I saw her. I walked in and there she was. There was no place I could go to hide. There was no turning on my heels and leaving. God orchestrated this fate... I must face her... Deal with her... Deal with her in a room full of powerful women. Many who knew my story. The amount of shame and overwhelm nearly killed me. I wanted to see her over the years.. I wanted to explain. I wanted to say I was sorry. I wanted to reach out to Rolan Joni Young Smith and simply say I am sorry for breaching and breaking your trust. But the opportunity never presented itself. I had to do my time and that was all consuming for me. And before I knew it almost a decade had crept by.
My Soror, Karen DuBois-Walton was different. She never left my side. Even as I tried to get her to do so. She wouldn't. She just stayed and encouraged me to hold my head high. Even though her association with me could cost her a great deal... She never wavered. Ever. Never. Ever. She said to me, get up and move about the day. I was suicidal and she said clearly as if she knew my intentions... There is nothing you have done that you cannot lift your head off the pillow in the morning. I was distraught. I was done. I was at the end of my rope and my life.
But of course the story does not end there. I am very much alive. And over the past several years I have come face to face with folks that I hurt and wounded by my actions. Each encounter has been holy. People have forgiven me. Forgiven me with the kind of grace that you only read about in the bible. With each encounter I am more prepared for the road ahead. Building my way toward redemption. Redemption isn't for folks to grant you... It is the peace you seek inside of yourself. It is the"Baby you gonna be alright" moment.
I have come full circle. I can put the story down now. The last piece that mattered to me has been found and put in place. She, Sister Rolan Joni Young Smith was that final piece. The fact that she opened her arms to me meant everything.
It is not lost on me how Divine Grace has lifted me to a place of redemption and forgiveness. I have come full circle. And baby it feels so good! The haunting of that part of the story is done now. I can move on with all deliberate speed. And trust me I am.
Karen DuBose-Walton I love you with every fiber of my being. I am in awe of your friendship. It comforts me and guides me forward. When every thing came crashing down around me... There you stood with a crimson & cream umbrella to protect me. Your friendship and Sisterhood takes my breath away! It is undeserved grace.
Rolan Joni Young Smith, it was a dream... A far fetched, long held dream to repair what was broken between us. I lost hope. You did not. And for that I am forever in awe of your capacity to forgive. Thank you. I am better with you in my life.
This completes the story. There are no more fragments left to gather up. There is no one else I need to make amends to. The circle is no longer broken. I am truly FREE.
I am Free.
Babz & Rolan