I will never forget the older lady that lived a across the yard from me. I called her Mother Bradford. She would take me to church with her on Sundays. She would invite me to her house just to sit and talk. I loved going over the Mother Bradford's house. It looked so pretty. It was always neat and clean. She would always encourage me about my life and the future plans God had for me. At certain times in my life, I couldn't see outside the neighborhood I lived in. So those plans that God had for me were to far for me to imagine.
I grew up in a non-Christian home. Being a young black girl living in "the projects," I was on my way to becoming another statistic. But Mother Bradford wouldn't have it that way. She would always have her Bible open. She would tell me what the Bible said. She taught me to always seek the Word of God and His answers for life's questions.
One day she told me that God was going to send me somebody that would cherish me. I couldn't comprehend that because girls like me didn't find men that cherished them. Now if she would have told me to take any man cause "a piece of a man is better than no man at all" I would have understood that. In my heart I really really wanted to believe that it could happen, but my mind was trying to bring me back to reality.
Just about every married man I knew had a "woman" on the side. It was worse knowing that the wives knew it and were okay with it cause "he's a man and he has needs." It was acceptable where I came from. I decided that I didn't want that for my life. I didn't want to have to share my husband with any woman. I so longed for that man who would cherish me, but it was hopeless. So I said to myself, "I ain't getting married and submitting to no man & having no kids. I'm going to be Ms Corporate America."
I wanted to be a lawyer and stand for women's rights. Had I been old enough when the women were burning bras, I probably would have been the ring leader. Why cook & clean for a man? Why have all those babies by him hoping that when the next baby is born he would stay? I wanted to help my sisters out. I wanted to show them the path to freedom. After all, I wanted to help womankind, right?
I would lay in bed at night remembering all those words spoken to me by Mother Bradford. Could God really send me someone like that? I was so hurt and confused. The pain from my childhood had left so many visible and invisible scars. I didn't make the best choices during certain times in my life. One choice I did make was allowing God to have complete control of my life again.
"Cherish me!" Oh, the words of life that were spoken to me on that great day.
The power of life and death is in the tongue. Because of the words that Mother Bradford spoke over me is the reason why I am the woman I am today. I'm married to a great man who loves and cherishes me. I love to cook and clean. I want to have more babies with him. Today, I am free to be the woman that God has designed me to be. Now my help to womankind is to introduce them to a Man who changed my life when I was a 16 year old young woman stuck in the miry clay.
Something that has stuck with me throughout the years....."Speak life!" By doing so may save someone heading down a path of destruction.