I made a Facebook post Saturday, stating that I was weary from the recent changes in my life. Instead of withdrawing from all social interaction, I added that I had decided to surround myself with positive people: my family and friends.
Friends Till the End
I’ve learned that the enemy wants me to stay inside and “get myself together.” Well, God gave me some of the most amazing friends a woman could ask for. The laughs were right on time. Helping THEM work through some of their dilemmas actually made me forget about mine.
I realize that post – divorce, I have surrounded myself by positive, successful people who make deposits into my spirit, not withdrawals. I cannot stress enough, how important that is.
Worship With My Family
Today was Women’s Day at my Auntie’s church, St. John’s 2nd Baptist (Pastor Roy Sharpe), and she headed the committee this year. The people there are the epitome of positive! They always make you feel like they’re so glad you came.
All of her daughters (myself included) had assignments. My older sisters, Joanne and Ginger took their places on the program before mine. I only hoped I could do as good a job as they did.
I had the honor of introducing Rev. Senator Erica Smith-Ingram, whom I met when she was a school board member in Northampton County. I’ve heard her bring the word a few times before, and I knew Saturday night, that after hearing her message I’d feel revitalized and ready to tackle the
week month! You know I was absolutely right!
I was initially planning to just read her bio to the congregation like so many others have done before me. However I thought I would do her a disservice by failing to put a personal spin on it. As I scribbled what I was going to say instead, I remembered how her messages are always just what I need to hear; on time, and on point.
After reading over my little blurb about the senator and how she has impacted my life, I approached the podium and God spoke through me. Who she is today reminds me that little black girls from Northeastern North Carolina CAN grow up to be strong black women.
I glanced at my daughter from time to time to make sure I was doing ok. Her facial expressions would surely guide me back on course if I’d gotten off track. Seeing that Brianna approved and hearing my own words, I sat down remembering, knowing, and believing, that I too, am a strong black woman.
Admittedly, I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about whether I have truly thought through my decision to leave Bertie County, my students, my colleagues, and my especially my basketball team. Let me tell you about confirmation and actually hearing God’s voice.
After the service, I greeted Erica to thank her for stirring my soul once again. During our exchange, she congratulated me on my new job and told me,
“Joan, you are going to make an impact wherever you go. You made an impact in Northampton County, you made an impact in Bertie. You have no idea how many young women and teenage girls look up to you.”
I didn’t even think she really knew about what was going on with me, really. I just thought to myself, you have no idea regarding the same, ma’am.
After church all of us (eight in total) went out for lunch. There were several people there from our service, as well as a host of other services that had turned out.
On my second trip to the buffet (do not judge me), I walked past a table of young people. I was totally delighted to see on of my former students, who arguably wore my nerves down to the core in two of my science classes at Bertie High School. EVERYDAY.
I was so excited to see him, because he’s one of the young men that I talked to about life and making a good living for himself one day. Each time I see one of my former black male students in the paper for criminal activity or worse, death, I honestly think in the back of my mind, thank God it’s not N******* E******.
We were about to wrap up when he got up and walked back to our table. He gave me a big hug and said,
“Mrs. McCullough, it’s really great to see you and thanks for everything you’ve done for me.”
Before I could reply, he dropped some money on the table and continued,
“And your meal is on me today…and I ain’t taking it back, so you might as well just spend it on your food.”
My Thankfulness for Positive People in My Life
If I learned anything this weekend, it’s that doubt, indecisiveness, and worry are tools of the enemy. If I didn’t receive confirmation within the last 48 hours in every way, I don’t know what else it takes.
I love my friends and family, and I love all of my former students and colleagues. I know my patience can be as thin as a plant cell sometimes, but please always know that I care. I only hope that I’ve made as much of a positive impact on your lives as you all have made on mine.
Now Brianna and I are going to get ready for the “Stop the Violence” march in Ahoskie at 7:07. Caring about my “sons” like N********, is the reason why. Hope to see you there!
Blessings to each of you!