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Just As I Am


Excerpt

No amount of black girl magic, no repeated proclamations of our worth can fully treat the wound – although acknowledging its persistence is a beginning. The ultimate remedy, as I see it is supernatural. I look daily toward heaven for restoration, for spiritual healing. My true identity isn’t rooted in our history, grievous and glorious as it is. It is grounded in my designation as a Child of God, the Daughter of the Great Physician. In His care I find my cure.


My hope for you is the same one I carry for myself. I pray that amid the heartache of our ancestry you can grant yourself the grace so seldom extended to us. I pray that you can pass that compassion on to your children and to their children so that it slathers comfort on our sore spots. I pray that, as a people, we can give ourselves a soft place to land. I pray even as we rightly express our fury as being regarded as sub-human, that we don’t dwell in that space. That we don’t allow anger to poison our spirits. That we embrace love as our One True Antidote. I hope, too, that you recognize your specialness, the distinctiveness the Creator has imbued us with. I see you as clearly as history has, and in unison with it, I nod. I know that swivel in your hips, that fervor in your testimony, that ebullience in your stride, that flair in your song. The fact that others are constantly trying to diminish you, ever attempting to dismiss your talents even as they mimic you, is proof of your uniqueness! No one bothers to undermine you unless they recognize your brilliance.


More than anything, I pray that you can carve out a purpose for yourself, a calling beyond your own survival, a sweet offering to the world. You gain a life by giving yours away. Not everyone is meant to raise a picket sign, and yet each of us can choose a path of impact. Rearing your children with affection and warmth is a form of activism. Honoring your word impeccably is a way to raise your voice. Performing your job with excellence, with your chin high and your standards higher is as powerful as any protest march. Sowing into the lives of young people is a worthy crusade. That is what it means to leave this world of ours more lit up than we found it. It’s also what it means to lead a magnificent life, even if an unlikely one.




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