Minister Carolyn Hunter worked diligently in retail management for over 28 years, which helped to develop her communication skills and build her confidence to prepare for a new career. At age 45, Carolyn decided to leave her job in retail management to pursue the nursing profession. In 2010, Carolyn completed her studies and graduated with her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) diploma. After working in nursing for five years, she returned to the classroom to pursue her Registered Nursing Degree (RN). In 2014, Her marriage of 24 years ended from infidelity. This affected her studies, and she missed two points in her RN degree. She did not let that stop her and returned to the classroom the following year. In 2015 she graduated with her Registered Nurses Degree and was accepted into the RN-BSN program at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington (UNCW). With a rigorous course load, Carolyn was able to work and study to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2018. During the same year, she was featured on UNCW’s website, encouraging other potential students to pursue their dream of becoming a nurse.
In 2018, after graduating with her bachelor’s in nursing, the opportunity for her to pursue her Master’s in Nursing presented itself. In 2019, the “Shine” project by Dexter and Dr. Tonya Joyner Scott allowed Carolyn the opportunity of a lifetime. She was able to tell her story. The project Shine: An Anthology of Healing changed her life. She gained freedom and continued healing from the things that caused her so much pain. By sharing her story, Carolyn was able to help other women to embrace themselves and see their value. In 2020 Carolyn graduated with her Master’s in Nursing. Against the odds Carolyn suffered in her life, she was able to rise above them and soar. Rejection and abandonment are not the end of her story.
Carolyn is passionate about encouraging women to become their best selves. Her ministry of imparting the wisdom of God’s word is what she has been called to do. She uses her experiences of rejection and abandonment to inspire others to persist in the face of adversity. Carolyn ministers the gospel using every platform to her advantage. She enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, traveling, enjoying good food, and staying active.
Growing up was very difficult for me. I was the oldest of five sisters at that time. I lived in poverty, lacking the bare necessities such as food, heat, and clothes. But there were good times along the way. My grandmother Edith was the glue that held us together. She supplied a lot of meals for us during those days. She also used her hands to make clothes for my sisters and me. I didn’t appreciate her giftings as I should have during my childhood. I guess I was somewhat naïve. Her unconditional love for me and her hard work supplied me with more than I understood. I didn’t want to wear the clothing due to being picked on for wearing homemade dresses. But if I could share my heart, I would tell her how much I appreciate her gifts. She was an entrepreneur with so many talents.
I love my mother with all my heart, but there were times when she said things to me that weren’t edifying or encouraging. She would say things like, “You will never amount to nothing.” Those words would follow me into my teenage years and my adult life. My self-esteem was very low even though I didn’t show it. I worked extra hard to accomplish things to prove her wrong. It was, “Look at me, momma, aren’t you proud of me?”.
What influenced your career journey?
While working in retail, I worked from the bottom as a stocker to a Human Resources Manager, and then to an Assistant Manager. I had no desire to attend college after high school. My mother could not afford it, and I was oblivious to financial aid. I wasn’t aware of those resources until I began my journey in nursing school.The greatest challenge for me emotionally is the demise of my 31-year marriage. The cause was Infidelity. My ex-husband decided to start a relationship with one of his co-workers.
How did you overcome ?
I’m still working through it now. I’m much better than before. The love of God, my family, therapy, and friends helped me to get through it. Depression, anxiety, and weight gain were difficult for me. The thought that my husband chose another woman over me was unimaginable. I could not wrap my head around my reality.
What would you say to anyone going through this?
I would encourage them to spend time in the word of God, pamper themselves, and seek counsel. Those are some of the things I did and still do to get through it. Rejection and abandonment affected my entire family and me tremendously. I went to work during the day with a smile and cried on my pillow at night. I spent 38 years, most of my adulthood, with my ex-husband. I was only nineteen years old when I met him. As a child, my father was in the house but not present. He was tuned out. He wasn’t interested in his beautiful daughters. He drank and hung out with his friends for most of my childhood. Therefore, I felt rejected and abandoned as a child. But after hearing his and my mother’s life stories as a child, I understood why they were that way towards me. Generational curses run deep in my family. Emotional and physical symptoms started with loneliness, sadness, depression, anxiety, and weight gain. I sought the Word of God along with therapy through counseling and medication. Sometimes I needed medication to help me through those challenging places in my life. My encouragement to someone would be to take one day at a time, surround yourself with people who are encouraging and uplifting during the tough times
What is your proudest moment and why?
My proudest moment was graduating with my RN degree; so many didn’t believe I could do it. Even the nursing instructors had their picks and weren’t available for all nursing students. Whenever I get the opportunity, I encourage nursing students to keep going. I also provide them with resources to use during their journey
Being a mature student taught me to be disciplined
I utilized my time wisely as I worked to help my husband provide for our family. This was the same year (2014) he decided to walk out on our family. This was when I missed graduating by 2 points and lost my job. But by the grace and mercy of God, I returned to school in the fall of 2014 and graduated in the spring of 2015. I learned that God equipped me to handle this assignment.
What does freedom look like to you?
Freedom looks like my life after I thought I would die without my ex-husband. God gave me the strength to trust Him to take care of my every need.
What impact would you like to make in the world?
I want to impact the world by encouraging men and women to live their dreams and not allow anyone to speak negatively about their lives, telling them what they can or cannot do. My calling as a minister, nurse, and psalmist has blessed many. I will continue to allow God to use me and my gifts to bless others
What’s next for you?
I’m considering one more round of school to pursue my Nurse Practitioner degree. I also have some books that I’ve yet to write. But currently, I’m enjoying my grandbabies every chance I get and trusting God to lead and direct me.