I know firsthand what growing up on government assistance and even having government assistance in your life to make ends meet. I remember going to the only grocery store in my parish when I was a child all the way up until I was a teenager with my mama and auntie to “make groceries.” My mother use to have two baskets filled with all sorts of food and many of the cashiers who knew we were poor would laugh at us. Who would have thought that going to a small-town grocery store to buy groceries could be so damn judgmental?

My mother paid for all our food with her food stamp card with no shame. I would watch and see my aunt’s reaction, because she would often rush back to her Jeep in the parking lot in shame her damn self of other people’s reaction to how much food we had and how we were paying for it. 

I learned back then that you cannot fake your reality in a small town. If you had food stamps or was even getting social security every first or the third of the month, it was not a secret. You couldn’t shake the fact that you only had enough money to survive at the beginning of the month and would possibly be broke again before the 15th or the 20th rolled around. It was my harsh reality that I embraced and my harsh reality that humbled me

Years ago, I when I was in high school I made a promise to myself that I would beat the system. I would make a come up after I graduated from college and was becoming settled into my own. However, what I thought would be my life back then was just me having one hell of a vivid imagination. Today, at 24 years of age I can say that I’m still getting government assistance. I’m still not in that place I imagined when I was a teenager.

I’m not financially stable, and I have come to terms with myself that I must grind harder. 

I’m not hard on myself like many black women. I am not the type of black woman to get comfortable in any area of my life that I know in my heart can still become elevated. Yes, I’m married and currently pregnant and living what some would label the “city life”, but I still have more to get accomplished. The grind for me just doesn’t pause for me to take a photo or take a sip of some ice water and enjoy the view. I’m working hard so one day I won't be somewhere between receiving government assistance and becoming financially stable. 

Currently, I still smile and keep pushing in life, because I know that God has a plan for me. A plan that I cannot see, but keeps me hopeful. My soul is anchor in the Lord throughout my entire journey in life. I encourage you to keep your head up and pushing for a greater calling in life. You do not have to settle for the just because. Your struggle in life does not have to define your destination.

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  1. We have to understand the fact that at some point in our lives, we all face financial problems. However, they won't last forever so we have to overcome them with ease.