Through tears and prayer, aspiring author, holistic health life coach and Pastors’ Closet Founder Chesma McCoy stands strong in her purpose.
By Cy White & Chesma McCoy, Photos courtesy of Chesma McCoy
Chesma McCoy’s life hasn’t been a crystal stair. A small-town girl raised in Bartlett, TX, she was placed in the foster system at the tender age of 3. She’s carried the burden of various tragedies on her back. “Lost, lonely and afraid, I’ve gone through divorce, suffered from a miscarriage, been unemployed,” she reveals. “Stuck between a hard rock and soft place, I fell into despair.” However, all of the pain she suffered throughout her life never stopped her. In fact, she refused to give in to that despair. “I had a 5-year-old son at the time, so I didn’t have time for a pity party. I decided to take the power and charge of my life back.”
Bruised, but not broken, McCoy pulled herself up and founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Pastors’ Closet in 2018. Why Pastors’ Closet? “Because every sheep needs a shepherd, so does a shepherd need a covering,” she says. She founded Pastors’ Closet as a safe haven and wellness center where people come for restoration. “We provide mental health, pastoral counseling and life coaching by way of services in retreats, life coaching and wellness conferences, while also providing food and essentials to the homeless community.
“We help empower the church and community in their spiritual walk, health and wellness,” she continues. “Our focus is on encouraging others to prioritize their lives in family, business and ministry. Self-care is a priority, and mental health is your wealth. We want to create space and opportunity to bring the community together in unity.”
Chesma McCoy: Overcomer
McCoy is not a pastor or wife, but she stands by the notion that God gave her this vision to carry forward. Along with her dedication to service, she’s an aspiring author. Her book Overcomer is a 31-day devotional for overcoming adversity, depression, rejection and temptation. “I wrote Overcomer as my memoir and testament that God is able!” she says emphatically. “I want to encourage anyone who meets me to read my story. It comes from personal experiences and life circumstances. You will be surrounded by critics no matter what you do. This is a self-help tool that will guide you through a biblical perspective, and daily affirmations to remind you to speak life over yourself.
“I called it Overcomer because life will take you into a storm,” she explains. “Whether in the middle of a storm or coming out of a storm, no matter what, you will overcome it. Take a lesson in this. Whenever you’re driving in the rain, you don’t stop to get out, nor do you back up and turn around to go in the opposite direction. Instead you keep on driving. [It’s called] Overcomer because in spite of everything life tried to throw at me, I’m still standing.”
Mental Health is Your Wealth
It’s a calling steeped in the belief that the hard work toward healing must start with breaking generational misconceptions. “We as a culture suffer in silence because we were taught that prayer alone can cure depression and/or mental disorders,” she says. “You can’t eat, cry, sleep or even pray it away. The Bible is specific. Faith without works is dead. Self-care is a priority, and mental health is your wealth. Find a safe space to talk it away, journal it away. Writing is therapeutic. If you’re into fitness, you can exercise; or if you’re into crafts, find your creative niche. But don’t wallow in your wilderness. You must walk through it. Everything that you go through, you grow through. That’s not just a cliche, it is experience. The test of true faith is how to remain humble in the face of adversity.”
McCoy is not only “still standing.” She stands tall in her purpose. She’s a Christian life coach in holistic health and the CEO and owner of Kingdom Lifestyle N Apparel, LLC, an apparel line she created as an extension of Overcomer. It’s obvious she’s found her calling and follows it with every ounce of her being.
Big Girls Do Cry
McCoy’s purpose-driven life extends to her children. They serve as her biggest inspiration. She penned the Big Girls Don’t Cry story and coloring book as something of a love note to her daughter. “I found myself telling my daughter that she didn’t have to do all the whining because big girls don’t cry. But as I reflected on it, I discovered that was a lie. I’ve cried more times than I can count. I want to empower young girls to understand that they don’t have to hide behind their pain. Life and chance happen to us all. Whenever you can’t find the words to speak it’s okay to cry because tears are prayers too.”
No, Chesma McCoy’s life hasn’t been a crystal stair. But beyond the pain she’s found true glistening joy and purpose. “I am committed to building growth and unity in the Kingdom,” she says. “I am dedicated to this mission and strive each new day as God gives me strength.”