Sonya Carson’s life motto is “Learn to do your best and God will do the rest.” Her story is not only fascinating, but also holds valuable lessons. Dr. Ben Carson, a respected neurosurgeon and potential future president of the United States, attributes his success to his mother. Dr. Carson mentioned, “I not only saw and felt the difference my mother made in my life, I am still living out that difference as a man.” So, what did Sonya Carson do to make such a significant impact on her children’s lives?
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Sonya Carson’s Inspiring Journey
Growing up in a foster home with only a third-grade education, Sonya Carson faced numerous challenges. At the age of thirteen, she met and married a twenty-eight-year-old minister, Robert Carson, who turned out to be a bigamist with another secret family. When Ben was eight and his brother Curtis was ten, their parents divorced. Determined to provide a better life for her sons, Sonya moved them to Boston temporarily before returning to Detroit.
In order to support herself and her boys, Sonya worked multiple jobs simultaneously. Some days, she would leave before her sons woke up and return late at night. However, when Ben received an unsatisfactory report card in fifth grade, Sonya knew she needed to find a way to help her boys.
The Power of Education
As a devout member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Sonya Carson believed in the power of education and the role it played in achieving success. She made a conscious decision to limit her sons’ television viewing to just two programs a week, instead taking them to the public library. This simple choice had a profound impact on their lives.
Each week, the boys were required to check out and read two library books. Sonya took it a step further by insisting they write a book report on one of those books, which she would grade using a highlighter pen. What Ben and Curtis later discovered was that their mom, who was unable to read, hadn’t actually read the reports she graded. However, the act of reading and writing those book reports instilled a love for reading in Ben, ultimately changing his life.
Overcoming Challenges with Faith
Reading was not the only key to Ben Carson’s success. When he was fourteen, he struggled with anger issues and almost took another boy’s life. Seeking guidance, he turned to God and picked up a Bible, which miraculously opened to the Book of Proverbs. Through reading verses about anger, Carson believes that God helped him overcome his temper and paved the way for his career as a surgeon. He still reads from Proverbs every day.
Carson excelled in high school and went on to attend Yale University and then the University of Michigan School of Medicine. His residency was completed at Johns Hopkins, where he spent most of his career as a pediatric neurosurgeon. Now, he seeks to become the next president of the United States.
The Legacy of Sonya Carson
Sonya Carson’s prayers for God’s wisdom and Ben Carson’s pursuit of that wisdom have yielded remarkable results. While I am not endorsing a candidate, I wholeheartedly endorse the testimony and character of a strong Christian man and his mother.
During a recent political debate, Ben Carson was asked about the racial tensions in our country. His response exemplified his character: “I’m a neurosurgeon. When I take someone to the operating room, I’m operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are.” Additionally, he summarized his mother’s teachings with the words, “Through hard work, perseverance, and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.”
I do not know what the future holds for Ben Carson, but I am excited to see where his journey takes him. Sonya Carson knew that with God, anything was possible, and she instilled that same confidence in her son. If you need that same faith and confidence today, I encourage you to learn more about Ben and Sonya Carson either online or by reading their inspiring story. “Learn to do your best, and trust God to do the rest” is a life motto that can guide us all.