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There is Life

AFTER…



Presented By:

Linda H. Williams



Foreword By:

Dr. Jo Anne White




Pearly Gates Publishing, LLC, Houston, Texas






There is Life After…



Copyright © 2018

Linda H. Williams


Cover Design by Tia Jones


All Rights Reserved.

No portion of this publication may be reproduced, store in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise) without written permission from the publisher. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.


First Edition: January 2018

Revised Edition: March 23, 2018


Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.


Scripture references marked KJV, NIV, and NKJV are used with permission from Zondervan via Biblegateway.com.



For information and bulk ordering, contact:

Pearly Gates Publishing, LLC

Angela Edwards, CEO

P.O. Box 62287

Houston, TX 77205

BestSeller@PearlyGatesPublishing.com



Published by Pearly Gates Publishing LLC at Smashwords.

This book is available in print at most online retailers.






What Others Are Saying



“What kind of relationships do you want with yourself and others? Option A: Healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships OR Option B: Taxing, stressful, draining relationships? Option A, you say? Good. Read this book—twice. Buy a copy for each “Option B” relationship you have.”


~ Soul Dancer, Private Spiritual Teacher, Coach, Keynote Speaker, Syndicated Columnist, Founder of Soul University, and Executive Producer for Pay Radio ~


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“Linda Williams is the epitome of what it means for one to pursue a quality life after tragedies that typically tend to cripple and misdirect so many. She is absolutely the proper author of this book and the message of hope and triumph it delivers.”


~ J. Stokely, Founder/CEO of Royal Apex Kreations ~


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“An awesome blessing to many as they read and are inspired by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”


~ Joyce Bray ~


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“Linda Williams’ compilation of testimonies on “Life After” is rooted in scripture, as Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV) teaches us: “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again…” These pages are filled with brave and transparent words of wisdom that will surely inspire and motivate you to have the best that God intended for your life!”


~ Anita Price Lane ~


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“Author Linda Williams, a phenomenal woman with a wealth of knowledge and courage, has opened the door to peace. The powerful messages in There is Life After… give us all a sense of peace, knowing we’re not alone when life throws a curve ball. I highly recommend There is Life After… to be a part of your personal library as a good read. Once read, I’m sure you will find the courage to take your tragedy and turn it into a triumph. There is Life After… is a must-read.”


~ Author SLRandall ~


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“All of our lives are comprised of bits and pieces of those we choose to role model. This book—comprised of “Life After” experiences, carefully woven together by my lifelong friend—will cause personal reflection and then challenge you to move from your past…forward.”


~ Dr. Sharon R. Lidge Brown ~


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“While Linda’s first book, Your Past Has Passed, is a must-read for any woman yearning to break free of life’s chains, There is Life After… shows the beauty of what freedom looks like. It completes the process from abolition to reconstruction in a compilation only Linda’s sensitivity, experience, and creativity could design!”


~ Pamela E. Foster, M.S.J., Ph.D., Fellow Author of

My Country: The African Diaspora’s Country Music Heritage ~






Dedications


I would like to dedicate this book to my Mom,

Mrs. John T. Hilliard (Louisiana) who is now in Heaven.

My mom met each of her “Life After” experiences with courage and strength. Even at the end of this journey, she was looking forward to her next “Life After…”


I would also like to dedicate this to my Dad, Rev. John. T. Hilliard, who, at the age of 91 and after 69 years of marriage, has embarked on his own “Life After” experience. He has accepted that this is not how he’d like it to be, but he’s determined to live this “Life After…” with faith, determination, and dignity.


God Bless You Both






Acknowledgements


I would like to thank all of the people who dedicated their time and efforts to contribute to this project.


To Tia Jones, my young cousin who saw my vision and captured it in the book cover. What a talented young lady and a blessing you are!


To my Co-Authors (in no particular order):


Soul Dancer


Toni Dupree


Nikki Smith


Lolitha Terry


Dr. Brenda Bradley


Ta-Wanda Wilson


Thank you for sharing your story. We are blessed to be a blessing to someone else, and you all have truly been a blessing to me.






Preface


At one time or another, we all face a “Life After” experience. It can be “Life After” divorce, widowhood, job displacement, or even retirement. It’s a time in our lives when something happens that takes us in a new direction in our lives.


After I retired and took stock of my life, I realized that I have had many “Life After” experiences. Some were good; others not so good. But whatever the situation, I not only survived: I came out on the other side a better person. As I began to write these experiences, I realized that everyone has something to share. Not everyone has a book inside of them, but everyone has a “Life After…” story.


Life is a series of events and occurrences. Some of these are planned; others are not. After interviewing several guests on my radio show, “Phenomenally Yours”, I realized that people experience their “Life After” journey in different ways. It’s not always the storm that resonates, but rather how we come through the storm to the other side. Psalm 30:5 (KJV) reminds us, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.


The idea of a collaboration came to me as a way to give people who have a voice a platform to share their testimonies of strength, endurance, and triumph. This collaboration deals with a number of varied “Life After” experiences. It is my hope that the reader will find the courage to go on to the next “Life After” journey with anticipation and hope for a better tomorrow.


~ Linda H. Williams ~






Foreword


Life is not life without the different changes and transitions that we undergo—some expected and joyfully received, and others unexpected that often carry their own set of challenges and emotional responses. Each transition comes with an opportunity to learn, grow, and move forward in our lives. However, for many of us, the life circumstances we’ve endured or suffered through may not have the easiest of outcomes. There is a question, silent or spoke aloud within us: In what way can we emerge from our circumstances, whatever they are, intact, surefooted, and ready to continue and maybe even start over?


We may be hard-pressed to figure out what to do with what we’ve been dealt. How do we repair a damaged heart or body that has suffered the severe pains of physical and/or emotional abuse from a spouse or family member? In what way can we regain the confidence and self-esteem needed to carry on after being homeless on the streets or after a vicious divorce? What is needed to recover from sexual abuse from a once-trusted and loved family member?


No matter if you’ve had to pick yourself up after failure, brush off your damaged ego and start all over, or decide ‘what now’ upon retirement when your inner voice cries out “There has to be more!”, you can rewrite the script and create a new life chapter and a new beginning.


I am especially excited about being asked to write this Foreword for There is Life After… because although my life situation hasn’t had the magnitude of tragedy that many of the book’s authors have experienced, I’ve had to alter, adjust, and even change my life direction when faced with personal injuries and chronic pain that set me and my life on a completely new course several times. I’ve also come to understand—as have the authors you’ll meet—that frequently, the most difficult situations lead us in directions we never thought possible. Often, hidden deep within them, are treasures that set us on a new life journey imbued with passion and commitment.


“Life After” is not always easy, and I salute the brave people who’ve come forward to share their personal truths and even relive the sometimes harrowing, often horrific events, to offer you and all of us hope and strength to move ahead.


I have never met Linda H. Williams personally, although we’ve been on each other’s respective shows and have had numerous conversations, honestly sharing information about our work, lives, and beliefs with one another. I’ve come to admire and respect Linda’s forthrightness, faith, resilience, and spirit, and view her as a powerful teacher and mentor in her own right. I am also amazed and heartened by her ability to forge ahead despite all that she’s been through. Her laughter, honesty, and wisdom are refreshing and encouraging. Linda has never let her past defeat her. She has shifted from being homeless, a drunk, a victim of domestic violence, and more, to reinventing herself as an Author, Speaker, Coach, and Show Host committed to the “empowerment and restoration of women”.


Linda is a living testament, like the other people in this book, to the power that we all have within us to turn our lives around. They and she demonstrate to every one of us that we can heal, we can set our lives in order, we can redeem ourselves, and we can reclaim our lives and sovereignty. What is amazing is how each of these individuals transformed their “Life After” into something life-altering for themselves and for many others. They turned their grim circumstances into celebrated triumphs.


We can all benefit from their stories and methods that may hold the answer to our own truths and shed light on the amazing beings we truly are. These candid stories will not only inspire you; you will feel uplifted and cheered on by a group of individuals who speak to you, heart-to-heart, and let you know that there can be “Life After” whatever you’ve been through or are going through right now that has you reeling—and that it’s up to you to create a “Life After”. However, you don’t have to go it alone or suffer silently in shame, regret, or sorrow.


There can be better tomorrows; pain can ease, and forgiveness can replace the deep wounds and anger that may have enveloped you. Even if you feel that you’re at an impasse on the road ahead with nowhere to turn, let these stories offer you faith, hope, and courage. Know that within you is the necessary resilience to shift and redefine you. Embrace the growing knowledge that you, too, can push past roadblocks and inertia and forge ahead, restoring dignity and self-affirmation for whatever is to come. You are dynamic and flexible. This means that you have the innate ability to become something else and something more, while you continue to grow in wisdom and assurance. You can revise your life plan and mold yourself into something and someone more beautiful that you are proud to be.


~ Dr. Jo Anne White ~


International Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author, Speaker, Certified Coach and Consultant, and Energy Master Teacher who holistically transforms lives and businesses to success and wellness. Dr. White is also the Founder of the Power Your Life Network and Executive Host and Producer of the Power Your Life Shows.


Connect with Dr. White at:

www.drjoannewhite.com






Introduction


What does your “Life After” look like? For me, I had to deal with “Life After” divorce, after a certain age, homelessness, empty-nesting, and retirement. We all have a life to look forward to after something. It’s a time of reflection and regrouping because whatever “it” looks like for you, oftentimes we don’t plan on it, so we’re not prepared to deal with it. The one thing that’s a guarantee about life is that it changes. In the blink of an eye, you can find yourself in a “Life After” situation. Although the situation itself is important in your life, it’s how you handle life going forward that determines your success…or failure. The adaptation and reaction to any major change in your life should reveal some key lessons to help cope with whatever your “new” life looks like.


Shift happens—whether we like it or not. Transitions in life are a part of life. For many of us, any kind of change or disruption in our lives can cause anywhere from mild anxiety to total terror. Whether a big change or small, it takes us out of our comfort zone and thrusts us into an area of the unknown. It can range from something that was forced on us, like downsizing or an illness, to an unfortunate but necessary choice, like relocation or becoming a caregiver of a loved-one. We all go through transitions, and those transitions produce those emotional spaces where we have to cut ties with what we know and face a new future.


The problem that often occurs is that we get stuck in the emotional baggage that comes with change. It’s natural to feel anger, sadness, grief, or even to place blame—and that’s okay…for a little while. That’s when you have your pity party. I often tell clients to have the best pity party they can have for 24 hours. That’s it. Twenty-four hours. When the sun comes up, “a new dawn brings a new day”. It’s time to dust yourself off and figure out how you’re going to go on from there. Where do you go from here? When the “old” you has collapsed under the weight of change and you feel unsteady about the “new” you, this is the time to explore, brainstorm, and consider your options.


People often say, “Get over it”. Some “Life After” situations are impossible to get over. You never get over the loss of a loved-one. What you have to do is get past it. You have to master the skills necessary for you to work through and continue on to live a life of joy and love. You are not alone and, undoubtedly, you are not the first nor the last that will experience what you’re going through. How do you go on “after”? How do you get back on track?


Whether your “Life After” comes from a conscious choice or a circumstance of life, the skills and attitude you need to be successful are the same. You must be positive, patient, and proactive. I have assembled a group of people who have successfully navigated through the rugged road of transition to come out on the other side as a better person—different, but better. It is my hope that somewhere in the pages of their testimony, you will find the courage and determination to press forward to see the “joy on the other side of through”!


Be blessed!



~ Linda H. Williams ~






TABLE OF CONTENTS


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

DEDICATIONS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

PREFACE

FOREWORD

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” DIVORCE AND DEPRESSION

BY: DR. BRENDA BRADLEY

CHAPTER TWO - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” EMPTY-NESTING

BY: LINDA H. WILLIAMS

CHAPTER THREE - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” FAILURE

BY: LINDA H. WILLIAMS

CHAPTER FOUR - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” RETIREMENT

BY: LINDA H. WILLIAMS

CHAPTER FIVE - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” PAIN

BY: LOLITHA Y. TERRY

CHAPTER SIX - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” HOMELESSNESS

BY: LINDA H. WILLIAMS

CHAPTER SEVEN - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” WAITING FOR MANIFESTATION

BY: NIKKI RUFFIN

CHAPTER EIGHT - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” RELEASING THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL

BY: SOUL DANCER

CHAPTER NINE - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” BREAKING THE FAMILY CHAIN

BY: TA-WANDA WILSON

CHAPTER TEN - THERE IS “LIFE AFTER…” DEVASTATION, HEARTBREAK, LOSS, DEPRESSION, AND SADNESS

BY: TONI DUPREE

CONCLUSION

MEET THE PRESENTER


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