Updated: Apr 4
Growing up as an only child in North Philadelphia to a single parent home, was not easy. There were so many times that I wished I had siblings to share my childhood experiences with, but instead I had many friends that I could call my brothers and sisters. My mother and I were extremely close throughout my life. She passed away suddenly in December of 2000; this devastating loss would not be my last.
Being a single mom was difficult, especially without my mother to lean on and all I knew was that I could depend on God when I couldn’t depend on anyone else. I always knew that God loved me and would take care of me. It was my job to demonstrate His love to others by encouraging, loving, and simply caring.
My life changed forever, when my youngest son was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone and muscle cancer) in May of 2007. My son battled cancer for 6 years before he was called home to be with the Lord. During the journey of cancer with our son, there were of course good days and bad days, but that journey taught me so many things. First it taught me how precious life was and tomorrow really is not promised to me or anyone. During my son’s journey, He and I always enjoyed helping others. We would donate to the hospitals and individuals in need. When he passed away almost 7 years ago, I knew I had to keep his legacy alive. I launched a foundation called the “Naqiyl Jamaal Booker Foundation.” The foundation donates to numerous charities and schools, but it also grants scholarships to students that have worked hard to get accepted to college, but may not have a great GPA.
After losing my son, life was very hard for me, but that never stopped me from helping others through their journey - even while in my own season of grief. I know that I fought through every stage of grief. The one area that was hardest to overcome was insecurity. I was insecure as a wife and mother. In ministry, it just seemed that I could not find solice anywhere. I knew in that state of mind I had to cling to those who loved me, and could pray for me. There were so many emotions and self-doubt thoughts that I just could not understand. I realized that I had to surrender myself to the Lord if I wanted to not only be healed of a broken heart but to be made whole in Christ. As I continued to pray and surrender myself to the Lord, He began to heal me.
In October of 2019, I released a book called God's Chosen Son and four journals. They are all available on Amazon. I started writing God's Chosen Son the day my son was diagnosed with cancer. Finally, it is available to the world to witness the anointed son that he was and just how God sustained him and our family through his journey. Throughout my son’s battle, I would often ask the Lord, “What is my story?” It seemed that all I did and said pointed to my son’s story. One day, I sought the Lord and He spoke to me, “Yolanda you have been living your story, I am preparing you.”
The Lord continuously revealed to me that he was writing my story the whole time. He began to show my how He was preparing me for such a time as this to help others who are grieving. I have found my calling. The Lord told me that I am a hope carrier and he has called me to share hope in Him wherever I go. When I show up, I am to demonstrate the hope that is spoken of in the bible through love.
Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what happens to those who die. We don’t want you to mourn, as other people do. They mourn because they don’t have any hope.
~1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIRV
I am grateful for all of the gifts God has given me. The greatest gift he has given me is to love others. I love and care for people. I am affectionately known to have the best shoulders to cry on. My journey is still being written, but I am so excited because “Eyes have not seen, nor ears have heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for me.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
FB: @YolandaDaveenBooker IG: @its_me_daveen @Naqiylslegacylives