As the title indicates, I began writing this blog with the intent of sharing multiple lessons from my 2012 journey. However, there is one lesson that I feel should take center stage today. Let us welcome to kanishabillingsley.com for the first time as a subject focus but surely not the last--FEAR.
Recently, I completed the final assignment for my degree program. My thesis was the culmination of many years of studying and thinking. However, when it came time to write those 35 pages, I found myself at a loss. I was surrounded by books, essays, personal papers, phrases, ideas, and years of actual experience in my field of study; yet, I was speechless. What could I possibly contribute to homiletics in general, black preaching specifically, and womanist theory in particular? Who was I other than a 29 year old African American woman who began preaching in the baptist church at the age of 16?
Fear took root within me at an early stage of my embodied journey (more about that in my soon coming book). Honestly, everything I did I accomplished with a measure of fear. I was afraid I would fail. I was afraid I would succeed and not handle success well. I was afraid I would be rejected...again. I was afraid my words only made sense within my soul. I was afraid I would not be accepted...and the list goes on and on and on!
In 2008, I became intentional about unearthing the root causes of my fear infestation. Below are some lessons I learned about fear in 2012:
Fear is the presence of imaginative resistance. Fear is the acceptance of artificial limitations [...] Fear is death via asphyxiation of ideas, visions; life ... fear is the abortion of self [...] Kanisha Billingsley 11.26.2012