Tell our viewers who you are and a little bit about you.
I am Ann Marie Bryan, a child of God. I was created to do good work to glorify my Father. All that I love to do is covered under my small business, Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing professional writing services, personal and professional development programs and performing arts services.
I am also a Christian Fiction author. I write to educate, inspire and empower others. I desire to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places.
On my day job, I serve as Associate Director, Human Capital Management System. I am a highly trained and accomplished human resource information technology professional.
It gives me great pleasure to impart knowledge into the lives of others. My greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. I enjoy writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling.
Do you truly believe that you are walking in your purpose and what did it take to get you to this point?
Yes, I believe I am. My purpose brings significance, value and stability to my life.
My greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by gaining greater self-awareness through the knowledge of God’s Word. It is a natural calling to encourage others to achieve personal excellence so they can live life to the fullest.
It has been an interesting journey to get where I am today. A journey, mostly, of learning to follow the footprints that God has laid out for me, of letting go of fear and wanting affirmations from others and above all, a journey of learning to be my authentic self and to love me – the good, the bad, quirks and all. Today, I have not arrived but I am working the gifts that God has deposited in me and I am abiding in Him. Now, instinctively I go to God first and let Him lead me. I desire to make my life a ministry for the Lord.
Of course, there are many positives to walking in my purpose. The amazing thing is that God continues to multiply what I have surrendered to Him. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed me with, I am determined to advance the Kingdom while using my entrepreneurial expertise to meet the needs of individuals and organizations.
What advice would you give to a young woman who knows that God has something special for her, but somehow can’t seem to get enough faith to walk in her purpose?
I would find out what she believes is her purpose. I would also remind her that God has given each of us a distinct calling and that she is uniquely blessed with many talents and abilities. She is perfectly designed for her purpose and it is best if she embraces it. Further, I would remind her of Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I would encourage her not to let fear hold her back since I have first-hand knowledge of that. She should replace fear with faith and trust God, knowing that pursuing her purpose will literally set her free.
Next, I would encourage her to prayerfully set goals, and take decisive actions, remembering that God can open doors that no man can shut. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
If I can be of help, I would certainly volunteer my services to move her further along or find an individual or organization to help her.
All of us have gone through some rough times, Can you recall a time when you really believed that God had left you by yourself and how did you overcome?
Back in the day, I wanted to leave my job because I had outgrown it and I wanted something new to do. I prayed about it then started to apply for jobs, internally and externally. I was not successful anywhere, even for the jobs that I felt I should have gotten.
Of course, this led to frustration on my part, since I knew it was not for lack of experience or education. I prayed even more fervently, and continued to apply around, but nothing happened. No job offers. Nada!
I decided to stop looking for a job and simply wait on the Lord. I had no choice anyway because I was not getting any offers. Around six months later, I was promoted within my department. Yes, the Lord surpassed all my expectations with that job. Can I get an Amen? Yes, the Lord showed up and showed out!
In ten minutes, would you give our viewers a testimony of God’s goodness and something specific that has happened in your life that will encourage, change, or usher them into a new perspective on life.
"I am confident that God is for me and that He loves me and will only give me good gifts. I trust Him with my life for I know that He is perfecting that which concerns me."~ Ann Marie Bryan
I am an author but truthfully, writing a book was nowhere on my list of things to do. Writing a book … never crossed my mind. However, after I got married, several of my friends and relatives (some living miles away) wanted to know how I met my husband. They knew that I had been single for some time. So, I had to share my love story, over and over again. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.
Six months later, I was stretched out on the sofa at home on a Sunday afternoon, still recounting my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me - write a book!
A long deafening pause ensued!
A book! A book!
Every reason not to write this book came to mind. Yes, every reason. But, I knew that I had a story to tell. I also knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful Godly helpers. So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission.
I had an enjoyable experience writing Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along. I discovered, how much I liked writing and I learned many interesting things about myself (LOL) and about the writing process. Sometimes, God takes us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and show us that we can accomplish far more than we think. In so doing, He blesses us to reach and empower others.
By letting go of my fear of the unknown, I can testify that today, I have not only published my first book but that I have published several others, including an Amazon #1 Best Seller.
As I continued to walk in purpose, I recognized that I am at my best when I am helping to transform lives. So in 2010, when the Lord began to drop strong messages in my spirit about starting a business, I was not very surprised. Nevertheless, I wrestled with it. Can I? Should I?
Soon, I felt the peace to proceed so I started to prepare a business plan. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with an appropriate name for the business. I waited, not too patiently, for the Lord to drop the name in my spirit.
Several months later, yes several months later, I sat in church listening to my pastor, Bishop John Baker as he began the first in a series of teachings under the theme “Victorious Christian Living”. As the message progressed, Bishop Baker declared, “We are victorious by design.” There was a quickening in my spirit and with that Victorious By Design was established to equip individuals and organizations with top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services.
My business is a natural flow for me because I get to impart and learn from others and that is always great. I am on assignment from God to benefit the right people, in the right place, during the right season.
The Encounters of the Heart series
The books in the Encounters of the Heart series are on sale for $0.99 each. Kick back with this great series. Love and faith in the face of crushing secrets.
Seek Peek & Inside Scoop on Ann Marie Books
How did the Encounters of the Heart series come about?
I am a member of the Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN) Christian Sub-group and we decided to write an anthology about the consequences of sin. As I wrote my short story for the anthology, the story took on legs of its own, and became the first book in the Encounters of the Heart series. The series is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Book 1 - Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.
Book 2 - Mirrored Hearts: Sealed by Fire details the story of Larry and Rozene Kanate. This stirring and deeply satisfying new addition in the series tells of the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire
Although the books are in a series, they are also stand-alone novels.
Who is your most liked character in the series?
I admire Blake Montgomery, Gabrielle’s husband in Shades of the Heart. Although Blake is a man of God, he was not afraid to be transparent with his feeling. He was deeply in love with his wife and when she told him about her moment of weakness, he did not take it well. The path to forgiving himself and his wife was grueling but he was determined to succeed.
What do you hope that readers will take out of reading the series?
I hope that readers will understand that all our actions and choices are driven by the desires of our hearts. In light of that, we need to stay connected to God through prayer, meditating on His Word and then applying His Word in our daily living.
Love is a beautiful emotion and it’s okay to love passionately, very passionately. However, loving someone is never as easy as we would like it to be. Keep in mind that, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)
Remember that God is all powerful and there is nothing that will happen in our lives that will surprise Him. We will be victorious in all our situations if we continue to rely on God and seek help to overcome difficult situations.
Quotes from the Encounters of the Heart series.A quote from Shades of the Heart:
“Every struggle you have survived strengthens your endurance. Every setback you have faced is an opportunity for new beginnings…for trusting God will produce new beginnings far beyond your imagination, and a future well worth striving towards.”
A quote from Mirrored Hearts: Sealed by Fire:
“This is what God’s strength looks like. I’m surprised I can even smile.”
Perhaps for the first time since their soul crushing take down of each other, she was filled with renewed hope, and something ignited in her heart. He was still the man of her dreams, the man to whom she had pledged until death do we part. And he was hers to keep.”
Tell us a little about yourself. (You know who you are, about your family, what you do, where you are from, and where you presently reside.)
I’m Maurice M. Gray, Jr from New Castle, Delaware. My day job is HIV Prevention Counselor with Beautiful Gate Outreach Center (a nonprofit). I’m single, no kids, not a ton of family (dad still living, one sister). I attend Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
I’ve been preaching and have an upcoming book on “the process”. It’s what we thought was our storm but God was using what we went through to birth humility in us, greatness through us, and most importantly produce trust in Him. Have you been through any processes in your life and can you tell us how God used your process to produce purpose?
My process was a ten-year journey that started right after college. I had a job I hated (collector for a credit card company) and a desire to write a book. It took me three years to write the first draft, two more after a professional review to get it publisher and then an unexpected opportunity. I got a mailing about a writers conference at a nearby Christian conference center (Sandy Cove in North East Maryland). There I met experienced authors and representatives of publishing companies. I thought that was the answer to my publishing dreams, but it turned out to be just another step. After about thirty rejection letters, I met another author, Patricia Haley-Glass, who taught me about self-publishing. That was the final step to my process- I took what she gave me and published my first novel, To Whom Much Is Given, in October 2000. I formed my own company to do so, Write The Vision. 16 years later I’m still writing, still publishing my own work and since 2001, I’ve added editing services to my repertoire.
Has God ever given you a vision that you know for sure was a part of His great plan for your life? If so please explain.
He let me know that my writing wasn’t just for my own enjoyment and to take the idea I had and flush it out into a book. I didn’t know what came next- I just took it on faith and kept writing until I had a finished first draft. It rolled forward from there.
What advice would you give someone that you feel would carry them through any situation in their life, book career, radio career, etc.?
Do your research. Whatever you plan to do, make sure you’ve learned enough about the relevant industry you’re involved in to never be dependent on anyone else. In this economy, entrepreneurship is the best way to go, no matter what your avocation. For authors, that means learning how to publish independently in case you can’t get a traditional publishing deal. That way, you learn the industry from the inside out and have more options for your writing.
What can we expect to see from you next or what is God producing in you now?
I recently released a novella, "Like A Brother", which leads into my upcoming novel "Female Problems", which is the first in a trilogy following the lives of three Christian men and their relationship struggles.
Now this is your time, minister to us your greatest advice about following your purpose…..
Don’t let fear dictate to you. When God shows you your path, walk on it. He will give you people to help you along the way; your job is to recognize that help when it’s given and take it.
Get Your Very own copy of Like a Brother here....
Danyelle Scroggins author of Not Until You're Ready presents: In The Living Room with Pastor Danyelle the place where you'll fine the testimonies of God's Daughters.