Marcia Yetman talks ‘Girl Like Me’
Marcia Yetman doesn’t consider herself a writer, but rather an educator. However, so intense was her desire to let others know how God has turned her life around that she obeyed the leading of the Spirit and penned the book, Girl Like Me.
Although this is her first book, Yetman doesn’t consider it her last, as she shared with Family and Religion that it’s all about obeying where the Spirit leads.
Hailing from Palmer’s Cross in Clarendon, Yetman attended Church Teacher’s College and taught briefly at May Pen and Garvey Maceo high schools before migrating to the USA.
She shared that, like many children growing up in Jamaica, she was sent to church regularly and she loved going to Sunday School, but did not connect with much else. After a while, she stopped going all together as her parents didn’t attend church and they didn’t force her to go either.
However, things changed when a friend invited her to the May Pen Open Bible Church while she was in high school at Clarendon College.
“That was the first time I saw young people truly excited and happy about church. I was hooked. I always had a fear of God but this is where I was introduced to a relationship with God. A God who wanted to do life with me. A God who understood me when no one else did. A God who loves me unconditionally and pursues me relentlessly,” she noted.
Yetman said her pastors then – Rev . A.S. Dunk and youth pastor Florizel Allen – set the foundation by helping her to navigate all that life would bring as she grew up.
Expounding on Girl Like Me, Yetman said, as a young girl, she discovered her amazing Father who wanted to walk with her through the journey of life in an intimate way.
“He really listens and He gets me! I used to climb a tree in my front yard just as the sun was setting and talked with the One who loved me best. Eventually, I realised that I was good at expressing my thoughts and prayers. With pen and paper, I started writing letters to my Father. This gave me much comfort and was quite cathartic. I found a little journal the other day dating back to 1982! It was tattered and faded but beautiful. Our Heavenly Father reads letters!” she said in amazement.
One morning in 2020, Yetman said she reached over to grab something to write on and picked up an old black-and-white notebook.
In the notebook, she had penned some thoughts about a very dark time in her life many years earlier. She said, as she read the letters [to God], she felt some very raw emotions.
“This was the first time I felt led to share my story. One of failure, shame, redemption and restoration. The Lord spoke to my spirit, ‘There’s a girl like you [hence the title] who is going through exactly what you went through. She needs to know there’s life after the fall – that I restore’,” she related.
Yetman shared that her journey included getting pregnant as an unmarried woman in church and going to the doctor in contemplation of having an abortion.
“God met me in a doctor’s office. He asked me one question, ‘Have I ever let you down?’ I heard His voice as clear as if He were standing next to me. I turned to see who was talking ... no one was there! That’s the Father who loves us, pursues us to the darkest pits, and rescues us ... rescues us from ourselves. I chronicled my thoughts and prayers – my journey – in that little notebook, Girl Like Me,” she said.
According to Yetman, the book might not resonate with everyone as, if someone has never fallen flat on their face in church and needed grace, it might not connect.
“This book also serves as a reminder to church leaders that broken and fallen people need extra grace to be extended to them. My bishop [Albert C. Delmadge] said the most life-changing words to me at the time, ‘If you are willing to fight – I will fight with you’. He continues to be one of my biggest cheerleaders,” she said.
For those who have fallen, Yetman advised that there is a healthy and a right way to recover. Noting that humility and submission are your best friends on the road to recovery, she said that one should allow God to use the right people to love them back to wholeness.