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I sat down with Desha Henfield – Author, Veteran, Guest Speaker, and Child of God – to discuss her chapter “I Am” within “The Purpose Within My Pain: A 28-Day Devotional Written By Women of Purpose“. This discussion was so good that it’s taken me more than a week to really sit down and consider how to share this with you because each time I began listening I would forget to take notes (I see a theme with this…). Another reason it’s taken me to long is that we covered a LOT and there are so many nuggets I wasn’t really sure where to start.
We got REAL in this talk and we share some very personal information about how removing masks, coming to the point of truly wanting healing, and having a lack of distractions can bring you to a place of seeing your need for deep healing and therapy. Once you do this, you can see your true identity.
You can hear the talk below for yourself and see the outline of some of the highlighted moments, but there are two things I want to call attention to because they related to what you’ve read my grappling and journey with fully understanding both of these points in the past few years:
- When you are a Christian, you’ve accepted all that comes along with being a child of God, and that includes the legacy.
- When you are willing to accept your position as a child of God, you truly understand your identity and then you can truly love yourself and only then can you fully love others.
If I had emojis on the computer, it’d be the mind blown one.
Desha and I met for the first time without all the other authors around us only moments before this call. We talked enough to get comfortable and shake the jitters, explain what these chats are, and exhale. Yet, she spoke LIFE into a place that had died. There will definitely be some blog posts coming out here or on ShellVera.com about these two topics as I unpack the lesson and freedom that I’ve been walking in the past week.
In fact, I am not longer feeling any type of way except for thankful that I live with my parents. We have a multi-generational home in which we can do more than some single parent families because the rent is lower and the stress is a bit less. While there are things I don’t love and things that still have to be worked on, there is more love here than most people will ever feel. I am thankful that after being a foster kid, I can now truly say my parents and I are good and get along well. Desha helped me see that. (And if you were wondering, my neighbor ended up renting out that apartment for a lot more money than he was going to give it to me and didn’t even have to do any work to it, as I was requesting. So truly God worked it all out!)
The second part of it is something I am still unpacking. I struggle so much with the “Who am I” question because there is so much of me that I am not sure which elements truly define me. Desha helped me start unpacking this fact: none of that truly matters. It doesn’t matter which gifts I have, which traits are predominant, or really anything else. What matters is that I am a King’s Kid and the an heir to the heavenly throne. I can call upon God in ANY moment for ANYTHING that I need and He will provide, guide, and show me how to thrive. Yet I’ve spent the last six years missing that because I felt like a loser and a failure because of one situation: my living arrangements.
I realize how sad that is and how much time I may have wasted. Yet, because of the rest of the talk, I also realize that I am truly where I need to be because I had to get HERE to have this talk with Desha. And I believe you will be blessed to listen in.
I won’t lie, these chats are something I will continue to do with the folks willing to talk with me because I come out of them feeling like I am overflowing. I hear things back from the others about how they help them too and I feel like maybe I am not so bad a human as I can sometimes allow myself to believe (you know…talk too much, think too much, and all the others “too much” that I am determined to eliminate from this world because it is just enough for the folks called to surround you and learn from you). I trust you will take something from it, but if you don’t… listen again because we hear different things at different times in our lives.
Grab a drink of your choice, a notebook, and a writing instrument. Get comfortable and hit play. I trust you will be better for it in 55 minutes!
Wow… there was a LOT there right?
Would you believe Desha and I had JUST met a few minutes before we hit record? It was such a lifegiving talk. Let’s dive into what we discussed…you know, in case you didn’t actually watch it and need some encouragement to push play!
In the beginning of the discussion, Desha shares how affirmations helped her to forgive and become the woman she is today. Then we jumped into (3:35) a discussion about what it feels like when you are removing a mask you’ve chosen to wear so long that it begins to become a part of you. This was a meaningful part of the discussion for me because I’d never thought of the point Desha speaks of here when she says we take on new identifies with the various masks we wear.
At 5:22, we discuss being single teen moms and how it shaped our journeys. Desha shares that her desire to provide for her son helped her make different decisions than she may have made if she hadn’t had her son, which brings us into talking about a common desire to not want to become a statistic (7:03). We discuss how that desire can shape you both positively and negatively depending upon how you use it as a motivator.
At 10:40, we discuss Desha’s poetry and her poetry book, Inner Sanctum: Life, Love, and Poetry. She shares how God works through her with writing. At 11:39, Desha shares how depression and her mask correlate. Her poetry comes from dark places at times, talks about falling in and out of love, and also shares about God’s love.
At 13:46, we begin discussing mental health and how the conversation has changed over the years. How we are encouraged now to discuss mental health, where in the past you would be labeled “crazy”. There was a stigma around it. Now, it’s seen as improving yourself. We are both advocates for prayer AND therapy, and knowing when to use each or access them simultaneously. We talk about the importance of how therapists can help you and how prayer is vital to freedom.
At 15:33, we discuss the importance of positivity and how it truly changes your mind. At 19:09, Desha shares how she had to get out of the “darkness” and into the light. Learn what she means by that as stresses the importance of understanding “it’s okay to not be okay.”
At 21:00, we discuss how someone else’s healing may depend upon your transparency (Desha’s quote) and how what you go through isn’t always about you but about who is watching you. At 25:22, the ladies circle back to how going home as grown women isn’t always the end of the world. Desha gave me revelation here that I shared in the beginning of this post. Whew!
At about 30:00, we discuss how you never realize how many people are watching you that you don’t even realize are paying attention. Your story and your voice matters. This leads us into discussing (at 33:29) how God places people in your life purposely and is always present. We can look back and see God’s presence in every area of our lives, even when we couldn’t do so at the moment is was happening.
At 35:39, we discuss how walking into healing can be really ugly and how if you don’t deal with it at the moment then you will have to deal with forgiveness and healing when you get alone and don’t have distractions. At 36:42, we talk about the importance of knowing who you are. Why, when God first asked us “Where are you?”, do we spend all our time asking, “Who am I?” (I am unpacking this statement in a future video and post. It was something I said and was like “wow…yes please on the future blog post.”) We discuss this never-ending question and how important knowing God is in understanding who we are.
This is the part where Desha shared GOLD in this quote:
At 45:54, we talk about the importance of loving yourself. You truly can’t love others until you love yourself. This is a huge change for me to realize this over the past two years, but Desha will have you understanding how true this is. I make a public acknowledgement of how wrong I was when I called an audible on this one in my poem See Me.
At 46:50, Desha and I talk about saying “No” and how it changes you! Desha chose herself and loved herself enough to stop people pleasing.
This wraps up the conversation and leaves us overflowing when it comes to knowing that God brings us together with the people we need to hear from!
We may have to come with a part 2 to explore that last part more. Let us know in the comments here or on YouTube if you’d like that!
Connect with Desha:
Purchase “The Purpose in My Pain” through Desha on her website. You truly can find a devotion to speak to your heart in this book regardless of how traumatic or completely privileged your life has been. It really struck me how there are so many experiences in this book.
Purchase “Inner Sanctum: Life, Love, and Poetry” on Amazon.
Others’ Books & Resources Mentioned During the Chat
- Pastor Steve Furtick’s caution to not wish away stages of your life.
- Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun, and Be Your Own Person
- Lisa Tyrkheursts’ The Best Yes
Here are the songs we mentioned:
Listen to Other Fireside Chats
If you love this quote as much as I do, here are two sizes so you can share it on your favorite platform. Please tag Desha (@ Noiresista) and me (@ ShellVera333 on IG and @ The_Essential_Creative on Pinterest)