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  • Tamra Andress

Outlive the Labels with Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes


It was truly such a gift to interview Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes in this podcast episode. From being molested at the age of 4 to being pregnant at 14 and being forced to have an abortion to being human trafficked, she was trying to find her way in the world. It seemed as if it was very dark, but she found a way into God's light and her journey is so beautiful.

Key Takeaways:

At her lowest, God was setting her up for what is coming to fulfillment now

How redemption restored her relationship with her sons

How she found the courage to be transparent about her journey



About Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes:

#1 international best-selling author, speaker, podcaster, magazine publisher, and Certified Life Coach, Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes is living out her assignment to inspire everyone she encounters. She is the award-winning founder of the global movement "Outlive the Labels" and is a mouthpiece for criminal justice reform and human trafficking awareness. As a survivor of human trafficking, domestic violence and incarceration, she is a sought-after trusted authority on life after adversity and speaks from her heart concerning real life issues that plague women all over the globe. Dr. Mary Kaye is a graduate of New York Law School and currently serves as In-House Corporate Counsel for a NYC insurance and investment firm.

Where to Find Dr. Mary Kaye:

www.marykayeholmes.com

https://www.instagram.com/hearmaryspeak

https://www.facebook.com/hearmaryspeak

Purchase her first memoir, "Stripped: a Journey from Rejection to Redemption" on her website. She is also currently accepting pre-orders for her latest memoir "Trapped in Plain Sight: the Unfamiliar Face of Human Trafficking."


Show Notes: Outlive the Labels

Tamra

Hello, hello, everyone, welcome, as always to the Fit in Faith podcast. I am so honored to introduce you to a new friend of mine who I cannot wait to dissect everything about her bio. Literally, every single piece is something that I'm either drawn to, connected to, or inspired by. So if you have yet to meet Mary Kay Holmes, you're about to and I encourage you to stay tuned for this entire show, because one of her heart beats and the heartbeat of her podcast Outlive the Labels, is clearly one of my own, if you know anything about me.


Speaker 1

So we're definitely going to dissect that here. But first off, let me give you her rap sheet, because it's amazing. She's a number one international best selling author. She's a speaker, a podcaster, a magazine publisher, and a certified life coach. She is living out her assignment to inspire everyone that she encounters. And I know that I'm going to leave inspired today, as are you. She is an award winning founder of the Global Movement to Outlive the Labels and is a mouthpiece for criminal justice reform and human trafficking awareness.


Speaker 1

As a survivor of human trafficking, domestic violence, and incarceration, she is sought after as a trusted authority on life after adversity. And she speaks from her heart concerning real life issues that plague women all over the globe. And so there's so much more to where that bio comes from, her studies, where she's been to school, her counseling, and the firm that she also has been alongside serving. And so we'll get into all of those things and even her books and titles and all of that stuff.


Speaker 1

But if we're outliving the labels, the titles don't matter. And so I am excited to have you here. And I don't even know where you want to start. You want to start in the history of the present. First off, thank for being here.


Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes

Yes, thank you so much for having me. This is an honor. I love just the format of the show. I love what it's all about. So it's an honor to be here today. And I can't I can't wait to dove into it and share parts of my story and give it hope and inspiration and let's change some lives. So, yeah, absolutely.


Tamra

Yes. That is also my heartbeat. So I am glad to have you. And let's jump into that. Let's jump into where were you are and what is the history that led you to this point. And then I know you could dive into years, probably years back and you could dive into just yesterday. So you feel free to whatever's been laid on your heart for this conversation.


Dr. Mary Kaye Holmes

Yes, absolutely. So for me, it started back when I was just a little girl, four years old, being molested by an older male relative was really just the downwards where the downward spiral started for me, because it led to me really acting out as a child, as many people who experience that unfortunate. Just, you know, it happens to so many people. I'm always amazed when I tell that part of my story. How many others have experienced that or at least know someone who has survived that.


Speaker 2

But it led to me becoming very promiscuous at a very young age. So by the time I was 14 years old, I was pregnant with my first child. And at 14, I was still this young girl who was trying to find her way in the world, trying to discover who I was. But I was going through a lot of trauma, to say the least. So it was also the year that I attempted suicide for the first time when my mom and my boyfriend's mom made me have an abortion.


Speaker 2

And it devastated me so much that I just wanted to end my life. And the next year at 15 years old, I met a thirty six year old man who would human traffic me and abuse me for seven years. It started out, were just this teenage girl. And he vetted me. He watched me for weeks that probably months at a time. And when he finally approached me, it was like dangling a carrot in front of this young teenage girls face who had only experienced poverty up until this point, living on welfare, living off food stamps and just living in the inner city and wanting better, wanting more out of life, wanting that sense of fulfillment and that happiness and joy that I had been chasing.


Speaker 2

He promised me a life of being able to wear what I wanted by what I wanted to go to school with the latest clothes and the latest sneakers on. And he wound up using me to transport kilos of cocaine across state lines. He would send me into New York. I would go into the Bronx and sit down at a table in a restaurant, and the dealers would slip these cocaine, these kilos of cocaine under the table and put it in my backpack.


Speaker 2

And it was my job to get it back to Connecticut where I lived and cook it up because I had to cook it and to turn it into crack, bestway it up and bag it into these baggies called what we called eight balls and distribute them on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. And that was the start of human trafficking for me at that age. I was just a teenage girl in high school and then it became more controlling and abusive and manipulative.


Speaker 2

And eventually I found myself trapped in his small one bedroom apartment, unable to contact family. I was forbidden to use the phone. I wasn't allowed to use I wasn't allowed to leave the apartment. It was an apartment complex where if you left out of the door, it would lock behind you if you didn't have a key. So I was permitted to leave. I wasn't able to answer the door if anyone knocked. He had the calls forwarded to his pager back then.


Speaker 2

So even if the phone rang, it would only ring like a half ring and I wasn't allowed to answer it or use it. And so I went through that while I was pregnant with his child. And while going through that, it was some of the most devastated moments of my life because I was isolated from everyone that I knew and loved. He turned me against them, them against me. And I was trapped. And it was such a devastating experience for a young girl who's not only just starting out and trying to find her way, but now I'm pregnant.


Speaker 2

So four days, some days you will, even without food. I remember one night finding a can of tuna fish, and that's all I had to eat for that entire day. So I had to ration that. You're pregnant. You you want to just stop yourself. You want to eat all day long. You're craving food. So, you know, you want to be eating the ice cream and all of that stuff. And for some of us, pickles and ice cream, who knows?


Speaker 2

I did crave pickles, by the way, but all I had was this little can of tuna fish, and I had to ration that out for the whole day. So imagine craving all kinds of goodies. But that's what I had to eat. I was in survival mode. And when I escaped that, it was seven years later, seven years I escaped that relationship. And unfortunately, I would love to say that my life just took a turn for the best.


Speaker 2

But no, it took a turn for the worse. It was like going from the frying pan into the fire because I ran right into the arms of a pimp who had me. I was victimized into human trafficking and most human trafficking victims, unfortunately, are victimized. And so all that happened to me and I wound up being pimps and prostituted in the streets and forced to dance for money and hand all of that cash over to to this man who had me paying a debt that he was holding over.


Speaker 2

My head, so it was like I went from one horrific traumatic experience to yet another one. And by this time I had attempted suicide five different times. But I'm so grateful I'm so thankful to God that even though I didn't see any worth in myself, I didn't see any self value on my life. I didn't I didn't think highly of myself. I didn't see any reason to live. And I don't think I had any gifts and talents. Godzilla so much more in me than I saw on myself.


Speaker 2

Matter of fact, when I went, I thought nothing of God saw everything. And he was setting me up for moments like this where I can look back and see that even in some of my moments of my greatest pain, there was still a set up for purpose in it. Because now when I speak to these issues, I can inspire women from all walks of life. It's like if you've been homeless, I've been there. I can tell you how to get through that.


Speaker 2

You've been abused. I can tell you how I got through that. If you've been traffic, I can tell you. Have you been to prison? I can tell you how to how to get through that. If you've been in the streets, if you there's so many different things that I've gone through in life that now I utilize it not as a crutch or not as a pity party. I don't look for sympathy, but I use it as an opportunity to help other people because to make it out of the things that I've made it out of and that's just a fraction of my story.


Speaker 2

When I say a fraction, that's like a sliver of the things that I've gone through. But when I look back and see how much I've come out of to not only survive, but to thrive beyond that, it's so it's so amazing. I'm so grateful. And so I feel it's my responsibility to reach back and help someone else come out.


Speaker 1

Yeah. I mean, wow. I mean, there's so much to that. And from the moment you open your mouth to that connective sexual abuse trauma that occurred to you, I was three, so I felt you then you go into the way that you act out and the sexual intimacy problems that you experience that then led you into the spiral of being pregnant. Yeah, I hear you. And I see you and I feel you. And I've been alongside that.


Speaker 1

And while my story didn't turn out like yours, there are still the components of the rooted pieces that played out in so many different ways of bondage and trapping and abusing my own self based on trauma and stepping into situations that were not for me. But yet there has been purpose that has played out from there. And so I think, like you said, you really can relate to so many different people. And it's always funny when we go and someone's like, hey, share your story, right?


Speaker 1

Like you share what maybe just shared for four or five minutes and to know that that's just a fraction like just a literally a blink. And there's all of that in the midst of that. There's all of the individual situations that played out to get you from one element to the next element to the next element to hear. And so my curiosity is, how did you get out of that situation from being trapped by the last man? And when did you recognize that God was present in your life?


Speaker 1

Was there a come to Jesus moment? Was there a crash and burn moment? What did it look like?


Speaker 2

Yeah, I love that question because it really all it all comes back to my faith for me, like when people ask me, like, how did you do it? How did it really it was all about my faith. And but to just say just to go to the point where I was able to get out of the second situation where I was being traffic, one day, it was like there was this moment and I talk about this in my book script.


Speaker 2

I had this moment, this awakening where I realized, girl, you're being used, you're being abused, you're you're being like because the way that things were going, it wasn't just the pimping in and being prostituted, but there was the physical abuse component where I was being slapped around, beat up. And at one point it's just I realized like, wait a minute, you can get out of this. And it was like he just went too far one time.


Speaker 2

And I literally I changed my I moved suddenly I picked packed up me and my boys. I moved so he wouldn't know where we were. I just gave up this really beautiful apartment that I had in this affluent community at that time and moved it to this little one bedroom apartment where I gave my sons the bedroom and I slept in the living room on a futon. I, I downsize in every way you can probably imagine. I sold my car so that when I was driving around, maybe because he lived out of state.


Speaker 2

So it was a little bit easier for me to just pack up and move and then just change my phone number. And that was it for me. But I had I just had this moment where I just knew, like, I can't continue like this because it was just the way that things were going. I knew that it was just going to only get worse. And at some point I knew I had to make a change. My mom had recently passed away.


Speaker 2

And unfortunately, my best friend's younger sister, who was 17, was killed in a car accident. And I had this moment where I realized, like, life is too short. We don't like my mom. Yes, she had battled different illnesses over the years, but this was a sudden death. It wasn't expected. And of course, the car accident wasn't expected. But I just realized, like, I need to change now. Wasn't I wasn't in church yet.


Speaker 2

I grew up in church all my life. But throughout those years I had been thrown away because the father of my children, he forbid me from going to going to church and I wasn't allowed to pray in the house or pray with my children. So there was even that religious abuse component where he robbed me of that freedom while he refused to allow me to do these things. So I had drifted away, as you can imagine. So at the time, I wasn't in church, but my best friend's little sister who was killed in the car accident, she was so in love with God and she had this she was just this fireball when it came to just worship.


Speaker 2

And she she sang praise and worship, as a matter of fact. And because of her faith, it was just in my mind. I said, I have no doubt about where she is because of my mom's faith. I knew I was like, she's gone. But I know I'm confident about where she is. I want people to have that same kind of hope about me when my time comes for years and years and years from now, I want people to have that same hope and that same peace, knowing that not only am I in a better place in this imaginary world or this this this general realm that we speak of in general terms know like we know that there is there is more to life than this, that this is this life is not all there is.


Speaker 2

And eternity can't be compared to this short window of time that we have on Earth. And I started to have these awakenings, these epiphanies start to come back to me that I learned as a kid in church. And I said, I've got to get in church. I bought a Bible. I started to listen to worship music in my cars. I'm driving around and I got back into church and I began to just really just I drove in. I mean, when I say I jumped in headfirst, I when I got into church, I was at Bible study.


Speaker 2

I was at every time that my pastor went out to minister, I was there. I was cleaning the bathrooms because I just wanted to be at the church. I just wanted to be there and just be in God's presence. So I was cleaning the church, attending the Bible study, learning more about the Bible in my faith started to grow even stronger. So I knew at that point there was no turning back for me. And literally, I still had all of these was this red residue of things that happened to me.


Speaker 2

I still had some bad habits. I still had some old mindsets. I had things that had to be worked out of me. And, you know, God, it was like a gradual deliverance. But I remember the anxiety that I felt the the PTSD that I was going through from the trafficking. And I would be afraid to be around people. I was always intimidated by people. I had this extreme nervousness. I would tremble uncontrollably if someone got too close to me.


Speaker 2

I would jump and I hated it in that as I was sitting in service, it was Mother's Day and it had to be, I think, two thousand eight Mother's Day. And my pastor, he was ministering and I cried out to God in my mind and I said, Lord, I want you to take this away from me. Yes, you brought me out of it. Yes, I'm still here. But I need you to I need you to take I need you to heal me from all of the trauma.


Speaker 2

Like, I don't want to feel like this anymore. I want to be free. And I'm like literally tears streaming down my face. And to this day, what I look at the journal that I was writing in my notes from the from the message that day, you can see the tears that fell on the page and the ink is all smeared from the tears. Just drop in on the page and I'm crying. And in that service, I got free because and this is this is so this is such an interesting part of my story, because my pastor, he stood up and he said as a Mother's Day, he said the first mother that would come to him, he would give them a gift, which was the CD from the message last week of the previous week called Diamond Tears.


Speaker 2

And I wanted that said. And they caught it on camera. I got up and I ran and because we had a thousand thousand seater church with a balcony. So it's huge. I got up out of my seat and I ran and I snatched that CD and I kept running because I was like, I'm determined this is my moment of freedom. This was something I would have never imagined doing because I was so shy and intimidated and the social anxiety, I would have never imagined doing that in front of all of these people.


Speaker 2

And of course, it's Mother's Day. So, you know, the place was packed and I ran and then got that CD and ran back to my seat. The place went crazy. They caught it on camera. They put it on YouTube is actually on my YouTube channel. And when I tell you I had never felt so free. But from that day forward, when I tell you, I mean it from that that from that day forward, I was open.


Speaker 2

I was lively. I had personality that people didn't think that I had. It was stuff that, you know, like when you're alone in your house and you're free to be yourself and you're singing in the shower, you dancing around the kitchen, I was able to be that person in public for the first time. And it was that moment. Was that amazing? What a crazy story. And even to know still like that, people can unlock this.


Speaker 2

Right. I love how you were expressing and explaining to us that there was, you know, habits that had to go and pieces of us that you had to shed and things that were old. Habits die hard, old habits die hard. And so recognizing that there was just this yearning inside of you still and that yearning is that drawing near, it's that calling out from God, it's that submitting. And you were in that place of utter submission.


Speaker 2

And I speak about this all the time, how submission is victory. And ultimately, if we can get to a place of fully surrendering everything about ourselves, even the place of Shane, even the place of guilt, even the place of trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, all of that to say I know there's more for me. And I love that you had that example. Even in death. There was an example set before you to say this life is too short and this is my time to rise.


Speaker 2

And so you took hold of it literally at the speed of light to say yes to that CD. But it was so much more than that to you. And so it's probably funny for people on the receiving end to be like, wow, she really wanted that thing. But to you, you're like, it's not just this thing. There's so much more in it. You wanted your life back. So I'm curious just because as you're talking about Mother's Day, you're talking about your kiddos and you're their father and like, how has redemption also restored your relationship with your sons?


Speaker 2

How old were they when that happened in 20?


Speaker 2

Yeah, when so when, because they were sitting right there with me in the service and they saw it happen and I were because my youngest son, he would always say what he wants. He wanted to be a preacher, just like our pastor. And so he would when he met my pastor, what preach he would have his fake microphone and he imitate him and he would have his cloth, Clothilde, and he would always go around and tell people to call him a bishop.


Speaker 2

He was a little little kid like four or five years old all the time. And his name was Brandon. He would say, you know, call me Bishop because you want it to be he wanted to be a preacher. And so he was the fact that I had found my way back into the church and found my way back to faith and all of those years where I was even allowed to pray with them. When I tell you I was forbidden to pray with them, if I if he caught my kids, father caught me praying with them or talking about church, it would be hell to pay, no pun intended.


Speaker 2

And so it was more years when I was afraid to teach them the things that I knew. And so when when I got back to the church, it freed all of us. So they were in their loving church, their love and being involved. So much so that my youngest son wants to be a preacher and and just watching them get free as well was so much of a it was so much joy to watch that it gave me so much peace knowing that not only I knew, of course, it was the right decision for me and I couldn't have made a better choice but to surrender.


Speaker 2

But when I surrendered and I said yes, it opened up that door for my children to to see their mom not being abused. But three, when they see their mom worshiping and they see they see their mom praying and they hear me praying in the house. Oh, my goodness. That in and of itself was just such a blessing to be able to have that when they wake up in the morning, they hear me praying to have the gospel music playing so much that they know all the songs and and, you know, so it was it was it was really me getting free.


Speaker 2

It unlocked their freedom as well to change. When God changed my life, it was it set them on a path to overcome anything, any hindrances, any trauma, any what do you call it any any and any trauma that they experience on the sidelines, so to speak. They they were able to get free from that and heal from that as well. And like you said, and as I mentioned, some things are a process, but there was some things where instantaneously God just took us from point A to point B instantaneously freed us in so many different ways.


Speaker 2

And I'm grateful for those moments. I'm grateful they got to witness that.


Speaker 1

Yeah. I mean, and so they were for. And how old was your older son at that time?


Speaker 2

Oh, my goodness, I'm so bad. We're like, let's say ten years ago. I can help you. Yeah. So he was about eight. My oldest son had to be about about four years. So if youngest was four or five months, like eight or nine, that's easy man. I was. Yeah, there you go. I was like, I'll help you out. All the lawyers are horrible at math, but I happen to be a tax lawyer.


Speaker 2

I'm supposed to be good with numbers and with arguments and my case.


Speaker 1

But that is so amazing because that I mean, even just hearing that y'all she went from all of that. Now a tax lawyer, her sons are now grown and they are growing, I guess I should say, not fully grown yet, but aspiring to be and. Yeah, yeah. Twenty one that's grown. They've grown enough. But realizing that they are now living the legacy that they were intended to live without the generational bondage of what could have continued to establish.


Speaker 1

And I've literally never looked at even my own testimony like that. I, I think about it from my lens. And I knew that my son, who was two and a half when I came to know Jesus, was like wiping my tears at night. And it's OK, Momma Data loves you. He would tell me. And this is in a turmoil within our relationship. And so to hear those words from my son, he didn't know that I was also pressing in to our father in heaven, the papa, the data in heaven at that time.


Speaker 1

And so I was receiving those words as if it was a biblical understanding. And I was the same way when I got involved in church. And one of my pastors is right here in the room with me, like I was there for everything. I remember going to every conference. I wasn't even invited to the conferences. I was by no means on the pastoral team or I barely knew Jesus. If you looked at it from that perspective and I was like, oh, I'm coming.


Speaker 1

And they're like, oh, OK, this is a leadership conference. I know I'm going to be a leadership. I'm going to be in leadership. And so walking into not just knowing that there's so much that God has in store for us when we just get to that place of surrender. So I am amazed by that. So when after you stepped into this season of Reden. And how did you know what you were purpose to do? Was it like, I'm going to go to school again or I'm going to lean into what?


Speaker 1

How did that process kind of unfold?


Speaker 2

Well, for me, as a young girl, when I was when I was probably I don't know what I was, but I knew I was in the third grade. I knew then I wanted to be a writer. Third grade, fourth grade, I remember writing my first poem, I remember writing a poem for Martin Luther King Day when I was in sixth grade, and I've been so proud of it being an avid reader at that time. Oh, my goodness.


Speaker 2

My favorite books were, of course, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie in the Great Glass Elevator and James and the Giant Peach Sideways stories. I was so into the books that I would read and that would take me away from everything that was going on at home. Because of what I didn't mention was that I was growing up also with a drug addicted stepfather who was addicted to crack cocaine. So what I'm dealing with all of these different other traumas and this pain of my childhood, my family is being slowly ripped apart.


Speaker 2

But my escape was reading and writing, and I would always say, I'm going to write a book. And if somebody got me mad, my comeback would be, you're not going to be in my book. And so I'll tell you that I like that. I was going to write one day I'm going to have books and you're not going to be in my book. And I would read the stories about ancient Greece and I would read about Mayan civilization and the Incas.


Speaker 2

And I would go back into time and I would be fascinated by the history. And I would say one day I'm going to visit Mexico, one day I'm going to visit Peru. One day I'm going to go to Greece. And by the way, I've been able to visit all of these places because I had I had such a lifelong love for ancient history and just anything to do with ancient ruins. And so I've been to Rome and gone to see the Colosseum and gone to Greece and seen all of those places that I read about in gone to Peru and the Andes Mountains and saw the Inca trail that I read about when I was in elementary school and gone to Mexico and gone to Chichen Itza and seeing the the all of the different places that are still standing to this day.


Speaker 2

But I was so fascinated as a kid and I knew I wanted to be a writer that you could not tell me. But after growing up, seeing through all of these different things, it started to get slowly beat out of me. It started to you know, I started it started to become smaller and smaller and smaller, smaller and look less possible as the years passed. But fortunately, we serve a God that is this. He has a way of bringing our dreams back and restoring our hopes and just restoring that joy that we had when we had that childlike wonder about life.


Speaker 2

And he brought that back to me. And I just it and interestingly, he brought that desire back to me right around the time that I was able to get back into church. And I wanted to start to travel and just to give like one incident where a good incident where God used a moment to put me on this path, this accelerated path to success. I had a friend of mine in the church who said, let's go to St. Thomas.


Speaker 2

My mom lives there with her boyfriend. And if you want to go, the tickets are so cheap right now. This was right before the Great Recession. But the tickets are so cheap right now. And I just I decided I'll go. I was on unemployment at the time. I didn't have a job, but I was receiving unemployment checks and I decided I'm going to go. And I went there and met her mom and her mom's boyfriend, who he owned like some big financial company.


Speaker 2

And they lived on this hilltop in this huge house overlooking the Charlotte Amily Bay where all the cruise ships dock. I've never seen anything like it. It's opening up a whole new world for me. Now, remember, I'm living in this one bedroom attic type apartment on the third floor of this house where my boys have the bedroom. I'm sleeping on a futon, and I'm exposed to this life where he literally one day we woke up and as we're just getting ready for the day, he just says, I'll charter a plane for you.


Speaker 2

Where do you guys want to go? I'll take you anywhere in the world. You decide where you want to go. I'll fly you there. I've never experienced anything like it, but unfortunately, I didn't have a passport. I know I didn't I didn't have a passport, I was the only one without a passport and everyone want had been naming all of these exotic places and because of me, I held everyone back. And so the only options we had was to either fly back to the states and go someplace within the continental US or fly to Puerto Rico or someplace someplace nearby in the US or Puerto Rico.


Speaker 2

And so we already a times. So I couldn't even take the ferry over to what's the St. Croix anyway, because I felt so bad, because everyone was ready to go and we could have gone anywhere. But and they had already all of them had been to Puerto Rico multiple times. I had never been. So for me it was still exciting. But I felt horrible. I felt so small that I had held everyone back and but I made the most of it.


Speaker 2

We wound up he put us up in the Ritz Carlton again, another experience that I had never experienced, that type of life. And while we were there, he said to me, he said, I want you to go back home and re enroll in school. He said, I want you to get a college education. Now, this I had never met him before in my life. He said, I want you to go back home, get your college education, and I want you to consider a career in finance, he said, because right now there's so many opportunities for women in finance.


Speaker 2

And I said, I never thought about that. I'm horrible at math again, even back then. And if I could do it, I'm a writer. I'm English. I'll go back and I'll be English. He said, seriously, consider a career in finance. So I go back a role in college. Like you said, I was too intimidated to do the whole accounting thing, nothing like that. So I became I was a journalism major communications and but I went back and I got my associates degree.


Speaker 2

Eventually I wound up switching to psychology, got my associate psychology, kept going and got my bachelor's in psychology. And since then I had all of the things that had happened to me over the years. I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but because I had been in and out of the criminal justice system and had served time in prison, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted to impact change. And I saw how people who did not have representation were treated.


Speaker 2

I saw how when you go into the courtrooms, how dilapidated the courtrooms were in the inner city and how when you go in, it makes you feel like an animal. It makes you feel even if you're not guilty of any crime, you if you're going to to pay a ticket, you feel guilty about something. Just the environment makes you feel like a criminal. And I remember just having this feeling of I want to go to law school and I want to revisit this dream of mine that I buried, because when I used to think about it years ago, I would imagine myself being so intimidated and walking into the courtroom with all of these papers from the client that I was representing it and taking out the papers and fumbling.


Speaker 2

And because I'm shaking so much because remember, I used to shake uncontrollably, uncontrollably from the PTSD. And it sounds like, how am I going to represent anybody? How am I going to stand in the courtroom and speak up for someone? And I can't even speak up for myself. But I was determined. God planted the seed in me to say, look, every experience that you're going through, I'm going to turn around and Romans eight twenty eight is going to be in effect.


Speaker 2

He's going to cause all things to work together for my good for the good of those who love the Lord and all the called according to his purpose. I said, I know I love the Lord, and one called according to his purpose. So that applies to me. And so I knew that somehow it was going to work out. And so I conquered that fear of being in the courtroom shaking and papers flying me. And I had this dramatic visual of papers just flying everywhere because I can't show the judge my evidence and, you know, but I got over that.


Speaker 2

But now I had another fear. I had to apply and disclose all of my criminal record and all of that stuff that I had done. And and I was afraid, but I did it anyway. You know, how they say feel feel the fear and do it anyway. I had to do that. I had to experience that fear and just go for it. And I applied. I disclose everything. And lo and behold, not only did I get accepted at every law school, but I was offered a full ride at one school and they said, we don't care what your GPA is every semester.


Speaker 2

We just as long as you stay with us, we will pay for your full education as long as you decide to come and study here. And I was so grateful and I've been able to I was able to go on to go to New York Law School in the heart of New York, in the financial district of New York and right in Tribeca, in the most amazing school with the most amazing Dean who supported me along my journey and just a fast forward while in law school, I went in thinking I will be a defense attorney because that was my heart.


Speaker 2

But remember the guy in St. Thomas? The my best my my friend at the time, her mom's boyfriend, who said get in financial into finance. So there was a program. I got to speed through this part because there's so many components that you just you know, God just made it so that there's no denying that it was him all along, just putting pieces together. So while in law school, they have a study abroad program. Now, I'm Mary.


Speaker 2

I was thinking there's no way my husband's going to allow me to go overseas to study for three and a half weeks. But he was like, whatever you want to do it, this is your dream, go for it. So I go overseas and I study. But the only courses that are available are financial services law and international trade law. And I loved it when I tell you I fell in love with. So I asked. The classes I follow will follow the financial services law.


Speaker 2

I'm traveling all over Europe because, you know, when you're in London, you just shot a. Yeah, I'm in. I'm in. I'm taking the Eurostar to Paris. I'm in Greece, in Spain. All of these amazing places. I have the best time I come back and I'm bit by the financial services book. So I come back. I work in that field for that. Somewhere I'm working at a law firm and then I love it, I said, you know what, this might have been a fluke.


Speaker 2

I'm going to try it out one more summer. So the next summer I tried it out again, worked in financial services law, still loved it. So I said, maybe this is my shift. Maybe this is the career path. And I remembered that this was God bringing everything full circle. And so that is the reason why I wound up in tax law because of my extensive resume with financial services law and international law. So I work for international investments and insurance firm, and I work as in-house tax counsel for them.


Speaker 2

And so all of that was really, God, just connect the dots along the way. And that's in a nutshell how I got into the field and then, of course, fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. So while in law school, I wrote my first book, my memoir, I wrote three books in law school, which is like, why did you do that? You're supposed to concentrate on grades and finals. How do you do?


Speaker 2

Oh, yeah. So since then I've written eight books and four times bestselling books, launch my magazine. So I got all on writing all of my hopes and dreams about writing and still going. So yeah, that's, that's how I got into action.


Speaker 1

So at what point, at what point did you start life coaching? Because that's the way you love it, because, yeah, I know, it's like what don't you do? You know, it's so crazy because when I started writing the books, I started speaking. I didn't have I didn't have a plan to be a public speaker. I was just telling my story and it started to school. And so as I wrote these books and I would speak and afterwards people like to have a book and I would literally leap off the stage.


Speaker 1

And before I could even get back to my seat, people are pulling on me. Give me their credit cards like I need your book. I need your book. And I realized that the questions that I would get out there, I spoke, I would have line like a line of women waiting to talk to me. And it would take so long for me to get through all the women because they would start to tell me about their stories. They would tell me about the things they've gone through.


Speaker 1

And I would listen and they would say, how did you find the courage to to open up and be transparent? How did you find the courage to to talk about what you went through? Did you worry about what your family would think? Would you worry about this? And I would talk to them. And it was like these little mini coaching sessions that would take place at home. And I decided, you know what? I'm going to launch an official coaching program.


Speaker 1

And at first I said, you know what? I had that imposter syndrome. And I was at first intimidated by and I said, I'm. But then I realized, no, you've gone through this and there's a reason why these women trust you and they come to you for this advice. So if I make it more strategic and I make it more professional and polished, I could do it more effectively. And also, I don't allow myself to get pulled in so many different directions at once.


Speaker 1

And I could. And while the women are standing there waiting to talk to me, I can talk to him for a couple of minutes. But then I could tell them, let's let's get on a call and let's see if this is a right fit for you. I had something to offer, so I went and got trained and I got certified because I want it to be more confident about what I was offering. I wanted to increase my value and what I was adding to their life.


Speaker 1

So when he got trained and went through, this extensive coaching program got certified. And so now I'm a success coach all my life and success coach helping women entrepreneurs to live successfully and thrive in business. So, yeah, that's that's how I got into coaching fazing.


Speaker 1

I want to just like, ride on the skirt tails. I want to like, just hear everything. It's so amazing and it's so motivating. And the biggest part is like really activating people to say yes, to say yes to the more that's for their life, to say yes to the things and the connectivity points that God gives us. Because I always talk about God winks. And I think that he's like constantly showing us every single day those connective points and they're as fast as a wink.


Speaker 1

Sometimes they're as far away as a wink across the room. And my dad and my nana used to wink at me all the time. And I just found out yesterday that it's a book as well. And I had no idea. There's like I don't know, the person literally bought it on the spot. They were like, you've never heard of this book? I'm like, no, no. Like you say on the town. Like, I know because it does mean something to me.


Speaker 1

So I did have that book in my hands soon. But it's the recognizing that it could be far away. It could be right up in your face, but it's going to be fast. And if we're moving and the microwave supersonic speed that society trains us to do or that we're trying to do out of a coping mechanism of success or achievement or living a life of purpose, and yet you're not really sitting in the true calling or the true knowing of your present moment.


Speaker 1

You're going to miss it. And so I love that you had the opportunity through the freedom of Jesus Christ to stand in that authority, but to also stand in that fully known, fully loved, fully seen. And yet still there is more for your life. It's pretty magnificent.


Speaker 2

Yes, it is, yeah, sometimes I just got off guard when I look at.


Speaker 1

Yeah, I mean, I feel like every time, because even still, even as you're talking, I am connecting dots of my own life and I think that's what's so powerful about people sharing their testimonies and people being authentic and sharing the things that were hard and the things that kept them held back for years, decades. And now here you are standing in that freedom and unlocking that door for other people. And that's true. Our true calling is to help others so that they don't have to walk through the same thing and then to introduce them to the one who unlock the door for us.


Speaker 1

Yes, absolutely. So what now, do you like a thousand more books in queue, like what are you going to do next? I'm so excited to know.


Speaker 2

Yeah, I do have some more books in queue, so I just wrapped up and the publisher has it so that it will be published really soon, hopefully within the next few weeks. Trapped in plain sight, the unfamiliar face of human trafficking. It's my second memoir, and I really deal heavily with the whole human trafficking piece because although I met my trafficker at 15, I didn't recognize what it was until I was thirty eight years old. And I feel like I feel that there are so many other victims who are still being trapped into are still trapped in human trafficking, who have not self identify where they haven't been identified.


Speaker 2

Matter of fact, the studies show that less than one percent of trafficking victims are identified, and that is. Horrifying, it's horrifying because that means ninety nine percent are under the radar, no one knows that they're being trafficked and sometimes it's right in your face, sometimes just to like you just because you know where a person is or you can pinpoint their location or because you see them every day does not mean they're not being trafficked. There's a huge misconception or there's this huge myth that it has to involve movement.


Speaker 2

It has to be about taking someone from one place and bringing them to another and having them in hiding. And a lot of times they are not in hiding. It's right in front of our face. And because we haven't talked about it from that angle as much as we should have, unfortunately. Ninety nine percent are unidentified. So that's a vast majority. When you look at the numbers of people who are trafficked every single day, that it starts to put an idea of how that ninety nine percent, just how many millions of people that involves.


Speaker 2

So, yes, that book is really to shed light on that and to uncover some of the unfamiliar faces of human trafficking. And then I'm also working on a stack of third volume of outlive the labels. So I have an anthology project that I do. And right now we're building out the third cohort of coauthors for Volume three, volume two hit bestseller. And we just finished publishing that one. And I'm also working on some other book concepts that I have in my head that I haven't yet gotten out yet.


Speaker 2

I'm one I'm halfway done with the book of prayers. I have like the people. What I didn't mention. I don't know if you know this, but my husband is the senior pastor at our church and I am the executive pastor. And so we pastor a church together out in Connecticut. We live in New York. But I'm putting together this book of prayers because one thing that my church always tells me is like, oh, my goodness, we love the way you pray.


Speaker 2

I wish I could pray like that. And so I tell them all to pray to scriptures I like. Look, there is no no better thing than to pray the word, because when you remind God of his promises, it puts a smile on his face and he has to respond because he's his word. It doesn't returns in a void. It can't be such a god of his word. And as such, in the fact that he makes these promises to us and we know that we can rely and depended, just have faith in his word is like, OK, what better way to pray?


Speaker 2

I'm not just going to pray and prayer if I don't know they I can go to some twenty three. Pray that I can just three if I can just rest in that promise. So I'll put together a book and I'm halfway through with it called Triumphant Prayers because our church is Triumph Church and so our prayers for triumph. I had to pin down the title yet, but prayers for Triumph or something like that. So I was going to put it together so that the women at the church can use it as a tool to us, so I can teach prayer, teach praying and teach about prayers.


Speaker 2

But I want to release it to the public as well. And then the other things that I have going on is I have a new coaching program that I'm about to launch and it's going to launch in July. But I'm going to start to put out information through social media to start to promote it and start to get some get get people locked in, because it's going to be a limited a small group. And I'm excited about that because I'm going to launch a new program called the Freedom Roadmap.


Speaker 2

And it is like it's blowing my mind. Just putting it together has taught me some things about my own life. And I've had some moments where I'm like, whoa, so it's straight download from God. And so I can't wait to give it out to the public. And so those are some of the things I have coming up. And oh, and one last thing. This is another download from God. God gave me a strategy and a whole organization, an organization called the Halo Campaign.


Speaker 2

And it's an offshoot from our nonprofit at the church. And so the Halo campaign stands for human trafficking, advocacy and learning opportunities. And it's for exploited black and brown girls. And it's all about spreading awareness about human trafficking in the inner city and also teaching them learning, giving them learning opportunities and pathways to career so that we can disrupt the school to prison pipeline. So he gave me this whole program. I just put it together and we're going to be launching that this summer.


Speaker 2

So I'm excited.


Speaker 1

OK, now. And anybody that I know tells me that I am doing a lot of things and to say, no, you need to go with me, my friend Mary, because holy moly. But the coolest thing about this, and this is what I always tell people, is that when you are operating aligned, when you know who you are because of who you are and you are healthy in your mind, your body and your spirit, you are operating out of overflow rather than overwhelm.


Speaker 1

And the hours of the day seem endless, the passion that exudes from that. Seems like innumerable and there is just so much joy in the process, and if you didn't get to listen to this podcast live, you've got to go back and just experience being with her, because your joy just it just flows out of you and it's his joy within you. And I am so grateful to be connected in that realm. There's a gal who's on here listening live, and she said that your speaking and praying in the spirit and knowing the word and speaking those prayers is the exact reason why she listens to worship music, because as she listens, those words are deposited into her spirit.


Speaker 1

And it's exactly what she needed to hear at the time. And I just I'm excited to get my hands on that book. Just yesterday, someone was like, will you pray for us? I was a pastor's kid, but I was never really good at praying. And I'm like, well, how do you practice? And he was like, no, I'm like, you can't be good at something if you don't practice. We don't just magically come up with magical words.


Speaker 1

We practice out loud. And that's what I think is so critical for us as as followers of Jesus Christ. To be in the practicing of the disciples didn't just come alongside them. And magically they were great human beings. They came from tragedy. They came from hardship. They came from their versions of rock bottom. And he said, follow me. And following me is the process. Right. It's the becoming of who we're intended to be. And it's it's like you said, we're shedding every day to become the best version, the person that God has in store for us.


Speaker 1

And you clearly do that on the daily. So it was an honor to have you. Are there any final words? And there was so much going on as far as what people can come into interaction with you is the best ways for them to find all these things out. Your website.


Speaker 2

Yes, so you can go to my website, Meyrick Homes dot com, and you can follow me on social media, all of my social media is at here, Mary Speak or on Clubhouse Meyrick Homes. But the best way probably is just to follow me on Instagram because I post probably more often there and on Facebook. So I hear Mary speak is you where you can find a lot of the day to day interaction.


Speaker 1

I love it. Well, Mary, I can't wait to come visit you and your husband's church. I've got to come out there, I'm sure will be amazing. And it's probably so wild to now be at the church leading the front, just like you were years, decades before you ran up. And now you're giving people the opportunity to run up and choose their freedom. So that's an amazing, again, God cycle, connecting the puzzle pieces that only God can play in.


Speaker 1

That's definitely not something, in your view. So good. Would you actually, in fact, want a Prius out? I love when people get to experience the prayer life of someone else.


Speaker 2

Absolutely. All right, so I just wanted to say one last time, thank you so much for having me. This has been an absolute honor and a joy. So. So, yes. Let us go ahead and just send up this prayer to God and thank him for this awesome opportunity in this time that we had together. Father, we thank you. We thank you for this moment. Oh, God. Lord, you you maximize moments. God, you are so amazing at maximizing moments.


Speaker 2

Lord, you are a God. You are so strategic. You are God a strategy, father. And you have brought us together today for a purpose. Father, I thank you God for connecting us. I thank you for being in the midst of everything that we spoke about today. We thank you, Lord. For every person that tuned in and every person that's listening, we thank you right now that you're going to go in and you're going to begin to minister to them.


Speaker 2

Oh, God, we thank your God that you are going to give them things to just just rely on and lean on, even in their darkest moments. Father, we thank you, Father, that right now that you are in control of all things, no matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, they might be facing, you know, all things or God. And as we mentioned today. Oh, God, Romans eight twenty eight. All things work together for the good of those who love you and all the called according to your purpose.


Speaker 2

Lord, we thank your God that what the enemy meant for evil you meant for our good father and Lord. There is nothing that will overtake us. There will be nothing. There will be nothing that will come against us that will overtake us or cause us to be utterly destroyed and cast down. But Father, you will lift us up and will we. Thank you, Lord, that right now somebody is being minister to somebody is somebody's spirit is being lifted.


Speaker 2

Somebody is receiving that wheel of joy for their morning. Somebody is receiving that gladness of God that you have promised us. Father, we thank you right now, Lord, that you are turning some things around even now as they are listening. Father, we ask God that even if there's someone that's tuning in who don't have they don't have that faith or God, maybe they don't have that capacity right now to believe maybe life is just beat them down so much, Father, that they they just don't know you the way that we know you.


Speaker 2

Maybe they haven't had the experiences that they they would like to have with you and they don't have that relationship. Father, we pray that even someone desires right now to give their heart to you. Someone would desire to turn back to you, even father. Somebody will want to know about this Jesus that we're talking about today, Father. So we pray that you touch the heart of God. Lord, you will God will give the increase. One will plant one more water, but you will give the increase.


Speaker 2

Will we pray that we planted today? We pray that we watered something today. Oh, God, Lord. Take that seed that has been planted or God and produce a harvest in somebodies life. Oh God. From something that they heard today. Lord, you do all things well. So we know God that this was not by accident. This was not a coincidence. But this was all a part of your plan. And we thank you that we are in alignment with you and we're in alignment with your will.


Speaker 2

And we thank you that we're in the right place at the right time for you to work out some miracles and some great things in the lives of your people. And we thank you for doing it now in Jesus name.


Speaker 1

Amen. A man, a man, your church is blessed to have you. I am so amazed. Thank you again. I will be following you. I'm already following on Instagram clubhouse because that's how we got connected. But I'm going to do a YouTube channel right after this. You guys go subscribe, ring the bell, do all the things and all the places. But more importantly, our heart is just for you to find the freedom that we've both found here on Earth as it is in heaven.


Speaker 1

So have a beautiful day. Thanks again for being here. It was such a gift. Thank.



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