in ministry. She has served as secretary, usher, missionary, and praise and worship team member. She has also served as a licensed evangelist, elder, and currently associate pastor of The Lord’s Church. Most importantly, Anika embarked upon the vision God placed in her heart to serve women of all ages. In the year of 2009, Embracing Your Inner Woman was established.
Embracing Your Inner Woman offers many services to the community such as: counseling, social events and support meetings called L.I.V.E. Anika graduated as Valedictorian in the class of 2008 of B.E.R. Christian Academy. She attended Delaware Technical Community College and was on the Dean’s List several times for academic excellence. As of May 18, 2015, Anika accepted her degree as a drug and alcohol counselor. Furthermore, she continues her education at Wilmington University studying to earn her Behavioral Science degree as well as applying for her CADC; certification to be an Alcohol and Drug Counselor of Delaware.
Anika’s purpose reflects the Prestigious Award she accepted in 2008 which was the Lady of Excellence in Leadership! She is being an example to women. She lives by her favorite scripture found in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (KJV), “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
Anika, tell us about your book?
My book is about forgiveness, healing, accountability and hope. This book is about a young lady who was experiencing the worst challenges of her life while ministering to Gods people. I had just got married to my husband in the year of 2009 and he was asking for a divorce in 2010. In addition, while attempting to manage my life with four children as a single parent again it was brought to my attention one of my children could possibly have a Mental Health disorder. Through this time of loneliness and feelings of despair God revealed unto me my purpose in life. I learned overtime that I had to completely rely on the strength of God and begin to allow him to do the work in me as a mother, wife and leader. I had to do the thing most people don’t want to do which is embrace my insecurities and barriers that were hindering me from maturing as a lady. It was during this time I had to accept acknowledge and own my flaws, my past and my mistakes. I could no longer hide behind my smile but remove the mask and allow the healing to manifest within me so I could effectively minister that others may be inspired to Live.
How did you come up with idea for this book?
As a child in school I always enjoyed writing and English class. Therefore I would always keep a journal and write my thoughts, feelings and concerns. This was my way of releasing my thoughts without any judgment and I felt safe and secure when writing. Overtime once I begin to develop in my adolescent stages I grew out of journaling until I was faced with the troubles of my marriage and motherhood. I began journaling again and found it to be therapeutic for me while I was going through these trials. I would find peace in writing. Then one day God told me the title of my book, and this was surprising to me because I never thought about writing a book. I knew I had to be obedient so I decided to move forward with the idea God had given me.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book?
The most difficult aspect for me is not being aware of individuals reactions based on my truth; the fear of being judged. In the church culture there’s a false impression of the leader and/or First Lady being perfect in a sense. The first lady always has to smile, look beautiful, says all the right words but this was not my truth. It was easy for me to pray, minister, advice, encourage everyone else but I was dying inside. There’s a false illusion that you must have it all together but when you don’t have it all together, what do you do? I had to learn that it’s okay to be broken as a leader in the church but I must deal with the brokenness not suppress the brokenness. It’s okay to be transparent about your life and the circumstances God had brought you out of presently and not just the past situations.
Why do you write?
I write because it is therapeutic to me. When writing you’re able to release the hurt, pain, guilt and shame. Writing will give you a sense of peace and understanding that everything will be alright some day. Sometimes you can’t talk to nobody but you can write out your thoughts and God will hear them. God says acknowledge him in all your ways, it doesn’t always have to be verbally just get your notepad and pen and just write and release.
What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
I want people especially women in leadership and authority positions to implement accepting, acknowledging and owning their insecurities, barriers and flaws in their lives. When you’re accepting you are no longer in denial about the barrier that’s hindering you. You will begin to embrace the barrier by accepting that you have this problem and you have to do the work to conquer it. Next, when we are acknowledging our barrier or insecurity we are beginning to change our pattern, behaviors, language and perception concerning the issue. We will begin to decree and declare your freedom and own it. When you are in the owning stage you are consistent in doing the work daily. We will not succumb to our emotions but live in freedom.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I am currently reading Elevate Your Faith. Elevate your faith is a 31 day devotion about faith and hope. Also I am reading another devotional book titled Speaking his Words. This book is about making confessions over certain areas in your life. I believe in feeding your spirit daily with his word as well as speaking over your life, circumstances with positivity.
Who are your favorite authors?
The bible has influenced my life in so many ways. It’s empowering and full of substance. As a child I didn’t like to read and not much changed as an adult while attending college. However, the word of God captured me and it fills me up along with reading devotional book.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to choose a writer to be my mentor, I would not have to choose because he walks beside me and his name is Dr. Ira D. Roach III. This man is wise and full of knowledge. He leads by example and has taught me so much in life. He encouraged me, pushed me and never judged me. And I could never replace him in my life. He is the author of Speaking His Words and founder of B.E.R. Christian Academy Schools.
Any advice to give to aspiring writers?
The advice I would give aspiring authors is to be diligent, focused and just write. Allow the words to flow and come together. Don’t be exhausted with fear or doubt just believe God and allow him to do the rest.
ABOUT THE BOOK
I (Lady Anika) was experiencing the worst challenges of my life while having to minister to God’s people. I was desolate, scared, alone however it wasn’t until I owned, acknowledged and accepted my flaws, shortcomings and began to deal with me. It’s easy to minister, advise, and encourage everybody else but what about when you need encouragement, advice and strength?
Will you utilize the same words of wisdom to bring yourself out of the situation?
We can no longer hide behind the titles of prestige and power but remove the mask. Healing, deliverance and freedom begins within us first in order to exude through us that others may be inspired to LIVE.
Get your copy today: Turned Diaries of an Elect Lady: I CHOOSE 2 LIVE by Anika Stewart Link: https://amzn.com/B01G24Y9WC
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