We love when we feature women who are really transparent.

We love when we feature women who are really transparent. Joyce completely opens up about her childhood, insecurities, and her walk with Christ. She gives advice to all of our readers and it’s absolutely amazing, check it out! 

How was your childhood growing up? 

I moved a lot when I was younger. I was born in Nigeria, moved to Philadelphia, then Los Angeles, and then to Houston. Looking back, there was always something changing in my life. My mother died from breast cancer when I was 8 and then my dad remarried within a year. I don’t know what was tougher, never seeing my mom again or being forced to love a stranger and call her mom. Because I moved a lot, I was always the “new ugly skinny African girl.” I didn’t always have a lot of friends and I was definitely a prime target for bullying. 

How has your relationship with your parents affected you as an adult?

To be quite frank, I never loved my dad growing up. I was always bitter towards him; I never forgave him for different reasons. It wasn’t until last summer that I wholeheartedly forgave him. In retrospect, I understand why I was always talking to the “next guy.” I filled up so many voids because I never felt loved by my dad. Both of my parents—dad & stepmother—have been diagnosed with psychological disorders, which ignited my passion for mental health and influenced my career path. But overall, the relationship I have with my parents has made me become a more forgiving person, helped me love people harder, and ultimately made me appreciate God much more.

When did your walk with Christ truly begin? 

Keyword is “truly,” because I’ve said the prayer “I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior” probably at least 59 times at every altar call, but my heart didn’t change following that prayer until August 25, 2013. I remember that day, I was in church and I told God I’m not going back to my old ways. I was so in love with Christ. By Christ strength alone – cause baybehhhh it wasn’t easy – I gradually let go of pride, anger, certain friendships, drinking with intent to get drunk, clubbing/partying, secular music, and idolizing boys – my hardest one. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve never sinned since then, but when I do, it reminds me how much more I need of Him.

What advice would you give to women who are experiencing similar struggles?

Look at the cross instead of your sin. We get so hung up on trying to fix ourselves when that job is solely for God and for Him alone. When you truly understand that Christ sacrificed His whole life for what YOU did, because He loves you that much, whatever it is that you can’t let go of or you feel like you can’t sacrifice, will NEVER equate to the joy that’s found in Christ. So try Him, I promise you’ll never be the same. And lastly, even when you feel like you’ve conquered a certain struggle, continue to pray on it, because typically that’s when you’re most susceptible to falling back into it.

What are your current goals and how are you working towards reaching those goals?

My most important goal is to enhance my personal relationship with God and fight stagnancy in my spiritual walk. I’ve been looking for a home church for one & half years now and I think I’ll finally found one that’s perfect for me. I have a busy schedule and making time for God is so important to me so reading my bible, praying, taking a theology course, attending bible study, getting plugged into community, all has helped me learn more about God & has aided my understanding of how much He loves me.

My second goal is to get into medical school and become an MD. I’m currently working full time as a registered nurse, which has driven my passion for medicine because I want to do so much more for my patients. On my off days, I’m currently shadowing a OB/GYN and studying for my MCAT.

Congratulations Joyce! We are proud of you here at Pink Productions. To learn more about Joyce, visit her on Instagram @ RetrooBarbiee.