I began my year with a new start, new life, and a new beginning. While living with my parents, I continued my search for employment. I felt that I needed a job ASAP, since I was twenty-three going on twenty-four years old living with my mom and dad. Not to mention, when under the same roof me and my father, for some reason, don’t get along very well. When I first arrived back home he didn’t exactly welcome me back with open arms. To be honest the first night there, he wanted me gone. Which, I must admit, hurt me deeply but who blame him though. Taken from everything I put him through over the years, I could understand how he felt. I don’t know why, but for some reason I came to learn my father has a great impact on my life. Despite of all my wrong doings, whenever I did try to do right, it was all just to gain his approval and acceptance. However, it seemed no matter how hard I tried the worst I got and the more disappointed he was in me. Therefore, was one of the reasons why I constantly kept failing on consistent basis. I was too busy trying to please him and instead of living for God, I was living for my father. My dad was like my idol, which till this day is hard to believe but truth be told, he was. In February of 2006 I went to the alter at church … Oh yeah I forgot to mention, I finally joined a church. I am now a proud member of New Hope Baptist Church, Pastor Jerry Young. Now that was a big step for me! As I was saying though, I went to the alter, I prayed, and I asked God to help me to stop worrying about my father and our issues. That is all beyond my control. I have no power over the situation, therefore why worrying about it. Luke 12:25-26 states, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” In other words, if we can’t actually manually change things in our lives then why even bother to worry about it?
From there, I prayed constantly asking God for a direction in my life since I honestly didn’t know where I was going. That’s when my sister came to me and told me to consider going to Job Corps. I thought she was crazy at first, I mean I am twenty-four years old going to a place filled with teenagers going through their adolescent years. I was going to make it. What were they and everyone else going to think? That’s when I reminded myself of Luke 22. There I go worrying once again. So, I prayed about it long and hard. I even fasted away from my biggest distraction, TV. Around late February and early March I had went to the WIN Job Center and signed up for Job Corps. I took sometime for them to call back, I had started to think maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Until that thirf week of March when a lady from Job Corps called to confirm some things and then it was official. My dad asked me are sure this is what God wants and for the first time I was so for sure that this is what exactly what God wants for me.
On March 28, 2006 I arrived at Batesville Job Corps Center in Batesville, Mississippi. From the look of the place and its students I had a small amount of bad feelings about it. But I took a deep breath and said, “O.K., Lord you’re all in control.” My plan, when I got there, is to get my GED and trade and split out of there. I could handle being around so much ungodliness and disrespectful teenagers. I mean there were young people 20–22 years old acting just like them. Little did I know God’s plan was so much different from mine. First, I prayed to find at least one Christian young lady that could relate to. Before you know it He places a woman my same age and a student there in my life. We would stay up all night talking about the Bible and how God has and still is working in our lives.
As time grew on, it came time for her to leave, which I really hated. However, by God placing her in my life I discovered things about myself I never knew. I found my calling from which is to counsel young people or the youth, particularly young women/girls. Second, I prayed for a godly mentor, and there He did it again, blessed me with an older woman, who is a substitute teacher there, that I talk to whenever I can. She always and still is giving me spiritual guidance. Third, after working with the staff I discovered so many abilities I didn’t know I had in leadership. Never in my life could I see myself being a leader of anything. But, there I am dorm president in my dorm and then office manager in my trade skill class. Lastly, in four months I had received my GED and my certificate in Business Office Technologies. I gain more than just that there, I became so much more confident in myself, gained self-motivation, and gained so many work related experiences that make my resume look a 100 percent better than before. I never received so many words of praise, encouragement, and acknowledgements in my life within such short time.
Well, since I have gotten everything I needed from Job Corps. I had a choice to both leave now and go try to find a job or stay there and continue my education in their College Program (which is where you can attend college while still living on Job Corps Campus). I chose to go to college. So, here I am now at Northwest Mississippi Community College, majoring in Social Work/Counseling. From there I will go off to a major university to gain my bachelors and from there, only God knows. At my graduation at the Batesville Job Corps Center, I was chosen to give a speech telling everyone what I gained from the program and words of encouragement for my fellow graduates and those that still remain … This is what I said to them:
On March 28, 2006 I arrived here at Batesville Job Corps Center, with the plan to get what I came for and leave. Within my first four months here I have received my GED and completed my vocational skill in Business Office Technologies. During my eight month stay here I have received something I didn’t have much of growing up as a child … and that is encouragement, love, support, and guidance from the staff and my close friends here, which were given to me through God. With that guidance I have decided to remain and enter their College Program. Therefore, January 2007 I will be attending Northwest community college to major in social work and counseling. After which, I have aspirations of getting my bachelor arts in this field of study. From there I plan to go where God leads me so I may, with Gods will, help and encourage other young people and make a difference in their lives.
To all my fellow graduates, I charge, not only myself, but you as well to continue your education. Today is not end but the only beginning of a new and improved life. One thing we have all learned is the importance of knowledge, wisdom, and maturity. Because without it we are like ships drifting on the sea, not know where we are going. I charge you not to settle for less but for success. Job Corps has given us the opportunity to be anything we want to be, have anything we want to have, and go anywhere we want to go. I challenge you to go out and be better people. Showing your family, friends, and peers that you are a new person with goals and dreams of making something of your life. As well as encouraging other young people to not make our same mistakes. But most of all I charge you to keep God first in everything you do and remember that you can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you.
And to those who yet remain, I charge you to take advantage of all Job Corps has to offer. Despite of all your enemies that surrounds you, that dislike you, talk about you, and judge you. Remember only God can judge you. He knows who you really are and what you are capable of accomplishing. I challenge you to receive your GED/High School Diplomas and complete your skills. I charge you to be the best student employee this center has seen.
Most of us had more failures than we care to admit. But now we’ve been offered a chance to achieve success … success that will last a life time … success that no one can take from us … success that is worth waiting for.
In closing I would like to thank all of the staff for your love, support, guidance, and encouragement that you have given me. I thank all of the friends I have made for all of your love, friendship, and laughter you given me. But most of all I thank God for giving me and you a second chance at life.
Thank you and God Bless.
As close my testimony for the year 2006. Here is my theme for the coming up year 2007 …
Luke 12:22-26 NIV “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Proverbs 3:5-7a “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.”