Updated: Nov 8
Mornings have become something more to look forward to than dread over the past few months. Maybe it's exercising, therapy in addition to a strong resilience to achieve emotional wealth. That's the thing I've realized early on in life; I guess I'm still young, that time is our only currency. How we spend it defines what we value in life. Up till now, I've been of the mindset of servanthood without a balance of self-compassion. I didn't even know this concept existed due to the selfless teachings I'd received as a child growing up. However, when I became an adult, I realized that teaching girls servanthood is a global pandemic, but that's a topic for another day.
My mornings used to be filled with the anticipation of making sure I carried myself as if I knew God was watching. My thoughts, my intentions, my responses and even my desires, God can see. However, this developed over time. This consciousness didn't appear until I was around 27 years old. Before then, I didn't think God wanted anything to do with me due to my sexuality, but God did want me. I knew that God wanted me because He would be with me every day and every second. Even when I didn't talk to God or live an intentional life towards God, He was still there. I would see miracles ever so often in my life, and I would be astonished. Who I have become is a product of a relationship with God that is unconditional. If God never does anything else for me, God has proven His heart to me.
While writing my book, God a Lesbian and the Space in Between, I was very afraid. I was afraid of exposing myself, my mistakes, my intimate thoughts, my experiences with my family and so much more. However, God kept visiting me in my dreams, and God sent several reminders every day of the importance of finishing. I didn't want to be an author, but I love to write. I think it's the level of anxiety that comes with putting art into the world of any kind that caused great hesitation. Anybody of writing is art. Some may be drawn to it and some that will not. Art is for interpretation, provocation and inspiration. The process of self-disclosure and exposure to the world was not an easy feat. Nevertheless, I've never been afraid of being honest and truthful about my feelings. You can't imagine how much I feel within a 24-hour span. Sad, anxious, joyful, fearful, hatred, resentment, anger, love…..so much love and happiness.
While growing up, it was my understanding that courage and fear were mutually exclusive: joy and sadness, bliss, or pain. What I'm learning as the days extend on is that every emotion can exist all at once. I believe our feelings and emotions are a result of what's feed to our spirits. Look at the disposition of a person who constantly meditates and exists in self-awareness that may seem profound. However, anyone can achieve the deepest levels of consciousness and self-awareness. Unfortunately, I believe that prayer and focus on intent is key. Now, on the opposite spectrum, a person who is always sad, depressed and experiencing every negative emotion may exist in a lack of gratitude.
So, walking through this process of releasing this book was difficult, and it taught me a lot about myself. God spoke to me so clearly one day and revealed something incredible. He said…" Michelle, you won't know why I commissioned you to do specific things, in the most minute way, until the end of your life. But you must trust that I am in control of everything around you and I will not allow anything to harm you." Following God has developed into a rhythm of responses to the instructions of God. Mostly, I believe that when we have a consistent prayer life, our inner voice becomes aligned with God's heart. So, while walking through difficult emotions, I was able to refrain from doubt because I knew, from previous experiences also, that God would direct me always.
And what's astonishing is this. I had to relive each encounter I wrote in my book. It was so clear. What I wrote is what I experienced on a deep level repeatedly. I thought of what others would think of what I wrote, and this was the heaviest thing to manage. It's interesting; however, the way God separated me from the people I was most concerned about while finishing the book. If a person had any impact that pushed me in the direction of not publishing my book, God separated me from. There was an indefinite separation spiritually, and it seemed as if the person or people I worried about died. Over the past two years, I've grieved loss in a way I've never experienced before. There is no greater death than that of a relationship that dies. The person is still alive, but the relationship is dead. When this happens, you know in your gut that the relationship will never be the same again. And it's uncanny how God has still been separating me from people who would hinder the work that He's called me to do.
More than anything, in this tough season I've learned that it has never mattered what anyone thought of me or what I accomplish. There is no real weight on what others think of me. It won't change my course and neither can it affect my progress. In Western culture, I believe we are most concerned about what others think. Life has taught me this. What people think of you is as weightless as a stray of hay. Put a stray of hay in a body of water, and it floats without direction. Thus, the opinions of others won't produce forward movement because it lacks enough weight to provide constant direction. However, the voice of God over the waters deep is there to guide us all through every season.
After writing my book, so many things have changed. I no longer have a relationship with my immediate family. My family's reaction to the book caused a great distance between us. Instead of talking to me about the book, my family reacted in ways that were intended to cause pain. And the most surprising thing is the Queer folks in my family who have turned out to be the greatest enemy. Because I know them, they wanted to create a reason to be angry with me other than the book. So, they went out of their way to stir up confusion and separation happened. The lack of support I've received from people who said they were in my corner has caused my circle to minimize to nothing. I have a mentor whom I asked to read one of my final drafts, and I asked her to meet me for dinner to discuss it. When I got to dinner, I knew she hadn't read it. But, her feedback was interesting. She told me what to change in the book to make it a good book. Yes, once I made those changes, THEN it would be a good book. To this day, she hasn't given me a review at all. It's funny because, while in association with this mentor, I'd always thought she only wanted me around for what she could get from me. And low and behold, when I had nothing left to offer her, she disappeared.
Following your purpose will expose your foundation. Kind of like a contractor breaks down the remains of an old house to examine the foundation first before rebuilding. Is that what God is doing in my life? So far, God has replaced each person lost. And God has replaced them with people who need nothing from me. If it weren't for my therapist, I wouldn't have realized that I was being drained constantly, without replenishment, by the people closest to me. I realized that the absence of proof in word and deed doesn't eliminate the negative impact an unsupportive environment breeds in our spirits. Energy is more present than word and deed together. I existed in a negative space where the people around me didn't truly support me; they only needed me. And to my surprise, once disconnected, I've noticed different energy in me. I can hear myself think and more than anything else, I can hear God more clearly.
The things I was most worried about happening have happened since writing the book. But, God has been showing me my purpose over the years in small fragments of validation. He validated me before I began to move in purpose. I had so many examples to keep the insecurities of walking in purpose company. And by no means would I ever think to be equal with any of these people, but I was inspired in moments of weakness. Freud, Einstien, Vincent Van Gogh, Steve Nash, Harriet Tubman, Barak Obama, Shirley Chisholm, Lena Waithe, Oprah and so many more; These people were looked at as if they were crazy when they began walking on purpose. The most defiant thing a person could ever do is to finish their purpose. Walking on purpose creates social turbulence, in my opinion, because of one of two reasons. First, the people around you won't understand you because they've never experienced your life and they aren't aware of the dominance purpose in your consciousness. Thus, experience creates separation from people who can't interpret what you're doing. Second, if it were anyone else standing in YOUR purpose, it would be permissible. Because it's you, the person in close proximity to them, your purpose is unacceptable.
Today, I want to encourage anyone who hasn't begun to walk on purpose. It is scary. It is nerve wrenching. It is lonely. But there is a level of peace I hadn't experienced until I started walking on purpose. Just knowing that I've done all that God has asked me to do provides a satisfaction I've never experienced. Every day with God, no matter who comes or goes, leaves my belly feeling full of food on a hearty thanksgiving day. Thus, what I feel will never be important enough to redirect or stop purpose. And what I know of God is this. Once I pass a test, He sits me down at the front of the classroom of life once again to teach me something greater. My therapist recently told me that I do hard things well. I think, over time I've learned to trust and recognize the voice of God more intimately, and He provides reassurance constantly.
In summary, purpose teaches you that you ONLY need God for counsel and direction. And God sends people to affirm what He's said. Well, at least He does for me. When I die, I'll be proud when I say I did it afraid.