In 2015 I invited writers to interpret the phrase: "Now November" on my blog. To my surprise, guests submitted articles enthusiastically. I read and published powerful and important testimonies that had a wide reach. I was in love with that assignment and was happy to give writers a platform to express themselves. Little did I know that those blogs were going to make such an impact. Books were written. Podcasts were started. People collaborated with each other. Ministries were birthed. When I think back on that time in my life, I really believed that I was walking in my purpose.
I wrote about #NowNovember on November 3, 2015:
"My goal as a scribe is to get all of you to think about what is keeping you from completing your goals. Especially as a Scribe we need to think about how the unwritten words in our mind could be impacting someone.
Take some action, do something. Now."
I was on a roll.
I had a content calendar and a team helping me implement my ideas. In April 2016, I hosted a writing challenge and offered a writing prompt every day for 30 days. I was pouring out my heart into writing prompts that I had created for others, but they were prophetic for me. A couple of the topics were: "The truth of my existence. . ." and "When was the last time you cried?" I often wrote through tears, I held nothing back. When I couldn't write, I turned to Periscope which was pretty popular at that time and talked to my village. I had a following and people tuned in no matter what time I went live. That was the beginning of the me walking in my purpose.
But in April 2016, my mother died. I was doing all of that for other people, but it was really preparing me for what was to come in my own life. Knowing what I know now, I believe that God was stretching me and preparing me for the loss of my mommy and mother in law within six months of each other. To top it all off, I had to leave my career to move to a new state that December when my husband got a new job. Leaving Pittsburgh, I left Penda in a puddle of tears on the floor in my bedroom. It was grief on top of grief that I didn't have time to process.
The easiest thing to do I thought was to walk away. No more blog. No more Periscope. No more writing. No more #NowNovember. But that was like saying, no more Penda.
When I left Pittsburgh I resigned within myself that my new role meant that I needed to strip myself to be accepted. Ironically, six years later, that acceptance has still not come in the way I had imagined, but I have become more courageous in my pursuit to do things that bring me joy. I have given myself permission to dream again. To see things in color and be true to myself. I know that instead of leaning into a part of me that God created, I turned my back to it and denied the mystic in me. Ultimately I turned my back on everyone whose faith was deepened or whose creativity was reignited by my presence. But they wouldn't let me hide. Every year, someone asked about #NowNovember and I would gloss over the subject.
This year though, I am ready to bring it back better than ever! I can't let it rest for some reason. I want to hear some stories of faith and courage around #NowNovember. I am doing it live through #TheResilienceProject.
If you haven't heard of #TheResilienceProject, that is a podcast I started last year to help me regain the pieces of myself that I tried to leave behind. I mean, you can go search my name on YouTube, there are some awesome conversations there for you to listen to. The #BounceBack is real.
Why won't you join me in a live conversation about one of the following topics. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know which topic. But hurry, this will happen on Mondays this month at 7 p.m. on Facebook live:
I can't wait to talk to you and hear your reflections about what you want to do #NowNovember21.