I’m always amazed when people mention they’ve missed reading my blogs. Because I am who I am, I generally think people aren’t all that interested; however, given that a few folks have mentioned the silence of my voice here lately, I thought I’d find some time to write.
Man . . . it’s been a messy and strange road these past few months. I’m plugging away at seminary. After my summer courses, I will be at the halfway point . . . I never thought this day would arrive, I’m thankful! If I’m completely honest, when I started this seminary process, I’m not quite sure I even cared if this day would arrive because I was still fighting God . . . A LOT. I used to be a combative and rebellious seminarian, now I am in love with the process and experience. Studying and learning matter to me in a different way. It’s no longer the fulfillment of a requirement someone is requiring of me, rather it’s a willing response to God’s incredible call to serve.
Then, there’s work. Work is good, but work is strange. I feel like I’ve become quite comfortable and confident in my voice and value in this space. That’s great for me, but doesn’t always fit pretty in a box and there are moments when I feel incredibly stifled. Opportunities have been opening up for me in unexpected ways. I’m grateful, but I’m very mindful and view each experience as a God moment. I consider it a privilege for God to give me a chance to share my voice with others on a larger platform; therefore, I’m intentional and deliberate in what I say. On the surface, it may seem as if I’m simply talking about my career path or some diversity/inclusion topic, but with each experience comes with the opportunity to speak life to someone, a stranger perhaps. That’s not a light assignment, it’s just as important as preparing and preaching a sermon for me. It’s my opportunity to encourage someone in their journey and I feel honored to be called by God to do such work. It’s not about me, it’s about availing myself to be used to be a blessing on whatever platform presents itself to me.
Today, I received an interesting e-mail from someone who attended an event I spoke at last week. I know it’s a compliment, but it was framed in an interesting way. It was the reminder that my work matters.
“Oh boy, here come the ‘Big Wigs’. Aint nothing they can teach me!” They couldn’t relate to me, they’re too far up. And one by one, as each of you told YOUR STORY, of where you came from, how you got there, and where you wanted to go, each one of you Giants shrunk to normal sized people, walked right off the stage, came and sat down beside me, took my hand and said “Fret not, we…are you!…yes we’ve traveled different paths but our stories are the same in a lot of ways”.
And into my heart each of you went. So, after I buried my especially judgmental thoughts of you being “the black sellout” of the bunch, when you had the unmitigated gall of saying “I’m a black woman and she’s white woman” out loud… in front of tons of people(????) and telling the audience how its ok not to jump right into an opportunity JUST because it presents itself, and how it’s ok to stay where you are, master the current position RIGHT NOW, then move on, I said to myself, “I really like her…and I need her to mentor me, she gets me…lol!”
When I read the e-mail, I chuckled, then I smiled. I don’t know this person at all, but I am so thankful I said something that resonated with her. I thrive on being just an ordinary, everyday person who can connect on some level with all who cross my path. Maybe it should be flattering, but I’m no giant, I’m just regular and will always be just regular no matter where life may take me.
So, I’m on a windy, messy road at the moment. There’s been no progress on my 101 list, but I’m growing in so many other ways. I’m excited about the future.