Before I was a warrior, I differentiated between the secular person I was and the spiritual person I became weekly on Sundays. Sabbaths were for study, praise and worship, and a time to set those things aside in favor of regular life.
That was before; I’m a big girl now.
That was my first evolution, the one where I became brave. I made peace with taking the risk to be myself. Authentic. Revealed. I pray. I laugh (frequently). Essentially, elementally being who I was all along, my quirky, irreverent, and often nerdily obscure sense of humor framed a life where God was Omnipotent, not just in the Bible, but in me.
Then there came the second evolution, where life body-slammed me deep into the warrior resolve bred into me and those like me by centuries of overcoming-socially, economically, professionally, personally. The legends that I’ve watched, the stories I’ve read, the music that inspires remind all confirm that when the scariest things you could imagine happen to you or those you love, it’s time to make choices.
You can let things stop you; paralyzing you with fear, or you become a warrior, learning to live like a shark.
Sharks are incapable of swimming backward. In fact, sharks cannot breathe without moving, as the action of forcing water through their gills while swimming provides their oxygen. Failing to move results in suffocation. Do sharks think about swimming? Their instincts require them to keep moving; because that’s what sharks do, We swim because we must. So, if we cannot give up, and we cannot go back, we need faith without hesitation or doubt. We swim or die. We need Warrior Faith.
Warrior Faith is my DNA.
A shared cultural legacy, it is the muscle memory of my soul, sown into me with every bedtime encouragement, every embrace, every action, the music that moves me and the words that inspire me.
“Take one pint of water, add a half pound of sugar, the juice of eight lemons, the zest of half lemon. Pour the water into one, then to another several times. Strain through a clean napkin. Grandmother. The alchemist. You spun gold out of this hard life. Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen. Broke the curse with your own two hands. You past these instructions down to your daughter, who then passed them down to her daughter.”
Pop music ministering courage? Through Beyonce Knowles Carter, God emboldens me with tenderness; “fear thou not, for I am with thee,” in the rhythm of your daily worship, in the mundane, always. No longer needing to differentiate because Father/Mother/God is with me, I am well. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
“I speak to God in public” Chance the Rapper, Blessings
No longer constrained by any need to flip the God switch, I am free to always be, in the words of lyricist and modern psalmist Donald Lawrence, “not a natural being having a spiritual experience, but….a spiritual being living this natural experience.”
Several of my people are going through, right now. It’s mountain moving time. If I needed to shift gears into, rather than living in warrior pose, I’d waste valuable time. Having been raised with warrior faith, having learned to perservere in my armor, I live primed, ready for the trumpet sound. If there are people who genuinely care for you but can’t understand, they cannot be along for this ride. There’s a place for those folks in your life, but not on the Warrior path. Warriors have things to do; it is mountain moving time.
How do we move mountains?
Warrior Faith. Warrior Faith means “do anyway.” Warrior Faith means dragging your sorry *ss out of bed despite being too weary to move, because Father/Mother/God promises that if you do that one thing, Grace will precede you there.
I see God everywhere. It’s a declaration recently made, and a statement by which I live. Affirmed by the thinkers and writers that inspire me and sing my perspective, I walk in my warrior faith.
Solely by that faith, we warriors move mountains.
- We begin by acknowledging our weakness, our frailties and our fears, and that we are broken.
- Having confessed, we give thanks and show up, scanning the horizons, because the mountains are about to get out of our way.
- We remain ever vigilant, ever seeking.
In the words of Zora Neale Hurston,
“They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”
I am a very serious person, so I laugh a lot. I write because it helps me understand the way I feel about the world. I married my high school sweetheart, and together we made two exceptional people and raised a dog so remarkable, I wrote a book about the faith lessons he taught me. I envision a world where each of us embraces the Perfect, Precise Image of God that we are, naturally, at every given moment, even as each of us exists in a liminal state.