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She Didn't Know

She didn't know. The little girl in the picture had no clue how her life would unfold. There were two professions, she claimed. "A psychologist," she responded to a career day question in middle school. After meeting a Black man with "Dr." preceding his name, she thought, that seems cool.

The author as a preteen.

She didn't know. How to live her dream of becoming a writer. Encouraged by one teacher who attended the same church after reciting an original poem for Black History Month. She giggled when the teacher, Mrs. McAdory, came to her and encouraged her to publish the poem. That's what you do when you don't know who you are. You giggle. Besides, what is publishing to a preteen? How do you go about doing what you have never heard?

Lost but Guided for Her Good

Homecoming Court 1987
The author: 12th grade

The question of career choice came again a few months shy of high school graduation. "An architect," she responded as a dear classmate and friend laughed at her pronunciation of the word. He thought she had purposely mispronounced it. After all, being voted "most witty" by classmates gave him reason while protecting her feelings of inadequacy.

She didn't know. College was five years of sailing without a compass. She had the aptitude but needed the discipline to major in her chosen field. Later, she learned it wasn't a discipline issue but a lack of passion. She only connected with a few people, but those she did were interesting enough and engaging. Partying her method of trying to fit in didn't work. She went in as an unsure little girl and became a lost young woman.

She didn't know. Dallas would become her home as encouraged by an older sister. A credit card collector to a department store assistant manager, she struggled unknowingly. "It's a dead-end job. Quit soon after you get your car." Her sister guided her while reading the newspaper. "Here's a more promising career. Dallas ISD is looking for teachers for its alternative education program." She applied. The interviewer redirected the young lady's responses so they were acceptable. But she didn't know.

Finding Purpose adding Faith

with husband at William Anderson Elem. School, Dallas ISD; wedding shower by staff

The teaching environment would be where she would meet her husband. Teaching would help her understand her children's educational needs and how to teach them. It would give her adequate time to spend with her children. Teaching gave her insights into other people's worlds and ways of living. Teaching would teach her structure, time management, emotional regulation under pressure, and, most importantly, empathy.

She didn't know. Staying in one position too long bored her. She didn't save worksheets or lesson plans. She needed to create each year. One school too long took away her desire. "If I turn this corner one more time, I'm going to blow up," she declared the seventh year. Changing grade levels had taken its course. Her impatience with nonsense was evident when her new principal asked in a faculty meeting, "Do you feel you are a part of our family?" Confused, she responded, "No, I've only been here two days." Fitting in intentionally unlearned.

She didn't know. Marriage would call her to rise to the occasion. Forgetting all that was behind and pressing towards the mark of the high-calling. Motherhood would be the most challenging and anxiety-provoking joy she would experience. She would absorb into family rituals, dreams, and organized chaos. Finding herself would take years.

Finding Meaning

Memoir 2020

She didn't know. Harassment and racism would attempt to enslave her mind. Fighting alone would discourage her. Hatred would follow her. Laughter would mock her. Justice would evade her. Secrets would strangle her. Broken pieces. She would learn to advocate for others and, more importantly, herself.

She didn't know. She would rise again. Broken pieces sprinkled with His Water, and she would never thirst again. Strength as He molded her. Hope as He glided His love to blend all the broken but not shattered pieces. On His wheel, the Potter shaped her. The Potter's kiln purified her.

She didn't know. Fear would have stopped her if the little girl had known what she would have to endure. She would have never known His love. Never understood His grace. Never needed His mercy.

Finding God: For her good!

early elementary

She didn't know. Her strength and purpose needed to live out God's will would come from what she didn't know.


Thank you for your obedience and courage. Your memoir and you are such an asset to the Kingdom of God.


Sis Darline, such a beautiful testimony. Your writings are an encouragement to me. No matter where we are in life; LOOK TO JESUS. GOD HAS A PLAN. I love the new cover and now hard back addition of your book. Much love, A. Jones


A blessed testimony! Sometimes we really don't need to know God's divine plan, but trust HIS purpose for our lives!

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