Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): Welcome to Hurt2Healing Magazine! Please tell the readers about yourself.
Dr. Sujay (DS): Right. I’m Reverend Dr. Susan Johnson Cook. I’m more affectionately called Dr. Sujay. I was a Senior Pastor for 30 years in New York City, my hometown. I first was a youth pastor at Union Baptist Church in Harlem, then I got called to my first church, Mariners Temple Baptist Church as Senior Pastor and I became the first African American woman in the history of the American Baptist churches to be elected as a Senior Pastor. I was there from 1983 to about 1996.
We had 15 members when I started, I left with two congregations of over a thousand. We became famous for a lunchtime service I developed which we called Lunch Hour Of Power, it still goes one now. Being Downtown, New York, all the city workers, the court workers, the government workers were down there. At lunchtime, on Wednesdays, we’d have 500 people in worship. We use local pastors, I preach. We’ve had a choir, there was a Lunchtime Choir and they rocked, so from that, we really got kind of “put on the map”. Dave Dinkins was mayor, Lee Brown was the police commissioner, so downtown was just rockin, it was Soul City. We had such a wonderful experience.
From there, I married and had two children. I went to Harvard University as a president’s administrative fellow for a year and then I was picked up at the White House as a White House fellow under Bill Clinton. I was there for a year and ended up staying 7 years in different parts of President Clintons administration.
Then. I started my own church when I came back. I was pregnant with my second child and I founded Bronx Christian Fellowship, which is the church that I just retired from. I was there 15 years. I just went back to my home community, the northeast Bronx, where co-op city is and just really tried to build the people. I concentrated on building up the lives of the people and so that’s really been my mark, to empower people. Especially women who are heading households, who are working, who are trying not only to get it together but keep it together.
So, now, my books really appeal to the mature woman. The woman who has done it all, but now is about doing it for yourself.
EM: Absolutely beautiful. Even to talk about the woman, in transition, too. You talk about the mature woman but you also mentioned those who are going through a transition, whether it’s divorce, or economical turn about, any type of transition, that it would speak to that woman. Because, I’m 29 and I was feeling this book, all the way through.
DS: Yea, you know we have seasons in life. Just like we have the seasons, fall-winter-spring and summer, we have seasons in life and women have many seasons. Whether that’s child bearing, after a child, losing a child, marriage, post marriage, pre marriage……all of those are new seasons and each demands its own attention.
Going from one season to another is what we call transitions and many times, people don’t concentrate on that. They’ll just say, Oh, this person is breaking down or losing her way, but that’s not true. T.D. Jakes says you’re between mountains. You are not ON the mountain right now but you are BETWEEN mountains. So, I don’t use the term ‘you’re in the valley’, you’re in transition. You’re going from one point to another and that’s life. Life 101 has transitions.
I’m so glad that it appeals to your audience as well because I’ve been through the 20’s, the 30’s, the 40’s and I’m now into the early 50’s, so, I’ve seen women who just need some nurture, who need some time. Who need to know that you’re not falling apart, you’re actually having time to put the new pieces together.
EM: Yes ma’am. Absolutely. So, with your book, ‘Becoming A Woman Of Destiny: Turning Life’s Trials Into Triumph’, you open up your book with this prayer. A Woman’s Prayer. I don’t think there was any better way to open up that book than with that prayer. For me, it was not only a declaration of submission to God but to the greatness that He has destined for us, individually and collectively.
DS: Can I share that Woman of Destiny Prayer? Can I read it for those who may not have the book in front of them?
DS: I hope that everyone not only gets the book but does this prayer daily. It had not only blessed my life but countless women. It’s called The Woman of Destiny Prayer:
God, Thank you for creating me woman. Thank you for teaching me how to give and receive love. Please go before me, to show me the way. Please, go behind me, to push me with your divine touch. Please watch over me, that I may be covered in your unconditional love. Most of all, please give me wisdom to walk the path that you have blazed and ordained for me and to know the difference between right and wrong. I invite you inside me that I may have your anointing. I seek you everywhere that I may know your fullness. Teach me to make wise choices in every area of my life. Surround me with and keep me in the midst of other wise women. Give me the clarity to share the wisdom I have to impart to women who seek to be wise themselves. Thank you for crating me WOMAN. I am blessed and highly favored. I AM A WOMAN OF DESTINY. I AM MAKING DESTINY DECISIONS. I AM DESTINED FOR GREATNESS. Amen.
DS: Keep on reminding me of that prayer because I love it. You get a whole ‘nother rhythm, another sense of empowerment to start your day.
EM: I was just about to say that. It is filled with affirmation and that’s definitely the best way to start your day. To affirm it and to affirm yourself.
DS: Because, there were many cultures that used to pray “Thank God I’m not a woman” so I want women to be very comfortable in their skin, in our skin. Just know that we are created this way and it’s a joy. We have the creator inside of us so we start with “thank you for creating me woman”. Not denial but affirmation of who I am.
EM: Yes ma’am. I wanted ask, for those women who may have had different life experiences that may not have been as “glamorous” or may not appear as positive as they would like them to and are struggling with self love, validation or self affirmation, how does this prayer address these ‘woes’? How can women develop a proper bond with God through this prayer?
DS: Well, the biggest piece, in our transition in life, is to take time with God and for God. To spend time with the creator who spent time creating you. The book is centered on Deborah, who was the first, in the Judea Christian understanding of Deborah….she was the first female judge. She was the first female prophetess of Israel and she was a wife. So, she was multi dimensional.
She took care of her professional life, she took care of her home life and she took care of her spiritual life. What we have to realize is that we are mind, body and spirit so all of those have to be in balance.
So many times, we focus so much on the intellect, get your education and yes, it is important. But, you also have to focus on your body and spending time with your body also, your spirit. And, your spirit, which is often the most neglected area but your spirit is what gives you fuel to be able to fire up and go on through life.
So, the emotional life is the important piece that Deborah had. She, number one, took time management seriously. Instead of going city to city, she ruled under the palm tree of Deborah, which she asked people to come to her rather than going form place to place and running herself ragged.
The more you run, the more you deplete yourself of energy so she had them come to her. The point of that is, make it work for you in this season of life. Whatever is not working, cut it out of your life and whatever is working, make it work for you. So, if you need to cut some of your appointments down, (do so).
One of my friends, when I started pastoring, I was there for 14 hours and I never saw the sunshine, she said ‘Cut your load in half”. So, I’d see four people a day instead of eight people a day and just that one simple step started making it work for me. Particularly, when I started having children, because I couldn’t see my own family because I was so busy taking care of everybody else’s family. So, make it work for you.
The second thing that Deborah did was she had a devotional life. She spent time with the creator and in order to make destiny decisions, you have to have time to think and time to pray. Overloaded people fail. When you put too much on your plate, too much on your mind, you make bad decisions or you don’t make the right decisions for you life. So, it’s about taking time. The third thing is to be still. The scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” .
This past summer, I took three months, 90 days, because I’m in transition. I’m between my pasturing and the place where God id leading me. I had 90 days, alone with my family. We love the beach, so we were in a beach town and the scripture, “He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul” really became true. I didn’t even realize how much my soul needed restoration because I had poured out and poured out and poured out for thirty years.
So, in my thirtieth year, I made a decision that I needed some time. I needed time for grieving, I had lost a lot of my family members and support system in the last five years. I needed time with my family, when I was not on the phone or counseling or running to another appointment. I needed time with my savior and I needed time for myself. And, my goodness, I can not tell you how ready and ripe I am for what ever the next season holds for me because I got the rest that I needed.
One definition of recreation is RE CREATION which means that that which we have poured out needs to have time to replenish and if we never take that time, when do we get replenished? One definition of vacation is to VACATE. You have to leave the familiar, whatever has been bogging you down, leave it.
They’ve been promoting stay-cation, stay close to home. NO……I understand, it’s a rough economy so you don’t have to go very far but you do have to go. You have go somewhere because if you stay in the same place that had entrapped you for all these years, you just leave the summer more bogged down then when you went into it. So my thing is , vacate the premises. A day, a weekend, a month….whatever you can take. Recreation….find things that bring you joy. Take time for devotion and then you can make destiny decisions so that you can get towards your destiny.
Everyone has a destiny. Everyone has something that God has designed for them to do The tragedy is some can’t get there because they’re so boggled down trying to fulfill other people’s destiny.
EM: Yes ma’am. Thank you. You mentioned Deborah. I was going to bring that up, how you referred to her through the entire book and you made this absolutely profound point in saying that she was commissioned by God. Having been taught to look up every word even if you think you know what it means, I looked up the word commissioned and it means to be ordered to do something.
So, when you maker, your creator, orders you to do something, you are obligated to submit to that. That is what He put in you to do. So, I’m thinking that in order for us to uncover our purpose, we must go the that creator, go to our creator because he’s the only one that’s qualified. We go to other people…..our mom, our boyfriend, our husband……people who are not qualified (to advise us) because they don’t know our inner makings like God does.
DS: Say that !!! I could have interviewed you for my book. Because that’s thing. He’s the only one that’s qualified. The one who commissions you is the only one who knows what your commission is and how you can get there. You have to spend time with the commissionER.
Everyone has an assignment, a mandate, an order, on their lives. Some are fortunate enough to get more than one but you have to fulfill at least one before you are given a new one. My thing is to be able to get to that commission and to know that you’re there.
One of my mentors is Dr. James Forbes, the Pastor Emeritus of the Riverside Church in New York. He was my teacher from the day I entered seminary and he still like my teacher/mentor. He has a sermon about when Jesus was going to the temple and he found the place where is was written what his commission was. He didn’t find it until Luke and the commission was given 2000 years before he even came.
I’ve found the place and what you ant to do is find the place. Find what your commission is. I am at a point now, and it took 53 years to get there, but, I’ve found my place. Everything that’s happened in my life…..the trials, the transitions, the triumphs, all were leading to this particular moment. And, when you find that place, you sleep well, you eat well, you rest well. I am so clearly connected to my commissioner that I know that everything, even in the time that it is taking, is being worked out in my behalf. So, if it’s not moving as fast as you’d like, then that’s on you. But, the commissioner and I are connected and I am so at peace because I know when the time comes, it will be right because I needed to get some things together and the place where I’m going needed to get some things together so when we connect, it would be right. We cal that a Kyros moment.
Just like Barack Obama becoming president. Three years ago, everyone in the world was like….he’s the underdog, all the polls had him on the bottom , he hasn’t been in the Senate long enough but God was lining al things up, even during the criticism, he become the first African American president at he right time, the right place. Nelson Mandela, the same thing. He’s in prison for 27 years and people are like when is he going to get out. He comes out and becomes the president of the very country that put him in prison. That ‘s a Kyros moment and I think that everyone who is commissioned had to know when that moment arrives and you have to be in touch with your commissioner for that to happen.
EM: Yes ma’am. That brings me to the next point. Sometimes we out up barriers to make that connection and you mentioned that the most important thing to remember about the practice of prayer is that we don’t have to go through anyone to connect o God. You mentioned how people would come to you or go to their ministers and ask them to pray for them when, in fact, we have that direct connection ourselves. And, I think that we rob ourselves of finding or discovering our purpose or our destiny when we rely on other people to do that for us.
DS: Very well said. We have created a dependent society. The whole mentality about welfare…..it was written, years ago that welfare was going to be one of the worse thing that happened for our community and people criticized it but it was.
Generations have become dependent on this check and it begin to break down families. I pastor to welfare families and their mentality had gone welfare. When the system was coming around to check the houses, they had to get rid of the men in the house and the whole thing was designed for dependency on the system. We can’t be dependent on anything.
I have created my children, I’ve raised my children to be independent. I have a 10th grader and a freshman in college who can make decisions, who know how to manage their money, who know how to manage their time and most of all, who know God. I introduced them to God at a very early age. My sister is going on the road this week and I’m like, you connect with God.
I used to start in the morning and pray for the whole car and the whole family and then they got to the point when they were about 7 or 8 and they were like, I want to pray this morning. So, before school, one of them would pray.
So, what you said is so important, that we not be dependent on any person to take us to God but that we have the direct access to God ourselves.
EM: Yes Ma’am. I wanted to talk to you or have you describe those four pillars that go hand in hand with that. You talk about the spirituality being less emphasized on but you have intelligence, spirituality, action and community. In reading the book, it seems as if each of these has equal importance and if even one of them is lacking then they won’t be a string as they should be.
DS: Exactly. The four pillars are necessary in life and they are things that need to be in balance.
EM: Yes Ma’am. I wanted to talk to you or have you describe a little bit of those four pillars that go hand in hand with that. You talk about the spirituality being less emphasized on but you have intelligence, spirituality, action and community. In reading the whole book, it seems as if each of these has equal importance and if even one of them is lacking then the entire four pillars won’t be a strong as they could be.
EM: So, when I’m think about the readers, and I’m thinking about the general population of woman who may feel or they believe that they are flawed in some way because of something that may have happened to them in their life. Whether they were raped, whether they were neglected, whether they were in a domestic violence situation……and they feel unworthy or shameful to pursue greatness or even to believe that they are great. How does your book speak to them, in particular.
DS: The four pillars are necessary in life and they are the things that need to be in balance. Under the pillar of intelligence, and to really honor that, one of the chapters is Call To New Things and the other is called Embracing Hardship As Golden Opportunity, all of that is part of life but you must close a chapter in order for a new one to open. So, whether that’s been trauma, whether it’s been divorce, get the help you need. I do not discourage therapy.
Our community, many times, discourage that. You have to have a place to go. Pain has to go somewhere. Stress has to go somewhere and if it does not get out and get worked out, it going to go into illness. It’s going to back up in your system and cause hemorrhoids, cancer, whatever. So, embrace hardship but also, deal with it. You have to face it to fix it.
The second pillar is spirituality, lifting up your sacred self and the gift of intuition, which we just spoke about in terms of really spending time with God. What the world calls intuition, I call the Holy Spirit. It is to connect. There is a spirit that guides us. I mean, there are days that I’ve lost things and I’ve asked God to help p me find them. There are days when I’m out of balance and I can touch the Holy Spirit and ask the Lord to get me back on balance. So, spirituality is definitely a place that I emphasize.
The third pillar is action. The wisdom of integrity having integrity as you do things so when people speak of you and your name, they speak of a person with integrity and giving back to a new world. My parents were such wonderful people. Both of them are gone but my mother…….my parents had a cleaning lady in the house long before it was popular for African American families and in those days, they were welfare women that were sent to my mother’s house. She was a school teacher in Harlem so every weekend she would bring kids home to our hours in the northeast Bronx.
Number one, because their families didn’t always have it together. Some of them had 8, 10, 12 children and they would say to her that they didn’t know what to do. So, she would bring them to our home and part of her giving back was that for the weekend, they were our brothers and sisters. Whatever we ate, they ate. Wherever we went, they went. She was exposing them to a new quality of life and all of them who are still alive will still stop me on the street and talk about Ms. Johnson. I was Ms. Johnsons daughter, I didn’t even have a name but because of the kind of handprint that she put on them.
The women who worked in her house, we used to have such a turn over of cleaning women and some of them I really liked, They were great. But, she didn’t say anything to me but after she passed, I started reading all of the thank you letters from these women. They were letters thanking her for seeing the potential in them. Like, one of the women wanted to be a nurse. She had the ability but she just didn’t have the opportunity and my mother sent her through nursing school. She paid for it. And I got letter after letter about how my mother gave back in this way.
So, a woman who arrives at her destiny also realizes that you don’t get there by yourself , so once you get there, you bring someone else along.
The fourth pillar is community. Creating community, forming a destiny circle and having prayers and meditation. I going to talk about the destiny circle, but I just wanted to say this for women who are feeling out of balance, all for of these pillars must be in balance for you to really feel right and move right.
It’s really an equivalent to driving a car. In the Bronx, a lot of times you may run across some glass or a nail, and one tire is flat but there are a lot of tire places in the Bronx Siouan get that tire repaired. Whether they put a plug in it or change it, they fix it and you can start driving again. Well, only one tire was taken off to be repaired but it has to be in alignment with the other three otherwise your car is going to wobble. You have to go somewhere else to get your tires aligned. You have now, four tires that are working but you have to have alignment so that they rotate together they flow together so that your drive is smooth and not wobbly. That’s what life is like.
You may have had something happen in your life that gets you out of balance. You’re wobbling. You have taken some time, yes, you have taken the nail or the glass out but you haven’t spent time with the creator to align your spirit again.
That’s why that devotional, spiritual, lifting up your sacred self becomes so important. You have to take the time your spirit needs to get back in tact so that your not wobbling through life but that you’re flowing in alignment.
So, that last chapter talks about destiny circles. What that is, at this stage and age in life, whatever it is, once you pick up this book, that means that you are at a new point. You are ready to deal with life. For some transformation. You’re going to go from transition to transformation. Once you do that, it means that you can make the choices for who is around you, and who you want to be around.
Destiny Circles are selecting like minded women to be your support system. If you have people who you know talk about you all the time, or when you leave their home or their presence and you are not feeling good, those are people who you no longer need to be around. You don’t need to be around people who are beating you down but who are building you up.
So, a destiny circle is a ‘build up’ community. We’re together and we have committed to one another for you to go towards your destiny. We have a circle in New York with some real public figures and we get together once every other month for an hour in the morning and we have chosen to be a circle together.
We call ours Isis Women and we have an intergenerational approach. We have a woman who is in her 80’s who is like our village mother. We have a woman in her 60’s who is real famous and then we have three hosts. It’s about twelve of us that come together. We share one thing we want to celebrate because there are so few places where you can celebrate your achievements without people tearing you down or knocking you down. We share one thing that we’d like prayer for because you don’t know what that person has been carrying for the past few days. We share those, and in the sharing of the stories, because we go around that table and you’ll see a tear drop, you’ll see somebody smile, you’ll see somebody’s light bulb go off because they got the answer to something that they have been praying about.
When sisters share their stories, there’s healing in that room and we leave there so empowered to charge and face the world. It’s like, “Come on. Make my day. Anything that comes my way.” because I have the spirit of community. I have some sisters who I know have got my back.
So, again, I hope that everybody not only gets the book, but that they’ll be moved to start destiny circles and it has my website information if you need information but the last chapter of the book tells you how to do that. I hope that women’s lives will not be beat down but built up.
EM: Yes ma’am. Beautifully stated. I have just a few more questions, if you don’t mind.
EM: You mentioned that we can not get to where we want to be in terms of our destiny by ourselves and you dedicated a nice portion to mentors. I would like for you to please share you thought on the difference in a mentor and an idol because I think, sometimes, as women, sometime we tend to idolize those that we admire but it serves us no gain. So, how can having a mentor make a difference towards our success as we are in transition?
DS: Oh. A mentor is a seasoned women who has been where you are trying to go and I highly recommend that everyone find one. Now, that’s not easy. Sometimes, you choose them and sometimes life allows the to choose you. I’m hosting a conference this weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and 100 female leaders are coming.
Some are women faith leaders and some are Christian women who just happen to lead ministries or professional women who are lay women. We come together and in the groups we have two women, one is 90 years old, Dr. Thelma Adair, who has medical center named after her. She is a 90 year old dynamo. She is my mentor because she, not only is a woman who is beloved but has a temperament that is calm; that says I have been through 9 decades of life and there is nothing for me to get excited about or get stirred up about. She is a mentor that I have chosen but how life brought us together, she was a really dear friend of my mother. Had my mother been living, she would also be 90.
They were in the Presbyterian church together as the movers and the shakers that really blazed the trial for black women to have a voice in the Presbyterian church. After my mother passed, I saw on the street one day. She was trying to hail a cab. She was about 84 then and I said, “Dr. Adair, I’ll take you home”.
Well, she got in the car and it was like the spirit said this is your new mother and she said to me ‘You’re my daughter’ and she became my mentor. There’s not a time, day or night, that I can not call her. I choose not to wake her up but if I needed to, I could. I take her out to breakfast periodically and I pick her up because to sit at her feet and get the wisdom that she has is invaluable.
This woman has been a college president, she graduated from COLLEGE at 18 years old. She has been a leader in the Presbyterian church, she was the first woman to head up the Royal Counsel of Churches. She has a resume that we could even only halfway articulate but she’s willing to share. That’s what a mentor is, who a mentor is.
She’s willing to share without condition and allow you to share your dreams and visions and encourage you toward them and to guide you towards them. So, if you have a mentor in life, it’s important to be able to receive their advice and their counsel. You have chosen them because they have been where you are trying to get. So, my prayer is that I just have that kind of temperament and the kind of demeanor because when you look at her, you see a Christian woman, you see a woman of character, you see a classy woman, you see a picturesque woman.
I got on a plane one day when I was flying back and forth to Washington and she was in the front row seat and the sun was shining on her. She just looked like a Queen Mother. She was so beautiful.
A mentor is someone who will spend the time with you but who you also commit to spending time with and to honor them and to celebrate their achievements because where do they have to share their stories and their wisdom. So, it becomes a mutual admiration society, actually.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to her coming. Every minute that I spend with her , I cherish and she equally as so because I keep her alive and kicking. I love. It’s wonderful. Idolizing is when you put someone on a pedestal and they are not accessible, they are not touchable but in you mind you’ve made them this greater being. That’s kind of making a god of a person. A mentor is one that you have access to.
EM: Yes ma’am. Thank you. Speaking of those who have made an impact or that you have made an impact on. You mentioned, in your book, that they’ve taken these leaps of faith to pursue their purpose and they had these corporate jobs, these “stable” positions but one day, they woke up, dissatisfied or disappointed with their lives and wanted to do something different so they took that leap. That is a very fearless move and I feel that having courage and dispelling fear is important when pursuing your purpose and achieving your destiny.
Can you please address how fear restricts us and how we can break through that fear and find our calling?
DS: Without question, you have to take a risk. Risk takers means that you leave your comfort zone. You’ve spent all your life being comfortable and getting to the place where you are and have achieved. But, a risk means I’m going in new waters, where I’ve not been before but I’m prepared for them because life has prepared me. I wouldn’t even be looking at them if I did not have the abilities to go there. It’s when you take the lea.
When you step out against the odds, against the critics. When you are in the faith community, people are like, why do you want to get into the political world? Why do you want to be a White House fellow? Well, at the very time that I went into the government, under President Clinton, he was a president who loved the black church. So, I go there, as a black Baptist preacher from the Bronx. The Whit House didn’t even know how to receive me. They were like,, “Where are we going to put her?”
It’s a competition and it’s a healthy one and I hope some young leaders between the ages of 25 and 40 will look at the White House Fellowship. Go to the White House website and go down to the White House Fellowship. It’s for young leaders. You compete, over 2000 apply and if you are selected, then you work with the President, Vice President or one of the Cabinet Secretaries.
Fourteen people are selected. So, here I go, down there and they’re not really sure where to put this Baptist preacher. I’ve gone through all of the challenges, all of the competitions, all of the interviews, all of the essays and I’m thinking that I have to talk about Healthcare Reform and all of the other topics that were hot at that time. But, every single place that I interviewed, there were seven set up for me, people wanted to talk about faith. They wanted to talk about my walk in Christ.
They had been studying me just as I had been studying the White House. So, my way was already prepared for me. Then, when I finally got selected, I selected at the White House for the Domestic Policy Council and it was wonderful. Here is a president that wanted to go to the black church conventions. He was invited to all these conventions and he accepted all of them. So, his speechwriter would send his speech over to me because I had been in the church and was a faith leader and ask me, “How does this look? Would this be proper? “ so, I ended up being a speechwriter for the President of the United States.
Going into a place where they weren’t ready for me and I wasn’t sure I was ready for them but God had already prepared the path. He matches up a president who loved with black church with a preacher who worked in the black church and loves it and put them together. So, my whole world changed as a result of that.
So here. I have now a seven year walk…..I went in for twelve months as a White House Fellow and I ended staying on seven years with the United States Government because a president and a pastor hooked up in the spirit. But I had to take a risk. I had to leave the Bronx. I had to leave downtown Manhattan. Against all kinds of criticism………..how was I going to leave my church for a year. All those things that people who are used to staying in one zone couldn’t even understand and I said I feel like this is my commission right now. This is my call. This is my time, and you have to know your time.
I talk about that with Deborah too. Not every battle is your battle but when it’s your time, it’s your time and you have to seize it and squeeze it. So, I took a risk, the risk was ready for me and I was ready for the risk and the rest is history.
EM: Yes ma’am. Thank you. This is the last question. I want to make a point about black women, how we always have this thing called competition and it’s not always righteous competition. You mentioned about the importance for us to love and appreciate another woman’s gift and experience in life You talked about that when you talked about destiny circles. But, when you’re dealing with women who are so used to being ‘catty’ which may be lending to them not achieving their goals and to them being dissatisfied. How can your book teach them to appreciate that in another woman, to aid them internally?
DS: That’s a great question to end on. Number one, ‘catty’, competitive women are insecure. No matter what title goes behind their name or in front of their name, if they are competing with you, then they are not secure where they are.
The Destiny Woman not only concentrates on getting to her destined, commissioned place, but also on how do you stay there and how do you improve and keep on growing once you get there. So, if you are doing you. If you are concentrating on your life and the commission God has given you, you don’t have time to be in anyone else’s business or to be critical of them because you spending your energy in flowing in your rhythm.
The Destiny Woman blocks out the criticism. Then, the destiny circle, like I said, you have a choice of who to be around and who not to be around at this point in life. I choose very carefully so you won’t see me walking in a clique. You won’t see me walking in a group because I don’t make group decisions for my life. The group can’t weigh in on what God has told me. So, the Destiny Circle is a place where, as an individual , I can just share what I believe is my walk, my path at that particular time and get encouragement to walk that path.
Anyone that’s not being encouraging and you feel the vibe and you feel the daggers. When you go in a room and you know they have been talking about you negatively. When everybody’s mouth drops and conversation ceases and they can’t figure out how to shift from what they just said about you to welcoming you……well……I choose not to go into those circumstances or situations any longer.
Understand, a Destiny Woman may have to walk alone so you have to not be lonely in your walk alone. But, when you need companionship, when you need a circle of friends, then you choose them wisely. That’s what your Destiny Circle is.
That’s why we don’t meet all the time because when you’re doing your destiny, you don’t have time for a lot of unnecessary, frivolous, catty chat. What you’re trying to do is get the energy and the strength and the stamina to go back out and face where the real daggers are, the world. But, you want to go and fuse with the love of a sister.
I got nominated by the president in June to be an ambassador and I’m awaiting confirmation hearing. So, in the midst of that, this summer, the people that are in my Destiny Circle told me that they couldn’t just send me off to Washington because they won’t see me anymore until the hearings happen. So, what they did was they formed this thing called The Sister Send Off for Dr. Sujay to the Senate Hearings. And what it was that those wonderful women in my circle said that they just wanted me to go to Washington with their love in my heart and they had this wonderful brunch on a Sunday afternoon.
At one 80 people came our and at another 30 people came out and said ‘We just want you to know we’ve got your back.” So, now whenever I go to Washington, I know that there are 110 African American Sisters who I take with me. One of the circulated a book so people could write their little messages to me and said “when you go in, just open this book and know that you’ve got this sister praying for you and with you and pulling for you.” that is how I soar through life. I don’t just walk through, I soar because I’m riding off of the air and wings of love.
I encourage every sister to walk you destiny. Walk your path and God will send into your life the people who need to be in your life for this season. Do not be afraid to shut the door on those who’ve had their season in your life. They may have been wonderful for that season, but if they can’t go and grow with you, then you have to fly alone.
EM: Yes ma’am. Beautiful. Thank you so much.
DS: Thank you for the interview.