Last week I talked to my dear friend Christina about all the good opportunities that have recently flooded my inbox. In the midst of multitasking during our daily FaceTime chat, I rattled off the list to her: I’m co-authoring a book that launches into the world in April 2022; I was invited to be a contributing writer for the Mahogany Writing Community; I’ve been presented with a promising job opportunity (a sista needs benefits and a steady paycheck, okay!?); and I’ve been invited to contribute a chapter to an academic text that aligns with my research interests. There’s more, but I think you get the picture.
In the words of Issa Rae, “it’s feeling like ‘me’ season” out here, y’all!
I am exceedingly grateful for the doors God has, is, and will open for me to glorify Him, but even the “me” season can be overwhelming in the absence of a clear process of elimination or prioritization. After I prattled off the catalogue of current opportunities, Christina said, “God knows how to answer prayer.” Listen, won’t He do it!
Christina knows my context because we have been co-hosting our Truth’s Table Podcast for many years now. She’s been a constant source of encouragement, correction, and a faithful prayer partner. And because she knows me well, she could hear the curious combination of excitement and dread in my voice as I shared all this with her. Y’all have to understand that this sudden outpouring of blessings is within a context: Struggle.
For several years now I have been in ministry full-time as a public theologian who speaks, writes, and provides scriptural analysis on race, culture, and politics. People see you on television, read your article in mainstream publications, and—if you have a decent following on social media—they naturally assume that your public following corresponds to the dollars in your bank account. But that’s not always how it works in these public-ministry streets. Especially if you’re a Black woman.
For a significant portion of my time in ministry, I’ve despised my calling due to the high visibility of it, as well as the financial and emotional hits I’ve taken. I was on the struggle bus for many years, and I’m only just beginning to see my bus stop come into view as God is turning it all around for my good.
Being the good and wise friend that Christina is, she suggested that I write down every opportunity on a sheet of paper along with the pros and cons of each — in light of what I need to thrive financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I took her up on her advice. First, I prayed, and then I wrote down all the opportunities in my prayer journal and weighed them against what I need to thrive in this season of life.
Writing those opportunities down, where they are safely out of reach from my anxious thoughts and instead splayed between the lines of my prayer journal, made a world of a difference for me. After reading the list, I was able to clearly see which opportunities aligned with my God-given purpose (hey, Mahogany!) and which ones did not.
Sistas, unlike Chaka Khan and the late and dearly beloved Whitney Houston, I am not “every woman.” It’s not all in me. And that’s a beautiful revelation because boundaries protect what is sacred. Our whole being is sacred.
We are sacred, sistas!
Although I’d rather have blessings rain down on me than suffer on the struggle bus, by God’s grace, I think both seasons can be done well if we keep the main thing the thing. That’s keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, getting clear on our God-given purpose, and learning to say ‘no’ — even to good opportunities if they don’t align with all the above because we entrust ourselves to the God who can open doors for us that no one can shut. What God has for us is for us!
What does your “me season” or “struggle-bus season” look like? What tools have you used to help you navigate both seasons of life?Leave a Comment