Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Powerful Woman with a Powerful Message



Author Lacresha Hayes

Hi Lacresha I’m delighted to be able to speak with you during your virtual tour. Come on in. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and sit by the fire a while. It’s still spring and our weather here in Wisconsin is unsettled so a fire place and good company is always a treat.

I’m excited to be here. I love fireplaces and White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. Maybe even a piece of caramel cake.

  1. First let’s get to know a little about you. Who is Lacresha Hayes? What does she do when she is not writing or ministering to the needs of others?

I would consider myself a very simple person. I’m happy to be a mother, not only to my seventeen year old son, but to 5 other godsons and 5 god-daughters. So many children call me mother that I sometimes forget that only one is my biological child. LOL!

I can’t even think of what I do when I’m not writing or ministering. Do I ever do anything else? I love to play Chess against the computer. I also love trying to catch up with my sleep, as if that will ever happen. : )

  1. Today there seems to be a lack of faith and trust in our religious leaders, our political leaders and our sports heroes and heroines. The phrase echoes in my head “Where have all our Heroes gone?” What are your views on this coming from your world as a minister? Where do you advise people to look to find mentor, consul, or someone to help them understand their difficulties? Where will they find someone to look up to?

Being a multiple rape victim, once by a minister, I can truly understand the lack of faith in leadership in general. I think it’s a pity too. I honestly think that finding a great leader, friend, mentor or hero is the same as finding a spouse. There are good ones out there, but they aren’t around every corner. I’ve personally seen some things that made me question my own faith at times.

I recommend that people focus more on becoming a good leader and a mentor rather than searching for them. Seems everyone is looking for a leader rather than making a choice to be one, and a great one at that. For me, my mother was a drug-addict most of my life. My grandmother was an alcoholic and illiterate. I was, for all intents and purposes, a lost case. One day, I had to choose to be different. That’s what we need now, people who choose to be different and live excellently.

  1. It takes an amazing amount of fortitude to live through the traumatic and tragic circumstances your book deals with. Having lived through some of the things you talk about in your book The Rape of Innocence, what helped you to break through, to finally talk about what was happening to you?

Well, I would be the last person to say I’m strong. I had gotten into a physical fist fight one night. It got me thrown into jail. While I sat there, I had a little time to reflect. It was as if God had forsaken me, but really I’d given up on myself. I was forced to take inventory of my life. I was alone, very sick and very depressed. When I started the book, it was more of a journal of the stuff running through my mind. I cried through nearly every paragraph. I didn’t even know I was hurting so much. Then, I heard it spoken softly in my heart that this would be a book and it would lead me to a place of helping millions of women. That gave me strength. Writing the book provided a lot of healing that nothing else could provide. After that time to reflect and after the illness brought me almost to the point of death, I started out on a path to put all the knowledge that I had together for something good, Living Waters Publishing Company, Christian Vitality, our ministry and another ministry that my friend, Jackie Wilcox, founded called Three Sisters.

  1. What is your best advice to people in similar situations?

People in this situation should first admit how it feels. Amazingly, denial is often the place most people get stuck. Admit that it made you feel this way or the other. Then, start to deal with it by speaking to a professional or someone else who has been through it and came out healed. At the same time, I warn people against feeling sorry for themselves. It’s unfortunate, but no matter how badly we feel, we cannot undo the past. Rather, we have to choose not to let the past dictate pain, frustration and anger in our present. Prayer is necessary. Inner honesty is necessary. Hope is the absolutely necessary. The worst thing you’ll ever find in this world is a person who has had their hope stripped away from them.

I tell children to tell someone and keep telling people until the situation has been dealt with. Many children are afraid to be taken from their parents, but the primary concern is ending the abuse. Someone will listen! Someone will protect them!

  1. Many times, or even most times, people in domestic abuse situations have been led to believe it is their fault. They deserve what they get. Do you find this in people you speak with? If you hear negativity long enough you start to believe it. How can they break free of this guilt trip and that really is what it is isn’t it?

Let me take this opportunity to say this: in my book, you’ll find that I stabbed my first husband and nearly killed him when he battered me. I don’t condone this either. Nothing we do, male or female, can warrant domestic violence. I encounter this thinking all the time. I used to have it. Seeing my mother’s second husband beat her, shoot her twice and drug her up almost to overdose level, I thought it was normal. It’s not normal, or it shouldn’t be. Leave the first time! If you happen to still want your marriage, still leave and give that person time to get some professional help. Make sure they are walking through that help before you return.

I think that it is a guilt trip. I also think that some people trick themselves into staying, thinking that love conquers all. I’ve seen and heard of many people being killed by their spouses. My best friend and my son’s godmother was killed by her husband. It happens daily. Some like to believe that it only happened that one time and never will again. I can personally testify that once that line is crossed, it’s easier to commit violence the next time, and it gets easier each time after that. Some believe that being hit is a sign of passionate love. That too is a lie! Domestic violence is a control issue, never a love issue!

  1. The dress code for young adults today (as always) is on the edge – they follow the lead of their heroes or heroines, singers, actors, actresses etc. Some would say dressing in those provocative styles, as most styles are today to anyone who is not a teenager or young adult—is what leads to rape and sexual abuse what are your views on this?

I don’t think skimpy clothing gives a man the right to assault or even disrespect a woman. Nevertheless, this is the real world and in a real way, men do view it as a welcome sign. I’ve spoken to more than a hundred men and nearly all of them say that mini-skirts and skimpy dresses make them feel more comfortable with approaching a strange woman.

I also find that many girls show off their bodies because they want some attention and love. Some do it just because it’s the style, but not as many as we think. I’ve talked to several young ladies who just didn’t understand how precious their bodies are. They thought that showing what they had was advertising to find a great husband. They are being bombarded with messages of beautiful bodies that deserve to be shown off. Not that you asked, but I think this degradation is why divorce rates won’t fall like they could. Women are taught to disrespect their bodies. Men are taught to choose mates by looks and a million other superficial things. Values are not taught anymore and I fear for the time when all the baby-boomers die out. What then?

  1. Talk to us about The Rape of Innocence: Taking Captivity Captive. What do you mean by the last half of that title, Taking Captivity Captive?

Many victims walk through life still captive to their past hurts. This is not just with sexual assault, but with anything painful. God said He’d lead our captivity captive. We have to do the same thing. We have to refuse to walk like a victim. We cannot use our past as a crutch; neither can we allow it to kill any hopes of a successful and joy-filled life. So, I hope the book shows people how to get free from the pain and use it as their power and their motivation.

  1. Is this part of a series? Tell us a little about your other titles

Well, originally I had no desire to do more books on it, but when I released my poetry in Becoming: My Personal Memoirs, I realized that this will be a large part of many of my books. In Becoming, the poetry deals with the times when I was suicidal, depressed, and loose, among other things. It was the emotions that a person may not see in Rape. I also have another book of poetry to be released in May. The title is Poetic Infinity: Passion and Promise. This book is geared more toward praise and love and common sense. I have a children’s book, The Culpepper Family, coming out in June. This was just my attempt to teach children how to be lights in their communities. I’m delighted about it. I also have a book titled Full Exposure: Behind Church Walls coming out. This will deal with the hypocrisy we must all be aware of and what to do about it.

  1. Where can people find your books and your publishing house Living Waters Publishing Company? Your ministry: Compassionate Healing Ministries and your magazine; Christian Vitality. Are you open for submissions to the publishing company, or the magazine?

We are definitely open for submissions with both the magazine and the publishing company. The publishing company address is P.O. Box 1361, Marion, AR 72364. The web address is www.livingwaterspc.com and http://store.livingwaterspc.com. We also have a blog at http://livingwaterspublishing.blogspot.com.

My books are at select Barnes and Noble and Borders locations in Minneapolis, Memphis, Albany, San Diego and a few other areas, as well as all the major online retailers.

Our ministry is located in Marion and Blytheville, Arkansas. We don’t have a website address yet, but we are working on it.

The Christian Vitality site is being updated. We also have a blog for it at http://christianvitality.blogspot.com.

  1. You say you are a work in progress, what do you mean by that?

Well, for as much as my relationship with God has provided a lot of healing and a lot of perspective, there was a whole lot in my past that I am still tied to, and there are still a few pains that I’m coming to deal with better everyday. I’ve made so many mistakes and bad decisions that it takes time to truly be free from all of them. Sometimes, my temper still gets the better of me when I have to deal with women who have been molested, raped, battered and abandoned. There are times when I have to sit side by side with a hypocrite in church, and then remember that I used to be one, wondering if there is something I can do. I take things to heart and very seriously. I feel like I wasted too much of my life living bad that now I’m a bulldozer, trying to impact the lives of others, even when they don’t want me too. That’s the shortest answer I could think of. LOL!

  1. Is there anything else you would like to tell my readers about you, your books or your ministry?

These have been some of the best questions. I can’t really think of anything to add. I will have a radio interview in Detroit, MI on April 14 at 4:30 CST on 88.1. I’m wonderfully excited about that. I’ve truly been working behind the scenes at getting more programs for children who have been sexually and/or physically abused. I have recently become a part of the RAINN Speaker’s Bureau. I would really appreciate people giving to them and helping them to keep being a voice. They are wonderful people who do a wonderful job. I also have several blogs that people can visit. I try to keep them updated. They are http://learntofeelpretty.blogspot.com, http://lacreshahayes.weebly.com, http://lacreshahayes.blogsavy.com, http://lacreshahayes.blogster.com.

I know that there are discussions going on at GoodReads about The Rape of Innocence and I have a review about Becoming on Powells.com.

Thank you so much for spending some time with us today. I look forward to hearing more about you as we follow you around in your tour. Where will you be next?




32 comments:

unwriter said...

This was a great interview!! I applaud you for your views on abuse. it angers me to no end how men treat women. We the male of the species are not, in any way, shape or form, better than the female (and the reverse is also true). As for living in the past, that is wrong, it cannot be changed. It can be remembered and past mistakes avoided though. See you on my blog on the 14th.

Ron

Marvin D. Wilson said...

An excellent interview. Billie, your questions really led Lacresha into areas that brought out so many wonderful qualities about her. It's refreshing to hear someone so full of the spirit and love of God speak out so candidly and with such uncompromising honesty. Looking forward to hosting you, Lacresha, on my blog on the 12th. Keep on keepin on, we need more people like you in this world!

Marvin D. Wilson

Word Crafter said...

Thanks Ron, and Marvin,
You are right this woman is amazing - and she is devoted, dedicated and totally open with her writing and her life. She is definitely someone to emulate. I'm so glad she took the time to stop here.
See you on the 14th and the 12th
Billie

Lacresha Hayes said...

You guys are just too kind! It brings tears to my eyes. I never thought I'd be able to be a role model for anyone, but I thank God for turning some things around in my life.

This interview made me think about some things I hadn't thought about in a long time. Questions take you on a journey and the answers teach you who you are. I thank you, Billie, for helping me learn more about myself!

Joyce Anthony said...

Bilie and Lacresha, I can only hope to come close to this interview--the questions and answers were both incredible!!! Lacresha, you may not realize it, but you are one incredible woman!!
Joyce

Great Publishers, Authors and Books said...

Billie,

I just gotta tell you that I'm loving your blog in general. This interview was wonderfully done. I'm an author at Living Waters and also a friend of Lacresha's. She's a wonderful person, full of love and compassion. I think your interview questions brought that forward.

I'll be marking your blog. It is excellent.

JanetElaineSmith said...

pdbothmWhat a wonderful interview, both the questions and the answers. You have my deepest admiration and respect not only for being a survivor yourself, but for stepping forward to share with so many other women with similar issues. It is so easy to wallow in self-pity, and that obviously is not the route you have chosen. Bravo! Best of luck with your book, too.
Janet Elaine Smith, author

Word Crafter said...

Thank each of you for visiting here to read what Lacresha has to say - She certainly is some one to watch. I'm glad she stopped by and shared a large part of herself with us. We will all be richer for having her cross our path.
Thank you Joyce, Janet, Marv, Ron, and Great Publisher...and most of all thank you Lacresha!

Cresha said...

I've chosen to wait until 8:00 pm CST tonight to choose a winner for a free, autographed copy of The Rape of Innocence. I will put everyone's name in a little jar and pull from that jar.

Thanks again for everyone's support!

Word Crafter said...

Lacresha,
I love what you said "Questions take you on a journey and the answers teach you who you are." This is so profound and so true. Thank you for being so honest and open to us, it opens up a whole new world for me.
I hope to have you back when your next book comes out. Or anytime you have time to be a guest blogger here, you are most welcome!
Billie

Debbie said...

WHOA! This interview is great! My name is Debbie Todd. I am also an author with LWPC.

I loved how honest she was in her interview. Of course, that is one of her greatest strengths and weaknesses.

Lacresha, you can testify that when I met you, I was so offended, but what you told me was right and now we are the best of friends. I love you, woman. I pray only great things on you. God is please! Always know that! HE really, really, really is. I know you are crying, but you deserve the spotlight. Stop running from it and embrace it.

Anonymous said...

Speakig from a personal pov, I am bewildered, just a little anyway. How can you ever get to a place like that when you have to see the person who ruined your life everyday. I'm angry as hell all the time. I hate him and myself and I just hate when people tell me it will be alright. How will it be alright. I dont' have no degrees and no husband and no children. I can never have children. I can never get married cause of that. He did that to me and he's still part of our dammed family. Not even God can fix this. So you explain to me just how things are going to be alright, thank you. I'm not mad at you and I repect what you are doing, but you are telling us absolutely nothing about your seven step process or whatever. What did you do? how did you feel? how many years did it take exactly? was it a family member? Did you have the pleasure of at lest putting them in jail?

Cresha said...

Hello Miss Lady,

I hate that I don't know your name and I am praying you come back to check this blog.

I know you are angry. It is understandable to be angry. It's perfectly normal to feel hatred and distrust and skepticism. That's okay. However, you CANNOT allow some creep to ruin your future. You have to look at yourself as worth more than that. You need to love yourself again, without regard to what I fear you've heard most of your life.

Not one of my attackers ever saw the inside of a jail either. Not one of them ever apologized to me. Most of them were family: my great uncle, my great grandfather and so on. You should visit my blog. I came face to face with the minister who raped me not even a month or so ago. I was angry. Yep, even with all the Bible knowledge and the love of God in me, I was still angry.

Darling heart, you are a precious person. Don't let something you can't help alter who you are and where you can go.

It took years for me. It may take years for you, but healing WILL come.

Anonymous said...

Well said, big Sis. I think that was a great answer to the hurting lady. You make me so proud to be your sister.

I have enjoyed this interview. I will try to follow you on most of your stops. I let me neighbor read some of your book, but I don't want everyone to read mine and then choose not to buy one. Hahahaha! Hurry up and do a book signing in Ft. Worth so we can visit. Love you.

Keisha

Word Crafter said...

Lacresha I wanted to post one more time to say I totally enjoyed your being here. I hope the lady who needs your help will get in contact with you. You have a huge message and a larger heart - I know a lot of people will be healed by your messages.
I will be following your trail lady!
Thanks again
Billie
Hi Sister Kiesha - good to see you here too.

Lacresha Hayes said...

The book will be awarded to Janet Elaine. Please contact me via email at preacha1975@yahoo.com and give me your mailing address so that I can get your book to you. Same for all the hosts.

Love to you guys for giving me the opportunity!

Anonymous said...

I seem to always be a day late & a dollar short. Nice interview. I learned a lot about the woman behind the company and books. It's refreshing, actually, particularly with all the negative talk from most victims. Also, no one male bashed. That was hook, line and sinker for me.

Jarod

Word Crafter said...

Jarod,
Glad you stopped by anyway and enjoyed the interview. In this day and age people do understand that men can as easily be abused as women. It's about time that an understanding about abuse has more to do then just gender.
Have a great week!
Billie

Lacresha Hayes said...

Billie,

I sold eight books behind this blog interview. Hooray! God is good. Thanks for the opportunity!

Word Crafter said...

Lacresha,
I'm so delighted I wish it would have been a hundred times that - but yes the Lord is good and you will sell many more I'm sure as the word gets out.
Stay open and honest and so helpful--- you are bound for greatness girl! I'm so glad our paths crossed.
hugz
Billie

Anonymous said...

I found this interview through a Google search. I am so glad I did. My ex-husband tried to molest my daughter in 1999. It took two years for her to tell me and I was pregnant at the time. I packed up all our stuff and left that same day. She was 12 when he tried it and 14 when we left. None as an adult, she told me she never wanted a man again. She thinks she wants to be a lesbian because she doesn't trust men since she has a baby girl. I brought her to this blog and she's going to order the book. I just hope there's somethign in it to show her the light. I have a great husband now. he is a religious man and prays all the time. He and God honors one another. So, I know there are good men in the world. I hope your book helps, Lucretia.

Sincerely,

Louisa E. from San Antonio

Just Jen said...

Excellent interview. I would have never thought to ask those questions!
I'm really excited about this book too :D
I've worked at women's shelter and I wasn't a Christian at the time. What a difference God makes :D

Lacresha Hayes said...

Thanks Jen and Louisa for commenting. Louisa, it is unfortunate what happened, but it is a wonderful blessing that you left and made a life for you and your children without someone who would hurt them.

Women who have been abused in any way by men tend to fall into one or the other category: hate men and use them for all the man is worth; hate men, but still desire the love of a man, any man; or they hate men and give up on the whole "blasted species" as a friend once said to me.

Right now, it would be best now to hound her about her confusion on whether she wants to be a lesbian. I honestly don't think it's something you just wake up one day and become comfortable with. Rather, keep her in church with you as much as possible. Keep her in prayer and show her the good side of your new relationship. God is able.

Thanks, Jen for stopping by. God does make a huge, GIGANTIC difference!

Anonymous said...

Lacresha,

I purchased your book too. We are working on trying to get a program together here in Chicago. Amazingly enough, it is nearly impossible to get funding for something so important. However, we are still set to open in November this year. We'd love for you to be a part of the grand opening, maybe talk about some of your testimony. It is a Christian program.

I heard you on the radio. I enjoyed listening. God bless you, honey.

Janice Phillips

Anonymous said...

I'd like to comment on one portion of the interview if I may. You said sometimes you sit side by side with a hypocrite and remember that you used to be one. Now, I believe that the reason there are hypocrites in the churches of today is that no one ever says anything to them about their hypocritical ways. I wish I had a blog, I'd love to do an interview with you on how churches are run today. Why is it that you never say anything to them?

Lacresha Hayes said...

Well, it isn't that I say nothing to those people around me, but I do choose my words carefully.

I remember a time when I used to ride people into the ground, but the grace and mercy and love of God changes people much quicker than the wrath and promise of judgment.

God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

Kimberly's Book and Author Picks said...

Hello Billie and all the readers,
I wanted to invite you guys over to my interview with Lacresha. Please visit when you have time. I think this is going to make a big difference when people see us women and a few good men joined together to stop sexual assault. I've got some bigger things in the works, and if you don't mind, I'd like to keep you all posted.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Keep up the good work for God. He is a rewarder.

Dass

Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me if a husband can rape his wife? How can you tell when your husband is raping you? Is it punishable by law? PLEASE HELP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can call me Lipstick if you are going to respond.

Cresha said...

Hello Lipstick:

Honestly, the fact that you feel raped is the whole point. If you feel that your husband is violating you, tell him that. Marital rape is harder to prosecute, but it is punishable by law. The issue with that is if you continue to stay with your husband and then one day decide to file charges, the judge may not buy it.

I'd advise you to leave. I'm not one to do this lightly. I'm not saying to get a divorce. I'm saying to maybe put some distance between you and your husband for a little while so that you can sort through your feelings and thoughts. There is a reason you feel violated. If he is abusing you physically, then you need to go. If you just feel icky when he touches you, then it may be you. Either way, you won't know until you separate from him.

Please, feel free to write to me at preacha1975@yahoo.com. I'll be happy to minister to and pray for you personally.

Vicky said...

Hello Everyone,

I am seriously late on this interview, but I wanted to show my support of this book and all the work that is going on around it. Bless you, Billie for doing this.

Kathie said...

Discovered your blog today. I teach crafts to women who live in poverty and / or abusive situations here in Costa Rica as a part of our ministry here. I enjoyed visiting your blog and reading the posts. Plan to visit again.
Blessings,
Kathie