WHO AM I?
Raised in the poverty-stricken, crime infested projects of Memphis, Tennessee. Indiana turned the tragedies of molestation, bullying, domestic violence, and low self-esteem into triumph. The first in her family to graduate high school and attend college, she went on to obtain multiple degrees in Social Work (BSW), Public Administration (MPA), and Professional Counseling (MPC). Her personal testimony serves as motivation and feeds her passion for helping others not only survive but become more than conquerors.
Frustrated with being single, constantly questioning her own singleness, and fear of failure in pursuing her dreams, her pursuit of happiness and a closer relationship with God led to her becoming an author of 3 books “Stop Asking Why Are You Single,” “Saved, Single and Frustrated” and the newly released “Awaken The Dream.” Rather than focusing on a man or obtaining a man, her books inspire singles to enjoy where they are with God, details her personal struggles with her past, and invites the reader on a journey of deliverance from un-forgiveness, rejection, abandonment, fear, and low self-esteem into a discovery of identity, purpose in Christ and the fulfilment of dreams.
Her books also serve as inspiration for I Am Woman. I Am Woman is a women’s empowerment group Indiana created to encourage and empower women to live a life of purpose and utilize their God-given talents in their community. Indiana believes all gifts from God, including a spouse, comes with an appointed time. If we sit around and ponder over what we don’t have, we miss the beauty and the blessings of what we do have. Life is a journey, if we never get started we will miss out on its rewards. We can choose to participate or be bystanders, either way, life moves on.
I had a hard time dealing with the things that happened in my past. I questioned why. I blamed the devil. At times I even blamed myself. My earliest memory as a child was when we moved to Killeen, TX I believe I was around 6 years old. I was in first grade. I was generally a loner but I had a couple of girls I called friends. My first molestation was with one of those friends. She always wanted to play house and she would be the father and I the mother. When this happened I told no one as I told myself she was just a child probably doing what she saw. Later we moved back to Memphis and it happened again, this time I was around 12 and again it was with a girl/friend. I told no one this time because I blamed myself. I thought I allowed it to happen because I wanted friends so bad, I even questioned my sexuality. By 13 I would be molested 3 more times: by a cousin, a friend’s mother’s boyfriend, and an aunt’s boyfriend. By now I had totally gone into being a loner and even had my first sexual encounter at 14. After coming back to Memphis, we moved into the projects of Getwell Garden. This is where the last three molestations occurred. While living in the projects I witnessed drugs, violence, and watched my brother get sucked into the lifestyle of a drug-dealer. It was there that I learned my mother was on drugs and vividly recall her being beaten in front of me by my father. My brother ended up going to jail, and for a while, I was angry at him, because I now saw everything that he tried hard to shelter me from. By the time I graduated high school I realized that I wanted more than what I saw. Life had to be more than dropping out of school, having babies out of wedlock and living on welfare. But how could I strive for something I never saw?
While reading John 1: 4 – 5. The Lord spoke to me saying “I am the light in the darkness of your past, but because you do not understand you do not allow me to shine. You were made to tell of my goodness. Once you realize who you are you will be ready for my use. You are a child of God born of God. You are in my bosom, I have declared you righteous.”
Many believe God does enter the scene or become active in our lives until the day we accept salvation. But God is in us and with us since birth, actually before he formed us in the womb. And we try to comprehend or figure out how things in our life, bad things can happen. We blame ourselves and harbor a lot of anger, regret, and un-forgiveness. The truth is the fact that we are here today and still able to tell the story is a testament to the love God has for us because He could have allowed the enemy to kill us. The very thing we are condemning ourselves for, or allowing to hold us down because of fear is the very thing that God will use to reach others. True forgiveness is letting go that the past could have been different. We can’t change it. God was merely preparing us for our time, our platform.
We are all created for a purpose. Life’s journey is to discover that purpose and utilize it in the world. Our past hurts and the fears associated with that past are the biggest hindrances to discovering and fulfilling our purpose. Pain, regardless of the cause or type, can be either an excuse or a motivation. I chose to use mine as motivation. Through my writing, my speaking and my business endeavors I aim to encourage and inspire others to live a life void of fear and pursue the happiness intended by our creator.