Monday, April 22, 2024
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The Rebirth Of A Woman

Who says big things can’t come from something little, kinda like TNT?  I was born in N. Augusta, SC, a small town.  I have two older brothers, the only girl.  I grew up in a middle-class family.  All the neighborhood kids came to hang out at our house.  We did have some of the latest things, but what we had most was love.  My mom and dad both came from big families.  We grew up going on vacations, having backyard barbecues and family reunions.

I was considered popular.  I grew up in church.  I always had associates, but mostly a small circle of friends.  I excelled in academics.  I was a cheerleader early on.  I was also in school clubs like the Beta Club, Future Homemakers of America (FHA), and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).  I had perfect attendance throughout school.  I loved to have fun!  But,  I was also molested.  I never told anyone until I got older, much older.  I was afraid of what could happen if I told.  It was no longer about me.  So, I buried the truth within.  I truly believe pieces of me were buried with that ugly truth.  It is said that what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.  That’s what I did.  I pushed through.  The mantra that most black people are taught to live.  

I graduated on the honor roll.  I was in my high school’s Hall of Fame.  I went on to college.  I majored in Business.  I got a job working in human resources at a major corporation.  My goal was always to be a productive member of society.  I worked one, two, and at one point three jobs.  Still excelled by society’s standards, moving along until one day, I became unemployed.  During my unemployment, the goal felt like it was slowly slipping away.  Each day seemed to get longer and longer.  At first, I was getting up early as normal.  Then, with each day, it became later and later.  I would go from the bed to the couch.  I was spiraling into a depression I wasn’t even aware was resting upon me.  It wasn’t until speaking with my aunt and my sister coming to visit me, that I partially became aware.  The next months included going to doctors, taking various medicines like Melatonin and Xanax, days of three to four hours of sleep, physical and emotional exhaustion, having a verbal racial altercation after being called the n-word by a neighbor, and having to move from FL back to SC with my parents for eight months while the planting took place.  

During this time, life started life-ing.  I literally thought I was going to die, and there would be no coming back.  But minute by minute, one day at a time, I realized I would live, through family, friends, and the God in me.  In the midst of the process, I turned forty. However, the life I lived prior was no more.  From a caterpillar to a butterfly, there was the rebirth of a woman.  I became!  I became the woman God made me.  I started living out loud, living for me… in the words of Sarah Jakes, no longer settling for safety.  I became more transparent.  I started empowering other women.  My prayer ministry went to a new level.  I became more self-aware and started doing more of the things I loved, like going to the beach, walking, reading, writing, and taking bubble baths. I would go to the movies and dinner alone, now packing for a Caribbean vacation solo.  I would get in my Camry and ride alone, sometimes singing as loud as I could with the radio bumping R. Kelly or sometimes with no music at all, listening to the still small voice of Jesus. Even when the pan-damn-it came, and I survived COVID-19, I received another gentle reminder to live. Again, I started doing those things I loved, unapologetically.  No longer do the labels and expectations of others matter. The box they try to contain me in, no longer holds me. “Woman, thou art loosed!”  I am a black woman, phenomenally. In the words of James Brown, “I’m black, and I’m proud!”  I’m a writer, teacher, event planner, speaker, entrepreneur, and business professional. I’m a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, amiga, Pisces, loyal to a fault. I accepted the call to preach. But also, in the words of Mandy Hale, “I’m a lot!  A lot of woman. With a lot of layers. A lot of personality. A lot of dreams. A lot of ideas. A lot of strategies. A lot of emotions. A lot of love. Yeah, you’re right.  I am a lot.” 

I’m just Amye. Not perfect. Purposed!

 

 

Article Written by: Amye Matthews| Who says BIG things can’t come from small beginnings?  Amye was raised in South Carolina and currently lives in Florida.  She is the youngest of three children and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Amye has a love of reading and writing and has been doing so since middle school. You can follow her on Instagram @anangelstouchbyamye.

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