Many years ago Bidemi Mark-Mordi was attacked by bouts of depression. Yes, she was so depressed that nothing gave her hope. It would usually start in late September through December till January.
On the external she was all calm and collected. You know that situation when family members, church brethren and colleagues at the office see you as prim and proper, but are unaware of the turmoil beneath.
She was married, had a job and generally looked good, but inside, there was a part of her that constantly made her feel that she could be more. The voice within consistently yearned and cried for a bigger expression.
In this month’s edition, Bidemi Mark-Mordi shares her story…
This morning I had two coaching sessions, one at 6.00 a.m and another at 9.00 a.m. One of the clients is in Europe and the other in Abuja. Both want to live powerful.
By the end of both sessions, one was on the way to breaking chains from the past and the other was on the way to overcoming depression. I can do this today, because I have been depressed before and I have been bound in chains in my mind before.
Today I help people discover purpose and live powerful. I absolutely love my life, and I know a lot of people say so to entice but I promise you I love this life.
I am also the MD of Verbatim Communications Ltd. where we Empower Minds, Clarify Visions and Activate Purpose. However, life wasn’t always this exciting. There had been times in my past that dying seemed more attractive than living. Confusion, frustration and fear trailed my life and these emotions almost messed up what has now turned out to be a great life.
I am the first child of 13 children. My father had 3 wives and my mother is the first wife. He went on to marry others, but today she is his only wife. They are at a good place now but for me especially, as the first child the one saddled with the responsibility of being responsible, I wish the good place came earlier.
In growing up, my parents were responsible, they provided to the best of their ability, but for a “Fuji house of commotion” we needed more. So, some of us – mainly me – sought more from all the wrong places. At 13, I ran away from home.
Considering that I didn’t know anyone aside from my parents, it was not difficult for them to find me within 3 days. We came home and they did what they knew to do – beat me and put me down some more. I was devastated and I wanted to die. But I had something I didn’t realize was valuable then, I loved words and I loved books. So I read and I read. The world opened up to me.
I saw possibilities & through those pages I began to dream and I learnt to write down my dreams. Someone called them daydreams. I dreamt regardless. I had no idea what it would take but I knew I was going to have to try. So I dreamt some more.
At 14 I graduated from secondary school. Of course I didn’t pass all the subjects, so I had to retake WAEC. This time I crushed it. My parents wanted me to read Law, but in applying for JAMB my father didn’t trust I would make the cut off, so he suggested English.
Surprisingly, I made above the cut off point for Law but things were done properly then so I was compelled to take the admission offer for English & Literary Studies. The plan was to change course to Law after one year, but I fell in love with Literature at that level and didn’t change course after all. It turns out with benefit of hindsight that God had a plan.
I graduated at 20, didn’t do as well as I could, but I was done with school. My father wanted me to go further but I wanted to make money. I was so ambitious to be on my own and it scared my parents, so I packed my bags and left for Lagos. I made myself a promise : make it or die trying.
It was not long before I realised that dying was easier than making it. I saw human vultures for the first time. Everyone is a potential prey in Lagos. I got preyed on many times, but I never forgot to read and I never forgot to dream. Life was hard, but within the pages of a book life was fantastic.
I was looking for something. I didn’t even know what it was, but I knew I would recognise it if I saw it. Today I know I was looking for my WHY.
At 26 I met my hubby and we got married a year later. For the first time, someone told me I was smart, beautiful and potentially powerful and they meant it. He made it his personal crusade to fan the embers of what used to be the fire of confidence in me. He had faith in me.
One day He came home with Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. And I realised what I was looking for. For the first time, I realised that the day dreams were put in my heart by God and if I aligned, He would make them real. I was hungry and desperate, so I jumped in.
I believed that I was here for a purpose, I aligned with God and at 28, I truly smiled for the first time. I am 46 today, and I am yet to stop smiling. But the journey had only just started.
I needed a plan. How do I translate what I can see within to the outside? My hubby prayed for me, and I read some more. The magazine never saw the light of day because I had hoped others would see the potential and invest in it.
Quickly, I learnt that I would need to pay for my dream. After 3 years of meeting with the women, Effectual Magazine was born as a newsletter. It wasn’t much but it was my first step towards greatness and I celebrated it.
Even with the newsletter format, the content was very rich and a following began. I was consistent in releasing the newsletter and I could see possibilities.Ultimately, Effectual became a full-fledged magazine and I was on an all time high, just knowing that my life had meaning and was useful.
One day someone asked me to publish his books for him. Even though I had no dreams of becoming a publisher, Verbatim Publishing was born.
As this was happening, I had begun to take another look at leadership and again, I just wanted to lead me. I went on a quest to read all things John C Maxwell on leadership. From his leadership Bible to every single book I could find he had published.I quickly added meeting him to my bucket list.
One day while I was ill and hospitalised, I received an email asking if I wanted to partner with JCM. Of course I said yes. Couldn’t afford it, but I applied. They granted me a concession to pay in installments and that started my journey as a formally trained leadership coach.
Then I decided that I would deploy technology to reach the world for God. Who better than Michael Hyatt to learn from. So I followed him and planned and met him.
In all these, I could never forget that my life was draining away until I discovered purpose. So I dedicated myself to helping others discover theirs too. This has now birth the dream that is known as Purpose University which opens its doors on August 1st.
I want others to move from weak and beggarly to powerful, to move from depression and suicidal thoughts to a life of impact and grace. This quest to know my WHY is the reason why before 10.00 am today, I have had the opportunity to touch lives.
You too can live powerful. Your past, life experiences and even failings can be deployed for greatness.
I cannot go without praying for you. May the God who moved me from a broken, messed and dysfunctional life to one of value and impact move you too. May the light of His countenance shine on you and may He give you peace. Reignite hope in you and bring you to your PLACE in Jesus name.
Bidemi Mark-Mordi is a Speaker, Writer, Publisher, Author, Entrepreneur, Mentor and Life Coach with over 15 years’ practical experience. Helping people fulfill their purpose and potential is my dream and life’s work. In addition, my absolute passion is to make life better for everyone I come in contact with through my gifting and abilities. If I had to describe myself using three words, I will say Purpose, Integrity and Excellence. If I were an animal, I will be a LIONESS! My most prized possessions are the Salvation I received, and my family.
I am married to Mark (the wind beneath my wings) and because of him, I know I can change the world (even if it is my little corner of it). I am also the mother of three gorgeous and exceptional children. I love to speak the WORD and I love to serve. I suffer from the “Messianic syndrome” – I want to change everything and everybody. When I am not changing the world, I read and then I watch TV.
As an entrepreneur, I lead a team of staff as the Managing Director/CEO of Verbatim Communications Limited. My Company is principally involved in the creation, production, development and dissemination of information through various content and context cutting across publishing, media and personal development. WORDS are my forte.
I am also the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Effectual magazine a lifestyle magazine for women with Christian values irrespective of age or status. Through my magazine publication, I convene the annual Return of the Helper (ROTH) Conferences, which has held every July since its inception in 2008. Return Of The Helper is a conference organised for women to find a common platform to learn and network to achieve their goals.
I am a member of the John C. Maxwell Founder’s Circle Coaching team and as a certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker; I offer regular workshops, seminars, keynote speeches, and coaching services, aiding personal and professional growth through study and practical application of John Maxwell’s proven leadership methods. I have also established several platforms through which I mentor women both on business and relationship issues. Furthermore, I convene a meeting called Encompassers International, where I teach and mentor women.