Take action. Find your voice. Speak out.
From the darkness and into the light is the thought that comes to me when I write about this heroin. Dr. Renee Fowler-Hornbuckle. She is no ordinary lady, in fact she is running a pretty busy life of family, church, business, writing and other enriching programs. The story to get to where she is today certainly came with some pain and struggle. Dr. Renee was raised by loving and accepting parents who spent much of their time ensuring that their little ones had what they needed. Dr. Renee told me that they also instilled in her a passion for achievement, they always told her she could accomplish anything and she believed them. Renee was born to parents who encouraged their children to become “contributing citizen’s to society.” Raised in Arkansas, Renee is the youngest of five girls. Her parents raised them all with morals and taught that hard work and dedication pays off. Her parents did not just talk about achievement, they lived it. Her father was the first black Assistant Superintendent of the Little Rock School system. Her mother was also an educator (in fact, she was one of the first black teachers placed in an all white school to end segregation). Both her parents provided examples of excellence and were obvious trailblazers.
Diving right into her story, the story she so vividly writes in her very transparent book called “Suffering in Silence, Break the Silence – Let Suffering End – Let Healing Begin.” Dr. Renee is seen on the cover with her hands over her mouth. Breaking the silence of what you might ask? She is breaking the silence of secrets, fear, pride and fully exposing her life to the world. This silence is what kept her bound in an unhealthy marriage and in denial of the daily abuse (initially verbal and emotional – eventually escalating to physical) she was enduring from her former husband. They met after college, as she entered into her professional career. So, she married who she thought was the man of her dreams and from everyone’s perspective, she had. At this time in her life she was truly in search of God and seeking to do His will. So, the man she married, an aspiring minister – was certainly just what she needed. They lived for years in a seemingly happy life. They built a prominent ministry and had everything they could ever ask for. Although there were bad days, there were good days too, Dr. Renee tells me. One day her world came crashing. Everything crashed, she thought she was able to handle anything, but then overnight her ministry, her family all fell apart due to a major scandal. Her ex-husband, Pastor and friend was faced with gross sexual misconduct and allegations of narcotic possession. He was found guilty and was incarcerated. Dr. Renee was now forced to find a way to pick up the broken pieces and cover not only herself, but her children along with the congregation and those who looked up to them. “It was so overwhelming. Daily, I cried out to the Lord to give me strength.” It took some time for Dr. Renee to get that her life was changing. She fought for her husband’s innocence and believed in him until it finally sunk in that, this was really happening and her husband had been living a double life. “One thing about power and influence is it gives you the ability to lead a double life.”
A real life scandal had unfolded right before her eyes and there were people who thought she had to have known what her husband was doing. The truth is, she had suspicion that things were not right, but she had no idea of the degree of wrongdoing her ex-husband was involved in.
So, as the scandal unfolded, she found herself in the midst of a major crisis. “When you go through a crisis, you sometimes don’t know how to respond, you just need to regroup, reassess and rest.” Dr. Renee took some time to reflect and rest. She found her new normal and her new why and decided she was going to get up and do what she needed to do to live and take care of her 3 children. “My whys became my 3 children, they were impacted by a choice that they did not make.” Those three children were going to make it and live as if nothing ever happened. Not in a pretentious way, but knowing it was nothing they did, nor anything they could change. What they could do was make the best of the situation and go forward. And forward they did, her children succeeded in school and other outside activities, but reality was she was now a single mom. A single mom with no child support, no alimony. She wondered how she would be able to get her children into and through college. Dr. Renee revamped the ministry and continued in her execution of programs to help women. She wrote a book and thought this was going to be the way she would be able to put her 3 emerging children into college. She was offered a book deal and an advance which was just what she needed to get ahead until, the book deal was rescinded due to the publisher not wanting to move forward with the title. She was now once again trying to figure things out. She went to God and asked why? Dr. Renee remembers clearly the response she got. “He told me that is not the book I want you to write.” She had other books on a list that she was going to get to one day, but God said, write this one. This one was the one she had been carrying for years, this one would expose her to the world, this one would make her vulnerable, this one was the one that is now helping thousands of women (and children) break free from domestic violence and abuse. This one is Dr. Renee breaking the silence of her many years of abuse. The abuse she experienced was not always necessarily physical (that came at the end), but it included years of manipulation, fear provoking, mental and emotional domination and abuse. Please be reminded that domestic violence comes in many forms and each have an enormous impact on the victim and their family. If you are reading this and feel that you are in an abusive situation, please know that there is a way out. Please, get help!
When it comes to using your pain to build, you see it in Dr. Renee Fowler Hornbuckle. She is an author, ministry head, community leader and serves as an advocate to help stop and bring awareness to the epidemic of domestic violence. Dr. Renee is the senior pastor at Destiny Pointe Christian Center in Arlington, TX. She has instructed at the Potters House’s Leading Ladies Enrichment Program hosted by the prolific Bishop T.D. Jakes. Dr. Renee is founder of Women of Influence, Inc. and has authored several books, manuals. Out of all of these accomplishments she has found the time to start Rachel’s House and Destiny Ranch; transitional homes for people in crisis. Both places provide safety and allows for healing during transition. Dr. Renee is a motivational speaker and hosts and travels to inspire mand and women across the nation. There is triumph after tragedy, but you must first accept it, get help and grow from the pain.