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
I’m excited to be here. I love fireplaces and White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. Maybe even a piece of caramel cake.
- 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. : )
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
My books are at select Barnes and Noble and Borders locations in
Our ministry is located in
The Christian Vitality site is being updated. We also have a blog for it at http://christianvitality.blogspot.com.
- 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!
- 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
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?