Women's Corner | September 2022
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It Takes A Village
Contributed by: Sis Tameka Holcomb
I recently came across a video on YouTube about a group of parents in rural Zimbabwe that came together to build their children a school (I will add the link to the bottom of this article). These parents work on commercial farms where they make less than $2.00 per day and their children currently walk several miles to go to “school”, which was a building a made up of a thatch roof and wooden polls. With limited time and resources, they came together as a community before going to work on the farm to build a school building for their children. I start with this story because many of us have heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”, which originated in Africa and this story shows the importance of parents coming together as a village to support their children.
You may say to yourself, that’s cool, but what does that have to do with me? Well, let me try and bring the point closer to home. How often have we heard people talk about how parents become so much nicer, kinder, giving, etc after they become grandparents? Well, I can say now that I have become a grandparent, my children say it. In being honest, I have two sets of children and my older children currently say that about how I parent my younger children. What I say to them and others that I learned from the mistakes that I made with my older children how to be a better parent to my younger children. It is not that I did not have advise from family members such as my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, etc. but that often felt like criticism, and I often felt like nothing I did was right. (I know I cannot be the only one 😉.
As I see some of my younger sisters struggling with similar things that caused me stressed, I began to ask myself how I can help. My mind immediately went to Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 Two are better than one; going it alone you may not be strong enough; two provides more reinforcement; but threefold cord is not easily broken. None of us were meant to go through this journey called life as an island and sometimes it can feel like we are on an island alone (even when we have family), which can be a scary place. But just imagine if we truly embodied what the Word says in Revelation 12:11 We overcome by Jesus’ blood and our willingness to share our testimony!!
So many of us have things that we have survived or generational curses that we have been delivered from so that we don’t pass those things on to our children. My elder always says “experience isn’t the best teacher; sometimes other people’s experience is.” What if we could find a way to come together and be transparent in sharing our experiences so that our sisters do not have to experience the same challenges, pitfalls, heartaches, etc that we have experienced?? The scripture says in several places that the things were written in the Bible were for our example (so that we don’t fall into the same traps. So that we can learn what to do and what not to do).
As sisters, I am asking that we find a way to be a part of a “village” or at least find your Dream Team. What is a Dream Team? Well, to me a Dream Team consists of at least these three people: a cheerleader, an accountability partner, and a coach. Why these people? Well, we all need someone (cheerleader- Galatians 6:2 we are called to bear each other’s burden) to remind us that “we’ve got this” when times get hard, this is the person is willing to pray with and for you while encouraging you to not give up. We also need someone to hold “our feet to the fire” 😜. This is the person (accountability partner- Proverbs 11:14 no counsel; people fall; multitude of counselors there is safety) that will not allow you to give into the challenges because they will come. Finally, we need someone to help us when we “can’t see the forest for the trees”. This person (coach – Proverbs 4:5-7 get wisdom and understanding) will help us as we plan and navigate to become the person or complete the task in front of us.
In closing, remember as older sisters, we are commissioned to be teachers of good things including providing wisdom on how to love our children! Titus 2:3-4. So, whether you have a testimony to share or if you are a sister looking for help and support, please reach out. Check with your local church social media groups. If you are looking for a parent partnership group, please reach out to me at email@example.com. As we get ready to start a new school year, I am working with individuals to create a parent partnership group that will specifically seek to support parents as they support their children in the education arena. I am also aware of several virtual and in-person sisterhoods.
Join me as I expand my community to include building and opening a school for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.