Have you ever had a friend that no matter how much time elapsed you would pick up right where you started from? Tonight’s #ChangeYourNarrative participant is very near and dear to my heart. She is less like a friend and more like a sister-therapist-comedian-adventure-seeker all rolled into one. Que Jackson and I have been friends since the third grade. We have cheered for each other in the best of times. We have cried for each other during the worst of times. Her story is one that will go down in history as to the power of praying without ceasing. From 7Mile to Belle Isle Que’s life has taken her on a journey to places seen and unseen. This Detroit Girl is now a Praying Women. When we seek God’s face there is no limit to the places He can take us.
Que Jackson was born and raised on the westside of Detroit, MI and now reside in Grosse Pointe, MI. She is an Interior Therapist for Behind Closed Doors. Que believes that your house tells a story. And before the work is done on the inside of the home, you must first do the work on the inside of you. Let’s take a look at how her narrative unfolds.
Tell us about your childhood.
Thinking about my childhood I realized I was lonely. I was the only child for over 13 years until we welcomed my brother into the world. I grew up in a middle class family and was raised by both of my parents. They held “good” jobs and invested in real estate. Although they were financially secure, they were emotionally bankrupt. I would often go with my father to rehab a house or we would ride for hours looking for the next one to buy. This was our bonding time. He was direct, stern and not short on words…..harsh words, with a sarcastic sense of humor. But I loved him dearly. My parents were private people. They worked and kept to themselves. Friends for them was nonexistent and family was kept at bay. My relationship with my mother was nurturing although she was not affectionate. Hugs and kisses were not passed around daily in our home, not even between my parents. My mother was a class act. She was educated and confident. When she left for work she was dressed from head toe. She believed in keeping your house clean, dinner on the stove and having your own money. I wanted to be just like her and desperately wanted to make her proud. I always excelled in school and was accepted to one of the top high schools in the city. But by my 11th grade year I begin to struggle. The excitement of being around others fueled me. I wanted to hang out with my classmates and enjoy after school activities and weekend shenanigans but was often told, “NO”. I was sheltered at home and in private schools for years where rules, policies, procedures, drills and dress codes kept me bound. I replaced my curriculum during school with extracurricular activities outside of school. I felt free! But that freedom came at a price. I traded my home and education for friends, boys and parties.
What would you say was the narrative that was expressed to you based upon where you grew up, how you grew up and the messages you received?
What was expressed to me growing up was that as long as a man took care of me financially it didn’t matter how he treated me emotionally. Friends were in fairytales, they do not exist. I was taught that a woman was to look her best and take care of home. And, when you are in public, you are to hold your head high and never let people see your weaknesses. I was told if you work hard you won’t have to beg. Lastly, I learned that what goes on behind closed doors stays behind closed doors because it was nobody else’s business but yours.
How did that narrative play out in your decisions, actions and feelings about yourself?
This narrative almost killed me. I made decisions based on my emotions and not my situation. My actions caused me to drop out of high school and lose countless jobs. I’ve been homeless, had multiple repossessions and faced foreclosure. I’ve been a victim of domestic violence, attempted suicide and kidnapped. Self destruction or destruction by the hands of others was a constant staple in my life. I was alive but dead inside. But because I was taught that this was your business to own, I kept quiet. When I left home I was cute but behind closed doors I was a mess. Even though I was a Gifted Educated Diva, on paper it was still a G.E.D. This made me feel less than around others that had graduated and moved on to higher education. I was strong but weak for men that showed me attention. I took care of my house but it was never a home. And because I never saw my parents interact with others I never knew how to be a friend or what to expect in a friendship. My social circle was small and often friends were wolves in sheep’s clothing that tried to blow my house down. By the way, I was battling being a single parent and motherhood.
What was the catalyst or main event that made you say that narrative needed to change?
My narrative dramatically changed in 2005 when God said “ENOUGH”! I was laying in the middle of the floor and cried out to Him because no one else was there. I mean no one!! Every friend I had……gone. My boyfriend at the time left home and never came back……..yes, never! Gone! My closest family members…..gone! God had completely stripped me of everyone I knew in some shape, form or fashion. He removed all of my distractions. It was just Him and I. He began to replay the events of my life that brought me to my knees. I always knew God and attended church but I had never formed a relationship with Him. At that moment he said, “TRUST ME”. Let me give you what you need, so you can have what you want.” God had been so good to me and despite my trials and tribulations he kept me. I surrendered and begin to press into Him. I would talk to him and wait for Him to answer. He showed me there is no fear in love and I can’t be afraid to love myself. He told me that I am enough! Just the way I am. And that even though I was broken, I can be healed.
What is the new narrative in your life?
I understand that no matter what God is faithful. He provides ALL of my needs. That He knows the desires of your heart. When you trust Him you will not fail. He is not man, He does not lie. I know that the devil uses distractions of any kind to keep you from fulfilling your purpose. Everything and I mean everything that was used against me has blessed me. What was used to destroy me, employs me. Having a relationship with God will help me in my relationship with man. Understanding the foundation of a home is the key principle in how people act when they walk out of the house. In order to be with someone else you must be able to alone with yourself. Imitating others is an insult to God because you were created in His image……be yourself. Therefore, I am unapologetically me.
How does this new narrative show up in your everyday life?
Everyday I wake up I walk in my purpose just like He promised. I am a housewife. EVERYTHING I lost God gave back to me! Now, I get paid to walk away.
Get still. In order to hear from God you must silence the noise, close off the chit- chatter, the gossip, social media and social circles. Pray without ceasing and fast. Write down your distractions, attractions and expectations. Whatever does not line up with the will of God get rid of it. Have patience so that you do become a patient.
WOW!!!! What a way to end this #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series. The story of Que Jackson could be a motion picture. But it is her reality. She has created a new normal for her and her family. I am excited for the trajectory that God has for Que’s life. I am also excited for the number of people that will really be free and elevated by reading this story and the stories of the other women during the #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series.
I want to leave you with my favorite quote from Que Jackson. Whenever I get in my feelings about the 2 Notorious F’s in my life Faith and Finances she reminds me of this one thing: “You can always rebuild two things in your life: your relationship with God and your credit.” Someone reading this needed to hear this tonight. I hope your narrative changes for the better. Most of us have already been through the worse.
Que Jackson can be reached on the following social media platforms:
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