Sometimes I forget that I went through a time when I wondered if God loved me. It is not until I talk to someone who has been convinced the Divine does not approve of them or their lives that I remember I had to go through a time of transformation as well. There were two main issues I struggled through in my life. One was being bi-racial. Most people look at me and just see a white woman, although when I had dreads people thought I was anything but white. Go figure. Growing up everybody wanted me to believe I was white, except for my parents who supported me in knowing I was bi-racial.
I remember being told in one of the churches I attended briefly, that God saw biracial individuals as an abomination. No matter where I worshipped, I was told to keep my blackness to myself. It was something I should not share with people. This was painful for me.
Even in seminary, I experienced this pain. I remember going to the black church studies retreat the weekend before I began seminary and everyone kind of looked at me and wondered why I was there. only one person would eat lunch with me that day (she is a dear friend even to this day) and at the end of the day another person came up to me and asked me why I was there. I told him and he said, “Oh, so you’re mixed. We were wondering?” It was ok for me to be friends with them, but I could not go to their meetings unless I could prove my blackness. It was in my theology class with Dr. James Evans that I found the support to learn about and develop a biracial theology. This was the start of my healing. In doing so, I began to discover a history and legacy of biracial individuals and came to realize that being biracial was a blessing and not a curse.
While some may not understand this, it was far easier for me to come out as a same-sex loving woman aka lesbian then biracial. With the exception of the churches and temples that told me I was an abomination for this as well, coming out was not as hard for me as it was for others. However, it was not a cakewalk either. I remember once in seminary being compared to a piece of genetically modified corn. I was told by my former dean to keep my sexuality in the closet as it made students, staff, and faculty uncomfortable.
For a good part of my life, I focused on agreeing to the ways of being others had laid out for me and walking what sociologist Alan Johnson calls the path of least resistance. I am not quite sure what happened, or even what prompted it, but one day I decided I was tired of being what everybody wanted me to be and living in a way, which made everyone else comfortable and made me miserable. So I stopped.
I began looking at everything others had taught me and reexamined whether I agreed with it or not. If I did, then it stayed and if I didn’t, it was flushed down the toilet. There were times I would find myself slipping back into old ways of thinking, then I would catch myself, and practice this new way of thinking. Before I knew it, I was living in a space where I knew I was created by the Divine who is love, in love, to be love.
Every day I spend time having a conversation with the infinite talking about what is going on in my life and listening for where I am being taken next. At the end of every conversation, I close by saying I love you and then I always here this still small voice saying, “I love you too!”