By Guest Blogger Tracy Mohr

Glennon Doyle Melton, New York Times bestselling author of “Carry on Warrior, Thoughts on Life Unarmed” and creator of the wildly popular blog, “Momastery” is coming to Winston-Salem!

She is the featured speaker for “Voices of Hope Evening with Glennon” on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m at Centenary United Methodist Church. Tickets are $40, and can be purchased here: www.voicesofhope-ws.org. Proceeds from this event will support H.O.P.E., a new non-profit initiative working to feed hungry children in Forsyth County.

Prior to the event there is a special “dinner with the author event “with limited seating. Guests will enjoy a wonderful dinner catered by Julia Chandler of Julia’s Take Away Gourmet, an intimate conversation with the author, and priority seating for the Evening with Glennon event at 7:30pm. Tickets for the dinner may be purchased here. (Although this ticket gives you preferred seating for the speaking event, you still need to purchase a separate ticket for that speaking event by using the link in the previous paragraph.)

In January 2011, Glennon Melton Doyle wrote a blog post titled called “Don’t Carpe Diem.” Her message on how she could be a good mom and not ‘carpe diem’ every day was fresh and funny. It went viral and launched a movement of sorts.

Glennon’s writing moves beyond issues of motherhood and explores ideas about life and living. What does it mean to be a human being on this planet, day-in and day-out? What does it mean to be a friend, a partner, a person of faith? She isn’t afraid to take on complex issues in her writing, inviting her readers into her innermost struggles, hopes and dreams with passion and compassion.

Humbly and hilariously imperfect, her life story doesn’t match the picture of the bright, beautiful woman with a gorgeous husband and three precious children that you will see on her blog. She shreds that stereotype, writing openly about her battles with depression, bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse, and addiction. Her life changed about a decade ago. One morning she found herself hungover, curled up on the bathroom floor, staring at a pink positive line on a pregnancy test. She made a decision in that moment to get sober. She barely knew the baby’s daddy, but she married him and had two more children. So far—it’s working, but it’s not easy nor smooth. She candidly writes about her marriage hitting rock bottom, and her parenting struggles are many, her children have been known to lick the floor in the mall food court.

The bathroom floor epiphany didn’t change where she had been or who she was deep down and she chooses not to hide from her past. She’s figuring life out and she shares her journey in her writing and speaking, inviting us to join her; because, really, aren’t we all trying to figure things out?

“Life is Beautiful. Life is Brutal. Life is Brutiful,” she writes. “We can do hard things together.” All of us, in some form or fashion, plow through life with shields and body armor, protecting an image or idea of who we should be, hiding in fear of judgment, shame, our past, our present realities. Glennon’s writing resonates because we need to be reminded that we are enough, just as we are.

Living into who we are is difficult for even the most resilient. It takes honesty and courage to be our authentic selves in a culture screaming “be more, be better, be something else.” Glennon’s message centers on the notion that not only can we be truth tellers, but we can also be ‘hope spreaders.” By leaning into these two ideas, she says, “love wins.” I believe her.

My friend Shelley Holden and I met for lunch one day last summer because we wanted to do something that would bring people together to hear a provocative, inspirational speaker and help others, and that developed into Voices of Hope. There is such wonderful energy in our community; Voices of Hope is evolving into a network of amazing people who are committed to helping others and spreading hope. This year, we are raising awareness and funds for H.O.P.E., which recently launched its mission to combat childhood hunger right here in Forsyth County, which ranks as one of the hungriest cities in America. We can help change that. Join us for our first event featuring the dynamic Glennon Doyle Melton. Tickets are available at www.voicesofhope-ws.org. Together we can be spread hope to children who experience food insecurity everyday. We belong to each other, and we can do hard things together.

*Sponsored by Voices of Hope