Know Your Weight: Women of Influence and Change

Living Life Unapologetically

It is hard to gauge the value of the people God places in your path. Even though, like the majority of my closest friends, I met Chastity at church, I never imagined that she would take a permanent resident in my life. She has been the friend that I never knew I needed. She has provided immeasurable support and guidance. When I thought no one else would understand, she did. When it felt like no one else cared, she did. When I felt alone and helpless, she was there.

To a woman that is teaching me how to embrace the essence of who I am without exception and without explanation, thank you for all you are and all you represent. Your existence fuels my persistence.

Dr. Chastity Roberts – a woman, scientist, mother, professor, health educator, life coach, sister, cousin, daughter, fighter, intercessor, minister, supporter, advocate, and probably many other titles that I am not aware. She is one of my sheroes! This is just snippet of her story.

What/Who are your influencers?

I have more influencers than I have time or space, so I will take this opportunity to mention the ones who have had the greatest impact. My biggest influencers are my maternal and paternal grandmothers and my mom. My maternal and paternal grandmothers are both women of great faith and full of wisdom. They have great personal resolve and live by their own moral and spiritual convictions without forcing them on others. Their public and private commitment to God is like none I have ever witnessed. They have both survived cancer, other major health issues, death of their husbands, children and siblings and yet they live purposefully and with great appreciation for the gift of life. They both live by the belief that “If God brought me to it, He will see me through it.” and have instilled that belief in me.

While my grandmothers have been tremendous influencers in my life, I would have to say my greatest influence would have to be my mom. My love for Christ and ministry came from my mom. My mom had me in church 6 out of 7 days a week. From a very young age, I was taught how to operate in every facet of ministry through modeling. My mom preached. She sang.  She was the church announcer. She was Pastor’s Official Reader. She beat the drums. She opened and closed the church. She visited the sick and shut-in. She decorated the church. She did everything, and she didn’t just drag me to church. She taught me servanthood and gifted me ministry. I learned how to lead devotion while beating the drums. I learned how to minister whether there be 3 in the congregation or 300. I learned how to keep my charge regardless of anyone else’s response or commitment to the call on their lives. She also served in the same church under the same Pastor reverently despite many disappointments, and thus taught me faithfulness.  So, I am because of her.

 What drives you to keep going?

Purpose drives me to keep going. Purpose won’t let you rest until your assignment is complete.

What do you love about yourself?

I love that I am resilient. God has graced me with the ability and the will to bounce back no matter what I have ever gone through.

What is your favorite word?

Okay!  Lol! I am at a stage in my life where I protect my peace at all costs. If I say 1+1=2 and they say no 1+1=5. My verbal response is OKAY! My internal thought is that this person is obviously someone who needs but does not want my help, and so I will withdraw myself from this conversation.

When I say “Okay! accompanied by a head nod and gesturing with my right hand, that means, “So this is what we’re doing. I gotcha ya. Keep on.” My kids get that alot when they are cutting up.

How has life changed since turning 40?

Since turning 40, I have become more confident and self-assured. I don’t feel like I need permission to BE or BECOME!

Define your role as a mother versus your position as a woman.

I see my role as a mother as a teacher, a guide, a shepherd, a cheerleader and a safe haven. 

As a woman, I believe my role is that of a dispenser of life whether that be as a professional, a help meet for my husband, a mother to my children, a caregiver of my parents, a confidant of my siblings, a minister of the gospel, the founder of a nonprofit, business owner or advocate in my community.

Chastity with her sons, Michael and Dean

How has your transition from marriage to single motherhood?

It has been interesting but not hard. By the time I separated and later divorced I had spent several years doing a lot of things with my boys on my own. The more time I spent alone, the more I subconsciously adjusted to the feeling and responsibility of being a single mother. Being a single mother of two boys can be challenging, but the rewards of knowing that while our new normal may not be ideal, we’ve managed to still create a beautiful life together.

How do you define “Black Girl Magic”?

Black Girl Magic is the ability to accomplish extraordinary feats in situations or circumstances despite a subordinary expectation of the Black Woman.

I have learned that our lives, particularly, our careers go through phases. You are extremely versatile. The more I get to know you, the more layers you reveal.  What do you see yourself doing in your next life?

I see myself teaching healthcare providers how to engage much more effectively with their patients and communities, providing information and life skills training that will transform lives. I also see myself writing and publishing self-help books and conducting coaching seminars that will shift people living with chronic diseases from surviving to thriving. I would like to travel and show my boys the world, exposing them to cultures and thought that would allow for them to become fully aware of the World and teach them how to navigate it. And as you know, I am also a secret lover of fashion and plan to really invest some time and energy into the development of boys apparel online clothing store.  And last but not least, I see myself preaching the gospel around the world. So yes… Layers!!!

Will you give yourself the opportunity to display more of your gifts?

I plan on it. I am currently transitioning to a way of life and carving out my own career path that would allow me to BE everything God created me to be and use every gift He gave me FREELY.

Describe your ideal day.

My ideal day would start with waking up to Talk to God, thanking him for the gift of life and asking for direction.  I would then make a home-cooked breakfast for my boys. After we are dressed and ready, I would drop them off to school and proceed to fulfill the instructions I received out of my prayer time until it is time to pick my boys up from school. Once I pick them up, my goal would be to “be present” and spend quality time with them which may include football or basketball practice, completing homework, playing video games, cooking dinner etc. Once they go to sleep, I’d take some much needed “Me time” to decompress and refill. Finally, I spend some time reading the bible or listening to the preached word before I retire for the evening.

What is your charge to the next generation?

Live purposefully! Find out what you were created to do and do that with all of your might. Be intentional. Be unapologetic. Be care free!

Give Love. Get Love.

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