( 750 words)
Moving from the ‘hood’ to the suburbs of Milwaukee, in 1969 when I was 10, changed my life. I quickly learned that nice and not-so-nice people came in all colors, especially at school. There, the White kids laughed at my ebonic accent. When busing brought more than 4 other Black kids to the suburbs, they called me an ‘Uncle Tom’ for sounding White!
Even so, I managed to make several good friends at school. Two of them loved me enough to tell me about Jesus. The first, when I was 14 and the 2nd in Tucson, when I was 21, pursuing a BS in Architecture from the University of Arizona. Each time, I thought my friend was crazy but I was perfectly ‘normal’.
Right after my crazy friend returned to Milwaukee, a man I'd dated just 2 months before leaving for college, moved to nearby Phoenix. Homesickness contributed to mixed-emotions about this. I was looking forward to going to college ‘unattached’ for 1200 reasons. That’s how much the round-trip flight to my first boyfriend’s military base had cost me. He dumped me shortly after my arrival.
It took me over 30 years to realize why I wisely chose not reconcile with my 1st boyfriend after he apologized, but I stupidly chose to accept everything my future ex-husband told me even when I knew he was lying: pride.
Pride made me an easy target for gaslighting – a physiological manipulation tactic. From the moment he arrived in Phoenix, until I filed for divorce in Milwaukee, almost 5 years later, pride lead me to believe and do things I shouldn’t have when it came to this man. It was my pride, not my ex, that had cost me everything – starting with my college savings and my self-respect. Thankfully, I wound up pregnant 4 months after we rebelliously eloped. The despair created by being married to an unfaithful man drove me to consider suicide. But, my innocent, unborn child gave me a reason to live.
Remember my friend from Milwaukee that came to see me in Tucson? When she told me again about Jesus being able to give me a new life, she didn’t sound crazy anymore! A new life was exactly what I needed and wanted.
On Sunday, April 10, 1983, while I was at church with my future ex-husband - a miracle in itself considering I didn't 'do church' and he hadn't attended for years - I received my new life. God knew exactly what it would take for me to lay aside my pride and start living the life He had planned for me rather than the lie I was living to save face. A few weeks later, He used my Christian friend and her husband to transport me and my 11 month old son, back to my parents’ house, where we needed to be.
My son is now 36 years old. He became my brother in Christ when he was 4-½. The highest compliment I could pay my son is to say that if he wasn’t my son, I’d admire the character of the godly man he has become. Founding the Christian Writers Collective is the first fruit of my desire to reach the high bar he has set, but, in my role as a godly parent. I also want to be obedience to Proverbs 13:22, which says we're to “leave an inheritance for our children's children.” (See LateBoomers.net)
My best friend, Mrs. Naomi Walker, was the only person I told that Jesus was prompting me to return to college at age 57 because of Proverbs 13:22. I had planned to complete a BS in Business & Communications. She was also the only one that knew how He was rewarding my obedience with step by step instructions for founding the CWC. Every essay and term paper I wrote paved a clearer path to success! For the next 4 years, she enthusiastically and professionally proofread everything I wrote from college papers to resumes. Words, alone, can't express what an encouragement she was to me.
When Mrs.Walker died on my 61st birthday, October 8, 2019, I knew it was God's providence, not coincidence. She had demonstrated her belief in me and the CWC with her friendship, her enthusiasm, and her tireless proofreading. I pray the Lord would allow me to honor her by dedicating our first book to her,
Jesus Can...Give You A New Life!, on 10-8-2020, the 1st anniversary of her Homegoing and my 62nd birthday. Amen.
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UPDATE: Our new goal is to publish our first book in January 2021 and we're well on our way! We're on target to have all 100 writers by approximately 11/25/2020! See our HOMEPAGE for more information and why this is an 'approximate' date!