CHARLOTTE – Paula Broadwell, the woman at the center of the scandal that led Gen. David Petraeus to resign as director of the CIA, was among 2,000 guests in Charlotte on Tuesday for the YMCA's annual prayer breakfast.
Broadwell said the message of the morning hit home as she is attempting to rebuild.
“The mission today, the prayer breakfast today, was to speak about redemption and slowing down in life and finding purpose,” she said.
Broadwell sat nearly anonymous, listening to a message about God, family and reflection.
“It really touched my heart. I've made some mistakes in the past but I'm trying to look forward with my family,” she said.
The breakfast drew many of the state's political leaders. Broadwell says she's been a longtime supporter of the YMCA and the services it provides, and prayer is a familiar part of her own life.
“I grew up in a strong faith-based family,” she said. “I think I have selected to return to those roots for strength, for my family, for myself and to protect our children and to forgive others and move on and face forward.”
Broadwell made no mention of the events of late 2012 that drew the eyes of the nation to her Dilworth door or of Petraeus, the married war hero and then CIA director with whom her affair rocked Washington's political elite.
“I'm not seeking publicity,” Broadwell said. “I'm seeking meaningful work.”
In the time since the scandal has died down, Broadwell says she's tried to refocus on those closest to her.
“First and foremost, I've been focusing on my family. And, again, this whole breakfast is a reminder of what should be first in one's life and I'm thankful to have that reminder,” she said.
She said she is now trying to serve the Charlotte community she's called home for years.
“I've been involved in a number of wounded warrior organizations and veteran support initiatives in our community,” said Broadwell.
Broadwell said the message of the breakfast and the goals of the YMCA resonate with her deeply as she tries to move past the time in her life that changed it forever.
“At the end of the day, I count my blessings being in this wonderful country and our wonderful community and having such a wonderful family and opportunities and the opportunity to rebuild,” she said.
Petraeus announced last week he'll be a visiting professor at City University of New York beginning in August.