Tell the readers about yourself:
I love God. After that I love cheesecake. Ok maybe not immediately after that. I love my family. I've been a wife for nineteen years and I'm the mother of two teens and one young adult. I love Gospel music, jazz music and the theatre. In my spare time, which is five minutes before I fall off to sleep, I enjoy reading.
The Diary of a Woman Pastor is an interesting title. How did you come up with it?
Growing up and even aas my time as a pastor, I've always kept a journal to document my joy, pain, ups and downs. God gave me the title way before I even knew what I would write in this book.
What inspired you to write the Diary of a Woman Pastor?
I needed to write the book for my own personal healing and growth. In order to get to the next level God was calling me to. I had to get the hurt, guilt and the heaviness off my heart. And the only way I knew to do it was to write. Secondly, I wanted to write this book because I believe many Christians fail to tell the truth. I wanted to tell a truth that many wouldn't expect some one to tell. Nobody wants to talk about why they step down as pastor or why they leave the church or whatever. I believe as Christians we keep way too much hidden for sake of appearing like anything less than sheer perfection. Then we end up presenting an image that is so far from who we are and then we have people aspiring to that false identity we presented. We need to share more and not be ashamed of our missteps and mistakes. We're all human and there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Jesus forgives. So we need to forgive ourselves, move on and help somebody else.
I've read the book and realize that you were very transparent. Was this cathartic for you and do you think transparency is important when you're writing?
Very much so. Our loves are not our own. Especially when we become Christians. We're representing the Master. The word of God says, "sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." We want to tell our most honest and sincere story so that God gets the glory.
You discuss relationships in your book. Can you give us some insight as to why some women remain in unhealthy relationships?
Half of us don't know any better. The rest who do know better and stay have convinced themselves they don't have a choice in the matter. We have to know God's word for ourselves. I respect Pastors, counseling, and the advice of Mother Davis and Aunt Florence, but when it's all said and done you have to know what the word of God says concerning you and your situtation. We're not a cookie cutter people. We're unique, fearfully and wonderfully made. It's not a one shoe fits all deal. We must be Spirit-led in ALL things. Some people choose to forgive and work it out. Some people choose to forgive and move on. What did God tell you to do? The deicisons we make have to be well with our soul.
Generational curses seem to be a part of your story. Could you explain how this affected your life?
High tolerence runs in my family. Especially with the women. It has been both a blessing and a curse. As I have grown up, I've watched the women in my family tolerate so much from the men in their lives. There is some stuff that we as women just ought not put up with, but we do. I had put up with some things in my marriage for a long time until I decided to trust that God really would have my back if I took a stand. Once I got bold enough, started loving on God, and then loving myself, I've since received the kind of love and respect that I deserve in my relationships.
The book discusses your departure from the ministry. How did you end up a pastor and what was it like when you had to step down?
I was first ordained as a minister and then pastor. I believe it was overzealousness that landed me in the pastorate. At one time you couldn't tell me I wasn't able to save the whole world! But after a while reality hit. I realized that although I can do all things through Christ Jesus, He hadn't called me to do all things. Stepping down as pastor was one of the hardest things I have had to do in all my life. Yet I believe that each and every day we are learning and growing wiser. Just as we can't be afraid to step out on faith, we can't be afraid of falling on our faces. Even in front of folk. We must be confident in knowing that God will be right there with us every step of the way. He will never forsake us and He is faithful and just to forgive. We have to stop being so hard on ourselves. We need to let go and move on in the grace and favor of our God.
What message do you want our readers to get from the book?
I pray this book inspires readers to make the necessary changes and decisions in their lives. Changes and decisions that are long overdue. Many pastors, employees and every day people stay in positions that were over for them seasons ago. Many dare step away out of obligation, fear, pride and even greed. But there comes a time where you have to stop serving two masters. Either you're going to serve the Master of the truth which is God or the master of lies which is the devil. We have to be courageous enough to tell the truth and live the truth. It is the truth and only the truth that shall set us free.
What's next for Sheritha Bowman?
More books and plays. Right now, we're in rehearsals for my fourth drama production entitled, "GIRL. TALK." Hopefully, it'll tour nationwide.
How can our readers purchase a copy of your book>
All of my books are available through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com or they can visit my website www.sherithabowman.com.
God bless you Cheryl, thanks for allowing me to share my heart.