29 December 2014

an open letter from a single woman to the church

So many have undertaken the task to write about singleness in the church and I've read, agreed, disagreed and reposted on my Facebook and Twitter timelines but I have yet to add to the conversation. I've finally gathered a few thoughts I am ready to share. I have some requests, which to be honest, I fear will be ignored or responded to with dismissive phrases.

My requests are simple really:
  • I would like to be viewed/valued as a whole person. I know you often tell me I am, but your actions show you believe differently. I am a genuine person who is complete in Christ and able to do great exploits. I am a full-fledged disciple of Christ right now as a single person. I'm the head of my household, everything is my personal responsibility. I am a leader.
  • Please stop assuming I'm not busy if I don't have children- or that if a single parent that I am to be pitied. I currently work and go to school, before that I worked an average of 50 hours a week. I know many singles who are "doing the most" to better their careers and their lives and are serving their communities in great capacities. Just because you can't see someone working does not mean they aren't. Also, there are many single parents out there getting it done- I can't say much on this as it's not my situation. 
  • I actually don't spend all of my free time wishing I were married. When I do have free time, I like to relax with a good book, newspaper, comic book, manga, anime, or a TED Talk or volunteer or hang out with my friends or watch soccer or... Also reference the previous point.
  • Please don't mistake me for some hormone driven, sexual deviant who cannot control their desires. Personally I admit to being human who has sexual desires. I am tempted, but I can and do exercise self-control, a fruit of the same Spirit you have as a married person. I'm not saying there aren't days (weeks, months, seasons...) but I am more than my genitalia.
  • Please stop minimizing my feelings by saying marriage doesn't solve problems, it adds more... I'm not disagreeing with you but I would never say to my friend, who has been trying to conceive for 10 years, that having kids just adds stress to your life. It's a bit insensitive.
  • Stop telling me that God is preparing me for my mate... Exactly how had God prepared you for your marriage when you were 19, 20, 21, whatever age that He has not also been doing in me since before then? Because although it's not what you mean, it is what you're saying- that you were ready and that I am not.
  • I am not impressed by your fancy light shows and trendy themes. I'm not opposed to it, I'm looking for substance along with it. I am looking for a place to connect, to build real relationships with real people. I want to make friends, in a safe environment and be equipped to do the work I've been given to do. It's my child-like hope that we can then all help one another walk in purpose. Seriously.
  • This is life, not a role play game. Marriage and kids are not rewards you receive for "leveling up" in your Christian walk- some of you saying things like this were married before you knew the Lord, or did you forget? There are many who have walked as "committed Christians" for years and are still single or are single again. And these people have not done something wrong because they are "still" single.
At the end of the day, as with everything in each one of our lives, this is about God's timing. You see at just the right time Sarah conceived, Isaac's wife was brought to him, two brothers were born and one was set above the other, a nation had its beginning, the manifested glory of God delivered that nation from bondage and established them, gave them kings and a kingdom. And then in the fullness of time, He sent His Son Who redeemed that nation and every other under the sun for whosoever will respond to His call.

Not preparation, although in pursuit of Him we are prepared for greater things than we will ever understand.

Not righteous living. Although righteous living should be our response of love to Him.

Not rehearsing the events of the book of Ruth as though it were some guide to mate procurement. Although thorough study of the Word will cleanse, purify and renew us to experience an intimacy with God like never before.

Not writing down a list of what he or she should be and requesting that. Although I will say that making sure you're living a life that would be attractive to someone else is good.

Not endlessly making deals in prayer to negotiate what you want in life. HE doesn't seem to work that way.

Timing. End of story.

So as much as I appreciate your company and encouragement, just remember that I am a real Christian able to carry out the duties of my life and ministry just as I am.

With love,
Aisha Nichole

15 December 2014


Almost is a terrible thing I've allowed to happen too often in my life.

I have more times than I can count, according to others around me, been so close to a desired outcome- only to come up short.

I am a reluctant leader, because more times than not, once placed in a position of leadership, I would do something human and be asked why I did what I did. My motives questioned, and my leadership skills minimized.

I have almost measured up to my own brilliance my entire life, but never apparently really reached it.

All I've ever heard about is how much potential I have. I unfortunately let this color my view of me. Apparently I've never done anything well enough- after all if you're not rising to your potential, that's what is being said right? Maybe that's not true and a bit too harsh, but in my gray matter- that's the message I've repeated. The folds in my brain go to pathways and triggers of pain when someone mentions my potential.

I have learned the hard way that I don't fear failure, I fear the effects of success. Once you succeed, when you gloriously mess up, you're paraded around as a fool and then told, you never really were that good to begin with. Must have been a fluke.

I have always been a bit responsibility shy. But I also don't like disorder and I love to solve problems, so I put my head down and get to it, only to be told what I am doing is not needed. Until I'm replaced by someone with credentials and a cool brand who comes along and says the same thing.

I'm told repeatedly to quiet down and watch what I say because I have a way with words, and because of that I have a responsibility. And often times I follow,  I chill only to be asked why it's so difficult to get an answer out of me.


I'm tired of almost.

Yes, I'm ranting and complaining. But I can only point the finger at me. I'm a grown up and my decisions and actions are my responsibility. Where does that leave me?

I'm done with almost.

If I gloriously fail, then I'll fabulously learn, regroup and do it better the next time.

At some point I have to accept that I am not, nor will I ever be perfect. TODAY IS THAT DAY. I have made many mistakes but I have also grown and changed.

At some point I have to accept that I am not bad at what I do, I am new at what I do. TODAY IS THAT DAY. By accepting this, I hereby give myself permission to learn, to do the hard stuff, to swing and miss AND on many occasions get a hit, round the bases and bring it home. I don't always have to score, but I do have to step up to the plate.

My mistakes do not define me, they molded me. Mistakes are scars that say at least I tried. There have been many times I was kinetic, moving toward my goals. Tearing into life and enjoying it, for the sake of enjoyment. Not trying to prove myself.

There it is. I've been trying to prove I'm more than potential to someone, God only knows who- because right now, I'm surrounded by people who are encouraging me, who love me despite me.

At some point I have to accept that I am worthy of love. You know what? No matter what TODAY IS THAT DAY!

Today I declare personal freedom from my own prison of perfection, my desire to steer clear of foolishness for the sake of a wreath bestowed by whoever that says I've finally reached some mythical plateau of potential.

I'm not going to chase this high called reached potential any more. I'm doing everything I can to be the best me I can be.


12 December 2014

be me

You want me to sit
To be quiet and forget
To forgive with no end
To believe you're a friend
To surrender to your comfort
To stop being me
Laws may have changed
But in your mind I'm not free
And if I change to conform
Then I'm no longer me
So I'll ask you to change
To stop thinking me strange
To exist and be free
To not worry about me
And here I'll stand
I'll be all that I can
I'll make no demands
But today you will see
I'm so proud to be me

(c) Aisha Nichole Willis 2014

This originally posted to my Facebook

05 December 2014

Wouldn't He?

President Lyndon B. Johnson and
the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King wouldn't do that.

I keep seeing this as some sort of pseudo-justification for why people should stop protesting. Somehow there is a belief that commerce would not be disrupted if protests were truly peaceful. And that these protests are solely the product of recent events. Those events were the proverbial straw.

Here's something to consider:

  1. A boycott of a transportation system by any section of the population would do quite a bit to disrupt commerce. Reference the 1950s and 60s bus boycotts- seriously look it up.
  2. Protest by definition is a disruption to some action- at a minimum it comes from words meaning to make a solemn declaration, to assert publicly, from a root word meaning witness.
  3. It amazes me that in the sanitized version of history we receive that somehow we've forgotten that the Rev. Dr. King was so hated by his contemporaries for what he was peacefully leading that the opposition shot his face off. I am not condoning violence by pointing this out, I just want to make sure we remember he did not live to a ripe old age and die peacefully.

I truly hope that all the protests will finally lead to much meaningful dialogue. This is not just a black & white issue.

This is a great opportunity for those who profess faith to finally make our day of worship the LEAST segregated time of the week instead of the most. If the Church will deal with what's going on in its own walls- we can and will lead the charge.

And I don't mean grab a talking head who wants to throw out distractions. I'm not missing all those other issues either.

Let's not miss the opportunity to finally break a cycle of fear and hatred plaguing all communities involved because we don't want to call it what it is. We all have skin in this game- let's do something great to ensure that 25 years from now our kids and grandkids aren't having to fight the same battle.

Prayer is a minimum. Listening, talking, dealing with lies and deception and healing will take time but it's so worth it.

03 December 2014

Do I Matter?

This is the beginning of something- I do not think this is complete but it may be. Writing is how I process. Change is here, change is now. May God be with those who have suffered loss. May He continue to be patient as we are slow to learn.

The working title for this is I Matter

Everyday I feel I’m put on trial for existing
In this melanin-tinted skin I’m in

I never know when it could be the end
Because of the suspicion from years of traditions
That promoted fear when you saw my kin
Yes indeed, I’m about to go in

And though I’m known to be brilliant and witty,
and even on occasion, sometimes pretty
If I make a “wrong” move at an opportune time
What will be the narrative of my life?

Nothing of the truth will be what you find
Because posthumously will I be tried
With little evidence for every crime
And the story will state I was the one who defied

© Aisha N. Willis 2014