Did you know that empowered women empower women? What does it mean to be empowered? How do we define EMPOWER? What does it take for you to experience empowerment for yourself and share it with others? Let’s talk about this now. I’ll share my empowerment book excerpt, too.
In my life, I met many empowering women. They helped me overcome abuse, rape, suicidal depression, narcissistic abuse, and even homelessness. I share here my speech from a Women’s Empowerment Conference where I was a speaker in 2017. You’ll learn my six steps for how to get empowered and how I empower women today.
Anna Szabo’s Story
- My Narcissist Mother Story
- My Sex Addiction Story
- My Domestic Violence Story
- My Narcissist Relationship Abuse Story
- My Salvation Story and Testimony
- My Spiritual Warfare Story
- My Depression Story
- My Suicide Story
- My Identity Transformation Story
- My Story of Faith and Fortitude
The word “empowered” describes a feeling. You can feel empowered and you can make others feel empowered, too.
“Empowered” describes having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself.Merriam-Webster
Feeling empowered, we are able to move the mountains.
I know from experience:
- I graduated from four universities
- I am an award-winning author
- I moved to a foreign country and established a new life
- I taught myself English
And on and on, I can recall many situations when I felt empowered, so I had the confidence and ability to do extraordinary things.
Also, I can recall a season of life when I have neither confidence nor the ability to do even simple things like washing hair or unloading the dishwasher. That’s when I was enduring suicidal depression.
I know what it feels like to be empowered and I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and powerless. I also know that empowered women empower women, so I empowered many women when I myself felt empowered and many women empowered me when I needed some serious empowerment.
What does it mean to “empower?”
And what does it take to “empower” someone or yourself?
Let’s Define EMPOWER
Since “empowered” means having authority, confidence, and ability to do something, “empower” means giving someone or yourself such an ability.
“Empower” means to give (someone) the authority or power to do something.Dictionary.com
I was for many years able to give myself the ability to do anything: attend and graduate from my favorite universities with high honors, write award-winning books, appear on TV and radio, learn new languages, and even change countries and building a new life.
But once upon a time, I ran out of my power.
It happened because of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse in my marriage where I was subjected to mental cruelty tactics, such as Gaslighting, Projection, Devaluation, Discarding, Intimidation, and many others.
That’s when I realized that I wasn’t a sustainable source of power. I reached out to Jesus for help and learned where the power comes from: the God-breathed book of ancient wisdom, the Bible.
It was also a season when I met many empowered women who lifted me up through prayer and empowered me.
Empowered women empower women.
I learned this truth from experience.
Women came all around me to hold me while I was weeping and grieving, to help me move during my divorce, to help me settle in my new home, to be with me in silence, to study God’s word with me, and pray, pray, pray…
RELATED: Free Christian Prayers Collection
It was the season when I was also invited to share my story of lack of power.
I was invited to teach a leadership class at Georgia State University where I shared about my divorce, abuse, depression, and faith, after which the students shared how empowered they felt by my unconventionally-genuine vulnerability.
I was also invited to be a speaker at an empowerment conference for women where I shared about my divorce, abuse, depression, and faith, after which the students shared how empowered they felt by my unconventionally-genuine vulnerability.
So, I learned that even when I don’t feel particularly empowered, I can still empower others through genuine vulnerability about my own journey as a human.
Vulnerability is as empowering as power. Vulnerability is a symptom of the disease called “humility,” and we are all humans. Vulnerability helps us relate to one another on a heart level. Vulnerability helps us realize that we’re not alone.
So, empowerment is not only about power but also about vulnerability.
Whether women get empowered by the success of other women or by their genuine vulnerabilities, I know one thing for sure: empowered women empower women.
Empowered Women Empower Women
In 2017, I was invited to be a speaker at a women’s empowerment conference. By the way, if you’re looking for top Christian speakers, reach out to me any time.
So, at that empowerment event, I was asked to answer some empowerment-related questions. Here they are accompanied by my exact responses.
What Does the Word Empowerment Mean to You?
Wikipedia defines “empowerment” as authority or power given to someone to do something and also the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in the sense of controlling your own life and claiming your own rights.
To me, it’s both.
One example is this.
My husband of eight months filed for divorce after four months of marriage, dismissed it two months later, and then filed for divorce again yesterday.
RELATED: Narcissistic Relationship Abuse
A total of $10K in attorney fees, so much stress and pain, but I am refusing to give in to his drama and I’m keeping a perspective every day that I am a Princess, a daughter of the king, our God calls me by my name and has me in the palm of his hand.
So in the midst of all this, my work performance evaluation came out as “Exceeds Expectations” and I received a salary raise.
I continue volunteering and making a difference in our community.
And I’m able to do it from a place of empowerment, tapping into it daily with God’s help.
That’s what the concept of empowerment means to me personally.
You choose empowerment.
You do it with your thoughts, words, and actions, every day.
How Have You Handled and Moved Forward from Past Failures?
We all encounter some sort of failure in life.
In my 34 years, God delivered me from so much adversity: childhood abuse, rape, hunger, addiction, divorce, domestic violence, homelessness, unemployment.
RELATED: What Is Faith?
And every time He blessed me with spiritual gifts.
He gave me comfort so I can comfort others in pain.
He’s been my strength when I was weak.
He empowered me so I can then go and empower others.
Because of it, I don’t believe there is such a thing as failure.
I think there are obstacles, challenges, rerouted, and lessons learned.
I am here, in front of you today, heartbroken, suffering through severe depression, tapping into God’s empowerment to get up every morning, living through another season of adversity, but I don’t think I’m failing…
RELATED: My Story of Suicidal Depression
Actually, I wrote out the eight things I really believe about this topic and I want to share them with you.
The Eight Things To Know About Failure
1. Life is a series of seasons, there are messes and there are successes.
2. Challenges come and go, and that’s how we learn to become wiser and stronger.
3. Persevering through tough times, we grow and become a better version of ourselves. God promised us we will have troubles in this world so He can be our strength and He can grow our character and faith to make us His glory on display.
4. Spiritual gifts come wrapped in adversity. Do you want the gift?
5. If you’ve been through mess, you have a message. Turn your mess into a message.
6. Your spiritual gift is only a gift if you share it, give it to others who need it! Now.
7. Between what happens to us and what we do with what happens to us lies the power of our choice. We are empowered. We choose to use our own empowerment.
8. You can choose to become bitter or better from your life circumstances. You can choose to see adversity as a failure or as your stepping stone on your journey to success. Which option do you choose?
- Problems can either stop you or promote you.
- You have the power to turn your pain into gain.
Start with gratitude. Help others in a similar situation. Share your story to spread hope.
Have You Ever Experienced Fear? How Were You Able to Overcome It?
One of the major reasons why women are unable to live an empowered life is because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown just to name a few. Tell us about a fear that you once had and how you were able to overcome it.
I have many fears right now. I have a six-figure package from Emory. I own my own car, furniture, I have an MBA from a prestigious school, I’m an award-winning author, but I’m almost daily experiencing panic attacks due to my fears.
Will I survive? Of course, I will, I tell myself, you had a life on your own for years and you weren’t surviving, you were thriving.
RELATED: Encouraging Poetry
So I have to bring logic when fears attack, and I have to show myself courage by remembering my life achievements one-by-one.
Am I letting God down responding to my husband’s request for a divorce?
I tell myself: The bible says if an unbeliever husband wants to live with you, you must live with him, but if he wants to leave, let him go.
So I have to remind myself the truth in the moments when fear attacks, and remembering the truth and declaring it is courageous, and like I said you’re free from fear once you step into the empowering land of courage.
The antidote to fear is courage.
Courage is what fuels my commitment to empowering women.
So, at that event, those were my responses. After the experience of marriage with The Narcissist, I started this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. If you have found this content helpful, support this Christian Discipleship by making a donation now.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
Women Empowering Women
Women empowered me when I needed empowerment. I empowered more women and hopefully, now I can empower YOU.
If you’re reading about my genuine pain and suffering, vulnerability and adversity and feel empowered, stand up for yourself and then go empower other women!
Women empowering women… It should never stop.
In my divorce court with the Narcissist, both the judge and my jury were deceived. Also, I witnessed many times how our legal system works against women who experienced injustice, abuse, and cruel treatment.
That being said, you MUST get empowered, stand up for yourself, and empower other women in your life by the example of what’s possible.
"Empowering Women" #PoemsFromGod
Empowerment is a concept of persevering,
No matter what life offers to you at times.
It's a decision to refuse fearing
Narcissists, abusers, and executors of other crimes.
Empowerment is the antidote for violence.
It's a way of saying: "No more from now on!"
It's the path to get you beyond survivance
To where you can thrive and finally move on.
I myself need empowerment daily.
And I support other women to share empowerment.
Sometimes, from abuse we can even think barely...
And no one can help us, not even the government.
Police, courts, judges, jurors, and attorneys
Get deceived by our abusers often times.
When there's no help on our survival journeys,
Empowerment is the only way to confront crimes.
Get empowered from knowing who you are in Christ!
He loves and accepts you. He made you a masterpiece.
To liberate you, His life He sacrificed.
He set you free so you can be from abuse released.
Raise up! Speak up! Stand up for yourself!
Get empowered and empower others!
You are worthy of the love of Jesus Himself!
So, take no more of this abuse nonsense!
10-14-17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Empowering Words for Women
Empowering women is my lifetime commitment. Life isn’t perfect. But you must deal with it still. Draw on your community, get empowered by other women and empower those women who need empowerment.
I want to share with you some of the Biblical Affirmations I wrote based on my identity in Christ. I hope you’ll memorize these empowering affirmations and use them daily as you face life with its regular ups and downs.
Biblical Affirmations #52Devotionals
I am powerful in Christ
The Holy Spirit lives and dwells in me
And gives me power, love, and self-discipline.
Because of that power, I can do anything –
God created me a Heaven’s citizen.
I can do anything and everything through Christ.
To empower me, His precious life he sacrificed.
I am capable, competent, skilled, and effective.
Jesus gave me power and issued against self-doubt directive.Anna Szabo #52Devotionals
I am wise
I am wise and I show a good judgement.
Jesus has become for me wisdom from God.
My experiences for the hope of others are meant.
My wisdom is with the Holy Spirit intact.#52Devotionals
I am clear and focused
God gave me the power of sound mind.
I’m clear. I’m focused. I’m disciplined.
Confusion and doubt are both behind.
I’m productive, and to the Holy Spirit I’m listening.#52Devotionals
I am intentional
I’m intentional, and my life has a great purpose.
God Himself appointed me to make an impact in the world.
I am leading my life committed to compassion and service.
I am doing exactly what, I know, to do by Him I’m called.#52Devotionals
I am decisive
I’m decisive because God makes my path straight.
I ask Him for direction, and He gives me wisdom graciously.
His plans to propel and prosper me are always great.
I lean on Him and pursue His will in my life tenaciously.#52Devotionals
Empowerment is available to you 24/7. All you need is to decide to access it. It’s a gift that’s already yours. You simply need to take it and use it.
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How To Get Empowered
- Decide that you have control over your life
There are two motivational concepts: internal vs external locus of control. When I was a victim of Domestic Violence taken by the police to a homeless shelter for battered women, I felt that my life was impacted by my actions. I taught myself English in 1.5 years, got a job, went on to get an MBA from GA State University, and published an award-winning book. I experienced the motivational benefits on internal locus of control.
When seven years later I became a victim of cruel Narcissistic Abuse, I felt like there was nothing I could do because he made me feel powerless and mentally incompetent. I became suicidal from depression and hopelessness. That was the symptom of external locus of control: I truly believed that the Narcissist was all-powerful because he destroyed every aspect of my being. Decide that YOU have control over your life and you will feel empowered.
- Set goals and make a plan for achieving them
Set Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-Bound goals (SMART goals). Here’s my goal-setting book on how to master SMART goals to stay empowered. I published it in 2013, and it’s been a huge hit. It will help you master your goals.
You can also enjoy this video about goals-setting.
- Commit to taking consistent action toward your goals
Empowerment has to do with witnessing that you can do something you want to do. Whatever it is for you, you have to feel like you are able to do it, that’s when you’ll experience empowerment.
Action (consistent action) is key to sustainable, lasting empowerment. Take intentional action and you’ll feel empowered. I promise! it happened for me, and it works for millions of other women. Even if you’re scared to take action, do it anyway, and you’ll feel empowered.
- Track your progress (positive results of your intentional actions)
Progress makes us feel alive. Progress is something we easily dismiss when we are not yet where we want to be eventually. Track your progress to be able to stay mindful and grateful about the steps you take and the results you accomplish. That’s how you remain encouraged and empowered.
- Connect with your community
Get empowered by your community and empower others. Stay connected, love on people and let them love on you. We all need each other. Be wise about your relationships and discern whom to invite into your circle of friends and whom to keep out of it.
- Share your experiences to empower others
Share vulnerably and genuinely how you’re handling like when it sucks, not only how you’re enjoying it when it rocks. From the place of opening up your heart, you can empower other women.
Empowering other women will empower you.
Here’s my book for you!
Empowerment isn’t something only a few privileged women are blessed with. YOU are blessed with empowerment if you’re reading this. The information I shared has the potential to change your life, but only if YOU decide you want to get empowered and take action consistently toward your desired goals.
My hope is that this article empowered you to set goals, focus on what you CAN control in life, and go after a better future for yourself.
If so, you may express gratitude now:
Let me know in the comments below what your goals are and what you will do starting right now to accomplish them by taking consistent intentional action for as long as it takes to make your dreams come true.
I promised to share with you an excerpt from my book of Christian bedtime stories (fairytales). The collection of the stories – the actual book – is called “How Princess Lana Developed Faith and Fortitude” and has three fairytales included. I am sharing one of them today.
You will hear my story of transformation from a mail-ordered bride to a child of God. You’ll learn that I was born in Russia, raised by an abusive mother in a violent family environment, and brainwashed about my identity. I share those details because my commitment to empowering women demands genuine vulnerability. Vulnerability is empowering when we share from the heart.
The loving mother was the one I remember from one and only time of genuine affection I received as a child. One night, my mother rocked me and sang me a song. She walked back and forth in her bedroom. I was very little. It was dark. There were soft-white light and orange curtains… I felt loved and protected.
It is the only positive memory from my childhood.
My favorite color today is orange.
Orange is the color of happiness.
This is my living room (and my patio).
You’ll learn, based on my autobiographical fairytale, how I discovered genuine, lasting empowerment from The Sacred Book of Ancient Wisdom.
"The Sacred Book of Ancient Wisdom" #PrincessLanaFairyTales
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful and capable Princess whose name was Lana.
She was born in the kingdom of Russnia to a loving Mother Queen who later on became possessed by the evil spirit of The Wicked Witch.
The Princess experienced much abuse and had to flee her home.
She fell in love with Prince Charming from a far far away kingdom of Amerun.
They got married and hoped to live together happily ever after.
However, the tragedy came upon them, and Prince Charming became possessed by the evil spirit of The Prince Of Darkness.
Princess Lana spent some time in captivity, trapped and enslaved by The Evil Prince.
The Princess experienced much abuse and had to flee her home.
God sent His Angels Of Hope to her rescue, and Princess Lana was liberated from bondage and slavery.
Only now she was very ill.
From her many years of battling The Evil Spirit, Princess Lana felt exhausted and drained.
She was wounded and afflicted.
She felt bedraggled, distraught, perplexed, inconsequential, and contemptible.
Princess Lana had such a heavy heart, she couldn’t carry it anymore.
She was thinking about jumping off the cliff and ending her life of suffering.
But she genuinely wanted to grow in faith and fortitude.
So, she knew she’d need supernatural powers to continue her tough journey.
Princess Lana asked God for help.
She was praying on her knees one night and wept.
God sent His son Jesus to help Princess Lana with her struggles.
Jesus was The Lord Of All.
When Jesus showed up, He rid The Princess of her illnesses and afflictions.
The Son Of God paid a high price and redeemed Princess Lana from feeling bedraggled, distraught, perplexed, inconsequential, and contemptible.
He did it out of deep love for The Princess.
Jesus loved Princess Lana unconditionally.
The Lord gave The Princess a new heart.
Most importantly, Jesus blessed her with a delightful gift of a sacred book.
The book was ancient, magical, and mysterious. It was called The Bible.
The mystery of it was this: any time Princess Lana needed guidance on her journey and had questions, The Sacred Book Of Ancient Wisdom gave her the answers.
The Son Of God entrusted The Princess with another supernatural gift.
He gave her The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit had the infinite intelligence of God Himself and was ought to help Princess Lana to fight The Evil Spirit.
She was no longer alone.
Princess Lana had a new heart, new strength, and new tools to persevere on her journey of life.
She also had Jesus and The Holy Spirit by her side.
She moved toward her future with renewed faith and fortitude.
She was free from afflictions and felt overjoyed.
The Princess felt blessed, grateful, and purposeful.
She sought peace and stillness and desired to understand God and His plan for her life.
She often talked to Jesus about it and received a vision from The Holy Spirit revealing to her that she would help other princesses in adversity by encouraging and empowering them.
As Princess Lana was growing closer in her relationship with God, He surrounded her with Good People.
The Good People were friendly, accepting, wise, and helpful. They spent quality time with Princess Lana talking about the meaning of life, the purpose of adversity, and the reasons for faith and fortitude.
The Good People also taught Princess Lana about Spiritual Warfare and The Armor Of God.
The Princess learned why she was followed by The Evil Spirit who ought to force her to jump off the cliff so many times.
She realized that because her life’s purpose was to glorify God, The Evil Spirit tried hard to get rid of her so she wouldn’t be able to fulfill her life’s purpose.
The Evil Spirit wanted to disappoint and discourage Princess Lana in order to make her feel hopeless and helpless.
The Princess understood what a special calling she had on her life.
She knew that God set her apart and appointed her to help others.
She realized that she was anointed by God for His greater purpose.
Princess Lana was ready to help God, but she was young and needed much wisdom.
The questions Princess Lana was wondering about were these:
- Who Am I in The Eyes of God?
- What Is The Purpose of My Life?
- What Are God’s Promises to Me?
- What Is Spiritual Warfare?
- What Is An Armor of God?
- How Do I Renew My Mind?
- How Can I Have Peace That Passess All Understanding?
- How Can I Have The Joy of The Lord?
She found the answers in The Sacred Book Of Ancient Wisdom.
She discovered from The Book that she was a true Princess not by birth but by faith. Because she believed in God and His Son Jesus, her identity was royal for eternity.
She learned from The Ancient Book that the purpose of her life was to demonstrate faith and fortitude in order to glorify God.
She received the good news from The Ancient Book that everything bad she ever did was forgiven and forgotten because of the high price Jesus paid to redeem her.
She gained knowledge of God’s promises, among which were purpose, peace, protection, provision, and purification.
That’s why she had a new and light heart instead of her old and heavy heart.
She herself was new after her supernatural encounter with Jesus.
Princess Lana had a breakthrough that to fight The Good Fight with The Evil Spirit she had to be armed with The Armor Of God, which was hidden in The Sacred Book Of Ancient Wisdom.
The Good Fight was called Spiritual Warfare. It was the everyday battle, which was used by The Evil Spirit to conquer Princess Lana.
She realized that Spiritual Warfare was a part of her journey because God’s calling was on her life.
She knew that God had His hand on her destiny and, because she was special, she was pursued by The Evil Spirit to tempt her and force her to give up by jumping off the cliff.
She discovered that to fight Spiritual Warfare successfully, she had to wear The Armor Of God every day.
The Princess also discovered from The Good People and The Bible that God had already won victory on her behalf.
Her destiny was already known and it was good. However, she still had to continue dealing with The Evil Spirit and participate in Spiritual Warfare. God wanted Princess Lana to sharpen her skills of using The Armor Of God and to strengthen her faith and fortitude.
She had to practice faith and fortitude in order to get equipped and prepared to fulfill God’s purpose for her life, which was to help other princesses in adversity.
Princess Lana learned from The Good People and The Bible that to avoid feeling exhausted and to prevent her heart from getting too heavy, she needed to renew her mind daily.
The way to do it was to become aware of her thoughts, take every thought captive, and submit each thought to the truth of The Lord.
The truth was that God loved her, He had a good plan for her life, He was always by her side, and He protected her.
Also, the truth was that all the adversity Princess Lana endured was ordained by God in order to equip her with faith and fortitude so she could help others in adversity. God always gave her what He knew she could handle.
Princess Lana discovered that to have the peace that passes all understanding she needed to read The Sacred Book Of Ancient Wisdom every day.
Since The Book had all the answers, Princess Lana never had to fear ever again. She had peace from God.
Princess Lana was very curious about the joy of The Lord. She wanted to know how to be joyful when her life was so hard.
She learned from The Good People and The Bible that the joy of The Lord was hers to have.
She just needed to remember every day that Jesus loved her, He redeemed her, He saved her, He purified her, and He revealed her destiny to her.
Knowing her life’s purpose and destiny gave her joy, no matter the circumstances.
Princess Lana, armed with renewed faith and fortitude, went on to share her life’s story and give God all the glory.
3-10-19 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA. All Rights Reserved.
Several times in life, I was victimized but only once I felt a victim.
I know what it’s like to feel powerless and helpless and I know what it’s like to feel empowered.
You are in control of your life.
All things are truly possible with Christ. That’s what I remember every time I am working on empowering women.
God is merciful and gracious. He sent His only son to redeem us at a high price because He loves us so much.
God loves YOU unconditionally for eternity.
God made you powerful. He empowered you.
God said you have wisdom, courage, and decisiveness. Find out what else God said about you – download my FREE book of devotionals:
Reach out for God’s power today, get empowered, and empower others.
If you’re committed to empowering women, share this article with a woman who needs it right now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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