This episode is all about one woman’s experience of abuse, hardships, miracles, and blessings. Today’s guest, Dr. Enoh Ukpong, is a registered nurse, midwife, author, and professor. She’s been through a lot in her life, which she explores in her book “Joy Comes in the Morning.”
Enoh’s message to the world is an encouragement to turn your tragedy into triumph. Her struggles have made her who she is today. She opens up about the abuse and difficulties she experienced as a child in this episode. She also shares her journey into nursing and why she ended up loving a profession she was not initially interested in.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- Why Enoh felt inspired to write her book.
- Enoh’s childhood experiences and how her journey started.
- The abuse she faced as a child and what she turned to for comfort.
- Why Enoh focused on getting a good education.
- How she ended up pursuing nursing and how she felt after the interview.
- What happened when she went to the hospital unit for the first time.
- How God called her to be a nurse and why she doesn’t take it for granted.
- An experience that reinforced her trust in God’s plan.
- Why Enoh ended up putting off her retirement.
- Why Enoh says God is still leading her, and the gifts He’s given her.
- How one of her patients ended up becoming so much more than just that.
- What Enoh is intent on using her platform for.
- The classes Enoh decided to enroll in now.
- What keeps her going at 71 years old.
Connect with Enoh
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You’re listening to the live love engage podcast on today’s show. We’ll hear one woman’s story of hardship, abuse, miracles, and blessings. Stay tuned. I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the love method and author of the number one, Amazon best seller live love, engage how to stop doubting yourself and start being yourself.
In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully love, deeply and engage authentically. So you can create a life and business with more. Act influence and income. Welcome to live love, engage
Namaste and welcome to another addition of live love. Engage. I am delighted to be with you today and to have an amazing guest with us this morning.
Oh, if you want, I’m recording this and it’s in the morning, but you know, you could be listening to this at whatever time of day, but anyway, I am so delighted to welcome Dr. Enoh to live love, engage. Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. Oh, well, I am delighted to have you. And, I met Dr. Enoh a few months back at a publicity summit and I was really impressed with this woman, especially.
Well, I’ll tell you more in a minute, but let me just give you the, the, the highlights. And then I know she is going to be telling you a little bit more about her story, but she is, she is holds a PhD in, in nursing. She’s a registered nurse midwife and also professor. And she has been Just an amazing woman in the fact that she also got her degree in nursing in Nigeria before she came to United States.
And she also has gone through a lot of different things in her life. Not all of them have been pleasant. And she actually shared those stories in a book that I was privileged to read. It’s called “joy comes in the morning” and I highly recommend it. You need to get a copy of this book because I know you’re gonna get a little taste of what Dr. Enoh has gone through in her life.
But, you gotta read the book to know more. So. I wanna just have you start, if you would in just telling people a little bit about let’s just start with, why did you decide to write a book about, about your life, especially the early part in particular. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
My reason for writing my book. More So about the early part of my life is if I did not go through what I went through in my childhood, I wouldn’t be who I, or where I am today. My core message to the world is please, please, please turn your tragedy into triumph. Do not turn your tragedy into liquor or drugs because that will make you spiral down the drain.
I turn my tragedy into my triumph and that is why I am here today, who I am today and what I’m doing today. And this is the rationale. The reason why I wrote the book is to share that I honestly wish. Everybody will turn their hardship, their tumult in their, whatever, into something triumphant so that they can look back like I do.
it, would’ve made such a big difference when I see amount of people that are drug addicts, that are alcoholics because of what they went through. It really saddens me. This is why I cannot shut my mouth. I wanna have this message out so that people can learn that irrespective for what you go through.
If you look carefully into it, something good can come out of it. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s a great, it, it is sad that, and, and it’s You know, who knows what, why some people do do that? I mean, I, my father was an alcoholic and I don’t know what prompted him to go down that road. If I, you know, if I knew now be more aware of than I was when I was a kid, I would’ve, you know, loved to have asked him, you know, what, what kind of pain he had gone through in his life that, that he sought to escape from it in.
In alcohol, but, I, I think it is important if we can learn how to be able to overcome those things. And, and you, you share so many great messages and so many great stories in the book. Can you share with us what was one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
I was the last child out of six kids. My sibling was so much older than me that I have nephews and nieces that are way, way older than me. So I was raised as an only child. I remember the day my immediate older sister came home. She was like about 10, 12 years older than me. And I’m looking at her like, where did she come from?
And the best part of it, the first time I saw my own brother was him with a wife and a nine-month-old baby. And I stood at the corner thinking and they said, this is my brother. I was seven.
So, it just amazes me. And I was like, I can’t wait to go back wherever my, this brother of mine came from to babysit this nine-month-old baby. That was how my, that was how my journey started. So my mom looked at me. She’s like, if that’s what you want, I knew it must have killed her. I was the only one at home with her to say, I’m leaving.
She said, if that’s what you want, I will let you go. So that was how my journey started. And I left home with my brother after the end of his vacation. It took us four days a day in a lorry and three days in the train to get to where he was working. Oh, I was so excited. I was raised in a little dingy village.
We didn’t have running water. We didn’t have a roads for footpaths. There was no electricity when there was Moonlight. We were rejoicing. Oh my God, are you kidding me? And that was me. I had never seen a car at that point in my life. The day I left with my brother, it was like an eye open. I was so shocked to see what the city looks like.
In fact, at one point I asked my brother, I said, what are these things? And during the day given light, that is not even moon. Cause all I knew that can provide light for everybody was the moon. He said electricity, the poor guy, I had asking so many questions. The day we left home. So I left with him. We finally got to where he was and
It was awesome at the beginning, but then things turned, things changed. I didn’t understand this was my sick. They said my brother. So I accepted that. I was like with family member, I wasn’t treated as a family member by the wife. That was how it started. And she started abusing me. I didn’t understand because my mother has never raised her voice at me.
I had no idea what that meant. And she started hitting me, denying me food. And before you know, it, it became a routine to the point that if I have one meal a day, I’m lucky. that young, I remember around noon at school, I would be so hungry. I couldn’t even lift my up my head up in school and put it lying down on the bench.
Waiting for break to run into the school garden to grab nuts, whatever I can find and eat and drink. That was what would sustain me till like 6:00 PM. She expected me to run home in 10 to 15 minutes. And if I don’t get home in 10 to 15 minutes, she’ll hit me and Tell me to go and do my chores. I didn’t even have the energy to walk.
How much more run. Right. She never understood that. So that continued. Three years into my living with my brother, he decided to go home on vacation. I was so beli. I was so happy that this is it. I would never come back. And then three days to the end of his vacation, my mom called me. The minute I got home I just threw my clothes off.
I showed my mom. I have bruises all over my body. I have scars. In fact, I have one right here on the right side of my forehead. I was just walking out of the door. There was nothing, she pulled me unexpectedly and I hit my forehead on the frame of the door and split it. And she said, I wish your head was split into two.
The blood is rushing out. I’m trying to control it. And she just was a joke to her. I’m like, so when my mom said to me, after that vacation. My mom said to me, you have to go back. I thought she was crazy. I said what? She said, yes. She said, even the Bible says that quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.
You have to go and complete the job that you have started to gain eternal crown. That that’s what the Bible said. I could not believe my ears, but because I love my mom so much. I didn’t understand. By this time I was 10 said if my mom says so I have to go back. From that third day to his going back, I cried. I got to the point that by the time we got back to where he was, I was sick.
But I have to forget about it and move on. Yeah, for me, it is through the grace of God that I survived because I knew so many times I have come this close to giving up. I thought it was too much. but I always talk to the Lord. I was Taken to church, but I didn’t really understand the relationship with us, human and God.
And, I would talk to God and I will feel so comforted that when I’m starved, I don’t even feel hungry so many nights. I went to bed without food, and I got up in the morning, do my chores, leave for school still with, without food. So by the grace of the Lord, I got through my last day in my brother’s house, he did sponsor me in school because in Nigeria then from the very first day, it doesn’t matter what grade we had to pay tuition.
I think that was one of the reasons why my mom didn’t hold me back because of education. So my last day in my brother’s house, I walked out. It was a Saturday. Quarter of six in the morning with a little suitcase In my hand, I turned around and looked at the, how that I was abused, tormented for seven years. I couldn’t believe my eyes, whether I was dreaming or this was real that I’m leave walking out alive.
that day I made a pact with my God and myself that since I walked out alive, I will win my freedom because if I have freedom, nobody’s gonna do this to me. I was a kid, I didn’t have any choice, but as a grown up, I’m not gonna let this ever happen to me. The second promise that I made between myself and my God was I will have to get a good education because if I get a good education, I’m gonna end up on a good job.
I’ll be able to raise my kid by myself. they will not live with anybody. That set my course as a child in high school people, I did not take nothing. Are you kidding me? All that was glaring in front of me was how to win my eternal freedom. My earthly freedom, freedom. Absolutely.
now you, you embarked on a nursing career, but in the book you talked about the fact that this wasn’t exactly your first choice. So how did you wind up becoming a nurse?
Because of my upbringing. I don’t talk a lot with my friends. I just mind my business. If I were to talk a lot, I could have, I think I could have dissuaded so many students in high school not to go in for nursing. In Nigeria then I used to believe that when people die, that the ghost is hovering around and it could harm you how much more in hospital where I kind of presume that a lot of people die.
Even passing by hospital. I would run. I would be so scared. That was one of the things that I never, I used to say, God forbid nursing now, anything hospital no so
I finished high school and I wanted to go into the university. And my very brother said to me, what is your career choice? I had no idea what career was all. I wanted to continue school and keep going and keep going. I said to him, give me, give me two weeks. Let me think. I didn’t think of anything.
I didn’t even look it up in the dictionary. So when he didn’t hear from me, he like, he called me. He said to me, it seems, you don’t know what you wanna do with yourself. You wanna go to the university? You don’t know what you wanna become. He said for that reason, I’m gonna apply for nursing. Nursing is good for women.
I looked at that, I thought he was crazy and he did. I went for the entrance in Nigeria. I have to take an entrance exam. It’s a general entrance exam for the whole country and an interview. I went for that entrance exam because of traveling. I love to travel.
In the exam hall I had two ladies beside me, I was in the middle. I am playing because I didn’t go there to pass the exam playing and they kind move away from me. I thought they were, I was shocked that they didn’t kick me out of the exam hall because we were instructed to not disturb.
I finished. I left. Not thinking of anything didn’t care. And then the result came out when the result came out was like, Ooh, what am I in for? And I have picked a school from one end of the Nigeria to the other. So then I would travel. If I were to go for the interview, I went for the interview. I passed, my brother refused to give me transport money for that interview, because I had said I don’t like nursing, but my sister there, she said, if you don’t go.
You pay me back deal. I went, I passed the interview. The day, the result of the interview came I was so sad. I was crying. I’m like, oh my God, what am I gonna do? I promised my sister that two weeks. I mean, I’m in nursing they don’t take no nonsense. Two weeks. I didn’t even respond to the school, the school contacted me.
Where am I was the problem? I, I talked to my sister. She said, don’t miss this chance. If you miss this and you ever regret, I’m like. So I left. It was still around the area. My brother was, it was like another three days journey down there. And when I arrived at the school, the director of nursing gave me a hug and said, I was worried.
Not knowing if you were okay, I’m happy you are here. She never asked me why I didn’t come. when you hear of miracles. Yeah. I’m looking at her. I thought she was gonna say stupid. Get out of here. So she helped me. She said, I’m just so happy that you made it. So I joined the class two weeks late. We were in class.
So I had no idea what nursing was. Three months have passed. We were taken to the unit, the hospital unit for the first time. I didn’t step into the unit. I stood at the entrance, the rest of my classmates, they went into the unit, they’re saying hi to the patients. And my clinical instructor is introducing them as new nursing students.
Right. I stood outside with my hands folded, even breathing I was scared that I was gonna get a disease from breathing, standing outside the unit. When we came back from that, I said, this is pushing it. So I went to her that evening. I told her the truth. I said, I don’t like nursing. ghosts will kill me here.
I said, I am so scared, but since I came, I have been looking around, I will live in the dorm within the hospital premises. I said, I haven’t seen any girls yet, but still, if anyone could come at any time. So I told her the whole truth. That my brother forced me. It wasn’t my, I don’t. I thought she was gonna say, get out of here.
Stupid. Why did you take another girl’s place? Instead of that, she get emotional. She hugged me. I said, I praying
after the prayer, she said, you’re going to make such a good nurse. I will not let you go. Even God in heaven. Who hold me accountable. She said, you are so young. You don’t understand stay for six months after six months, you understand what nursing is. Then you can make a decision and I will accept it. And I’m looking at her like, are you kidding me?
I had packed my suitcase. She said to me, did you pay your tuition? I said, no. I said, I kept it. So I use it to pay my way back home. And she said, no, I can’t let you go. When she let go of me after that hug and prayer, I ran crying. Are you kidding me? I was like, I didn’t expect that. Right. As I opened my dormitory door and hop into my bed crying, there was a knock on my door.
I didn’t even know that that was my clinical instructor because I told her exactly where the money was in my packed suitcase. I was ready to leave. She just got in, opened the suitcase and took the money. I didn’t go to school the whole of that week. After school, she would come and check on me.
All my classmates they thought I was sick. Yeah. I was sick in the head. yeah. So after she buried me through that week, the following week, I went back to class and thank God we didn’t go to the unit right away. We still had, we were, we were six months before we actually started going to the, a clinical unit. By then I had encountered a patient that turned, that made me understand what nursing is.
So that is how God called me right. To be a nurse for that reason. I do not take my profession. I do not take nothing for granted. It wasn’t my choice. But His choice for me, which is the best choice. Yeah, absolutely. And you know what I love about your story and, and you shared a couple examples of this right now is the fact that.
You were resisting, you know, you know, in fact, when you came home on vacation, you know, from living with your brother and you were hoping that your mom was gonna say, you know, no, you don’t have to go back to that abuse, but she said, no, you need to go back. And then, so you, you went, you know, you, I mean, you could have run away.
There’s lots of things you could have done. You could have, you know, just. You know, pitched a fit on the floor and just said, no, no, no, but you still, you, you listened to your mom and you went and then the, and then again, when this, you know, your nursing instructor is, is telling you, no, give it six months again.
You could have just left you, you, you always had that option, but you said, okay, I’ll stick it out. And I, I think the lesson here for, for people is to be open to. You know, not, to being able to stick out things and not necessarily quit so fast because you don’t know that things can change and that you can realize that maybe this was what you were, you were meant to do after all.
what, what do you, what do you think about that is, is, has that, have you seen that in your life, that it really is important to, to be able to, you know, put your faith in something, even when you really don’t want to let’s say that. What I have realized even today is it doesn’t matter whether I understand or not, when it is the Lord’s will, for me, it will make me cause that for example, my retirement, I retired in 2017 but I’m still working where I’m full time now.
I went to bed a Wednesday evening. I got up Thursday morning. I had never thought of retirement. I don’t even know what it means to retire. I couldn’t shake it. I said to my husband, I’m going to retire. And he said, what’s the problem at the college? I said, there’s no problem. I don’t understand, but I can’t shake it off.
As we are having this conversation, I’m getting ready to go to Social Security’s office. I went there. They gave me some information that didn’t make much sense to me. Apart from that to my college, I said to my boss, I wanna retire. And she said to me, “What? This is unlike you. And any problem at home?” I said, no, my husband asked me if there was problem at school.
I don’t have any problem at school or at home. I don’t understand. I can’t shake it off. That’s why I’m here. She looked at me like I was crazy. So she said to me, “that is very unlike you.” I said, yeah, that is true. She said, “I will give you some time off you work too much.” I used to work three jobs passing from one job, to the other.
So she gave me the spring of 2016 off. Spring of 2016 off, by the summer, I had nine months off. Right. That was the birth of my book, “Joy comes in the morning.” I used that time to write this book. I went to Nigeria, still writing the book, came back.
Imagine nine months when I went back to my college, the fall of 2016. It was then that I understood what the Lord was protecting me from. When I first went back after that nine months, all the upper people in nursing, they let go in the whole school, they just cleaned the school. All the older, lecturers were all let go. They hired new ones. Later on I learned it’s a financial Thing. I don’t know. I don’t understand. Yeah, it was then that I said, Hmm, this was how God shield me. So I walked into totally new faculty members and I turned around. I’m like, okay, I’m out of here. I went to human resources and the lady said to me, sit down.
She said, I’m not letting you go. I said to her, why not? She said, because number one, you can do it. Number two, you don’t even understand what happened. Number three is not time. I know that it is not time. Sit here. You’re not going anywhere. Okay. She said to me, stay the fall of that 2016. She said to me, this spring of 2017, 1st of February, give me your retirement, your resignation, whatever you wanna do with yourself, I will accept it that she said for now.
No. I’m not accepting. And I’m sitting down there. I look at the lady I’m like, she crazy. I wanna get out of here. And she said, she said, I am not accepting it. You can leave my office. When I left and started teaching the fall of that semester, when I, once I left that human resources office, I wrote my resignation letter on everything. By the time the spring of 2017 came, I had gotten accustomed to the new people that came in and everything was fine. So I just stayed and then handed in my retirement letter and did not even go nowhere.
I stayed there. I worked for Becker College till it was closed last June. Last year, June. Wow. I said, I love this school. And I had worked at that school for 21 years. that’s wonderful. congratulations on, on doing that. And I love that. It’s that’s another lesson, you know, you, you were having this feeling like you should retire, but it was really that That God was wanting you. I think number one, definitely to write the book and I love how it did it take you like nine months to, to, to birth that baby in a sense.
Wow. I didn’t think of that, that word. That is so true. yeah. And, and then to be able to then come back. Yeah. So you were spared all of that upheaval that was going on in the, in the department. So, and I love that, that you paid attention and, and, and that. You know, I, I do think it’s so important for people to recognize there that there will be people who will come into our lives, who are going to help us in that.
And so, you know, your administrator was essentially helping you and saying, no, go take a break. You, you just need a break. You’re working too much. And, and so that you were able to write and, and that’s So important that you, you know, you listen to other people, you didn’t just, you know, say, forget it. I’m just gonna go ahead and retire, but you at least were open to other people.
And I think that’s really important for, for everyone to listen to no matter what, what you’re doing in your life or your business to be open to signs and to be able to listen for, for help from other people and to be able to take action then that they recommend, and it will benefit you. And it certainly has benefited you.
What I realized is if you lean on the Lord, He will lead and the outcome is always awesome. Looking back. I saw God’s hand leading, even when I went and requested to retire, it was Him leading because of what was coming. I didn’t understand. Yeah. That is why my husband, or maybe some people they think I’m crazy.
I’m not because I have God guiding me. And a lot of times I may not understand. Right. And in matters, I don’t lean onto my understanding because I have somebody leading yeah. Pay attention to that. Absolutely. And you, and you’ve got faith and, and the fact that you’re able to, one of the things I talk about in my book is, is about the importance of letting go and letting God and that’s, and that’s really what you were able to do.
You were able to let go of maybe some of your, either fears or, or uncertainty about what the future was gonna hold and let God direct your life. And, and as you say, that’s when wonderful things can happen. Even, even though you have to go through some challenges or, or some, you know, tragedies in your life, but to be able to triumph after that, by keeping the faith is, is what can help you.
So I love that. What? What impact would you like to have on, on the planet during your lifetime? And I I’m thinking maybe you even said this at the beginning, but really what, what do you want your lasting legacy to be?
I want my last legacy or my legacy on earth to be The Lord has sent me in human form to lead me to where I am and he’s still leading. I’m not yet done.
And now he has given me that wing to be an angel to others too. He has given me a platform in nursing to help. I am there for my students. I am there for my patient, the sicker my patients have been, the more intense I am into them that I follow them home to check, make sure that they recovered everything is okay.
And then once they’re okay, then I move on. In my book You must have read about my patient, that I walk into her room and brought the piece and I left that piece with her. And She became she became a part of writing this book. Can you believe that? Wow. I never imagined, I saw her as my patient. I didn’t even know what she did for a job or her education.
I didn’t know anything. All I saw, this was my patient. She became my editor. Oh. For heaven’s sake. And she wrote. Oh, my gosh, she wrote a big part of my book. That’s wonderful. Yeah. That, and I that’s another sign, you know, people will come into your life where you don’t expect it and have, and have turn out to be, have such an impact in your life.
That’s, that’s so cool that that happened to you. What has been? You know, you talked at the beginning about, you know, some of the things that happened to you that were not so pleasant, shall we say. What’s been one of the highlights of your life so far because there’s more to come. I know. The highlight of my life is working out a life in my brother’s house.
That’s number one, because if I didn’t make it, I wouldn’t be where or who I am. That’s true. Number two, like I said, the, the Lord has given me a great platform and I’m using it. I am pushing it to be there for others, just like others have been there for me.
In fact, as I’m talking right now, I am in a school. I just registered in a school this month school for financial literacy. I had no idea about finances or all those things. I have no idea. Talk of the Lord leading. The Lord led me, and this is to teach families how to save, how to get out of debt, how to invest, how to I just jumped onto the bandwagon because it makes sense.
So already having taught in, let me see. I taught at Mass. College of Pharmacy, Quincy community college, right now, I am still teaching at Anna Maria College. And then I taught at Becker, that was my regular job for 21 years. You will not believe, not too many health institutions that I worked in here that don’t have nurses that have gone through me.
It humbles me is so sweet at is I don’t, I can’t, I can’t put a price on what I do. So as the Lord has sent his angels in human form, here I am his angel that he’s sending to people. And I accept and love that responsibility. That’s awesome. I am 71 and a half years old getting to 72. I am still on the ground because he has given me the opportunity, the health and the strength.
If I could get the core message of my book. I don’t know what highest mountain I wanna stand on. And shout do not turn your there’s nobody that is immune to tragedy right in the past. Now in the future, we’re not shielded from it, but how do you handle, what do you do with it? Exactly. Yeah, that is the burning message I wanna get out. I’m looking for any platform to get it out. To change people’s mind on how they see uncomfortable situations.
Well, I’m glad to be one platform for you today to be able to get that message out. Cause it is, it is important. It is important because you don’t have to let tragedy define you. It’s so much better to be able to, you can learn from it. And then there’s always lessons to be learned. And then you can take that and move forward.
And, and use it to inform your life and take it as a lesson. Okay. I won’t do that again, or I’ll be able to help somebody else because of what I’ve gone through and help them to avoid it, which is what, what you’re doing. And I think it’s wonderful. And. So glad that you were able to spend some time with this today.
And I, I hope for those of you listening and, and or watching will take some of Enoh’s lessons to heart and, and, and if you want to know more, you definitely need to be able to get a copy of her book and, and how else can, can people either, where can they find the book or how can people get in touch with you?
Maybe they, maybe someone out there listening would like to put you on their podcast. So, how can they, how can they reach you? My book is on Amazon as paperback. If you go into Amazon and type in Doctor Enoh, my book will pop up and also as an ebook. That can reach me (508) 981-9650 or Eukpong at charter.net. All right.
Excellent. Well, I’ll have, I’ll have the email in the show notes. We’ll put that there for sure. Thank you. And I am on Facebook and on LinkedIn. Okay. Excellent. Well, there you go, folks. So you’ll be able to get in touch with her. So thank you again for, for spending some time with us today. And I, really enjoyed reading about your story and all that you’ve been through, and it was a very good book and I wish you continued success and, and new success in your new endeavors with the financial education.
And, I know that you’re gonna keep going for quite some time. So, you’re, you’re, you’re a fighter. You’re you’re you, I can tell that you’re you’re gonna be, you’ve got more work to do. I’m sure God has more work for you to do.
Alright. All right. Well, thank you. And thank all of you for listening and for watching. And I hope today if you got some value out of this interview that you’ll share it with a friend and, or leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform like Apple or Spotify. And until next time as always, I encourage you to go out and live fully love deeply. And engage authentically.
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