Inspirational Women

Shelly Lowery

Ten years ago, I left the mission field to face darkness as I had never known. My world came crashing down as symptoms of PTSD began to appear after six years of living in the middle of a bloody terrorist war. I stood firm through the terrorists’ attacks and looming threats of carnage. It wasn’t until the government took me in for interrogation on false allegations that the house of cards began to fall. I tried to be strong; to pull myself together. But the worst was yet to come. Unbelievable, I was raped only months after the interrogation and, through a series of events, found out the devastating truth about my marriage. Once back on American soil, I sought out a counselor and ended up filing for divorce.

In the still after the storm, I stood looking at the rubble of my life. All I had left were two suitcases and my children. I had no car, no home, no job or income, no health insurance. I even lost my retirement fund. Then, major health issues and depression set-in. I did not qualify for unemployment because, in 25+ years of ministry, I had never been the one hired. The man was the one employed, and the wife was just a bonus even though I was the primary preacher in our family. I cried a lot. I slept in a shelter at one point and sustained myself by the weekly food bank in our community. And at night, I prayed that God would take me home to Heaven. I did not know if I could go on.

That is how my decade started.

But God. When I could not stand, God carried me. And slowly. I began to lift my head again. I reminded myself of the truth and surrounded myself with people that spoke life to my spirit. Then as the truth began to penetrate my grief, the chains began to break. The lie had to lose its grip. And then I stood. It took time. Time for the love of God and a couple of incredible people who stood at my side to help make me strong enough to stand. And then I started shuffling forward until walking became jogging, and jogging became running.

A decade ago, I faced the total collapse of my life as I knew it, but it was also a decade when I FOUND MY FIERCE. Today I am once again, wild, courageous, and free. My message is for all who wrestle to know they are loved. For anyone who has been misunderstood, lied to, tormented, raped, interrogated, abandoned, and shunned. It is my passion to help others find their fierce determination to move into their purpose regardless of what has happened to them or irrespective of what others tell them. If there’s one thing I know about fighting for destiny, it’s that it’s not just about you; it’s about all who follow you.

I am a conference speaker, author, and founder and president of a nonprofit called Beyond My Borders and a personal brand called FINDING FIERCE. I’ve been to 25 nations and presently work in 4. I rescue slaves from Pakistan’s brick factories and have a girls home there with nine rescued girls under the age of 14. I also have two children’s homes in India, four sewing trade schools for women (mostly widows and sew trafficking rescues) in Nepal, Pakistan, and India. I have two leper colonies, a Mobile Medical Clinic, a hygiene project for tribal village women, dig water wells, plant sustainability gardens, and more.

I am honored and excited to have found ONE WOMAN.

Shelly Lowery