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By Esih Efuru

In the colorful metropolis of Newark, N. J., I’d observe an array of characters navigating through the ire and jury of ghetto life. Weary senior citizens awaiting the bus, polite delinquents leaned against corner bodegas smoking Kool cigarettes, and aged addicts leaned near to the ground, oblivious to the impatient and judgmental passersby. My favorite person to observe, however, was my mother, as she strolled past them, tipping over scattered garbage and broken glass as if she were on a red carpet. To my ten-year old mind, she looked like a queen headed to her grand castle, without a care in the world. She held the most radiant smile I’d ever seen, carrying it past the grime and grit, all the way into our apartment door. I wondered what she was thinking as she walked, and assumed over time that I, too, was supposed to smile, look up and walk through my life like I owned it.

My mother never shifted her posture as life grew more challenging for our family. Whether sick or sad, she held that smile and those graceful steps. She never exposed her troubles or gave them light. I took her posture as a cue that things were taken care of. As I grew older, I learned that she adopted the posture of her future and not her present circumstances. Though things weren’t always okay, she was determined to will them so. Her faith ordered her steps, and she walked with an air of expectancy. She was determined to look the part, and her posture sent a clear message of who she believed she was. I watched her stand through great adversity, holding that same smile and taking those same grand steps. I couldn’t imagine how she bore it all, but her posture gave me strength to believe that I could do the same.

Without evening knowing it, I developed my own posture of determination. While carrying great burdens and tribulation, I held my head high and smiled at the wind, daring it to sweep me, knowing that God was mightier than anything I was facing. As long as I knew that God was behind me, I could continue walking tall and fearless. Through worship and testimony, I learned that adopting a posture of faith was expected of me, as I allowed God to solve the equation of my circumstance.

Life won’t always give you roses and a standing ovation. Yet, in the press, you must walk with an air of expectancy, based on the fact that God is able. Your human rationale, if you yield to it too often, will cause your posture to shift to that of someone who is defeated. You must observe your circumstances carefully, with all of your senses and the spirit of what you’ve already overcome, and see the yellow brick road, which will lead you to the answers that will sustain you.

My mother made a fashion show out of struggle and strife. She made it look divine. Trusting in God to do the impossible things takes courage and determination, as well as a posture of faith, where you know that God is. In 100% of your circumstances, the posture of faith is fail-proof. Walking tall and trusting God to carry you over the scattered garbage and broken glass in your life allows you to focus on the blessings you have, while God makes room for more.

While the construction of your life makes noise and scatters debris, walk divinely, with your head up high and smile at the sky. Greet your neighbors and laugh at the tricks of negativity. Carry your faith all the way to the door of your heart and wait to see the miracles that will fall at your feet.

Esih Efuru, a 43 year old writer, artist and minister, is raising a daughter in Charlotte, NC. Email her

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The Fashion Show Made Of Struggle And Strife  was originally published on