I’M HAPPY | What I Learned During My Month(s) of Mission
So, several months ago, I went home to The Bahamas for the first time in more than two years. I hailed it a “month of mission,” and it was an effort to make sense of an unexpected turn of events in my professional life–which by the way, is a very nice way of referring to sudden unemployment. I was supposed to share what I learned in the course of that month, but one month turned into another, and another… So, here it is, finally.
My month(s) of mission have been one of the most purposeful and productive periods of my life. I’ve traveled far and wide, to The Bahamas and New Orleans, to Orlando and Miami, to San Diego and Los Angeles, to Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and to Tallahassee to Jacksonville. I’ve spoken in The Bahamas at Sisters of Strength, MT Zion Baptist Church, Monique Hinsey’s Next Stop College, TEDx GrandBahama sang karaoke with Wel’Milya Francis-Davis and Francyss A. Pratt and enjoyed boat rides (and pool swims) courtesy of Capt. Darren Rollins. In Nawlins’, I supported JL Carter Sr. at National HBCU Media Week, wandered its streets withAutumn Anniase and ate beignets with Regina Bowe. I sat in the Miami sun with Bernadette Davis, marveled at God’s sky while floating in the Atlantic Ocean, ate at Conch Heaven with Adlai Moss and took communion from the Rev’d Denny Rolle in the majestic Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church. In Orlando, I celebrated by birthday at Disney World with Rokeish Wilson, Rod Wilson and Lawrence Rolle. In D.C., I caught-up with my mentees Holden O’Brian and Victoria L.B. Hamilton at the Newseum. In San Diego, I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time with Donette Coke, and stood on the Hollywood Hills in LA with her too! In D.C., I convened the 2014 HBCUstory Symposium with the help of a remarkable team of friends, was hailed “young sister leader” by Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, had her kiss my cheek and was recognized with the #hopedealer of the year byThe H.O.P.E. Scholarship Initiative. I visited Frederick Douglass’ house with Kayla C. Elliott on D.C.’s highest hill and was treated to a tour by Park Ranger Jocelyn Imani–oh, and fell in love with her hat. In Tallahassee, on the highest of seven hills, I sat in the President’s Box at FAMU’s homecoming, ate too-much too-often at Olean’s Cafe and visited with Lolani ‘Q’ Green., who baked me cakes. In Jacksonville, I visited with the ancestors at the Kingsley Plantation, and met Yolett McCuin’s daughter for the first time. This weekend, I returned to the Fisk University campus for homecoming! I shared too many smiles, laughs and hugs to name them one-by-one. I received many congratulations and “proud-of-yous,” so many in fact, that I thought I’d share this testimony. I did not do it alone.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Productivity will clarify your purpose.
2. Focus on the provider, not the provision.
3. You are responsible for your own happiness.
4. You will never out-live the need to be courageous.
5. It’s never too late to begin again.
6. God can make peace from broken pieces.
7. The universe will conspire to help you.
8. Whatever your place of discomfort, it too, shall pass.
9. When you are a true friend, your friendship will be repaid many times over.
10. God, indeed, restores!
11. You are your first ministry.
12. When rejected, imagine a different possibility.