We were making plans. The plans that ambitious teenagers make. The sky was the limit. It was the foundation we stood upon to reach our mega dreams. My brother had recently graduated from high school and I was excited to walk that same corridor to a brighter future. We felt like we deserved hope after enduring many hardships during childhood and adolescence.
Then, a typical fun day at home with friends quickly turned into a fatal tragedy. I watched my brother slip away from me right before my eyes. Life seemed pointless. I managed to graduate and enroll at the University of Tennessee at Martin with a basketball scholarship. That opportunity was my access to college, but I did not have the ticket to sustain me. I was living my dreams, yet I felt alone and empty. I became depressed and was making plans not to live. Circumstances caused me to transfer to Union University located in my hometown of Memphis.
My new college coach would have devotion every Monday with the team. One evening, I was in his office and his discernment prompted a profound question, “LaTesa, are you a Believer?” No one had ever asked me that question. He planted the seed that later gave me the strength to call out to God with a bottle of pills in my hand. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I received my ticket that granted me access to a new game!
I started making moves with God on my side. Today, I serve as the district social worker for Millington Municipal Schools and the track coach for middle schoolers. Each day, I am privileged with the opportunity to plant seeds in the lives of youth within my community. God has blessed me with an amazing husband and best friend with whom I share my dreams. We both serve in ministry at Innovation Church. He is the youth pastor, and I am the children’s director. Working with youth in my various roles, I am an eyewitness to ‘God’s power in my weakness’ as it relates in my favorite verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9. I am now hopeful of the moves these young people will also make with God!