Lemons into Lemonade: Women share stories of triumph

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

On Jan. 20, the Simply Beautiful Events center at 236 South Jones Street in Georgiana was filled with inspiration and resilience as seven women took the stage to share their powerful stories at the “Lemons into Lemonade” event. The event, dedicated to testimonies of resilience and growth, featured speakers who turned their tragedies into triumphs and setbacks into successes.

Opening speaker Joann Joyner shared her harrowing journey of surviving domestic violence and attempted murder by a former partner. Despite enduring a gunshot wound and a serious blade injury, Joyner emphasized her own responsibility in the recovery process.

“The pain was not my fault, but the recovery was my responsibility,” Joyner said. “They thought they were hurting me, but they made me strong. God saved me for a reason – to tell my story.”

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Another speaker, Mary Flowers, is a mother of two from Greenville. She recounted her battle with breast cancer and the loss of everything she owned in a house fire.

“I had 16 rounds of chemo and 35 radiation treatments,” Flowers said. “Every week my steps got a little slower, but I told my sister, ‘I walked in here and I’m going to walk out.'”

Despite the challenges, Flowers remained steadfast in her faith. Seven years later, she stands cancer-free, a testament to her unwavering spirit.

“The Lord will take care of you,” Flowers declared. “No matter what you’re going through, the Lord will take care of you.” 

The event showcased the culinary talents of the Butler Bistro, a program at the Butler County Career Academy that teaches students skills in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Nina Bonner, the owner of Simply Beautiful Events and More, expressed her hope that the testimonies would provide courage and strength to those facing similar challenges. 

“I hope that if someone is going through the same path, these testimonies will give them the courage and the strength to say, ‘If they made it through, I can make it through,'” she remarked.

Anglia Squaire, the event’s emcee, summed up the spirit of the gathering.

“We all have lemons in our lives that we must learn how to make into lemonade,” Squaire said. “No matter what life throws at us, always think positive and make sweet things out of it.”

Organizers said the event was a celebration of the human spirit, reminding everyone that with resilience and determination, even the sourest lemons can be turned into the sweetest lemonade.