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Conversations with Emily Bernath

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Bernath. 

Hi Emily, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started my author journey in the summer of 2016 out of my passion for women’s ministry. This passion came from a place of deep hurt and me wanting to make a difference in other women’s lives going through similar things. About five years before I began writing, I was raped by a man I knew and once trusted. At the time it happened, I was hundreds of miles away from home and had no car, so in my anger, I turned the only direction I could go, and that was up to God, asking him, “why me?” and “what did I do to deserve this?” 

Once I finally got home, I did not hold back from sharing what happened, more or less expecting people to believe me and want to take action to help. Unfortunately, I was proven wrong and got told by my best friend at the time that it was my fault. This experience created great darkness in my life, and I lost a lot of friends. It was a very lonely place, and in that place, I craved community. A few months later, I made friends with a woman who reintroduced me to church, invited me to a small group she led, and I gained many new friends who loved me even in my darkness. 

In wanting to give back that same kind of community for others, I was asked one day about leading a women’s group. On that day, I heard God say to me that if I wanted to do that, I needed to start writing what the group would cover. I am passionate about the truth and helping people know the truth about who God is and how God sees them, and it is from that passion that I decided on what to write about. The heart of my writing is found in John 8:32, that states the truth will set us free. I want people to both know and experience the freedom that only God can provide. Since that day that I felt called to write, I have finished three books. The first two, Broken Lenses: Identifying Your Truth in a World of Lies and Broken Lenses Volume 2: Seeing Others’ Value in a World of Division are currently out and available wherever books are sold. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, far from it, actually. You see, books were my worst nightmare growing up. I wanted nothing to do with them. My strength in school was always math, and I formed my identity around those abilities. The numbers girl was who I was for 25 years. To a degree (pun intended), it still is, but now I know I’m more than that too. 

When God asked me to start writing, I thought he was crazy. I had no idea what I was doing, I had never taken writing super seriously in my life before then, so I just had to take it day by day. I heard the lies often, trying to convince me that I’m not cut out for being an author, and for the first couple of years, I just kept asking God, “Are you sure I’m the one to do this?” 

Once I shifted my mindset that it was never about what I can do, but rather, what God wants to do through me, fighting those lies became much easier. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I would say a big part of what sets me apart from other authors, especially faith-based authors, is my educational background and the way I think in general. My bachelor’s degree is in chemistry, and my master’s degree is in business. So, I tend to take an analytical approach in my writing and speaking, and going to the root of what does this mean, how do I apply it, and what results should we expect from those applications. 

When I’m not writing, I’m an advocate for sexual assault survivors. I specialize in speaking on the spiritual impact of abuse and applying faith in our healing and advocacy work with survivors. Just as trauma such as sexual assault has a physical, mental, and emotional impact on survivors, it very much has a spiritual impact too. I believe that if we want to experience complete healing, we cannot ignore the spiritual impact that abuse has on us. 

I’m most proud of all the opportunities I’ve been given to give back to other survivors and be a light in that community. Being a sexual assault survivor can be an extremely dark, lonely, and painful place, and it’s a place I don’t want any survivor to have to stay in. 

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Happiness by definition is an indicator of joy, which is more what I strive to have in my life. Happiness is conditional, but joy is eternal. It brings me great joy both when I’m able to make a difference in someone’s life and when I see people living out their purpose. We were all brought here for a reason, and we all have something that someone else needs. We all are better off when we live our lives for others and not for ourselves. 

On a less serious note, coffee makes me pretty happy too. 

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