I was reluctant to write this post, as I may marginalize myself further as I integrate and walk more in my authority. Actually, that marginalization may be based on old beliefs and perceptions, although there is a chance that it is real. But OH WELL. Being “nervous” has always been an indication before a show or ministry moment that I’m about to “kill it,” so here we go. Over the years, I have come to find a space where I can be at one with what I’ve experienced and “know.” In the tradition in which I grew up(Christian), it would be deemed blasphemous to even acknowledge that I know what I know. But as I become more diligent in my pursuit of authenticity, it’s just not an option to hide this aspect of myself.
I have been seeing visions and having dreams since I was a little girl. I’ve always felt a “call” or a “pull” that let me know that I’m different and that what I see, I can trust. There has always been a knowing. For example, when I saw my ex in a compromising position with another lady. I was WIDE AWAKE, but I saw it clear as day. I shook off his BOOTS when I told him. (ha!) I certainly didn’t see his “sleaze” before that incident, but I knew in general when something just didn’t sit right about a person. Although when i shared it, folks were skeptical, as it seemed to come across as “know it all.” It would always turn out the way I saw it, but I did not fully embrace it because of how it made others feel. As I got older, my “seeing” was fine-tuned and expanded. I didn’t always understand the messages I was receiving or why, and I did not have church vocabulary or training to support such gifts. It occurred to me that church profits (prophets) are more widely accepted, but the way my gifts operated did not fit all the way there (nor did I WANT them to).
Where is the place for the one like me?? I am the one that hears from the departed loved one. I am the one that heard a crow one day and instantly knew that something was wrong with a colleagues’ unborn baby. I am the one who feels the impact of a car crash and wants to warn everyone to be careful, don’t, and then something happens to confirm what I felt. I am the one who sees a person with a particular name knocking on my home door in a dream, and soon-after an “unlikely” individual, a brother figure of the same name, makes a pass at me. I am the one that saw the baby before they even knew they were pregnant, but there was a withdrawal, a skepticism. There is no offering line for this type of “knowing” in the church. There is no stability for this kind of gift that some can’t explain with church language. Trust me, the inboxes filled with curiosity often disappear just as quickly as they’ve come because… tradition, fear, or maybe “she’s crazy.”
There is not a place for many of us who stand on the wall, and dance between worlds. Words like “occult,” “witchcraft,” and other language marginalizes those of us who do not have support in the environment where many of us were raised because… control, religious oppression, doctrine. What we must do is find the confidence to stand on our own. We must know what we know, and know that it is DIVINE. We must CRUSH the boxes that society tells us to stay in. We must choose to color outside the lines. I can’t help that I know what I know, and that I have this gift. I dream, I see, I know, and I’m not ashamed.
Truth be told, our tradition as people of African and Native descent has always provided a place for dualities to coexist. That church mother would mix you up something for a cold, for heartbreak, or even revenge. So, why must we distance ourselves when it’s the prayers of those who existed in two worlds that brought us this far? I honor the mothers, grandmothers, and aunties that saw what they saw, and said what they said, and “be who they be.” It is on their shoulders that I stand.
Up to this point, I was careful about sharing the details of my duality, which is now more so my integration. I am who I am. I understand that I have a “call” that church language cannot explain. I did not leave the parameters and restrictions of the “gospel industry” to fake on my magic, and lie about who I am. Many would question why I’m still around the church if its practices and labels have been oppressive and have ostracized folks like me. Well, the answer is simple. I do not, and WILL not eat at everyone’s table, nor prepare a dish for every “potluck.” I know I’m in the pulpit, but it’s a PARTICULAR pulpit, and I honestly may transition to something else soon but not because I’m forced to do so. I’m happy to continue to preach and worship in spaces that receive me AS I AM, and do not shun the magic that I possess. My home church has fortunately always been an inclusive space, incorporating African rituals and rites, and has evolved even more with time. Honestly, if it weren’t for these spaces, I would not even attend church. I feel FREE enough to dance not only between realms, but between the WORLDS. There is definitely that churchy side, and the metaphysical side. I embrace my upbringing and my truth, and I no longer question, deny, hide, or reject any aspect of myself. Do I wonder sometimes if folks will grab onto the fact that I hosted preacher’s kids conferences, sang with this or that gospel artist, and have a preaching ministry, and will jump ship as soon as they get a whiff of my truth?? ABSOLUTELY! But I don’t worry about that. Yes, there has been comments and questions like “what does she believe?” (lol) But I choose to believe that there is a space for unconditional love, where I don’t try to convince you, and you don’t try to convert me. I am making more room for these types of interactions.
If you’re like me, and you were raised in the church, but Spirit has been speaking to you in ways “church language” has demonized or will not support, I want you to know that you are equipped and your signs and wonders are just as valid as those spoken of and highlighted as “truth” in church. In fact, YOU are the sign, YOU are the wonder that is being revealed for such a time as this. Don’t apologize or hold back. I don’t care WHO says what. Those who come in contact with you may try to suppress you or force you to hide, but your gifts come from God and are UNDENIABLE. Religious environments may require you to speak a certain language, but I'm here to encourage you that there is other language that is just as true and valid. You deserve authentic spaces, and it is your divine right to be your authentic self, no matter who likes or labels it based on their own discomfort, fear, and religious doctrine. Here’s my words and encouragement to you:
You are not alone. The magic of our foremothers (and fathers) did not die with them. There are many who are reconsidering the practices of their Sunday-worshipping, Saturday-conjuring ancestors. In prayer, ask them to guide you.
Your tribe will find you. Pay attention to those who are speaking what resonates with you, even if it’s online. There are many social media groups, pages, and platforms out there that may articulate what you have been feeling. Discern and decide what is right for you. I’m not all “African religions,” and I’m not all “church,” and I’m not all “metaphysical.” I am a part of many, many different communities, and I have seen truth AND lies and deceit in ALL of them. I will go from meditation, to pouring a libation, to a good church shout. THIS is what works for ME.
You got this. Stand firm. Trust the God that is in you to lead you. Also trust what isn’t right and is no longer your truth. I cannot sit for long or eat in environments that do not stand for justice, demonize women, degrade the LGBTQ community, and overly highlight favor and prosperity. That’s just ME. Find what works for you. You are free to create an environment that best supports YOUR growth and spirituality. I know some of us will have to face what our mamas and daddies taught us. This is the tough part. But you have to know what you know, and that what has been tapping you on your shoulder is NOT the devil. (lol) You already know that’s what folks with say.
OK That’s my THREE POINTS! See? I told you I’m still churchy!
Here’s to freedom. Your spirituality and its expression are yours. One love.