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Saturday, May 9, 2020

TAKE TEN with Jennifer Joyner Johnson, author of MY JOURNEY

by Cyrus Webb

For those who have been counted out, abused and felt alone author Jennifer Joyner Johnson has a message for you. In her powerful new book MY JOURNEY: From Bruised and Battered to a Woman Delivered by God! she shares what she has overcome and what is possible for you as well.

Enjoy our conversation. 

1. Jennifer, thanks for joining us on Take Ten. First, how does it feel to share your story with the world?
It feels amazing. I am ready. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity.

2. What has that been like for you to see the way people are relating to the things that you share?
It's overwhelming, because you don't realize how many people go through the same issues in life. When I was 16 years old I was rape twice by my father's friend. You hear about rape and abuse all the time, but it never hits home until someone opens up and shares their story. Then other people who are dealing with the same issues can feel encouraged and comfortable and can open up to that person that just shared their story. 

3. Have you gotten to the place where you can say that you are proud of yourself and what you have accomplished?
Yes, I am very proud of what I have accomplished. It has taken a long time to get to this point, and I am very proud of myself for not giving up.

4. Was that easy at this point to share with reader?
Yes it is, because I have dealt with all the pain from both rapes and all the abuse.

5. What helped you to get over the shame and fear?
My faith in God and  talking about it made it easier. I have cried a lot. I have asked God why a lot. The choices I made took me down a road where I met my abusive husband Ole Hateful (as I call him). We were married for 5 years and then we divorced.
I asked God what was wrong with me, why did I keep picking out all the wrong kind of men. I prayed a lot asking God over and over again for God to take away the hurt and pain, and he finally did. It did not happen overnight. God sent me the love of my life, Mr. Wonderful. It's as if God looked this world over and found me my amazing husband. His name is Willie, but I call him what he is, Mr. Wonderful.

6. Jennifer, What do you hope those who read your book take away from it when they finish it?
I want them to take Hope, knowing things will get better. Also Understanding, that your help may never come from people you think are on your side.

We all suffer and struggle with situations that life throws our way. We turn to our family and friends for the help we need or to just lighten the load a little. When they drop the ball it leaves us feeling like we do not matter to them, and then we go off and do something crazy like I did, trying to kill myself twice.

Later on we feel regret. I have had many moments like this, but somehow God always sent me someone to help me right on time. No matter how tough or how cruel life is treating you, please do not give up. Help is on the way. May God grant you the miracles that you need in your life. Love never fails.

7. One of the ways you have connected with others is through Facebook. Has that helped you to get out of your shell a bit when it comes to talking with others about the book?
Yes it has, because a lot of people did not know what I went through. It feels good to finally get everything out and deal with all the hurt and pain. It has been healing for me.

8. Faith is a big part of your story, Jennifer. How has your faith in God helped you to forgive others and yourself? 
That part has been hard, because I had to forgive the ones who hurt me so that they could not control my life any longer. It was even harder to forgive myself, because I am my worst enemy. I had to learn that I am beautiful. I had to learn that I am valuable. I had to learn that I am enough and just like you I am beautiful, valuable and enough.

9. How does it feel to be able to show others by example what they can over come?
It's empowering to me. I want to be a voice for women and young ladies all around the world who have experienced rape and abuse. Together we can have it all.

10. Thanks again, Jennifer, for the time---and the courage to share a bit of yourself with us. How can our readers stay connected with you?
Feel free to send me a friends request anytime on Facebook Jennifer Joyner Johnson or you can always email me at jenniferlane1974.jl@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you once you've read the book and how it has touched your life.

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