When we heard this title, we thought about how catchy it was and how it resonated in our minds. Then, we thought deeper and realized most women in church are all about their hats. For decades, a women’s hat exemplified her character, her strength, her confidence, and her passion; not to mention it made a fashion statement. In fact, it did the talking without her saying a word, and everyone’s hat was different. The hat was an extension of her personality. But, we never thought about all that a hat could cover up in our lives or the security and comfort it could give, until we met Sherri and she gave us a different perspective on the reasons why some women might cover up with their hats.
With that said, we want to introduce Sherri Simmons. She is a mother, wife, Author, an Educator in the Chicago Public School System, and host of an online talk show called “Underneath the Hat Web Series,” where she dives into topics of interest to women. She is also Founder and President of a program called “Young Ladies At All Times (Y.L.A.A.T.), where she mentors young girls. Even though she was very busy, she still found time to write her book, and her article was inspired by it. Without further ado, we introduce our guest, Sherri Simmons.
By: Sherri Simmons (Guest Contributor)
Mother. Daughter. Wife. Sister. Friend. These are just some of the many “hats” we as women wear in our everyday lives. We change our hat depending upon what roles we need to take on, and the obstacles we face. Rarely, are we given the opportunity to share who we are underneath the hat. So, who are we truly? How did we become the women we are today? What values, testimonies, and triumphs are being kept warm underneath it all? Who are you under your hat?
My name is Sherri Simmons, and I just found out who I am underneath my hat. After writing my book 3 years ago, I began to soul search. What I found through prayer, counseling, and sharing my story to those who would listen, I had no idea who I was. I realized that I had been living this fantasy tale of what I thought a woman was, and who I thought I was, but my story was written by someone else. I was a daughter, I was a wife, and I was a sister; but I had not one inkling about who Sherri was. I had been so accustomed to putting on a facade of what a daughter should be, and how a wife should act, and how a teacher should carry herself, but I never took the time to show people who I really was. I soon found out that when given the opportunity, I was uncertain.
So often we play these roles in order to make sure everyone around us is comfortable that we lose ourselves in the process. For example, in my book, Underneath the Hat, Amanda Jayne was the First Lady of her church. The signature uniform for a First Lady is her hat, the bigger the better. She went through some hard times, but no one knew because she hid it underneath her hat. There was a time when she took off the hat and had to learn to like herself with all of her flaws, bruises, and disappointments. This experience revealed to her that the hat was only a part of who she was, and not her total representation. Once she figured out who she was, what set her off, and what made her smile, she began to treat herself with respect, love and admiration; and the things she did for others, she began to do for herself. In doing so, removing the hat made her a stronger women, daughter, sister, and teacher. Being free from the hat, she was now able to share who she really was underneath it all.
You may ask who is Amanda Jayne? Why is she so vital to my book, Underneath the Hat? That’s because she is me. I am Amanda Jayne. You are Amanda Jayne. Women are Amanda Jayne. She represented courage for being able to no longer take the abuse and manipulation from her husband or others. She represented strength for being able to hold her head up and continue to press on during some of the darkest times in her life. She represented honor because she stood true to who she was and carried herself as a young lady. She represented hope that no matter how bad the situation seemed, she was able to overcome, be triumphant, and still stand in the midst of her chaos. Finally, she represented love because she loved herself enough to know that she deserved better, and didn’t have to settle anymore.
Today, I challenge you to search within yourself to show who you truly are underneath your hat. Allow the hurt and pain to come up and out of you, so you can tackle it; then you too, can learn from those things that didn’t kill you. In fact, you can use the lessons to make you stronger. I challenge you to love yourself, just like you love others. With that in mind, take yourself out on a date and get to know who you are. I challenge you to fall in love with “YOU,” and to become your BFF (Best Friend Forever). And when you’re ready, share your story with others because you’ll never know how your testimony can be a blessing to someone else.
So, are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to answer the question? Who are you underneath your hat?
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If you would like to contact Sherri, her information is below:
@underneaththehat (Facebook and IG)
Check out her book by clicking the link below: