Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be your chief flight attendant for this blog post. On behalf of Captain God-In-You and the entire crew, welcome aboard The Soul Survivor Airlines’ flight 2020, non-stop service from NOW to YOUR BREAKTHROUGH, then continuing on to YOUR DESTINY and FULFILLING YOUR PURPOSE. Our flight time, as estimated, will be 1,272 hours and 76,320 minutes. We will be flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and at a ground speed of 1,400 miles per hour.
At this time, make sure your posture and heads are in full upright position, and that your seat belt is correctly fastened. Please set your portable electronic devices to ‘airplane’ mode until a purpose-filled announcement is made. Now, I would like to direct your attention to the reading below and introduce you to how I became a part of the Empowerment Palace’s 2018 Women’s Summit.
Cleared for take-off
As I mentioned in Apostrophe, A post trophy, I’m in this phase of overcoming my fears and allowing only my creative purpose to lead me. After speaking at Apostrophe Lounge, I was on an incredible spiritual high that drove me to want to share my art with more people, more women. So I searched Google for ‘women spoken word Charlotte area.’ As I was scrolling down the list of events on Eventbrite.com, five words on a flyer pulled me in like bait, THE UNCOMMON WOMEN’S TAKING FLIGHT.
The fact that those words described my current state of being was not just a coincidence, so once again before fear took over the moment, I reached out and inquired about the event. I know right—me and my hellos (shout out to Adele). The message read:
Hello, I am reaching out to inquire about sharing my art at this empowering event. I am a spoken word artist, blogger and inspiring author simply desiring to share my message. Feel free to visit my blog www.lindaorji.com Thank You
A few days later, completely forgetting I had sent the message—because like I told you guys, when I do these things I’m in a trance; after it’s done, I really do not remember it—I received a reply.
Good evening, Linda Orji. Thank you for being interested, and I will look at your website that is very pretty on my day off tomorrow. I love spoken word and I would like to chat with you more. Looking forward to speaking with you before this week is out. Thank you, Linda.
It was signed Pastor Erica Malachi. I looked at the flyer again, this time more closely. I found it interesting that the flyer states, Founder Erica Malachi, not Pastor. That hinted to me that the title pastor did not define that woman. Now, if y’all know me y’all know my thoughts began to march around in my head like an HBCU crankfest marching band, and all the things I didn’t initially pay attention to started smacking me in the face.
Is Cara Jakes Coleman related to T.D Jakes? Let me Google her… Yes, she is! OMG, what did I get myself into? And I can’t believe I reached out to a Pastor! I hope she doesn’t judge my website. I have some curse words in some of my poems and posts. Am I “Christian” enough to speak with her? My art doesn’t have the word God written all in it, but it does have God written all over it. Will she be able to see that? I hope she doesn’t ask me if I have a home church because right now I enjoy my alone time with God and my art and am not looking to be a member of anyone’s church but my own.
Talking about how society impacts our thought process, right? For a while I had stopped attending church on Sundays just because I needed to spend more alone time simply meditating. Church distracted me sometimes. When I tried to explain it to devout Sunday morning church goers, they didn’t really comprehend, with which I was completely okay. I can’t be sure if there’s anyone out there who feels the same way, but if there is—you aren’t alone. I strongly believe that if God is in you, church is where you are.
A few days later, I was laying down, thinking about my own things, and—ring, ring!—an unrecognized number flashed on my phone. I let the person leave a voicemail, and lo and behold—it was her! Oh no! I wasn’t ready (in my Kevin Hart voice). I said to myself, “I need to sit up, and get my pen and paper ready, and put my “professional” voice on for this call. I’ll have to call her back.”
When she picked up she greeted me with, “Girl, what is up!” I was so confused—that’s not the way I was expecting a pastor to talk to me! The conversation was quite natural, and my “professional” voice faded about two minutes into it. We talked about my background, and I even broke it down to her about why church was at times a distraction for me—and she completely understood!
Erica even said that sometimes she would do the exact same thing as me: spend time alone, outside of the church. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. To hear her confirm this for me was a total weight off my shoulder. She went on to explain her vision and mission for Empowerment Palace. As we continued to converse I became more and more relaxed.
The topic of spoken word eventually came back around, and she informed me she has already gotten everyone she needed for the event in January, but she will be happy to make space for me to speak. How did someone who’s never met me or heard me speak have so much faith and trust in me?
She also said she wanted to offer me an all expenses paid opportunity to attend a four day three night annual Ladies retreat to Myrtle Beach. It was an amazing trip. To be around such a strong group of women was beyond inspiring. The bond and sisterhood we created spiritually is truly unbreakable.
Initially when my Uncommon Woman Taking Flight journey began, my inner voice said, “What!? God? Hello… (Adele melody playing in the background) Can you hear me? Is this something I am supposed to be doing right now? Already?”
A response came right away, “Hello, can you hear me? You were created to be all that you can be, my light will shine through you. You have endured so much pain in your past because I was equipping you for elevation and high altitude.”
Passing above the clouds
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your purpose-filled announcement. Captain God-In-You has turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign, and you may now move around the cabin. However, we always recommend to keep your seat belt fastened until you reach YOUR DESTINY.