In today’s culture, being a woman is not easy. The media portrays women to be many things that are not realistic, positive, or respectful. Women fail to realize that by coming together and supporting other women, we can make life easier for one another. Ciera Stanford believes that she has been called to help women with encouragement and support by sharing her testimony. Her own experience as a young, married Black woman aids her in helping other women to realize that they are not alone in the trials they may face. Ciera told me all about the book she wrote, and how women can begin to break stereotypes and encourage one another.
WRiTTEN BY: Khrystian McCalister
Ciera decided to write her book Confessions of a Married Woman, because of her passion for married women. She wanted to share her experiences, because she wanted to give women the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that she made. “When I was writing this book, I just thought of all the people that I will be able to reach that I would not have been able to previously,” she told me in her interview. One of the goals of her book is to let women know that even when you think your marriage is over, God can bring it back. For Married Women Only took her about 6 months to write and will be released on January 15th. It will be available to purchase on Amazon.com, and she also plans on doing book signings and attending different women’s events and churches.
In addition to writing a book, Ciera also holds a women’s ministry group called For Married Women Only. This group calls for married and engaged women to meet at her house once every 3 months. The purpose of these meetings are to build a sisterhood with other wives to talk about marriage issues in a safe place. “Women are stronger together than when we are apart,” she stated. The meetings are meant to encourage and uplift the women with words of wisdom and experience. It’s a rarity in our society to see a large group of women coexist peacefully and happily, but Ciera provides a space that makes women feel comfortable and without judgement.
One of the most influential women in Ciera’s life was her mentor Stephanie Williams. Stephanie was a teen mother who went on to get her doctorate’s degree and write a book. “She has always been a great inspiration to me, and I know I can always call her for advice. She was a counselor to me when I was 16 and pregnant.” This example of a strong woman that had a desire to help other women make good decisions was what lead Ciera to want to do the same. The empowerment of women in 2016 is very crucial because of how the world is evolving over time. “Women face so much adversity,” she stated, “and we have to come together to accomplish greater.”
Much of the reason why so many women settle for the place our society puts them in is because it is often viewed as OK. Poverty, fatherless homes, abandonment from men or otherwise, and lack of education are all factors that plague women today. People often take advantage of those disadvantages and use them to manipulate and put down women. By taking responsibility and doing her best to be a listening ear to other women, Ciera hopes that she will be able to reach many women and inspire them to build their sister up too.
I asked Ciera why she believed women can be so cruel to one another. Her response was, “Media and reality shows make it seem like women are supposed to create issues with other women. They also paint a fake picture of what a beautiful woman looks like and reject everything that veers away from that image.” She believes that a woman should love herself in every way. No matter what people try to tell you is beautiful and what is not, one must always know that she is beautiful either way it goes. The issues with other women sometimes begins with ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we encourage another woman to love herself? Ciera also brought up the fact that sometimes women get so caught up in their own happiness, they don’t notice their sister struggling in her life or even worse, they are jealous and envy another woman’s happiness. “Once we realize that we bring so many great attributes to the world, alot of us will be better off.”
Women play a big role in the lives of everyone on the planet. Ciera explained it in her own words, “Women are not men, but we are not beneath men either. God created Adam, and he knew something was missing. He brought a woman in to finish the product; we are the bomb.” She’s right women are the bomb, so why not tell them? In order to make progress, women must come together and show love and support for other women who are trying to pave a way for us to do better. Our culture naturally sets women below the bar of excellence, so we must work harder to get above it. Strength is in numbers, and Ciera wants to bring more and more women together to accomplish the greater good of women empowerment.
IG – @cierastanford
Twitter – @cierastanford