Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley recently spoke to Liberty University with an overarching theme that her faith in God was a cornerstone to carrying onward during the toughest moments of PTSD, battles at the United Nations, and the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting.
“[My faith] was really all I had at that moment,” Haley told Liberty students while describing how she and fellow South Carolinians mourned after the tragic attack that killed nine African American churchgoers in her home state in 2015.
“I felt so desperate at the time” but my faith “saved me.”
Haley said her PTSD symptoms appeared as a result of the shooting while she was South Carolina governor.
“I knew something was very wrong, and my husband knew something was very wrong,” Haley said. “That’s when I really just threw it in God’s hands and said … ‘I need You to get me through this.’”
As the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley said her faith and values have been important throughout her life, from bullying she faced in childhood, to fighting for international freedom of religion while U.S. Ambassador at the United Nations. “Around areas of the world, Christians are persecuted, and Christians are discriminated against.”
Haley was South Carolina’s first female governor, and the second Indian-American governor in the United States.
And during her interview with Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr., Haley smiled and chuckled as panelists joked multiple times about her hypothetically running for president.
At the young age of 13, Haley took over the accounting and auditing roles of her parents’ small business that later grew to a multi-million-dollar company. “It was at [13 years old] that I learned the value of a dollar.”
“When businesses go through hard times, you get creative, you stretch, and you make it count,” she said, adding that conservative values are supportive of small businesses.
Reflecting on her time with the Trump Administration, Haley said several bad actors tried to pressure her into working against President Trump’s America First agenda. In particular, Haley believes then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly acted dangerously by opposing President Trump’s policies and that they undermined what the American people voted for.
“When people do try and push you in a certain direction, trust your gut. Go to that core and make sure you do what is right,” Haley told Liberty students. “You can be tough, but you don’t have to be hateful.”
Haley added that her faith and values do not stem from any particular politician or political affiliation.
“I’m pro-life not because the Republican party tells me to be pro-life. I’m pro-life because I understand the value of life. My husband was adopted, and I thank God every day that he was saved.”