• Coach Gwen

Finding My Why!

One gloomy morning, I was riding the 1-240 loop in Memphis, TN on my way to work. This morning was different because I was incredibly sad and crying. It was almost 6 a.m., and I was having an intimate conversation with GOD about my desire to find a better job and why I could not catch a break. I had been applying to different employers and could not even get an interview. I was qualified and, in my opinion, met and exceeded most of the qualifications for the jobs I were applying for.


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In the midst of my outburst, it seemed that GOD appeared in the passenger seat and began to answer my questions. Someone was in the car with me because I felt a sense of calm energy enter the car with me during my ride. During this 20-minute drive, I asked questions out loud, and I got answers. By the time I had made it to work, I was no longer crying but walking with a certainty that everything would be alright.

I spent the next 10 years working for my employer, but I was no longer working in torment. It was clear that my purpose was tied to my work and that the greater good I was providing daily would benefit me in the next position that GOD was preparing me for. I worked in Corrections as a Supervisor over a Behavioral Modifications Unit. I worked in the “Belly of the Beast,” as we called it. I spent the latter part of my 25-year tenure helping incarcerated men so that when they returned to society, they would be better than when they had entered the prison.


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Initially, I thought my job was to help others, but this is the place where I found and received my healing. I was in my own prison, a mental prison that I needed to be freed from. I had a great deal of healing to do, and each time I poured out to others, GOD was building and restoring me for my NEXT! I found my why while working within the prison walls. I found that I could not leave until I was free and no longer a prisoner anymore to the many demons I was battling.

On April 06, 2021, I bid farewell to my employer after 25 years of dedication to a career that saved my life. I owe a lot to Shelby County Government Division of Corrections because that place raised me into the woman I am today. I thank GOD for not taking her hands off me and for providing me with a vision to see what was in store for me once I had completed my assignment. The strong sense of WHY I was assigned to work with the “least of these” is tied to the work I am committed to continuing for the rest of my life. What other way is there to live a life other than one of service?

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