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I’m Susan Joy Simkins: island girl, mom, professor, wife and author (in order in which they unfolded in my life).
If you’re anything like me, you’re searching for good news these days – something encouraging, uplifting, and a story with a great ending.
Have I got a story for you! Everyday, I live out the miracle of being where and who my poor beginnings never predicted I would be. So many aspects of my story illustrate Divine Reversal, a 180-degree, God-sized turnaround.
As a frightened and clueless single mom on welfare, every dream that I had for my life died. But God knows how to breathe life into the dead.
The shame of exploitation transformed into my greatest source of pride: my daughter. My single parent journey from pregnancy to self-sufficiency is culminating victoriously. This website is, in fact, a mother-daughter effort.
Neither of my parents graduated from high school, yet, I have three degrees (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a Ph.D.). It sounds far-fetched to say that I have been a professor at a research university for over 25 years, but this is indeed the case. I now have the privilege of training doctoral students and helping them navigate the very journey through which I struggled as a single mom.
As I earned those degrees, I had a debilitating, paralyzing fear of writing. Today, I write for a living as a researcher. My first book illustrates the theme of Divine Reversal through my story. I have spent most of my life deeply ashamed of my dysfunctional past, so publishing my story has been an enormous paradigm shift for me. Yet another Divine Reversal.
Truth be told, I continue to be offended by the beginning of my story, which violates my deepest sense of what is right and just. Simultaneously, I continue to be stunned by the redemption my story illustrates, which restores my deepest sense of what is life-giving and victorious. So, Divine Reversal is not just a message I find intriguing. Or merely believe. Divine Reversal is the reality I have lived.
I am a witness that God not only can, but does, reverse the worst of life’s cruel blows into a marvelous display of redemption and triumph.