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
1/1/2013 04:11:01 am
I echo the sentiments of the person named above, Delesslyn. And, Kanisha, as a graduate in the same program with you, I too echo your sentiments. At the time, I felt the same way you did..most of the time. All I had to offer was a compelling idea.. an extremely deep inquiry that I wanted to publish within the academic world and did not have the time or the stage. Like you, in order to produce a good essay, I balanced my interests with something practical to get my feet wet. The essay which would hold my ideas of revolution and evolution, which I sought to write was never written. You saw me going from topic to topic, but I finally found something. I got my feet wet, and now, I'm preaching sermons that sound like lectures! Perhaps, it's because my interests are getting larger I guess. I know you are capable of the journey, as I have found God to be an awesome friend on my journey. I encourage you, and hope God continues to have the hand of grace on you to overcome fear and give the world back all it sees in you - an example of courage and resilience.
1/1/2013 03:33:25 pm
"Fear is the abortion of self." Kanisha, I am INCREDIBLY proud and excited for the ways you are choosing your authentic self and creating the space for your own birthing. *Sings* No turning back, No turning back...
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"Writing became my means of resistance. I was