Everyday life can be a battle. Just ask Sheri Rose Shepherd.
She was told by an English teacher during her teen years that she was born to lose.
But her destiny did not turn out the way the teacher had predicted.
Instead, she became a well-known speaker, won the title of Mrs. United States and became a best-selling author.
Her accomplishments were not without their struggles. In her past, she had an estranged relationship with her mother, she was overweight and struggled with dyslexia. Her marriage was not always the best, and she was separated for a time.
In each circumstance, she battled back.
If you go
Who: Sheri Rose Shepherd
When: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 20
Where: Blair County Convention Center
What: Ladies Encounter
Tickets:?$25 for the conference and an additional $15 for the luncheon or $32 at the door and no luncheon.
Teen event: 6 to 9 p.m. April 19 at Leamersville Grace Brethren Church. Tickets are $10 or $12 at the door.
For all tickets: Call 793-3006 or visit ladiesencounter.com for ticket locations. Deadline for advance tickets is April 8.
Shepherd said she has repaired the relationship with her mother, received freedom from food controlling her life, became a writer despite her learning disability and witnessed the healing of her marriage.
She will talk about "Dancing on the Battlefield" and how women can break free of their circumstances.The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 20 at the Blair County Convention Center. Tickets are $25 for the event and $15 for the luncheon.
Shepherd will also speak to girls from sixth grade through high school at a Teen Encounter event to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 19 at Leamersville Grace Brethren Church's activity center in Duncansville. Tickets are $10.
Tickets for both events are available at Roaring Spring Department Store, Thompson Pharmacies in Juniata and Hollidaysburg and Faith, Family, Friends in Everett.
Shepherd said she will tell the teens how to overcome what she calls Beauty Bondage.
"Teens are never satisfied with the way they look," she said.
She also will talk to them about the power of purity and how to find a good husband.
"I give them a list," she said.
Moms always asked me, "Where were you before I got married," she joked.
Shepherd said her talks are peppered with humor.
"I love to make people laugh," she said. "Come and giggle and grow."
She will talk about different aspects on women's battles, including how to relate to others. A mother of a married son and a teenage daughter, she will discuss how to respond to children who will observe your actions during tough times.
In two other segments of the conference, Shepherd will talk about how to walk in freedom and what to do with broken dreams.
She said God can turn difficult situations into hope.
When she became Mrs. United States in 1995, the media got ahold of a picture from her past - when she was 60 pounds overweight.
"They plastered me everywhere," she said.
The attention led to her telling her story and her writing career that has resulted in her selling more than a million books.
"I didn't know I was to write a book," she said. "I got through high school with Ds."
Shepherd said words, such as the ones the teacher expressed to her, are a form of identity theft.
"The words become a person's identity and steal confidence," she said. Her advice is "don't put a period where God has put a comma."
Joyce Bassler, chairwoman for Ladies Encounter and Teen Encounter, said she has heard Shepherd speak.
"She is real," Bassler said. "She admits she has not had it together all her life. I think that helps us all to be victorious in our own lives.'
Bassler said the conference is open to all women, not just those who attend church.
Ladies Encounter began about 14 years ago when the women who attended Encounter '99 at Northern Bedford High School decided they wanted to continue to host similar events.
Bassler said women from about 50 churches are actively involved in the organization.
Among them is Linda Furry of Martinsburg. She said she appreciates how the women come together for the same purpose.
"The committee does a good job of getting a speaker who can relate to women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences," she said.
Furry said she is looking forward to hearing Shepherd.
"She faced a lot of challenges and was victorious," Furry said. "It will be inspiring to hear her story."