Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mind, Body, Spirit...Don't Let Them Die!

On Saturday, November 7th, I had the sincere pleasure of sharing the message of the I Shall Not Die ministry with a group of simply marvelous young women. The Theta Tau Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated invited me to be the keynote speaker at their 2nd Annual Total Woman Tea gathering which took place inside the University Center of Valdosta State University (Valdosta, Georgia). Approximately 150 women and teen girls (who are involved in a high school mentoring program called the Delta GEMS) were there to take part in this absolutely wonderful fellowship that somewhat reminded me of my childhood days of sharing imaginary hot tea, finger sandwiches, and intense sista-girl talk with my dolls and teddy bears. Saturday's Total Woman Tea, of course, was a lot more interesting, inspirational, and interactive.
I didn't quite know what to expect of this appointment. I have served as the keynote speaker for sorority functions before, but in the past, they have all been grad chapters. Theta Tau is Valdosta State University's undergrad chapter of DST, Inc. And in the past, all of my spotlight addresses have been more so geared toward business topics such as following dreams, turning a passion into a profession, succeeding despite the odds, etc. But as I was meditating and asking God to direct me on what to speak of to the women of Theta Tau, I could not shake away the message of "I Shall Not Die" that He planted in my spirit.
This appointment had been arranged between chapter president, Mahja Zeon, and my publicist, Terrance Wooten. I'd not exchanged conversations or emails with Mahja, but upon meeting her, I found her to be as beautiful (both inside and out) as her unique name. We almost stood eye-to-eye which made me feel an instant kinship to her. You see, it's not every woman who is blessed with our tailor made statue (smile). The theme of the tea was The Total Woman: Mind, Body, & Spirit. Because of a case of innocent miscommunication between my publicist and me, Terrance had told Mahja that the subject of my keynote address would match their event theme, and at first, I wondered if it would force me to change the direction in which I'd been led to go. But as God would have it, the "I Shall Not Die" message blended perfectly with the theme that the sorority had chosen, and I was able to expound on the theme while staying true to what God had given me to share. It is awe-inspiring how God pulls things together so that His will is done and the needs of His people are met.
Being that I am not a Delta, nor am I a member of any of the "Divine Nine" sisterhoods (my Greek affiliation is on the professional level with Iota Phi Lambda) I felt particularly blessed to have been asked to come in and give the keynote address. Since I fully accepted this new motivational ministry that God had been molding me for and pushing me toward for the past fourteen years, He has been faithful to His promise to open unseen doors so that the message can be shared to the masses. It was a beautiful, empowering experience, and most of all, from the feedback that I received during the book signing that followed and through the emails and Facebook feedback that I've received in the hours since the tea ended, the women were blessed. One young lady came up to me during the book signing that followed and shared with me that her aunt had recently been faced with a experience much like mine...the one that ultimately led to the birth of the I Shall Not Die ministry. This sister seemed near tears when she thanked me for sharing, and then went on to say that because of my candidness and the message that was shared, she felt empowered and informed enough to go back and tell her aunt that she didn't have to give up, and she didn't have to let the situation kill her. "I can tell her to say, 'I shall not die,'" the young lady said. By that time, I was near tears too. In the end, that's what this ministry is all about.
I thank God for this appointment...and I look forward to the next opportunity that He presents for me to share this message of strength, faith, and hope.