How you borrow belief.
I Have Four Kids
This is a statement of fact that I frequently utter—at times with pride—and at other times with trepidation of judgment. I never expected these four words to be a plea for surviving. With both of my hands up in the position of surrender, I said in a quaking and calm voice, “I have four kids.”
The recipient of my words was one of two armed robbers at the cell phone store I walked into shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021—memorable, in part, as it was Beyoncé’s 40th birthday.
The gunman’s unmasked accomplice personified fear parading back and forth in the open, saying, “Don’t do anything stupid.” With a light tap on my shoulder, he pronounced in a firm yet sincere tone: “Don’t do anything stupid, you gon’ be alright!” It was then that I looked him in the face and said, “I have four kids.”
Flight. Fight. Freeze
My life did not flash before my eyes. The faces of my four children did not appear in my mind. Getting home to continue to mother my four children was my sole prayer point, even without an explicit ask. I wondered if this was the moment to slyly reach for my phone and press record. I decided against moving my hands, as this could be the ‘something stupid’ and kept them visibly up.
I did not scream. I did not cry. I did not move. I did not even feel the weakness I usually feel in my knees when I experienced sudden fear. I was frozen in time with clarity of purpose—get home.
I drive home.
I prostrated myself in praise and worship of the Almighty One who saw fit that I should witness danger and not be damaged. As promised and recorded in the songs of David, “He lifted me up on eagle’s wings, lest I dash my foot against a stone.”
I was overcoming.
This experience led me to ask myself, when will I do His will? Why am I languishing? Having avoided an untimely and permanent gravesite address where “never birthed” treasures lay, I faced up to the truth—I am not courageous enough to live in discomfort and do as commanded.
I wanted to overcome. I sought wisdom from my 83-year-old father on a formula for overcoming. He told me of his determination to come to America and within his story, he highlighted the ingredients to overcome anything:
1. You must have a goal.
2. You have to have iforiti.
Iforiti: courageous perseverance in pursuit of one's goal.
3. You have to believe in yourself.
Believing in Myself—My Biggest Challenge Yet
I pressed my dad to share more about how he persisted in the face of repeated failure and learn to believe in himself; a necessary skill that I felt I was desperately lacking. He told me “Future Pride” is how you borrow belief. He manifested a future in his mind that felt as true as his reality. He believed in the pride both himself and the village would have 30,40, even 60 years later as fuel to courageously persevere. I witness and benefit from that pride today, even though the seeds he sowed were years before I was conceived. It felt true; I see it in action. I eat from the garden of belief he planted.
I chose to adapt Future Pride held by me and others in this generation and the ones to come as my system of belief to also overcome. I realize that the vision that was provided to just me will appear distorted to others. On my way, I will be met with tremendous discomfort and resistance that will surely demand activation of divine iforiti.
My job is to sow the seeds of belief.
On Beyonce’s 40th birthday, I was jolted into action. The seeds planted from that action grew into korédé, a place where ambitious mothers gather.
First shared in “Overcoming: Living Our Best Life, In Spite Of…” anthology.
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