‘God loves you’
Altoona native writes about rejection, God’s power
Singer, minister, daughter, mother, sister and friend to many, Altoona native Taneshia Curry has added published writer to her accomplishments.
But if anyone thinks she’s going to take credit for how her life turned out and how she continues to grow in her faith, they’d be wrong.
Curry first and foremost gives all of the credit to God.
Through the example she set for her and her siblings, her mother is credited for being there, being strong and being devoted to following God’s word.
Curry also credits her godfather, Charles DuPress Jr. of Altoona, for his support now and when she was growing up.
And she credits her mentor, Elder Nicole S. Mason, who has helped her grow in her faith and helped her through the writing process — a process that led her to author a chapter in a new book being released Saturday — “Faith for Fiery Trials: Testimonies that will ignite the fire in your soul and increase your faith in God.”
The road to having her own chapter in a book of testimony was a winding, often bumpy, path and in some regards, continues today, Curry said.
“My chapter is called ‘Eradicating Rejections,'” Curry said, noting she talks about her own experiences with rejection and overcoming those feelings of inadequacy.
“It speaks about rejection. I talk about situations in my life that caused me to look for love in all the wrong places,” Curry said in a recent phone interview.
She talks about when she was younger, being an African-American woman growing up in Altoona, which was predominantly Caucasian.
“When I was younger, I had a crush on a boy (in school) and he looked like me, but he liked a girl who was blonde and blue-eyed,” she said. “It was challenging to be the only black person in classes. It was tough, though I had great friends, I didn’t get those notes that say, ‘I like you, do you like me?'” she said.
“People would always say I was pretty,” she recalled. But “a lot of times people see how you handle yourself and see you on the outside, but don’t know what is going on in the inside,” she said.
On the inside, she was insecure and thought she wasn’t good enough.
Her message to young women is to love themselves, be confident in themselves.
“Learn to love yourself no matter what anyone says or does. … God loves you unconditionally,” she said.
To get her point across, Curry wasn’t afraid to open up and speak out to let people know that they are not alone, that God loves them and He can be counted on … always.
Curry said she’s the mother of two beautiful daughters who were conceived out of wedlock.
Paris, 24, and Sierra, 14, “are wonderful,” she said, but though she fully believed “I was going to marry my second daughter’s father,” that was not to be.
“He told me there was someone else,” she said, on the day “we went to bury my maternal grandmother.”
“His rejection was very severe,” she recalled.
With both pregnancies, she was rejected by the fathers. Those rejections, compounded with the rejection she felt in high school, shattered her.
“I wasn’t able to form bonds with my children from the womb. I didn’t have the luxury of enjoying pregnancy. I was focused on my own pain,” she said.
“I’ve had to rebuild (the relationship) with my children, seek out a psychologist … work out the pain,” Curry added.
Thirty years ago, on Jan. 14, 1988, Curry’s father, Conrail engineer Melvin Curry, was killed in a head-on train crash.
“That put me in a downward spiral,” she said. “But my Heavenly Father stepped in.”
Her mother, Patricia Witherspoon Curry, had just turned 40 “and my dad was killed three days later,” Curry said.
“My mother held on the horns of the altar and she would not let go,” Curry said. “A lot of people thought she was fanatical about Christ, but that is what she had to do” to survive. “I am so glad she did,” she added.
The family’s faith in God got them through the death of her father, Curry said. And again, when she became pregnant and felt rejected, she leaned on God’s word and trusted that the pain would recede and she could find peace.
The thought that: “God is in control. He has a plan,” keeps her strong everyday.
It’s that message that she hopes to convey to anyone who reads the book and her contribution.
The book is a collaboration of 10 co-authors, who are seeing their writing published for the first time, and a group of celebrity writers, who helped them through coaching sessions, conference calls and more.
The book is the brainchild of Mason, who reached out to the women asking them if they wanted to share their stories.
“We each have a chapter and share a testimony,” Curry said, noting one writer’s son was killed at a young age and another recounts moving “an astronomical number of times.”
Curry has faith that all of the stories will be impactful, adding that Mason said, “This is not just a book; it’s a faith movement.”
“That’s what people need in the world today… faith,” Curry said. “God is a God who can do the impossible.”
“When we go through our fiery trials, we have faith and go on the word of God,” she said. “He will not leave me and will not forsake me.”
“He said he would not put more on us than we can bear,” Curry said, adding she remembers that daily.
“As a single mom, there are things you have to do. I saw that with my mom after my father died. That’s where I got of lot of my strength and fortitude to keep going. To put one foot in front of the other.”
Curry calls the book collaboration a pivotal moment in her life, and although she doesn’t know where the experience will lead, “I’m not backing down from moving forward from what God has in store for me.”
“This book collaboration has taken my faith to a whole other level,” she said.
Today, Curry and her siblings — a sister, Pastor Katina Curry, and a brother, Justin Curry — along with their mother, who is a licensed evangelist — share God’s word through songs, words, deeds and by example.
It’s a daily walk with God, who guides them all.
“I think everything is set for a point of time,” said her mom, Patricia. “For her to be able to minister to other women about life and being rejected and letting them know that they, too, can make it … this was the set time for her” to do it, Patricia said. “To touch who she needs to reach.”
“Trust in the Lord,” she added, “because he has a purpose for each one of us.”
“We give God all of the glory and honor and are hoping that someone will be healed through the book,” Patricia said, noting she has not yet read her daughter’s chapter but is very proud of Taneshia and very much looking forward to seeing the finished product at the book launch Saturday.
The book, “Faith for Fiery Trials: Testimonies that will ignite the fire in your soul and increase your faith in God,” will be available on Amazon after the book launch. In addition, it can be ordered through Curry’s website, which is still under construction, on her Facebook page and on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curry, who lives in Prince George’s County, Md., visits family in Altoona regularly and hopes to hold a book signing while home sometime this summer.
In all that she does, Curry said she knows that “if the Lord does not help me, it will be a disaster. He has given me a gift and it’s humbling.”
The book “has pushed us out there. Now the sky’s the limit,” she said. “I believe barriers have been broken for me and my children. There is more to come.”