Overcomer Series with April Ward

Overcomer Series

april-ward

What do you do?

Hi I’m April. I am a wife, mom to 3, and walking miracle. I am a PK and today with my husband serve in full time ministry in many aspects. I went to school to be a teacher (Elementary Ed) I wanted to pursue journalism. After graduating I knew I could never teach in the public sector so I devoted myself to school choice and helped to build what is now NCF Academy a PreK- 12th grade Christian school. In 09 I began blogging after our 1st child was born. I bounced around ended up on WP.com and last year went to Wp.org. A Cupful Of Grateful has always been a tool to encourage others. Last year I branched out and focused more on projects, products brands but always maintain one thing – MY FAITH. Today I serve not just my home church but ministries (female ministers ) especially with writing, social media and branding. I also serve and assist many female brand reps in social media and marketing. The biggest role I fill is to serve God in anyway that I can. I was taught to find a need and meet it and that is my hearts truest desire.

Growing up, did you always dream that you would be doing what you’re doing now?

Growing up I never saw myself married and with children. I never thought that I would find a man who loved God and understood my heart to serve. So I envisioned half the life I live now. I am so grateful God was able to see for me what I could not. I never knew there was joy until the day I had our first my daughter Ella.

I honestly never imagined life could be filled with such highs and such lows. There is so much to say to that, but I will sum it up with this. God has richly blessed us when they said my life was over he restored it, when they said children would never be we have 3. When we lost 2 and they said it will never happen 20 months ago we were given Jonathan ( God Has Given) . I knew the goodness of God but things change when it really manifests in your life. I always knew I would be in ministry I just NEVER thought I would be able to testify to the abilities that He truly holds to restore all. I never dreamed I would make the mistakes I made. Yet by His grace those mistakes are now what enables me to connect with so many people because I have been there. I have been to the places you just don’t dream to go to. He restores all.

What made you decide to “go for it” in terms of your career goals/ambitions?

I have always been a team player. Nothing was about me it was about the ministry. I was always behind the scenes. In 2008 after a suicide attempt which worked. I was without vitals for 14 minutes and may family was actually told I would not pull through. The told I would be brain dead. Yet I fully recovered. A year later our first child was born.

At first I did not want to talk about what happened. I went along with the story that it was a drug interaction. It was an intentional deliberate overdose. In 2011 I was given many opportunities to tell of the miraculous work that God had done and that kicked things into gear. When I fully opened up about my struggle with addiction to prescription pills, the facts about how lethal these medications are and the stigma that ends up being placed on you after you unknowingly get hooked. It opened doors I never knew possible and I thank God that I can help others to let them know there is nothing to big for our God. My goals are to do the will of God Isaiah 61:1 is what I desire to do. I believe God has placed me in a position to share of His goodness, to mend the brokenhearted, restore sight to the blind and set the captives free.

Did you face adversity? How did you overcome that?

I overcome adversity daily. Some of the biggest critics have been those that I assumed would support me. Honestly church people who are set on sin and fault have been the most pressing adversaries. When I began to want to speak the truth – people wanted me to be quiet because speaking of my errors made for signs of weakness. So I sat quiet and shamed for a bit. It wasn’t until I was told that God did all this because others needed to know that I openly talk of why I did kill myself, why I did hide my addiction and never spoke of being set free. Romans says that we overcome by 2 things the Blood Of Jesus and the WORDS of our testimony. I will openly share what God has done in my life because there will always be trials and if I expect to get over them it will be by glorifying Him regardless of what others think.

My biggest issue that I cannot fix is getting my website right honestly. I didn’t even want to submit because I know it is not good enough. I have been scammed by website programmers multiple times. I writing this laughing because the enemy wants to keep you silent as my site on Wp.org was finally going to have a restored theme I got taken again. That is what I am working to overcome now… I actually just wrote a post about it and then my sister saw this on Instagram and said either shed submit me or I needed to do it.

A lot of women have these big goals & big ideas that they’d like to bring to life, what advice would you give them in terms of how they can make that happen?

My biggest advice would not be really advice it would be a warning. Our dreams are place in us by God based on our talents and skills that He provided. Whatever you do – seek Him first and then all these things will just fall into place. When we put God first He will take us to place we NEVER imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 says I know the plans I have for you. Often our plans over ride Gods, go back and align your will with His the benefits are HUGE. Ephesians 3:16-20 says that He desires things greater for us than we can HOPE, DREAM OR IMAGINE. I know our God is so able. In our own ability we really cannot do much. So look unto Him.

What’s the biggest regret you have when it comes to your blog/shop/business?

Not coming to Restored 316 last year when I launched my site on Wp.org. It was a hard lesson to learn.

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

I think that others in ministry recognizing my abilities and allowing me the privilege to serve them and contribute for them is huge on a professional level. My name may not be on on the author line but it doesn’t matter the fact that I am trusted to do a task so personal is priceless.

Personally my moments that I stand in awe of are daily as I look at the faces of my 3 children knowing that they said NEVER. Our youngest especially – He was concieved after 2 back to back losses. A year of great pain and not understanding why followed. I spent an entire year with a specialist trying to get my cycle back. In March of 2013 I was told that I was not ovulating and my doctors suggested highly that I be thankful for the 2 children I had. So we did stop – little did they know I was expecting when they said that. In May of 2013 we found out and not only was I pregnant I was over 3 months pregnant. I laugh because I gave away all the baby stuff. Gifted our photography package for our babies first year that I had pre paid to someone else. I truly let it go and stood grateful for where I was and what I had. The God blew our minds. That is where Grateful comes into play with all that I write about. People do not understand the power of gratitude and thankfulness. When we have a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude God take enough and makes it more than enough.

And, just because we like our coffee around here, how do you take yours?

I am a tea drinker ( for the most part). I do love espresso with cream, and cuban coffee too. I usually have a cup mid after-noon, french press is my favorite way to brew my coffee.

I believe in the story of the overcomer. That has been my story and I believe that is your story too. We want your journey here on the blog to help encourage others just like you and me. If you’d like to share that with us, please come over and share your story with us!

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Was this story an encouragement to you?  Share it with others!

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2 Comments

  1. April,
    If you were to look up “chicken ” in the dictionary and “bondage”…you would see my name and face there. Thank you for all you shared – so real and raw. I am a complete newbie blogger who sat on this God dream paralyzed by my depression/Bi-polar, 2 illnesses and living in financial poverty. The fact that I actually started a blog (meaning…it is set up technologically) took so long…and finding Restored 316 fell in my lap when I asked God….told him actually, that He has to send me help if I was to have a website to “release the oppressed”. Your overcoming testimony resonated with me. I have spent my morning devotional time just reading all the overcome testimonies because I need that confidence before I can start even reading the “how to”of setting up a blog. Thank you much again. Your testimony was a like a friend reassuring me of my life verse in Jeremiah 29:11.- Kerry

    1. Kerry, I can relate. For years I sugar coated my story. I never said it was a purposeful drug overdose that caused the outcome in 2008 – until last year. I just recently began to go into detail of my struggle to overcome addiction. It wasn’t until I was challanged by our pastor one Sunday while he was visiting our church. He looked me in the eye and said are you doing all you can do to reach others? I knew I wasn’t. So the layers peeled back. God does the things He does in our lives so that we reach others to let them know HE IS ABLE. When we speak of what He has done he goes to work on what remains. Im not all that I could be , Im so far from what I was – THANK GOD. Remind yourself Kerry, God is doing a work in you right this moment. Everyday his mercies are new and his grace sufficient where you are weak he delights to fulfill you with His strength . Thank you for your comment. To know that the raw truth that most would not share has helped and inspired someone in anyway and reminded of the great things in store as you walk with Christ I’ve done my job. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been featured here as an overcomer. I did not see it until last week and honestly I saw it when I thought of quitting with the pursuit of blogging. My hosting was due and I actually let it suspend. I was google searching something and this popped up. I had no idea. God will purposely align your steps to show you that you may not see your doing anything worth while – but someone else knows you are. Be blessed in all you do and go for it with your site. I would love to check it out. Know you are loved ! April Ephesians 3:16-20

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