Our author spotlight today, Anika Ennett (Martin), was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in the Mt. Airy and Germantown sections of the city. Anika has had the opportunity to travel a little, living in Norfolk, VA as well as South Carolina and Yokohama, Japan for three years. She and her three children currently reside in Georgia, their new home….at least for now! Anika holds an A.A. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Business Management. The author and speaker has been featured in The Belief Magazine and Change Gospel Magazine. Her passion is to help women that struggle with everyday life, especially those coming out of addiction and adultery.
How would you describe your swagher? What makes Anika, Anika?
My swagher can be defined as hard on the outside but soft on the inside. LOL. I love reading all types of books, and my biggest joy is helping others. The people in my life can attest to the fact that I am a protector when it comes to those that I love! I have this special place in my heart for who the world calls the “underdog”, because in my eyes they are the fiercest people walking, and they just need a little encouragement in order for that powerhouse personality to escape. I am definitely a fighter when I believe in something, and I will fight to the end. Truth! I find writing to be extremely relaxing and a place of refuge and healing. I am surely an empath, which I have to maintain awareness because I will carry things in my spirit that are not mine, that bleeding heart syndrome. I simply hate injustice, that does something to me, and it turns me into a lion because I have the need to see people treated right and a level playing field in order to obtain that. I love people that embrace their uniqueness and are not afraid of being different and don’t make apologies for it. I’m inspired by other women, whether they are at the top of their game or just learning who they are and are embracing the greatness that is them! God has put the potential in us to be great, and I choose to utilize that potential to the fullest. Oh…I love shoes, all kinds and the sexiness that can be found in them. At the end of the day, my true swagher is the relationship and love that I have for God, which allows me to love others in a way that wouldn’t be possible had I not had Him in my life and acknowledging the fact that I can’t do anything apart from Christ. My truth!
What inspired your writing career?
My writing career was inspired by God. Throughout my life I had many challenges. Some of those challenges were the normal things that most people may face during their lifetime; however, some of them were out of my control. What I began to notice was that there were many women that suffered in silence with low self-esteem, identity issues, and self-hate issues, among other things. It took me four decades to address my personal issues, because I thought that if I didn’t address them, they would just go away. I had to allow myself to become numb to the pain, and I didn’t want to take accountability for my own actions. So, I figured if I hid all of this darkness for so long, how many other women are living in torment and needed to be free? All of the ugliness within myself that I didn’t address contributed to my failed relationships, lack of motivation and the fear of the unknown. How great can many of us become if we allow ourselves to heal? I had to share what I learned and writing a book, in addition to speaking in public forums, was the best way that I knew how to give back.
Tell us a little about your book, He S.A.W Me!: Saved, Anointed and Walks with Me.
He S.A.W. Me!: Saved, Anointed and Walks with Me reveals many of the trials that I faced during my life. In this book, I expose many of the demons that women fight daily and sadly enough, we carry these burdens for several reasons, shame, false pride and most of all the fear of judgement. The book speaks on the failures and poor choices that I made as a result of very low self-esteem, lack of acceptance (things that I didn’t need to be included in anyway), and distorted views on what love is when it came to intimate relationships. But, it’s more than a life story! I expose the poor choices that I made that led to some of the negative situations that I found myself in, the anger that I felt when life happened as well as the situations that occurred that I had no control over. I speak on the topics of substance abuse, low self-esteem and adultery, which includes the “Real Talk” portions that expose the raw conversations that we have within ourselves and some areas where I address the poor choices that “we” make, showing that there are consequences for our actions. But what’s great about the book is I didn’t just write this tell all book to insult or embarrass others, this book exposes the behaviors, actions that mold our lives, but I give an escape route if one is needed, while promoting deliverance and allowing “all” people to receive their healing. The overall mission of the book is exposure, accountability, healing and to let other women know that they are not walking “this” journey alone. Women are the strongest beings that I know. We carry so much yet we move through life with the attitude that I must keep going. Women have a different drive that encourages others to be the best that they can be, but we have to stop forgetting about taking good care of ourselves!
Did you find it hard to write and share your personal story?
Yes, I found it difficult to write and share my personal story. As I wrote this book, I found areas where I had not healed, and it brought back the pain and anger as if I were still in that moment. There were times during the writing of my book that I would put the book down for weeks or months at a time because I couldn’t write the book from a place of anger because that wasn’t going to help anyone and it would have promoted distorted views. In order to complete my book, I had to allow myself to feel these things, process them, and depend solely on God for healing. One of the problems that we face in our society is that we try to fix things in our own strength, and that doesn’t work, at all. I’m speaking “my” truth, and that truth is that without God, my salvation that I received through Christ, I would have never made it. My book is giving God all the glory in my life…the devil had his time to wreak havoc on my life but God gets all the glory for not only walking with me through my darkness, but giving me victory in many, many areas. How can I walk through life knowing that I was saved by God, not give Him the glory and then not tell others how to achieve the same thing?
What do you want readers to take away from your book?
The take away of the book is that we all make mistakes and have struggles in this life. However, we don’t have to keep living and walking in dysfunction. Accountability of our own actions allows the healing process to begin. Yes, there are some circumstances that are out of our control and that’s when we must continue to fight and take hold of the complete healing that Christ offers us, only if we allow Him. I want women to stop suffering alone and carrying burdens that they were never meant to carry. I pray that it promotes compassion and understanding to other sisters, while allowing us to see their pain but offer support and positive reinforcement.
You lived in Japan for a while what was that like?
Japan was a very interesting experience. Can I just be real? When I first arrived in Japan in December, 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks on our country, I asked myself “What the hell am I doing here”? The culture shock alone was a very sobering experience and as I looked at this foreign country, I was trying to figure out how I was going to survive here for the next 3 years. As I began to embrace the culture, I learned several valuable lessons. One of the lessons that I learned was that while people can be so different from culture to culture, they can also be same as well. I allowed myself to treat my stay in Japan as an extended vacation, trying the different delicacies, making many friends, visiting historical sites and coming to the conclusion that many will never have the opportunity to experience this. In the end, I fell in love with Japan, making lasting friendships and made several attempts to go back.
Do you think the women there face the same everyday struggles women here in America experiences, like the ones you often speak on adultery and addiction?
Yes, I know personally that some of the women there face the same challenges, especially in reference to adultery. Although our cultures may be very different, the issues that women face do not discriminate. What I’ve learned about the Asian culture is that they are extremely private when it comes to matters of the heart and household problems. While that may be a great thing, as many of us like to expose all of our personal lives on different platforms such as social media, it’s not always the best thing because some women (not just this culture), sit and die a slow emotional death because it is “improper” to discuss your problems with anyone, whether it is a professional, family member or close friend.
Are you currently working on any other projects you care to share?
I’m currently working on my next book that goes deeper into the area of adultery and this book will be extremely raw. It will cover the topics of lust, picking the wrong spouse, accountability and the complete healing process. The good, the bad and the entire ugliness of this spirit of adultery that is destroying women, men and our children. I’m going shed light on some of the signs that present themselves prior to even entering into an adulterous relationship. Surprisingly enough, the blame is not always on the individual that has committed the unforgiveable “sin”, sometimes we just get too comfortable, and sometimes we just stop putting the work in.
Please list your website and social media plugs.
LinkedIn: Anika Ennett (Martin)