Faith and family: Local woman finds strength, solace, inspiration from mother’s faith

Published 12:38 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

By Morgan Mizell

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The bond between Kimberly Washington and her mother has been made stronger by faith.

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Washington says her mother, Myra “Silvertone” Washington, has been serving God all of her life and is a source of encouragement, power and strength.

Kimberly said her mother has demonstrated love and compassion over and over again throughout her life. Among many deeds she has done for others, her acts of kindness to strangers and those who are facing personal struggles are the most memorable.

“I remember when I was a child, my mom would pull over to feed the homeless and she would even pay bills for others without them knowing,” Kimberly said. “She would send cards to people encouraging them to keep the faith and not lose hope on the journey.”

To watch her mother worshipping God, along with her brothers and sisters, is what Kimberly hopes most to capture.

Kimberly lost her father when she was only 6 years old. Aside from the usual growing pains, Kimberly was left with emotions she could not understand in the wake of the loss of her father.

“I became very bitter and wasn’t always so easy to handle,” Kimberly said. “I made mistakes, but (my mother) prayed me through them, and she always built me up by encouraging me daily.”

Those who know Myra know she is not afraid to call on the Lord at a moment’s notice, Kimberly said.

“She has always been a mountain-mover in the field of prayer,” Kimberly said. “It doesn’t matter where she is, she will go into prayer without warning.”

In low points of her life, Kimberly said her mother prayed over her truly believing God would heal her mind, spirit and faith.

“I can remember really wanting to die,” Kimberly said. “My mother would not let me, and she held on to that.”

Myra prayerfully encouraged her daughter to finish school, stay focused on God and develop a deep relationship with Him and his teachings. Kimberly said she has felt, at times, undeserving of her mother.

“In her faith walk, she just believes that even when it doesn’t look so bright, she still has to keep pushing until she reaches the end,” Kimberly said. “She has an optimistic approach even when it seems that all hope is lost. She trusts in the Lord, and I am so honored to witness this.”

At 6:30 p.m. June 11, Kimberly will be celebrating her mother’s life of faith and love with a birthday celebration at Jerusalem Baptist Church No. 1 at 1333 Martin Luther King Jr. Road in Natchez.

Others in attendance will be guest performers and speakers, including Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber, the Rev. Melvin White and the Pilgrim Baptist Church Choir, The Sisters of Faith from Port Gibson, Natchez Alderman Tony Fields, Brittany Mitchell, Willie Minor, Katheleen Washington-Dunbar, The Rev. J.L. and Julie Hammitte and The Greater Faith Worship Center Choir.

The public is also invited to celebrate, Kimberly said.

“I want to show my mother how much she is appreciated and loved,” Washington said. “I want her to go into a new year with a new outlook — singing, shouting, and honoring the maker with no limits.”