This story is part of our 1,000+ Stories campaign. What’s your story?

Name: Bianca Thomas

Business: Women Ablaze International Ministry

Location: South Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S. 

Industry: Personal Services 

Reason for starting?
 I was molested around age 4. I tried to hang myself at the age of 13 and was sexually assaulted at the age of 14 by my boss. I sold drugs, struggled with my self-esteem and wanted to have a baby at the age of 16. Wounded and broken, I just wanted to be loved. At the age of 23, alone, pregnant again and about to commit suicide, God interrupted my pity party and healed my broken heart. I started “WAIM” because so many hurting women kept coming to me for prayer and counseling. All of them had been abused or were going through the things that I had experienced in my life, but they just couldn’t get free from the pain of their past. No matter how much they prayed, read their Bible or went to church, they felt stuck emotionally. Up until then, most of my abuse I had somehow forgotten, but every time I prayed with one of them I started remembering. When I discovered that being unable to forgive was keeping them in bondage, I knew that my story was meant to help women’s hearts heal.

Related: Read about another female entrepreneur helping women here.

How do you define success?
 Success to me is about staying true to who you are, being authentic and not compromising your faith, beliefs or values while working on your dreams. It’s fulfilling your purpose and making such a strong impact in others’ lives where by when you leave their lives, you will be greatly missed. To me success means adding value to others’ lives by just being you!

Biggest success: 
Publishing my book, “Welcome To My Perfect Life,” which has helped women from different ethnic backgrounds embrace their life as something that is already perfect and receive healing for their past.

What is your top challenge
 and how you have addressed it? I was so focused on helping women emotionally, I didn’t think about the financial part, that I needed money to continue to help them. Because it was a challenge with charging for my workshops or coaching, I started working with a coach who helped me market myself as a speaker and come up with products that would generate income.

Related: The Passionate & Purposeful

Who is your most important role model?
 My mom, and my eldest son. My mother shows me how to be a great wife. My mom also reminds me of the importance of keeping a balance between ministry, family and my personal spiritual life as well as how to stand strong in the face of adversities. My son shows me as an entrepreneur the importance of surrounding myself with people who celebrate my accomplishments and believe in my dreams but, most importantly, don’t allow any excuses and fear to get in the way. Watching him as an entrepreneur has inspired me to push forward, even if no one stands with me on my pursuit, and never give up on my dreams, no matter how many obstacles I will face.

Twitter   @womenablazeim
Instagram   @womenablazeim[/box_light]

Tell us your story!
Read about another entrepreneur here.

Edited by The Story Exchange