God always has a master plan for each of us Part 11

By: Rev. Jacquelyn Simmons


Scripture: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
My Dear Friends,

You have been a blessing to me as we “trekked” along the trail of memories God has designed while fulfilling his plan for me to become a columnist for the Monroe Free Press. Along the way, we have laughed, cried, and shared suspenseful and historical moments.

Last year, (2017), we paused during our “trek” at God’s way station for fuel and refreshing. We also showered in the holy spirit, soaked our feet in the blood of the lamb, and ate the bread of life. What a blessing! I am praying that we lost none of our brothers and sisters during the interim.

We last witnessed our attempted “bully” neighbor, Joda, being defeated while trying to take a wagon from my young sisters. We eventually became friends on the surface and had no more encounters.

My Jr. High school years at Cole were uneventful except for my determination to remain on the honor roll and continue to serve as captain of the hall monitors on the second floor (the largest floor at the school).

One wintry day while I was walking to school, my feet and legs felt frozen and the pain was almost unbearable as they began to thaw. “Daddy” and school staff members washed them in cold water, which brought relief later.

While singing in the school choirs (both Jr. and Sr. Highs), “Dena” and I were told by our high school choir director our voices had too much vibrato in order to sing solos. Strangely enough, for a brief “stint”, he served as my private voice and piano instructor, also. Mischievously, whenever “Dean” and I decided to sabotage a performance, we opened our mouths but let no tenor sounds emit from them to our director’s exasperation. However, in honesty, we were retaliating because black students were not given the opportunity to sing solos. We finally chose to sing our parts loudly for the harmony to be as he wanted.

My largest academic mistake in Manual High School was my refusal to blemish my transcript by failing typing. The typing teacher was famous for her rigorous grading scale: one error was a “B”, two errors- “C”, three equals- “D”, and … I am still suffering from not learning typing skills. Who did I punish?

I was a participant in the school drill squad, which performed during halftimes at football games. I also worked after school and weekends at a “swank” local hotel as a bus girl.
Eventually, I became a piano student under our church musician. After she resigned, I reluctantly accepted the position. My “Daddy”, somehow, became aware of some type of misunderstanding in the choir and quit the position for me. He quit every job our mother obtained because he felt she should be at home, as we departed for school and upon our return.

My friends remember this: I have always been an avid reader of many publications, most of them novels I check out of the school library.
Don’t forget to pray for our enemies.

Jacquelyn Simmons

P.S. Next week, you will meet the love of my life, “Willie” from Jeanerette, Louisiana and my bestfriend Margaret from Denver, Colorado.