DOZ Issue 52 February 2020 - Page 14

I have got two sisters that are older than I am and then me, so I am the baby of the house. But my two sisters were in boarding school, and my older brother was not able to go to boarding school because he had sickle cell, so he had to be home, and so I was almost like his little partner in crime, we did literally everything together. So, losing him was so significant and I think it hurt so much because I didn’t have a real avenue to express my grief. It was just something I had to deal with and just accept and grow up with and it left me very bitter and very angry on the inside, but it wasn’t until the last few years when I became an adult that I’ve been able to understand the impact that that kind of grief had in my life and the changes in me that it caused; in my personality, in my perception of life, in things around death, I was so afraid of death, I was so afraid of dying and all those things, it was rooted in the death of my brother. The other thing that you talked about is my being sexually abused as a child, now again, for me, that was something that was so traumatic that my brain just shut it out, I forgot, I remembered when I was 28, that was the first time that I actually remembered that this had happened as a child. And when the memory came back, of course, one of the first things I did at the time was to seek some help, go for counselling. I remember sitting there and asking my counsellor, how do you forget a thing like this, how does your brain just shut it out? And she said to me, well, Amanda, it was so traumatic for you that the memories were locked away until the point where your brain felt that you could deal with it and this is why you just remembered DOZ Magazine | February 2020 now. So, yeah, those were two big things that happened. In terms of overcoming, it’s an ongoing journey, I will tell you that but for the grace of God, I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you, I wouldn’t probably be sane, I might even be dead, who knows? But for the grace of God, that’s the only way that I or anybody else really can overcome; I can’t take any credit for it. Over the years, at appropriate times, I’ve had professional counselling as well. But I will tell you that the most effective support has been having an in-depth, one-to-one relationship with Jesus. What support, if any, was available to help you get through these challenging seasons of your life? I t’s been an ongoing journey; it’s one that I still wake up, and I still battle with the thoughts and the emotions every day. I don’t believe that you get over grief; you just learn how to cope better. I have had the privilege of getting prayers and support, from Beauty from Ashes Ministries Hadlow for both issues, I’ve spent some time with Gee Patchett of Transformation Powerhouse, 14 Transformation Powerhouse is a charity that supports people that have been through sexual abuse, and she really helped me to cope with and come to terms with the things that happened in my past. Over the years, at appropriate times, I’ve had professional counselling as well. But I will tell you that the most effective support has been having an in- depth, one-to-one relationship with Jesus. Just really spending time in the word and giving Him the permission to heal my broken heart because those two circumstances - and obviously they’re the worst things I can say have happened to me, but they’re not the only things. There are so many other things that have come out as an effect of that kind of trauma that I’ve been able to lay at the feet of Jesus and He’s come ever so gently and you know God is such a gentleman, He will never give us more than we can bear and as much as it will be so wonderful to snap our fingers and make all the pain go away, it doesn’t work that way. It’s a progressive restoration, but I’m in a much better place now than I ever was. What is the vision of Empower A Woman, what is it that you hope to help women achieve, and how have you been able to make a difference so far? ’ll be honest with you, when I started Empower A Woman, I had a grand idea of drastically changing the lives of women, having an organisation that would sponsor women, whether it was to start businesses, whether it was to go back to school, anything that would empower them and make them better versions of themselves. But there was always the still I