The Mini Series of Me
Shenee Edwards, the Editor 'N Chief of His Favor Magazine, is raw and downright real in her upcoming book, "The Mini-Series of Me." Sharing her personal story of molestation, rape, homelessness, drinking, adultery, fornication, and divorce Shenee goes all in, holding nothing back.
Check out what she had to say about her new upcoming book "The Mini-Series of Me," why she decided to share her story, and how every tribulation she has overcome led her to her purpose.
PDWM: You are about to release Mini-Series of me. How did you come up with the name?
SE: It is a weird story because I didn't know which way I wanted to go. My husband came up with the name. He said Shenee you never know this book may end up being a mini-series on TV, then he was like, that's it, that's the name of your book, Mini-Series of Me. Since it is going to be a bunch of short stories of what I have gone through in my life the name fits well. So, I have to give my husband credit for that.
PDWM: Who is The Mini-Series of Me for?
I am a Christian but this book is not for the "I am perfect" type of Christian. I believe everyone can be blessed by this book, however, I wanted to be real in my book to reach people that are dealing with things I have gone through. I want to go in the ruff neighborhoods and pass out my book to women that are where I once was. In my book, I share about the time I committed adultery but I share it from a man's perspective so even a man can get something from the book. I shared how my ex-husband felt having his wife commit adultery. I did a twist to that because I wanted to show how a man feels when the woman he loves does something like that to him. I put myself on the line because a lot of times we say men are dogs, but we never think about what happens when a woman does it.
PDWM: What does this book mean for you?
SE: Freedom, because there is so much stuff I have hidden for a long time. When I had the idea to write a book I felt a relief. The more I wrote the more relieved I felt. I felt free. If I put everything out there I have nothing else to hide, it's out there. So yes, it's real freedom for me right now. Freedom from my past.
PDWM: When writing your book, were there times you found it difficult to get through?
SE: It was really hard when I was writing the story about my father who passed away two years ago. I didn't grow up with my biological father. I grew up with my stepfather but after I had my daughter he stepped up. I felt robbed, I kind of blamed God a little at the time. I mean I'm saved, sanctified, and everything but when I had my daughter my dad kind of stepped up so for him to pass away I was like okay, I didn't grow up with him and we finally get this relationship and then he is gone. When I was writing this part of my book I had to ask God to forgive me because I felt so angry. I'm still a little bitter because I never got a chance to let him know how I felt even though he did step up towards the end of his life. That part was maybe the hardest because as I was writing so much was revealed to me about what was inside of me and how I felt about him and my anger towards God. I didn't realize how angry I was, knowing that I should not have been. The human side of me was like, "God here it is I finally get a chance to be with my father, we are starting to build this relationship and then he is gone, who does that?" I would think about the scripture that says all things work together for my good but the anger was still getting to me. So when I was writing this part it took a long time. I had to call my mentor. One night I was crying so hard my husband came into my office to check on me, I shared with him what was going on. It took me literally three days just to get through a couple of pages in that chapter. Writing this book was like therapy for me.
PDWM: Being transparent takes a level of boldness not all of us have. Were you ever concerned about what people would say about you?
SE: Honestly, I have gotten to the point where I don't care. I used to care, it would bother me so bad. I would worry about what people thought of me. But after going through so much, especially after I rededicated my life to Christ and saw people still had something to say, I got to the point where it was like no matter what I do, good or bad someone is going to have something to say. Although I am revealing my past and a lot of things people don't know about me, I don't care. That' the best answer I can give right now because that is where I am at. The main person I was concerned about was my mom because she has gone through so much in her own life. She wasn't sure about it at first but I told her I felt like God was telling me I have to share my story.
PDWM: Why are you so bold and transparent in your approach?
SE: I want people to know I am not perfect. A lot of people say I tell too much but at the same time, you know what you are getting when you are dealing with me. Shenee is Shenee, you get what you get. I'm at a place in my life where I want people to see where God has brought me from. I see the response when I am transparent. Because I am so open people can receive and hear God in my message. People can see that someone experience what they have gone through because my testimony is not sugar coded. I have never been the type of person who sugar coded stuff. The older I get the bolder I become with my approach.
People want to hear real testimonies. They don't need to hear a sugar coded message. It's when you are transparent you can move people and encourage them to be transparent themselves because they realize they are not the only person that has gone through what they experienced.
PDWM: What was the healing process like for you to get to the point where you can be confident in the person that you are and embarrass who God has called you to be?
It took a long time. I did a lot of searching. I had to separate myself from a lot of people. Sometimes you don't realize how much your attachments can affect you. God has blessed me with a spiritual mentor that has been very supportive. She was one of the people I called when I was trying to get through the chapter about my dad. I went to a psychiatrist and a Christian counselor too. I know my scripture and I know God was going to heal me but I also knew I needed something else. I knew I needed something deeper. I needed to go through some angry management. It took a lot. I got to a place where I was very selective with who I allowed in my circle. My circle of friends is very small because there was a point in my life that I was so open I would grab hold to somebody as a friend and I would get hurt. I would be so quick to share and then the next thing I knew they didn't want to be my friend anymore. So it took a while for me to get to this point to even want to write the book. It took a lot of counseling and prayer. Honestly, I am still seeing a counselor along with my spiritual mentor.
I am in school now to be a Psychologist. I am almost done. The classes are helping because even while I am studying I am finding out a lot about myself. I still find myself dealing with the things that happened in my life but now I know how to handle it. For example, if I find myself getting angry or frustrated I have a playlist that is full of worship music that I listen too. I'm not completely there but I am far from where I used to be.
PDWM: Faced with such a traumatic past, was forgiveness hard for you?
SE: Forgiveness is easy for me. I have always been able to forgive. However, I realized when I was writing the book it was certain people I still had a little resentment towards. Overall though, forgiveness has been easy for me. Since I was a child I have always been this way. I know I have to forgive for myself and my daughter that I am raising too. I even take the person that molested me out on their birthday. People say all the time they would have never known he did what he did to me because of the way I treat him. I think that was a part of why people didn't believe me when I told what happened until they found out there were other people. At the time I was molested I was young and I thought I needed to forgive and forget but as I got older those memories started coming back and that's when what happened started to affect me.
I had a dream I was sitting writing a book and shortly after I was at a speaking engagement talking to young girls and my topic went into my testimony. Afterward, a close friend of mine reminded me of the dream I had and told me I needed to write all the things I shared at the speaking engagement in a book. So I thought about it and started praying about it until one day I just starting typing. One-page lead to two and it just went on from there. It only took a week to write my book.
PDWM: How has your past affected your life now?
SE: I am a lot stronger in a lot of areas. I am not as fearful. I am not afraid to deal with certain people or go to certain places because I have been there and done that. My trust has been affected. Sometimes I do have trust issues but once I get over it I am fine. I learned to put my trust in God and love people. I learned that a lot of people I thought I could trust hurt me, but I still knew I had to love them. My past opened my heart to realize we are human, everyone makes mistakes, however, my trust should not be in a human being it should always be in God because at the end of the day he is the one that will sustain me, wipe the tears from my eyes, and keep me in perfect peace.
PDWM: When you think of the word purpose what comes to your mind?
The main thing that comes to my mind when I think of the word purpose is the reason for who what when and why. It's for you to know who you are, what you are called to do and why it occurs. Purpose answer those questions in your life. If I know who I am, what I am called to do, and why I am called to do it then I won't be so easily swayed because I know why I am here. I know why God placed me here on earth. Purpose answers all the questions for yourself.
PDWM: How would you define your purpose?
My purpose was to go through all I have gone through to help other people. I remember when I was 12 years old sitting at the piano in church and a pastor sat next to me and said, "God wanted me to tell you to get ready." I looked at here like what? She said, You are going to go through almost everything a woman goes through but you will know why at the proper time." I never thought about this again until last year. I saw her on Facebook and that's when I remembered her saying that to me. As I think about it, I have been through almost everything a female can go through. I have been through a divorce, homeless, I never tried drugs but I have been around it, alcoholism, trying to commit suicide, I have been there. So when I think about my purpose I know that it was my purpose to go experience all the things that I did so I can help someone else make it through.
Written by Kimi Johnson
Digital and print Keepsake issue available soon.