One of my favorite people, who I first met on Facebook, is Charlotte D. Hunt. I had the great good fortune to recently read her second autobiography, ‘Damaged Goods: Learning to Dream Again.’ which continues her amazingly encouraging life story.
Here is the synopsis of this autobiography:
In this follow up to “DAMAGED GOODS: An Autobiography,” the author brings new light on the true story in which she received a desperate call from a stranger from her past beckoning her to his side in the wake of a car accident. This journey unravels the untold stories, details, struggles, secrets, pictures, updates and path of learning how to dream again in the midst of losing everything that were never included in the first book.
Based on the author’s miraculous journey into learning to hope, “DAMAGED GOODS: Learning to Dream Again” is an amazingly uplifting, funny, transforming and life-changing story of an invitation to recall her fight in learning how to dream and hope again. Concluding with a cliff-hanger ending, “DAMAGED GOODS: Learning to Dream Again” takes the reader on a whirlwind of tragedy, hopelessness, and a mother’s curse to a landing of success, inspiration, and a legacy of hope. Experience a journey to begin to dream again.
Here is the author’s biography:
Charlotte D. Hunt is a national speaker, author, radio personality, encouragement expert, founder of Dream Madly Ministries, and favorite lecturer for the First Lady of Tennessee, district attorney offices, corporate leadership and sales programs, treatment providers, Christian leadership, educators, non-profits, and women’s conferences. For over 23 years, she has been dedicated to releasing and exhorting lives to “Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, and Trust Completely!”
After studying music education, psychology, and vocal jazz studies in Akron, OH, Charlotte went on to teach at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music and had a successful career as a music director, background vocalist, studio musician and jazz artist working and touring with world-renown performers in the music industry. Charlotte continued her career as a voice-over artist, stage and reparatory actor in off Broadway touring companies with performance in national television documentaries and commercials, radio programs, PBS specials, jingles, and internationally as a runway model.
Charlotte has triumphed over a tragic and abusive past to become a dynamic author, teacher, speaker, encourager and impacting leader of changed lives through diverse audiences around the country. Her success has been rooted in her “ability to stretch people to start believing that it is possible to dream again!”
Charlotte was recently featured on the ‘700 Club.’ Here is her story that was shared there:
Charlotte has been through a lot in her life. She takes us on the journey with her in this, her second autobiography. In the Preface, she shared something that was very powerful to me. Metro Detroit has a large outreach comprised of over 550 churches and ministries; it is called EACH – Everyone A Chance to Hear. One of the big campaigns is the 2 Word Story campaign. My 2 Word Story is ‘Hope? Hope.’ The 2 Word Story represents our life before and after we met Christ. So this passage has special meaning to me:
My journey, this book, in learning to dream again was not teaching me the steps or ways to dream after surviving a childhood of tragedy. My journey is learning to dream again was realizing I never knew how to dream because I refused to hope. It is impossible to dream dreams big enough to fail without desiring with expectation of fulfillment.
For a father who dreams of his comatose son catching and throwing a football with him again, he must have hope. For a young student who dreams of becoming a lawyer because of injustice she sees in her school, hope has to exist. For a mother who dreams for the future of her daughter in being a better woman that she was, no dream can take place without hoping, an expectation that the desire will happen. (pp. xiv-xv)
Charlotte learned at an early age that she was a lot like her mother in certain ways:
As far back as I can remember, I loved school and learning new information. My mother was a schoolteacher and loved to disseminate words, concepts, and information, so we found a strong connection in our passion for learning and growing. I would come home from grade school eager to stump her with a new bit of information I learned. Most times, she would know the answer to whatever subject I threw at her. When she didn’t know the answer, mom was quick to open my schoolbook or seek out more information from one of her resources she had on hand.
Researching, seeking out answers, and gaining knowledge in areas that were unknown were seeds for a foundation of learning that my mother instilled in me. I know my love of reading and my habit of asking questions of people and their lives was birthed from being around her. (pp. 56-57)
Charlotte’s mother (who passed away on August 6, 2006) reminds me a lot of my mother (who passed on December 24, 2004) in that they both expected perfection from their daughters:
My mother laid a foundation for my burgeoning view that performance was equal to worth and that tears, tenderness and vulnerability were negative and shameful attributes to have. She was a woman and a mother who was not able to love well. Nevertheless, she was my mother. (p. 63)
I love her description of how she came to Jesus:
The pastor continued to talk about Jesus as though he was a personal and intimate being capable of having a real relationship with us. He said that Jesus accepted and loved me but the pastor explained further about the depth of his love that caused him to die for me. The pastor’s message gave me a new perspective of Jesus that I did not understand before. Surprisingly, when the pastor asked if I believe Jesus was the Son of God and died for my sins, I shouted “Yes!” and suddenly I felt a joy I did not recall having before. I felt strange. I did not fall out or start salivating at the mouth. No angel from above came into the church to zap all my problems, worries, and shame issues away. Yet, I had the feeling that I was not alone anymore. I experienced a lightness and desire to let everyone know I was now in the family of Christians. (p. 86)
Toward the end of the book, she made a discovery about herself:
The reality is that I never lost the ability to dream, I simply gave up hope, the foundation in which we dream. In my life, learning to have a goal, knowing I had a purpose and walking through a plan was difficult. However, learning how to want to dream and live again was life changing. I am learning how to dream by joining the invitation to jump, laugh, play, fail, cry, be enjoyed and loved without attachments, earning, performance, or work. I can wake in the morning and spend my day hoping with every breath in my body, and dream so passionately that nothing can ever hold me back. It is a journey to dream madly, pursue wildly, and trust completely, but not perfectly. Interestingly, I started a ministry called Dream Madly Ministries. The focus is to motivate, impact, and exhort lives to run, play, laugh, fail, dream, enjoy and be enjoyed in spite of our past or present circumstances. (pp. 167-168)
One of my dreams finally happened at the end of April this year, when Fred and I went down to Nashville, Tennessee for the Country Music Marathon. I knew that I would want to meet Charlotte whenever I visited Nashville again. We were able to meet Charlotte, as well as fellow author and Facebook friend Patty Mason, author of ‘Transformed by Desire’ (you can read my review here). The ladies also invited a friend of theirs, Sheryl Griffin, who is now also my friend. She is also an author; her book is entitled ‘A Scarlet Cord of Hope: My Journey Through Guilt, Shame and Fear, to Hope.’ She generously provided a copy of her book to me, and I look forward to reading her story also. Here is a photo of the five of us – Fred, me, Charlotte, Patty, and Sheryl – after our wonderful breakfast meeting.
Charlotte recently relocated to Dallas to embark on another adventure as guided by her Lord. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for her! I highly recommend ‘Damaged Good: Learning to Dream Again’ to any type of reader. We have all been hurt and broken in this fallen world, and it is an encouragement and revelation to me to see how God continues to use Ms. Hunt!
I was really touched when I learned that Charlotte not only thanked me in the Acknowledgement page of this book, but also quoted from my first review on the ‘Recommendations’ page!
Charlotte’s first book, ‘Damaged Good: An Autobiography’ was one of the first books I reviewed on my blog (you can read the review here). Based on how well I was inspired by that book, I knew I had to read the sequel when I learned about it. She is currently working on her third book, ‘Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely,’ which will be released this summer. I, of course, will have to read that one as well!
You can order this book here.
This book was generously provided to me by the author for review and giveaway purposes.
I have a copy of this book that I would love to pass along to one of you!
There are several ways to gain entry:
1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me how you ‘dream madly – pursue wildly – trust completely!’ Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.
2) Follow Charlotte on Twitter. Please leave a separate comment stating that you are now following her, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
3) Follow me on Twitter. If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
4) Tweet the following tweet once per day:
Win a copy of ‘Damaged Goods: Learning to Dream Again’ by @charlottedhunt from @andrealschultz. http://bit.ly/kzQ4nK Please RT!
Please leave a comment for each tweet, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
5) Visit Charlotte’s website and leave a comment telling me what was of most interest to you on it, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
6) Post my blog button on your blog. You can grab the HTML code on the right side of my blog. Please leave a comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
7) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too! Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
8) Become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect.
9) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend. Please leave a new comment to that effect, along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
So there are several chances to enter! Please limit one entry per option except for the Twitter tweet option (which can be done once per day) , along with your email address in the sample[at]gmail[dot]com format.
This give away is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 and will be contacted via email. The best to all of you!