Storytelling is an art. Weaving together events, dates and emotions behind the stories of our lives is a delicate and at times complex stitching of our truths as we see them. The lens that we use to view life can at times have smudges and streaks. But the stories are ours to tell. They are also ours to reshape. Today starts the Change the Narrative Challenge. In this blog for the entire month of April you will read stories of betrayal, hurt, misunderstandings and much more. However, you will also read of overcoming, forgiveness, acceptance and love. The women I interviewed for these stories come from all walks of life and I know without a shadow of a doubt their stories will resonate with you. The advice they give is priceless.
So grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Slip on your comfy PJ’s. Put on your scarf and bonnet and get ready to be inspired to change your narrative!
Tonight’s story belongs to Cheryl Polote-Williamson. Cheryl is someone that I know via social media. We met in the Facebook group Coach, Speak and Serve. She is someone I admire even though I have never met her in person. Her message is consistent. Her prayer life is incomparable. And her sincerity around using what God has given you to build His Kingdom is timely.
Cheryl grew up in Georgia and currently resides in Texas. She is the owner of Cheryl Polote-Williamson Enterprise where her area of expertise is in marketing, networking and sales. Let’s take a look into her narrative and find out about her journey and how she made the conscious decision to Change the Narrative.
Here is the Cheryl’s story in her own words:
I grew up with both of my parents in the home. My childhood was similar to the Huxtable upbringing! My mother stayed home while my dad worked. I was raised Catholic and had a fabulous childhood. My family and I traveled together and ate dinner together every night. My father is a construction business owner since 1970. I am a second generation entrepreneur where I started interning at Law firms at the age of 14 and was very active in politics.
What would you say was the narrative that was expressed to you based upon where you grew up, how you grew up and the messages you received?
Although I was afforded opportunities to never have to want for anything, I never made people feel like they were less than me. My father instilled in me at a young age to be a giver and not to expect anything in return. I have always been kind, caring and giving since a child.
How did that narrative play out in your decisions, actions and feelings about yourself?
Being the giver and nurturer that I am people took advantage of me. I had friends around me that I had known for years that tried to destroy me and my family. I am grateful that my dad taught me forgiveness at a young age. I now forgive the people that have hurt me and love them from afar.
What was the catalyst or main event that made you say that narrative needed to change?
I was friends with a person for 13 years. She sat with me every Sunday at church. I helped her build her business and she spent the last 4 years plotting to destroy my life.
What is the new narrative in your life?
I constantly ask God for discernment of people that I allow into my life. I also pray more about everything I do no matter how big or small. I even pray about parking spaces!
How does this new narrative show up in your everyday life?
I wake up filled with gratitude. I am thankful that God has provided me with a platform to share my story and pour out to others at speaking engagements.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to create a new narrative but didn’t know how to do it?
First examine the motives for everything that you do. Pray about every decision and know that when it comes to forgiveness, forgiveness starts with forgiving yourself.
So there you have it. Trust, friendship hurt, betrayal, and forgiveness all wrapped up in one narrative. Although Cheryl was in it she did not let the incident hold her hostage. She learned the lesson and continued to move in love. Her narrative could have shifted severely after being betrayed by someone close to her. Church hurt can change people but Cheryl made the brave decision to live out another narrative. A narrative that is founded on love and forgiveness.
Thank you Cheryl with sharing a part of you with the readers. My prayer is that someone’s life moves from bitter to better once they read your story.
You can find Cheryl via these social media outlets
Facebook: Blessings, Business and Collaborations