Hello and welcome back to this week’s posts on the Resilient Woman. I hope you have enjoyed the candid responses from the ladies who so graciously accepted doing the interview.
This weeks guest can be described in a word; Determined.
Growing up, Teika Towns was exposed to much; love, separation, trust, alcoholism, partying, and determination. Although this was the case, faith helped her to overcome paths to destruction and guide her to where she is today. Her story, for many, is a common one and another great example of an individual not allowing circumstances to defeat them in life. She has developed a caring for others approach in this life that she undoubtedly has learned from past experiences.
Take a listen as she shares a few personal points that will be sure to hit home with others.
So Teika, welcome! What are your initial thoughts?
First off, I want to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate and thank you for thinking of me! When you first asked me to be involved, I wasn’t really sure of what I was going to say or even, really, what it means to be a strong or resilient woman. Most of my experience has just been based on survival. But as I had time to think and reflect, please see my answers below.
TWH-What is your definition of a strong woman?
My definition of a strong woman is a woman that is not defined by the strength of the man she may be with. A strong woman knows how to carry herself, take care of her family and take care of others. A strong woman may not always have her looks together or her appearance together, which can be misconstrued as a weakened state, however, to me, it just means that she is taking care of business and will do what is necessary to make sure the needs of her family and others are met.
TWH- A resilient woman possesses these qualities. Explain.
A resilient woman possesses the following qualities: loyalty: loyal to her family, loyal to her job, her church, and most of all, loyal to GOD. GOD most certainly needs to play the role in a resilient woman because He is where her strength comes from.
Trust: A resilient woman can be trusted. When she displays her loyalty, those who spend any time around her can be assured that trust is the basis of her very foundation.
Bounce back: A resilient woman bounces back. I have been in a few situations where I felt like I was going to be taken down by the situation. I was married to a man for almost 4 years and we were only together for 19 months of those 4 years. Long enough to have 2 children. I felt like he thought I was young and could run my life, and I let him do it for a while to keep what I thought was “peace”. During that time period, I let myself go for a while, but I always made sure my daughter was well dressed (I didn’t have my son until after we parted ways). My mom would always notice that my clothes would be a little tattered or I may have had stains from carrying for my daughter on them. At the time, I just didn’t care; any chance I could get, I wanted to get out of the house and away from him. But the LORD dealt kindly with me and gave me my Bounce Back! I can remember when I first left him, one of the sister’s at the church said to me, in my face, “When the LORD delivers you from Egypt, you don’t go back!” I truly believe GOD used her to tell me to only look forward!!
TWH- Could you name a few situations that highlight or showcase the resilient women in action?
My experience is being a single mother. I had the best example of my own mother though. I would always say that if I could be half the woman and mother that she was and is, I would be all the better for it! I waited until my kids were almost out of high school to go to college. In all honesty, the only reason why I went back to school was because in 2007, when my manager, Pat Kendrick (MeeMaw), put in my review that I should go to school, I wanted to meet that goal and challenge for my job, and at the time that was the only reason. I started school in January 2008, and finished with my MBA in May 2014; all while working full-time, taking care of my kids and home, and meeting my responsibilities at church and for the LORD. I finally had to realize that was a door HE opened! My GPA ended up being nearly a 3.7 all while maintaining life! I’d have to say that was one of my most greatest showcases of being a resilient woman. I wanted to also be an example to my kids, and other young men and women at church that they can do ANYTHING!! I also re-married during that six-year period, which was a HUGE adjustment for me and my children, because up until my husband came along, we were all we had so to speak. Sure my parents and family and church family were there, but when it came down to the nitty-gritty, it was just me and my kids!
TWH- What barriers if any may the resilient women encounter?
Some barriers a resilient woman may face could be social and economic limits. But I believe this to be from man’s point of view. Those barriers are there, but it only goes to show that we must rely on GOD through those barriers. That’s also what makes us resilient, facing those barriers, but still believing we can succeed.
TWH- Is society recognizing the resilient women today and if so how?
I would have to say that society is starting to recognize the resilient woman! Look at Michelle Obama. She had to endure much in her role as FLOTUS. With all she and POTUS had to face during their tenure in the White House, I can remember in one of her speeches when she said: “When they go low, we go high!” That spoke volumes! A simple statement that poignantly says that society will try and pull a person (in many instances, women) down. And some will succumb to society, but then for the rest of us, no matter what we face, always go high!
TWH- Who is your example of a strong woman? If more, its ok to share that too.
My example of a strong woman, is without a doubt, my MAMA!! She is the strongest woman I know! My life sorta puddled in her footsteps with raising two children, working a full-time job, AND going to school full-time, as a single mom. If she struggled, and I know she did, she never let my sister and me see it! She was and is still my hero! If I could choose another, it would be my godmother, Tracey Posey! She too has endured so much. Not always with grace, but because of the mercy of the LORD and her persistence to want to do right by GOD. She is still a work in progress, but I appreciate the LORD for her being so candid with anyone she talks to!
TWH- Do you feel there are limits to being a strong woman?
I do not feel there are any limits to being a strong woman. It is a personal choice. I will say that strength does lie in numbers. We must surround ourselves with other strong women, but at the same time, be there for that young woman, and even older women, who are struggling. We need to use our strength to build each other up. Most times, it isn’t a man who is belittling a woman, but it is other women, belittling other women!
TWH- If you could help guide someone to being a strong woman how would you help them?
I would have to say the same as #7.
Quite truthful and gut-wrenching responses Teika. Thanks so much for participating and sharing your thoughts.
Well everyone, again we have another courageous lady that quite frankly is and has handled business. Hopefully, you have not only been educated in some way but encouraged to press on. Thanks for the read!
Stay tuned for next weeks guest.