Hailing from Whitby, Ontario, on the outskirts of Toronto, Canada, Sherika Powell is determined to share her experience of how she found freedom after being sexually abused in her childhood. She is driven by her heart for helping other women, empowering and encouraging them to pursue their passions, no matter what their circumstance. In her own words, Sherika says her mission is to 'break the silence from this epidemic that continues to plague our young girls'.
You're an adventure seeker and a self-proclaimed Starbucks addict, and there's so much more to you than meets the eye. Tell me a bit about yourself, and the many 'hats' you wear!
My name is Sherika Powell and I am a mother of two sons, wife, motivational speaker, creator of Women Unchained radio podcast show, TV talk show host for Women on the Rise - a talk show in Canada through Rogers TV, and an upcoming author sharing the story of my journey as a childhood sexual abuse survivor. My hobbies well, my hobbies are my passions that I am pursuing that have turned from hobbies into what I call 'passion work'. I love helping women ignite the flame in their lives to pursue their best life! From motivational speaking, creating podcasts and the talk show along with writing, my mission is to keep spreading the message that there is life after adversity of any kind - we can be victors! Not only do I pursue what is my passion throughout the week, but for the last 13 years I have worked in the field of social services on a full-time basis, helping people pursue the goals each and every day.
Your early years were marked by experiences that no child should have to endure. Tell me a bit about your life growing up.
Life growing up for me was not the greatest, I started out with a challenging childhood. At a very young age, I was sexually abused by my stepfather, which caused me great pain and heartache. I felt alone and that no one understood me - it was a hard time for me. During those years, I decided to depend on no one, not even God, because I felt at the time He did not exist. In my mind, I thought 'how could he?' With the trauma I had faced, he was no where to be found. So with that being said, I put my faith in myself for years and eventually I tapped out. I didn't get far on my own. Years later I cried out to God that I needed his strength to get me through, as I couldn't go on any longer living that way. From that day forward, I knew 'I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me' - Philippians 4:13. In his strength, all things are possible, and my vision began to become clearer and my perspective about my journey and myself began to change for the positive. I no longer stayed in the 'victim' mentality, but I began to pick myself up day by day and developed into the survivor mentality. Not only do I consider myself to be survivor but I am now a 'thriver'. My past pain doesn't hold me captive any longer. In Matthew 11:30, Jesus says: 'For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.' I truly believe when we cast our worries, our heartaches, our concerns to God, our burden gets a whole lot lighter, and that's what I strive to do. Some people with the worst past have the brightest futures, I believe that because where Icame from and where I am now is truly a modern day miracle from God!
What is your message for young women who may have been through similar challenges?
My message for women going through similar challenges is to keep the faith. I know from experience, it can be hard. But if you fix your eyes on the Lord and all the blessings he has for you, your outlook on life will start to look different. You will start to approach your situations and people a whole lot differently. No matter what you have gone through, God is bigger than any circumstance - believe that! He can turn your past pain into triumph and purpose, believe me I know from my walk and my journey, great things are coming your way.
With your first book on the horizon, and the door opening up to more speaking opportunities, as your ministry continues to grow, what does the future hold for you?
I know through Christ, my future is bright! Despite what circumstances I may go through, I know He holds my future. I hope to continue to spread His message of hope, faith and love through everything I do! I hope to continue to motivate women across the globe to keep the faith alive.
If reading this story has prompted feelings trauma or depression, please contact your national helpline.
Wow. I'm sure I'm not speaking just for myself when I say that I'm very thankful for Sherika, and other women like her who bold in sharing their stories with other women. Even just a glimpse into Sherika's story will tell you that it is one marked by healing and wholeness - a story of God's grace, piecing life back together, after the most horrendous of life's circumstances.
At She is Light, we're all about cheering other women on in their pursuits. If you'd like to share your story, contact us.