Faith is Greater Than…
Many people know parts of Faith’s story, but only those closest to her can tell from their perspective the things that she went through as a single mom, the challenges that she faced, the mistakes that she made and the redemption that she received because of her Faith. Many times, when I am sharing her story to people, they say “Wow, she went through all of that?” My reply is “That’s only what she’s told me. I’m pretty sure that there’s way more to it than that.” Faith is very humble and does not like to brag or boast on herself when she’s accomplished things that she’s set out in life to do, but that’s why I’m here. Being a teenage mom at 15 years old, there were several things that ‘they’ said that she would not be able to accomplish. ‘They’ said that she wouldn’t graduate from high school (wrong!) ‘They’ said that she would never get her degree (she has 3 degrees: an Associates, Bachelors, and Masters). ‘They’ said that she would never do the thing that she’s always wanted to do; become a college instructor (she begins teaching 2 classes this semester.) ‘They’ said she wouldn’t find someone who would love her unconditionally with 3 children (now the count is 4 children and a husband of going on 6 years.) ‘They’ said a lot of things that ended up not being true or accurate.
Although these things did not manifest themselves all at one time and at times it seemed as though many of the things that she accomplished would not come to pass, it was because of her faith in God that Faith became greater than any obstacle that she faced. I’m taking this time to celebrate Faith on her birthday not just to show the world what you can do if you continue to put your trust and faith in God no matter how long the journey seems, rather to help someone out there recognize whatever you have dreamt, thought, imagined, hoped or prayed for regarding your life, if you listen how God is directing you, be patient, diligent and full of faith, you will achieve those things that He has promised.
As I stated earlier, I can only talk about the things that she shared with me and those things that we have gone through together these past 6 years, but there is one who has been there since the beginning that can shed some light on what she has accomplished and how it has affected our family. It is my honor and privilege to introduce our eldest, Davion Manuel-Mckenney.
I have always attributed our relationship being unique due to the fact that we got to grow together. I’ve always admired my mom and I look forward to sharing why I do. Mom, you are a superhero to me. Love you and I hope you are having an amazing Happy Birthday!
“Baby Raising a Baby”
I realized you were a “gangsta” early in life. You were so respected anywhere we went down in Hollywood. You know that’s one thing I love about people from down south; you guys move with sense of presence and demand respect. I always admired that about you being from Hollywood. Anyway, we were young and yes, I can say “we” since you were only 15 and 16 when we lived there. I can’t imagine myself having a child at 15. Every time I think about it, I get chills. This is when I realize you were “gangsta” and a little off (lol). You decided to keep me and almost named me DavionDre. (Thanks, Pops, for not letting her do that!) Davion is a good name. I thank you Ma! You not only decided to be a mom, but you did your very best. At least that’s how I remember it.
I remember having to move a lot in those early days, but I never minded it because we were always together. That’s all that mattered. I have kids now and I honestly don’t know how you did it. Three kids by the age of 21! Single mom trying to figure out how to provide her kids with the best life possible. The second most gangsa thing you did was decide we were going to move to Daytona. You wanted to go to school and get a degree and down south is expensive. Trust me I get it now, but at the time I didn’t. I felt like you were ruing our lives. “I’m never going to see my friends again!” Hahaha you remember that? To be honest it felt like not long after we were moving. We packed up and we were gone.
Most of my memories from Daytona Beach are surrounded by faith, humility, and hard work. When we moved, we didn’t have an apartment and I’m pretty sure you had to still find work. Still to this day, I think about that! You were like ‘God revealed to me that there was a better life out there for us and you’, but He sent you to Daytona with no job and no place to stay. I’m sure to the normal person that sounds crazy, but you were obedient. You were willing to drop everything, and trust God was going to provide for us. I don’t know if you have ever thought about what that taught me. When you are following God and seeking what He has for you; He will provide all your NEEDS. I emphasize ‘need’ because there were always things that we wanted but we always had what we needed.
We did eventually get our own spot; we lived in “Soul City.” During this time in our life, you put on a cape every day. You would get up at 3:00AM to go to UPS to put food on the table. You were working alongside men who didn’t respect you, called you names, and intentionally tried to make you either snap or quit. I remember hearing some of the stories about how you were being treated at work and being so angry. I wanted to go do something to them dudes! You told me “They are fools and If I respond to them in the same way then I would be a fool.” That is a bar, Ma! You always have gems to offer. Do you remember this one? “You are special, God made you special and He has a plan for your life.” As a grown man I still say this to myself whenever I have any doubt. Anyway, I don’t know how you did it, but I never felt the weight that you had on your shoulders.
At this point, I don’t know if I have really done what I was asked (Ha Ha). I just started writing and all these memories of you flooded my mind. As I continue to think about your story it only reminds me that you need to write a book. More importantly, it is a testament to living in faith. I’m so thankful to be a part of your story and that God chose you to be my Mom.
So, to my superhero, I hope you have an amazing birthday. I love you Ma!