Reclaiming the Dream: Single Mothers and the Art of Innovation

The way out of the pandemic can begin with the way into the lives of Black and Brown single mothers.

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Easter weekend 2004. Though I had taken a pregnancy test at home and received a positive result, I went to the college campus infirmary the next day to be sure. It was my senior year at Spelman College and I had so many plans in store after graduation — I was hoping that my positive home test was just a fluke.

When I arrived at the clinic, the nurse did a blood pregnancy test — and as one would expect, it came back positive.

In a daze, I grabbed my tote bag and left the always-too-cold clinic. Right outside its doors, in a worn patch of grass was a wooden bench worn by the Georgia sun. I’d throw my worn tote bag on the ground next to me and weep. At the time, I thought I was weeping over the uncertainty of raising a child, but in hindsight, it was something much more.

As I sat and cried, I remember looking down at my tote bag and peeking out of the top of one of my folders was an application for The University of Maryland at College Park’s journalism program. I had this big dream to move to the east coast to work as a journalist — this dream that was crystal clear just days before was now as blurry as my teary-eyed vision. I remember mumbling to myself, “Welp. That’ll never happen.”

Nearly 16 years later, my life has tried to reconcile that moment as not a moment of sorrow for motherhood, but the sorrow for a dream that I had to abandon.

Read more here.

Power of the Pivot

Life can take unexpected turns despite our best efforts.

Relationships fail, jobs end, programs lose funding, people pass away — and even with all the education, resources, hope, will, and prayer, life has a way of forcing us to change directions at the drop of a dime.

One minute you’re going one direction and suddenly there’s a change. An obstacle. A challenge. An unexpected thing that calls for us to change direction.

This directional change isn’t always a clear one to discern; when you’ve been planning your life around one set of truths/realities and then those truths are no longer, well, true, how does one begin the process of expanding the opportunities to imagine a new future? 

If you’re anything like me, these types of sudden changes have happened a few times over the course of my life and, most times, I’ve rebounded using the same skills, experiences, and ideas that got me through before. 

But in 2020, I need to pivot. Continue reading

There’s Still a Vision

Habakkuk 2:2 is a good text we like to quote/throw around as a reminder of God’s promises and vision for our lives. But that verse 3? Whew. That thing got me today.

“For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”

How often has God given us a dream or vision for something and no matter how we try to get started, to get our footing to pursue it, it just doesn’t seem to work out?

We know God gave us the vision but have gone as far as our money, resources, and intellect can go — so we resolve to tucking our idea into the recesses of our journals and Google Docs and move on.

Habakkuk 2:3 says there’s still a vision for an appointed time… that “still” takes me out because it reminds me that God has not forgotten the dream that she gave me — and the time from incubation to action is not time lost but time to create space for when the “appointed time” begins. 

That time between incubation and action is where we are called to sit with ourselves, our ideas, our current situations and work those things out. It’s where we’ll see relationships end and new ones begin. It’s where life will push us to develop our character. It’s when we figure out not only what we want but what we don’t want.

It’s a time where space for the unexpected is created.

Whew. I find so much peace in knowing God hasn’t forgotten — that there’s still a vision, still a chance to see the vision come to pass, there’s still an appointed time that everything will come together.

So don’t grow weary waiting for the appointed time for that dream or vision to pop off; hopefully this season has been a time of getting people, places, things, ideals that no longer serve you out the way so you’ll have space for what’s coming. It’s coming!

Can the church say amen?

On the chase,

Alisha L.

Art of the Sermon Podcast Feature

 

AOTS_045-3Friends,

Check out my feature on Art of the Sermon, a podcast for people with an interest in preaching/public speaking and church communication. My podcast explored the church’s relationship to single mothers and how this unique ministry opportunity is one that churches often miss. We talked scripture, intersectionality, shame and single motherhood, conservative views of sex outside of marriage (oh snap!) and pop culture.

I was asked about what I’d say to someone who may have a conservative view on sex outside of marriage re: single motherhood. My response?

Continue reading

Underground: If Not for the Women…

Last week, the groundbreaking television show Underground premiered its second season and I couldn’t be more excited! Besides being a fan of the show, I was hired to write the Underground Season 2 Faith Study Guide, a 28-page resource that churches around the country will use to engage in the theological and social implications in the show. I consider this project one of the most important things I’ve ever written and I wanted to share the resource with you!

Click Underground Faith Study Guide | Season 2 to access and download the PDF and join me for some real-time engagement on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow when episode two airs on WGN America at 10 PM EST!

IMG_4055