The bushes scraped against my face as wave after wave of nausea washed over me. How did I end up in this position? A group of silver-haired slow moving church mothers comes to my rescue. As I rose to meet them, one prepared to anoint my head with oil, and another handed me a bottle of water. “This is so bizarre,” I kept thinking as her weathered, oily hand brushed my forehead. I had not felt a single moment of sickness before this moment. I had no idea what brought this on and why these women were all worked up about a natural illness.
Nausea returned suddenly and violently. The mothers prayed while laying their hands softly on me. Others supported me in moments of weakness. I felt a little better with each step toward the old historic, southern black church. I was fine until we reached the entrance.
This untimely illness was messing everything up! This speaking engagement meant much more to me than anyone would ever know. Still determined, I cleaned my face and turned to walk in through the glass doors. That’s when a palpable feeling of dread assailed my thoughts. My steps faltered, and I doubled over to clutch my stomach.
This group of people was near and dear to my heart. They had invited me to teach them about food freedom in Christ. They wanted to fight the epidemic of obesity that had their congregation in its deadly grip. This talk was their chance to start their journeys, and it looked like it might fail.
When I rose again, I sipped some water, a loving hand held out towards me. I don’t recall how I made it into the building. But the feeling of fear and intimidation was overwhelming and paralyzing. The church mothers surrounded me, and I found myself in their prayer circle. No one asked if I would be able to honor my speaking commitment. Instead, they told me, “God is going to make a way,” and “I need to fight the enemy.” Fight what enemy?” I wonder. My mind continued to whirl with confusion and fear. I whisper a quick prayer that got lost beneath the voices praying over me.
Somehow an inner determination welled up. I stood a little straighter, feeling the prayers and strength of the Godly women surrounding me. I opened my eyes and locked gaze with one beautiful older woman with soft, sagging cheeks and kind brown eyes. She looked near me then her gaze…