Audrey Todd is a mentor, minister and writer. The Chicago native has parlayed her life experience into to something that adds value to the lives of young people nationwide. Issues with abandonment, drug use and foster care could have easily led Todd down a different path. A car accident changed her trajectory. Rolling out spoke with Todd about her life, her book, The Kingdom Playlist, and some of her most challenging moments.
Talk about how your childhood helped shape you into the person you are now.
The sum total of who I am today was greatly influenced by my childhood. As a former foster youth, I was automatically deemed by society as an at-risk child. Meaning I was destined to become impoverished, uneducated, incarcerated and socially dysfunctional. I chose to break through those barriers and shift my perspective. Once I became aware of my power, the pursuit of my purpose became insatiable, which resulted in me changing my narrative.
Talk about how you changed your life after the car accident.
Prior to the accident, I wasn’t aware of my value, worth or purpose. After surviving the accident, it was evident my life had meaning and my purpose had not yet been fulfilled. My resolve from that day forward was to live above the stigma and help others to see beyond their past and not let it define them or influence their future.
What is the The Kingdom Playlist about and why is it important for you to share it?
The Kingdom Playlist is a 31-day devotional for Christian millennials. I saw the need for millennials to be reminded of the importance of staying true and diligent to their values and belief system yet still being significant within our culture. This book is the perfect framework that will inspire you to be bold, dauntless and unapologetically you.
Why is it important for you to work with older children in foster care?
These children are at increased risk of poor educational outcomes, experiencing homelessness, being unemployed and more prone to violence not to mention they are more transient than younger foster youth. It only takes one person to improve these odds for them.
What have been some of your most challenging moments?
For many years I struggled with overcoming the shame that was attached to me from childhood up to the mistakes that altered my life in adulthood. At one point, I felt undeserving of life and often used my past experiences as an excuse for my poor decision making and behavior. Today, I’ve finally found the beauty of forgiveness and am enjoying the peace that comes with loving yourself, scars and all.
What words do you have for those struggling during these times?
You are not this moment. Crises impacts us emotionally, your heart may be overwhelmed by feelings of frustration, anger, apathy, loneliness, and despair but, it’s in these moments [that] God is at work in and through the crisis. Stay in faith.