Onekia Freeman is a native of Altheimer, Arkansas. Her heart is deeply rooted in family and being a joy to others around her. A single mother of three daughter’s; Na’Kyra (21), NaKeia (20), and Kennedi (13). Her hobbies are reading, writing, watching documentaries (on any subject) and spending quality time with her 87 year old grandfather. Onekia has been employed with the State of Arkansas for sixteen years.
Thank you Oneika for sharing your story and ending my “Dear Younger Me” series. I hope you the readers have enjoyed these powerful letters from a group of amazing women.
This letter is a divine intervention from God and you will one day have the opportunity to thank a young lady by the name of Neikeita Mitchell. You haven’t met her yet but you will thank her in the near future. As crazy as this may sound, I am you attached with nineteen more years of baggage, understanding and wisdom. We are the total opposite but still one in the same. The contents of this letter will include chapters you have yet to experience but it will edify strengths that you never thought existed.
In this moment at the tender age of 21, you are a careful free soul just living in the moment. A single mother of two beautiful daughters, working a full time job, partying ever opportunity that you can and just living day to day. The future is miles ahead of you but you think that you will be young forever. Even though you never express it openly to others, you hate that you never attend college. And you refuse to fail under pressure as being a young mother. You carry personal condemnations of having two children out of wedlock. As a small child growing up, you often remember older women addressing children born out of wedlock; as bastards. Now here come along little Onekia Freeman, a child born into wedlock and surrounded by a strong lineage of marriages. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. And the awkward thing is no one has shared a blueprint with you on single parenting. Your great grandmother raised her children as a single parent but in your simple mind, the generational gap is so far-fetched, you don’t think that she will be able to relate. But in the end you will understand that Artelia’s blood runs so deep through your veins and your story will end in triumph. Triumph? Girl you have some hurdles ahead.
Right now, you are at your peak. And let me not forget to mention that your father has you so spoiled that in years to come, you will be able to identify it as crippling. Your mother is a currently at her crossroads with you. I don’t think you vowed to consider how much you changed her life as well. She had big dreams for you. First seeing you off to college, marrying a good man and grandchildren would come later. But you skipped the first two and you were still a child yourself when you gave birth to Na’Kyra and Na’Keia. Does she still love you? Hell yes, she will continue to be your biggest supporter throughout the trials and tribulations that lie up the road for you sweet girl. She will watch you fall and then blossom into something beautiful. And your strength will be much needed and relied upon in months to come. To sum it all up, you all will need each other in a major way. But right now, your focus only remains on your father! You are an obsessed daddy’s girl. And right now, I can’t fault anyone but your father. You have him wrapped around your fingers and there’s nobody in this world than can stand between that bond.
Life is almost close to perfect for you. No worries, you love God and let me add that you are madly in love with an older guy from the neighborhood, Mark Anthony Love. He’s six years older and you are so determined to be married. Mind you, that you watched women stand by their men, so you’re praying that those love stories will one day become your love story. Sneak peek into your future, the story won’t end well and you will never marry Mark. I know that you just decided to throw this letter in the trash or have a conscious decision to stop reading this mess. But the plot thickens.
Cleary while reading this letter, I’m sure you have asked God to possibly press pause or skip the hands of time. Or even skip a few chapters to prevent facing upcoming pain or fears. But let me make you a big promise, you will survive it. You will have a great battles with depression and withdrawals; And God has to win you back. You will soon see and learn the patient side of him. Even through your rebellious stages, he will remain in your corner. In which you will later define as grace.
There will be moments that you will wish to turn back the hands of time. I’m asking you to make good with time because there will be moments that you will wish that you did. There will be people in your life that God will have to teach you how to carry them in spirit only. You’re going to learn great things in a few chapters of grief. You have some unfortunate losses ahead of you. But God will use you for him kingdom good to help others. And those two little girls that you are raising, God is going to bring you back a lot of joy through them.
For every chapter that will break your innocent heart, God will restore you piece by piece and you are still a work in progress. Your difficult days will be embedded piece of clutter that clogged in your veins. But your life’s story will be your testament of survival. The devil will have you fooled until one day you realized how powerful your testimony truly was and is!
Who kept you sweet girl? The man whom you felt had forsaken you; God! Your faith is all that had in the end and it’s the driving force that you carry to your grave. True warriors suffer on the battlegrounds of life. Onekia, you lived to tell the story.
God created you for his purpose and glory. The life that we live, is not our own. Every day, God is grooming you into the woman that he mentioned in Proverbs 31: 29-31:“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all’ (30) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (31) Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Onekia you are a jewel that holds a special place in God’s heart. I pray that this letter will comfort your weary soul. You have a lot of growing up to do but your wisdom will become a blessing to women of all ages. You’re going to fall in love with the older you! Can’t wait to meet you. Because without you, there would be no me.
Own your God given truths,
The 40 year old version of you