By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Staff
Reality does not always end up corresponding with Joycelyn Rhymer’s expectations.
She said her childhood hope of being a nun, for example, was dashed, and she ended up having five children.
Rhymer added that, many years ago, she also tried to commit suicide on a number of occasions.
Today, however, she is steadfast on her mission to save lives in her capacity as a religious activist and as a member of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
“Because of frustration, a voice was telling me to kill myself. Trust me, I attempted to. I tried to overdose myself; I attempted to cut my wrist, but God never let me go to any hospital,” said Rhymer, who told BVI News Online that she was born in the British Virgin Islands.
When she was nearly three years old, she was taken to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI), where she was raised by her father Allan Rhymner and her step-mother.
It was a bittersweet experience, she explained.
“My stepmother loved me and she was very young when she married my dad and had to cope. When she get her children, things started to change. She was always there for me and I feel she loved me in her way, but I always felt left out. That made me started to be a little troubled person.”
“I grew up in St Thomas [in the USVI], and I have been through storms and valley,” Rhymer said.
She eventually left the USVI, went to live in the United States, and then returned to the British Virgin Islands in 1989.
Rhymer was planning to return to Florida, but fate steered her into the local police force.
“I got in and I went to train; the training was the hardest part for me. The way I grew up, I said nobody would ever put me back into shackles. Anyways, now I have to follow the people’s rules. It was difficult. I had my Green Card and was going to leave. But God never allowed it.”
The BVIslander, who has been a police officer for some 27 years, said she executes her duties with compassion.
“Sometimes I arrest people and you won’t believe I go to court and sometimes I cry; the judge must be thinking I am crazy. I do it because I know God is a compassionate God. In spite of me being a cop, He wants me to use the law and compassion to bring change to this world. My co-workers; they think I am crazy, but I do my job nevertheless,” said Rhymer who will retire from the police force in the coming months.
She is retiring at a time when the RVIPF has been struggling to find locals who are willing to join its ranks.
The veteran cop thinks a number of BVIslanders are not interested because they are afraid to take action against relatives and friends in the relatively small community.
“Some of them say, ‘Oh I don’t want to arrest my friends that we swore to arrest’. But, if their friends respect them, it makes their work easier. So, whoever wants to join the police force, if they are coming to be serious, they could come. When you get inside, dare to be a Daniel and dare to stand alone,” she advised.
Thrown out of church
Policing aside, Rhymer does not hesitate to admit that she is no stranger to controversy – and sometimes mockery – where her religious beliefs are concerned.
She left the church and ‘went out into the world once’.
Now, however, the BVIslander is back to stay.
She told BVI News Online that, since her return, she is being thrown out of churches because she waves a symbolic flag that she takes wherever she goes.
“Once I used to attend the Church of God of Prophesy and they said to me, ‘Oh, we have our own flag’, and how I want to take over the church. So God called me out from among them. For just carrying the flag; I am being rejected by many churches. Oh yes. I get put out of Church. That is because the people of the BVI do not know the things of God.”
“I don’t belong to no denomination. That is because the Lord called me out in 2005; he said ‘come out from among them; be separated unto me’. So, wherever he sends me, I move on assignment. Not just me; there are also other prophets who move on assignment,” added Rhymer.
But, why is the flag such an important part of her worship?
“When I wave the flag and close my eyes, I see the atmosphere changing. Then I will see millions of lights – lights represent the apostolic anointing and there might be evil. And so the flag is needed. God is present [and] as the army of the Lord shows up. Remember he is God and he uses the flag. So that’s why I wave this flag for the glory of God.”
Rhymer added that, at one point in her life, she had no clue she would have been steeped in Christianity.
A series of supernatural events transformed her.
“I was going through a series of spiritual events where I used to see myself in coffin even on my bed. There was a man speaking; he said: ‘If you dead now, where you going?’ Jesus was the only way out. That led me to him. There is a point where co-workers, friends, everybody turns against you, because you are no longer you. Dare to be a Daniel and dare to stand alone. Trust me, I am always alone. But Jesus is Lord.”
Rhymer further told BVI News Online that, despite the criticisms she faces, she will remain resolute.
“In the end, I want to be remembered for being Joycelyn; who I am; a woman who loves God. I want to hear my Father say, ‘Well done Joycelyn in spite of your ways’. What man thinks about me; it no longer matters. First, I used to cry a lot. Now, it is about getting people saved and seeing the life of mankind changed. I am not excellent in education like others, but I have the Holy Ghost. Once you have the Holy Ghost, you have everything,” she reasoned.
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