Maya Angelou: Inspiring Stories of Healing and Survival

As my project gained momentum, I began asking everyone I interviewed, and now I ask  everyone (you can check out and add your own suggestions to our Wish List):

“If you could ask anyone in the world what his or her greatest epiphany in life was, who would it be?”

Maya Angelou had been a name that had been suggested to me many times via my website but when I interviewed Stacey Lannert, she really hit it home, saying that Dr. Angelou’s book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, helped her get through her darkest days and gave her hope and strength while she was incarcerated. It helped her “turn a corner” and know that she too could survive and thrive, no matter what had occurred or was occurring in her life. I was so moved by her request, that I reached out to Dr. Angelou and she generously and miraculously agreed to an interview! I have to say, it was one of the most profound interview experiences of my life thus far.

Last week I posted a blog on with an excerpt from my interview with Maya Angelou, and received a wonderful email and epiphany story from a reader that also moved me very much. The title of her story is completely the philosophy here at Epiphany Channel – Share Your Story; Give Your Gifts. Thank you, Elisha V., for sharing this with us, and we hope you all will feel inspired and free to share your stories and suggestions with us any time.

Share Your Story; Give Your Gifts 

Everyone has their stories of trials, and through them emerge the Gift of Triumph. It is a part of the Human Experience that no one is exempt from. If you choose to share your story you may not know who your words may reach, but you are all too familiar with the feelings of the pain and sadness, the self-doubt or despair of your experiences. You remember feeling all alone, silently enduring the heartache, coping with your loss.

But you also remember there was also a turning point – a moment of pure determination, of profound insight – that told you everything was going to be okay. And by the time you’d moved completely through the struggle, you came to realize that it had always been okay. The experience you’ve endured was designed especially for you – to bring you to realize your utmost potential and your own unique gifts.

In 1970, a young woman from St. Louis, Mo. chose to share her story with the world. It was an amazingly beautiful story full of history and family; tragedy and triumph. This young woman had endured everything from racism to rape, and she emerged an even stronger and more beautiful being. Her story has truly been an inspiration to many.

I’m not sure why this young woman decided to write her book, to tell her story. But I can say this with certainty: When she first decided to write it in 1969, she did not know that by 1991 her story would become a lifeline for one depressed and suicidal teenage girl in Chicago, IL — a girl who had suffered through her own battles with discrimination, rape and isolation. A girl who decided when she remained alive and well after swallowing a handful of over 20 various prescription drugs, that God may have a plan for her life.

Feeling hopeless and confused, she grabbed a book off her bookshelf and began reading. The connection she felt with this author gave creation to her own personal belief that if the woman in the book could go “through it” and make it out okay, then so could she.

This belief eventually led the teenage girl to re-establish her personal relationship with God. Her faith increased, and her Will to live returned.

To this day, she is extremely grateful to God for the inspiration and the strength she found from reading, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Your words helped to save my life, Dr. Maya Angelou. A million times THANK YOU for sharing your story. May God continue to Bless you. ____________________________________________

So how will you share your story? How will you give of your gifts?

~ by Elisha V.

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