How Did I Get Here?

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez…Save The Daughters!

A town crier dates back to the 18th century, and is one who makes public pronouncements in the streets on behalf of the courts. Tradition esteems the town crier as one who rings a handbell and shouts the words “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez” before making the announcements. Oyez means “hear ye” which is a call for silence and attention. According to Wikipedia.org, the town crier tradition inspired the early beginnings of the newspaper. Thus, the term “posting a notice” derives from the town crier tradition. Temika Moore: Shining A Light With Pen And Mic is a reimagined 21st century town crier posting notices on behalf of the court of truth as commissioned by I AM, The King, The Creator, The Source, The Redeemer, and The Father to every woman asking, seeking, and knocking to know The Truth.

Introduction

In a dream one night I heard the words “Temika, you are broken. You need help.” These were the words I heard after getting engaged for a second time. At the time I did not have a full interpretation of this dream. It would take almost four years for me to understand fully why I had that dream and what it meant. In future posts, I will reveal to you what The Source of All Truth revealed to me about that engagement along with many other insights about my pilgrimage. However, on January 6, 2019, the Holy Spirit directed me to write three specific posts about my experience. The Creator, Source of All Truth is serious about rescuing and redeeming women from the original curse brought about by naivety and the subtlety of deception.  I heard in my spirit these words, “the adversary’s reign is done.” I also heard the words “It is finished.” The Source of All Truth was leading me to remove the powers of shame, guilt, condemnation, and darkness by “displaying my sin on a cross” for all to see in the manner of which Yeshua was on display; bloody, beaten and battered for all to see. Sin is not pretty. Sin is costly. Sin is a bloody business. Sin is death. Death can be short or it can be protracted. But the fact still remains, sin has a judgment day. The Creator’s words are true. His written word, as outlined in the book we know as the Bible, is a tool for restoring the earth to its original state, the way The Creator intended. 

“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us [the] truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Message Version


In my deliverance, I have been purposed to help deliver others. I must be honest. I am embarking upon this calling with uncertainty, apprehension, knees knocking, and heart pounding. I am likened to the abolitionist Harriet Tubman leading those who desire to escape the bondage of living in the lower states to living in the freedom of the higher states. The business of rescue often involves risking one’s life to save others. You have been invited to glean my process of repentance, deliverance, and redemption. My first post is entitled “How Did I Get Here?" This initial post is part of a series entitled “Daughters of Naomi.” Its purpose is so women may eat. The Hebrew word for “eat” is ʼâkal. It means to consume, take in, digest, devour, and slay with a sword. In these posts, I share The Creator’s instructions, words, revelations, insights, unveiling, and discoveries for the benefit of providing sustenance to anyone who is hungry. A feast has been prepared. The table is set. Through these posts, you are invited to dine with the presence of a Holy Creator. This is Holy Communion. Bread will be broken (i.e. God’s word’s divided, separated, and processed), and wine shared (i.e. the fruit of character produced by being pressed into liquid form), all done in remembrance of the Savior and Deliverer, Yeshua/Jesus/Immanuel/Son of Man/The Anointed, and Sacrificial Teacher.

How Did I Get Here?

As I sat on the floor of my closet during one of the worst storms I had seen in years, I cried my eyes out in complete bewilderment, confusion, and pain. I couldn’t help but feel used, abandoned, unworthy and unwanted. How could people profess to love me but leave me alone? That was the story I told myself. That was the question I asked myself. But a deeper story and question was begging to be uncovered and answered. How did I get here? Sometime after this stormy evening in September 2011,  I remember having a conversation with an older woman with whom I attended church and to whom I was introduced through my then mother-in-law. She was the friend and co-worker of my soon-to-be ex-mother-in-law. She befriended me when I first arrived at my church in June 2007. In 2008 she invited me to join her in teaching the 7th and 8th grade Sunday school classes. I had no background in teaching Sunday school, nor had I studied the Bible. Fast forward four years later, we were having a conversation following the Sunday sermon, and I mentioned to her that I was having trouble forgiving myself and being forgiven. I was ruminating and pining over my soon-to-be ex-husband and what I could have done differently in our marriage, where we went wrong, where I went wrong, with question after question ad-nauseum. I remember her asking me if I was saved. I was surprised she asked me that because we sat next to each other in church every week, and taught Sunday school together. I don’t remember answering her. She then went on to ask me if I was free to meet her for lunch. She invited me to have lunch at her house. One week later, I arrive at her house. She escorts me to a seat at a large white round table located in her lower level entertainment room. As I pulled out my seat I noticed all of the pictures of her family. It was a beautiful display of her 60+ year marriage and family life. It was a painful reminder of my failure. It was a reminder and extremely lucid conclusion, that we had experienced completely different versions of family, love, and life. As I admired the pictures and inquired about each image, she pulled out a chair from the large white round table, sat down and moved her Bible from the center of the table so we both could see it. As she picked up the Bible to open it, she asked me once again, “Are you saved?” I still don’t remember what I said. But I do remember very vividly what followed next. She asked me “How do you know you’re saved?” I don’t remember answering this question either. However, I remember her opening the bible to the book of Romans Chapter 8 verses 1 through 16 (King James Version). It stated:

 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the last might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh so mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For is ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

Listen: “iDemand” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations

As I reflect on the significance of this passage it rings louder today than it did in 2011. This scripture spoke to the wrestle I was having with ruminating over my failed marriage; the hurt and the pain. We then went on to discuss all the emotions I was feeling about my marriage ending. I explained how I felt about my soon-to-be ex-husband’s failure to fight for our marriage. I explained how I felt about falling in love with a married man. I explained how I felt about feeling like a failure because this was my second time having entertained the conversation and complements of another man. I explained how deeply I believed in the married man. I explained to her how much I felt he had touched my heart and “saw me.”  I explained how angry I was to have been so naive. I lamented over the fact that I believed every word this man said without reservation. I expressed my pain over not feeling desired or loved by my soon-to-be-ex-husband. I shared with her my frustrations with failing to honor my marriage vows and save my marriage. I shared how much I still loved my then soon-to-be ex-husband. I asked her so many “why” questions. My heart was searching for answers to the previous 20 years. She then went on to make a statement I will never forget. She said in certain amazement, “You don’t know men, do you?” I said, in a defeated tone of voice “No, I don’t.” I’ve only lived with one man my whole life. This was the most significant male relationship in my life. It was all I really knew.” I remember her saying, “Ah…well, that explains it.” She confirmed, in fact, I was very naive. As I told her the story of my life with my then soon-to-be ex-husband, our struggles, and the contrast in experiences I had with the married man with whom my heart had fallen, she went on to share her own experiences in love and life. I suddenly felt the heaviness of my ignorance and felt not like an adult woman, but a very young child who had just discovered all my Christmas gifts didn’t come from Santa Claus and no tooth fairy quietly lifted my pillow while I slept to leave me two shiny quarters. I indeed felt the gravity of what it meant to be a foolish and naive woman. As I sat in this realization I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a bubble my entire life. Why didn’t I know these things? Why was this news to me? Why hadn’t anyone ever told me their experiences with men like this before? Why did I feel like I had spent my life in the dark and had now entered a new realm of education? After several hours of her uncovering the myths I naively believed, we prayed and I was faced with the question once again, Temika, are you saved? I remember saying in a somber voice, “I thought I was.” At that moment, I realized I was not. Although I was baptized at 8 years old and had gone to church my entire life, I was not a saved woman. Thus, the reason for the pain, the ruminating, the pining, the ignorance, and the ultimate moral falling. That day I accepted the truth. That day was the beginning of what would become an 8-year journey to answer the initial question I asked God on that stormy night in September 2011 while lamenting on the floor of my bedroom closet: “How did I get here?”

When I returned home that evening, I played our conversation over and over in my head, along with all of the realizations that happened during this lunch meeting. I was amazed at how ignorant I was. I was amazed at the depth of the lies I had believed, and the lies I told myself. After sitting on my bed simply pondering all of my emotions, I got up and got on my knees and positioned myself at the edge of my bed and asked God to forgive me for my failures in judgment, wrong actions, wrong thoughts, and wrong ways. I asked God to forgive all of my habitual sins and offenses. I ask God to help my husband forgive me. I asked God to forgive me for participating in foolishness. I asked God to help the two wives whom I had offended with my participation in deceit forgive me. I asked God to help anyone past and present whom I had wronged to forgive me. I asked God to save me. 

Shortly thereafter, one night during a dream I saw the words “Psalm 51.” I had read numerous passages from the book of Psalms before, but I didn’t remember having read Psalms 51. Upon waking from the dream, I opened the hot pink study bible that I acquired in 2008 during a trip to Florida to visit my aunt. It caught my eye because of its color and location. I noticed it was laying on the piano in my aunt’s house. My intrigue with this book started with my curiosity in seeing a pink bible, and the instrument on which it was sitting. I thought the idea of a hot pink bible was very cool. However, I was also intrigued by the fact that my little cousin was learning piano, and although I was a vocal musician, I had struggled with learning this instrument and ultimately gave up attempting to learn piano. Returning to my dream, I opened the book to Psalm 51. What I began to read immediately searched the depths of my heart, convinced me, and paved the way to the person I am today. Psalms 51 was God’s answer to my prayer. It was the gateway of true repentance, forgiveness, and healing. After reading Psalms 51, I acknowledged to God that I made a mess of my life because I did not know his ways. I realized that I had merely “heard” about his ways, but did not truly know his ways for myself.  As The Message version states in the book of Job chapter 42 verses 5 through 15, “I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand - from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry - forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.” I acknowledged to God that I hurt him, and that realization alone was extremely sobering. From this realization came my true petition, because it came from a sincere contrite heart. Immediately, I made four deeply sincere petitions to God. First, I asked Him to tell me how I had arrived at the place in which I found myself, and I asked God to forgive me for the sin of hurting Him by violating his commands, and I asked God to forgive all of my offenses and help others I’ve wronged to forgive me. And lastly, I asked him to save me. Here’s what Psalm 51 said:

“To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him after he had gone into Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according to unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that though mightest be justified when thou speakest and be clear when thou judgest. Behold. I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it; though delightest, not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, though wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Upon reading Psalm 51, I knew God was speaking directly to me. He was answering my prayer. Fast forward to 2015, while I was laying in bed, He gave me the words and vision for this song. It’s called “Oh.”

Listen: “Oh” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations

Three years had passed since the divorce from my college sweetheart. We met during my freshman year while attending the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I had barely been on campus for two full months before we crossed paths. One night in November, I gave up to him my virginity. I immediately felt the transition. I felt something change in my body and spirit. I remember being in a mild form of shock. I remember I was scheduled to work late that night. I remember going to work that night feeling all kinds of emotions. I didn’t share this with anyone. I kept it to myself for a very long time. I just dealt with my experience alone and quietly. He and I dated on and off over the years and had the usual ups and downs of young adult relationships not founded on everlasting principles. Ironically, after 10 years of on and off dating, we eventually married in 2002. The next 17 years of my life would be the toughest and longest class I ever had. It would take this length of time for me to arrive at the real answer to the question, “How did I get here”?

Listen: “How?” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations

During seven long years of difficult internal work healing from my failed marriage, I was learning more about saving and investing money, working on eliminating debts and ridding my life of unfruitful financial burdens. On January 9, 2015, I was emancipated from my corporate position. It was my freedom day. I was finally debt free, had a nice stash to sustain me for a while, and I was finally free to make choices based on what I wanted most out of life; congruency. I had no idea where life was heading, but every cell of my being knew it was time to leave. It was time to rest. I had spent the last 23 years grinding “to become” someone. Up until this point I had spent my life navigating being a married woman, doing my best to have a successful life, helping care for my ailing grandmother, healing from my past mistakes, and driving hard advocating for my dreams. I was doing my best to become a successful artist and songwriter. During this time in 2011 is where the married man who stole my heart entered the picture. He introduced himself by visiting my cubicle bearing gifts; he brought donuts. I loved Old Fashioned Dunkin Donuts. At first, I said “No, thanks. I’m good.” But as he walked away I noticed something oddly unique about him. It was something in his demeanor that lowered my defenses. I asked him “So, what church do you go to.” He smiled and said I actually go to a Baptist church in Virginia. That was the end of the chat, and I went back to work. Over time I started to see him more frequently near my cubicle area. We started to converse more and more about different topics. I really enjoyed talking to him. We talked about faith, my dreams, his dreams, my music, his business, and life. One day he invited me to lunch. I declined. All I could remember was the encounter I had experienced previously when conversing with a married man in 2008 while I was working at a national media company. That encounter led me down the wrong path. I opened a door by sharing with this man my frustrations with life and my dreams. When I allowed myself to be vulnerable with a man that was not my husband, I created an entryway for a deceptive spirit to enter my life. When I realized I was in an emotionally dangerous place, I called my husband on the phone and told him that I felt very vulnerable and that I needed his help; I needed my husband in the most desperate way.  I needed him to rescue me from my emotions.  I remember this day well. It was a Friday on the weekend of our 7th wedding anniversary. At that moment, I felt like I had made a terrible fool of myself being this transparent with my husband. I was taking a risk. I was hoping that by creating transparency in our relationship it would heal the emptiness I felt in of our marriage. When I shared my feelings, all he could ask me was “Did you sleep with him?” He then went on to ask me, “Would you tell me if you did sleep with him?” I answered him, “No,  I did not sleep with him, and yes, I would tell you.” I didn’t want to lie to my husband. However, during that conversation it became apparent I was crying out for help to the wrong person.” I then reached out to my mother-in-law for help. She told me “you can’t tell a man everything; they can’t handle it.” After sharing what I felt, I never felt more alone. Had I known what I know today, I would have went to my prayer closet, sat on the floor in quiet and stillness, and prayed to God for wisdom, asked God to help me see and handle the issues in a way that would honor God, help my husband “hear me”, heal our hearts, help show us how to forgive each other for not meeting each other’s expectations, show us how to love each other, and heal our marriage.” Instead, unbeknownst to me, the process of unraveling my marriage, unraveling the choice I made at 18 years old to make a covenant with this man had already begun. After I pulled myself from the memory of that first encounter, I proceeded to be very honest with this man with whom I had come to enjoy conversing. I told him about my previous encounter and that I felt it was best to not go to lunch with one another. However, I didn’t realize at the time, my disclosure was the trigger for a pursuit to ensue. This man began to pursue me as I had never been pursued before. It was foreign to me. I never received flowers from my husband.  I never heard my husband say I was beautiful. I never saw or felt my husband’s love for me when I looked into his eyes. My husband didn’t enjoy me touching him or holding his hand. I never had someone listen so attentively to my conversation. I never experienced what felt like a great friendship, companionship, commonality, gentleness, concern, and emotional intimacy wrapped up in one person. He had become the dream I didn’t know I was dreaming. From that moment, I knew I could no longer go back to living the way I had lived with my husband. The truth that my relationship and marriage were built on a lie I believed as an 18-year-old was staring me in the face. Truth is resolute. The fact that this was the second encounter I had while married was too much for my soul to carry. I came home and told my husband that I felt very angry that I was feeling these emotions and was extremely frustrated with myself for being in this position once again. I told him I didn’t want want to cheat on him. So, I asked my husband for a divorce. After separating, and processing my hurt, I did my best to create a transparent dialogue with my husband. I disclosed my sin. But when I asked him was he prepared to do the same with me. He declined and stated, “What I’ve done is between me and God, and what you’ve done is between you and God. You could have kept that information to yourself. I didn’t need to know.” It was clear to me we had reached the end. I tried for a year thereafter, with everything in me to fight for our marriage. But I was the only one fighting. Our 20-year life together ended on November 8, 2012. And the truth about the man whom I thought had become the dream I didn’t know I was dreaming, was actually a superbly created vehicle to steal, kill, and destroy my life; my future. Turns out, the wife he told me no longer wanted him was a lie; a very big lie that I believed. The truth of the matter was revealed when his wife called me one afternoon from his cell phone. I answered the phone, even though by this time our relationship had ended. After she made some accusatory statements, I asked her if she would put him on the phone?” When I heard his voice in the background tell his wife to “Hang up the phone,” I realized I had been set-up. I was in a cleverly crafted sting by an adversarial spirit to take me down. But that spirit was granted access because of the unresolved issues that were residing in me. There were entryways in my life that were wide open for wrong spirits to enter and wreak havoc. Evil is any violation of The Creator’s purposes. Evil is a spirit. Shame is a spirit. Guilt is a spirit. Silence is a spirit. Ignorance is a spirit. Naivety is a spirit. Lust is a spirit, and so is rejection.

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

Matthew 12:43-45 New Living Translation

Listen: “Can’t Take It Away” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations

On January 12, 2015, at 8:00 in the morning I received in my spirit the words to the song “Every Word.” By 8:30 am the song was complete. I had no clue of its magnitude. It turned out the words to this song came directly from the book of Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 3, Matthew chapter 4 verse 4, and Luke chapter 4 verse 4. These three passages served as witnesses leading me out of the place where I had worked for almost five years, and it marked the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. These passages echo the words of the song. “[We do] not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God was giving me instructions through song. As the year progressed I developed a thirst to read scripture like never before. I embarked upon reading the entire Bible in one year. During this time He began to reveal His words to me in songs, prayers, and many dreams. This is the first song God gave me after I resigned from my corporate job on January 9, 2015. It’s called “Every Word.”

Listen: “Every Word” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations

In the Spring of 2016, I moved to an apartment that I loved. It was the perfect place for me. 825 square feet of peace and serenity. I enjoyed everything about this sanctuary I had created, even my closet. One day as I was entering my closet to get dressed, I noticed I was consistently hearing melodies and song lyrics each time I entered my closet to get dressed. I thought to myself “What is it about this closet? Where are these melodies and lyrics coming from? So, one day I decided to simply sit on my closet floor and enjoy sitting in this space. It was quiet. It was peaceful. It was comfortable. It was private. It was calm. I could hear so clearly when I was in this space. I heard words as clearly as I am speaking to you today. As I looked at my shoes sitting in shoe boxes on the top shelf lifted above my clothes, I heard the words “the name of the next cd project will be “The Closet: Intimate Conversations.” This revelation blew me away. I had not planned on writing another album. After I wrote the song, “Every Word” I was simply taking each day, moment by moment with no definite plans. I was still relishing in the slower pace of not being on the grind, and sitting in Washington, DC traffic, and loving the beauty of how the Every Word song came to me. I felt like I had crossed a milestone in my personal and professional development by writing these songs. More and more, as I entered the sanctuary of my closet, I was simply enjoying this level and flow of creativity. I was finally getting to create music without constraints. I was beginning to live what I had prayed for; congruence and to experience writing impactful and effective songs. God was confirming His words spoken to me. One day during my commitment to read the Bible in one year, I was divinely lead to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 19. Here’s what it said:

“Now, therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.” 

Within three years, my life would come full circle carrying its purpose, and this would be confirmed while discovering these words in the book of Matthew chapter 18 verse 16, which states:

“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” 

In May of 2015, I was invited to a Links scholarship luncheon. At this luncheon, a tall middle-aged man struck up a conversation with me which led to us discussing the pursuit of dreams. I had made it very clear up front I was not interested in any relationships romantic or otherwise as my experiences had revealed to me men and women could not simply be friends. However, at his suggestion, I took a chance at entertaining simply being associates. Somehow our conversations became a place in which I would pour out the words of my heart about my music career frustrations, my questions about men, and every struggle I had experienced. He had become a confidant. I came to trust his voice and counsel. He claimed to be a “believer” and had held ministerial positions in a few local churches. I discovered that he served as a minister at the church I attended when I first arrived in Maryland. But I didn’t remember him. However, we found out we had many people in common. Fast forward to March 8, 2016, it’s the official release day for my fifth music project, “The Closet: Intimate Conversations.” By this time both he and I were good friends, working together as a team to help get the word out about my new project. Shortly, thereafter midway through the cd launch marketing activities, I had reached a point where I could not go any further in my music career. Burnout had reached its apex. After canceling a show having one of the biggest fee guarantees of my career, I simply walked away from my music career. I couldn’t continue doing what I had done for the past 18 years of my career. I couldn’t promote another concert. I couldn’t explain to another concert promoter why I hadn’t sold a certain amount of tickets by a certain date. I couldn’t bring myself to fund another concert, get on another stage, or do any more marketing efforts to promote “me and my music.” The music industry grind had become empty, and it wasn’t enough for me…anymore. I remember the day I asked God, “Is this it?” Is this what I’ve been striving for the past 18 years?” After my last scheduled performance date, I stopped all marketing efforts on the new music project and stopped booking dates. I closed up shop and decided I was going to be “normal.” I decided I was going to buy a little one level rancher house, maybe no larger than 1,000 square feet, grow tomatoes in my backyard, and find a job that was within 20 minutes commute of my house. So I packed up and moved to Mooresville, a quaint town outside of the Charlotte, NC area, where I was going to begin my new dream of being “normal.” 

I reveled in the idea of starting my life over and finally enjoying the simple things in life. After a few months of enjoying “normal” bliss with absolutely no concerns or cares about being an artist, I realized I was enjoying not becoming, but simply being. I had an amazing time having long philosophical conversations with my childhood friend sitting on her porch sipping a glass of red wine while reminiscing about days at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts working “to become” the next Envogue. Coincidently, the man that I had met a year earlier who had become my friend, confidant and business colleague started traveling from the Washington, DC metropolitan area to visit his oldest daughter who was attending UNC Charlotte. During his visits to see his daughter, he would also visit me and we’d continue conversing as we had done when I was living the Washington, DC metro area. Fast forward to September 2016 during my first visit back to Maryland since I had left to start my life over in North Carolina three months earlier, he surprised me with a marriage proposal accompanied by an engagement ring. My friend asked me to marry him. My initial response was a triple round of apprehensive “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say” followed by “Am I ready?” The next words I heard him say were “Yes, you’re ready.” That was the beginning of what would become a major season of divine correction, and what would be the revelation of what I would come to know as my “Exodus” experience. One would suspect after I hesitantly accepted his marriage proposal that this hesitance would be a clue to the condition of my heart. My experience was such that I didn’t have a reference point. It was unexpected. This proposal genuinely felt like this man wanted to love me even though I was uncertain. I reasoned that this was probably a good thing, as this time I was getting married to a “godly” man. Upon accepting the offer I felt an urgency to get away. I felt overwhelmed and gave the engagement ring back to him while I processed this offer. The next night during a dream I saw two rings appear on my ring finger; one was a gold wedding band and one was an engagement ring with no stone in the setting. I then heard the words as clear as I am speaking to you today, “Temika, you are broken and you need help.” I awoke from the dream puzzled. I called my “quasi-fiancé” and told him about the dream. I remember telling him “I can usually hear. But for some reason, I can’t hear. I don’t know why I can’t hear.” I remember feeling nothing but confusion in my head. I remember it vividly. He said “You know what to do. The Lord told you to get married.” As I mentioned before, he had become my confidant. We talked about everything so open and freely with full transparency. Up until this time I believed it was an honest, free and transparent friendship. Therefore, I felt no reservation bringing my uncertainty to his attention. He had become the voice inside my head. He had become a dealer of assurance, and I’d soon find out how false that assurance was. Following our conversation, I decided to move forward and wear the ring. I was now engaged.

Eleven months later I found myself in Delaware at my mother’s dining room table preparing to file divorce papers pro se. This is what it’s called when you represent yourself in legal proceedings. I sat at the table reliving the memories of what felt like a nightmare to which I had unknowingly entered. I realized I had entered a new unveiling of naivety. I also realized I had entered into a season of divine correction. I sincerely thought I had dealt with the spirit of naivety and was cured. I even thought I had fully dealt with all of the emotions of my previous marriage ending. Absolutely not! I had only uncovered the surface of the way in which I lived in naivety and ignorance, and the choice to marry this man was the door by which I would enter the “narrow gate.” Did you know people can witness you making a choice they feel is not wise and with clear conscience still remain silent? Yup, it’s plausible and it happened to me. After everything was said and done, I discovered many friends, family members, and colleagues wanted to speak up against this marriage, but remained silent. But the person whom I wished would have spoken up, never did. I should have known it was an omen when we discovered at the wedding reception that my ex-mother-in-law, and my new husband's parents were longtime friends and were all seated at the same table! My past and present were sitting together at a large white round table in a small room. And, on November 11, 2016, it became clear my brokenness was on display for everyone to see. 

Over the next 22 months, I would  uncover more answers to the question I asked on that stormy night in September 2011, “How did I get here?” By January 2019, my life had come full circle. Suddenly, my earliest childhood memories combined with events of the last 27 years had been unearthed. I was forced to face every unpleasant moment, every unpleasant memory, every hurt, every pain, every wound, every wrong thought, every wrong action, every deception accepted and committed; every offense done and received in my body. This experience led me to the unadulterated, unfiltered, raw, transparent truth about my life. I was now being challenged to hang my sins on a “cross” for everyone to see; just like Yeshua/Jesus. The “how” was being played out on the movie screen of my mind’s memories. What I had uncovered is that unclean spirits and the spirit of rejection had been running rampant in my life since I was a little girl growing up in Philadelphia. That pattern began way before I was aware of a spiritual agenda to kill, steal and destroy my future; my promise. Just like me, you may have experienced things that were incongruent to your true needs and desires and you never said anything. You’ve kept silent. You have never spoken up for yourself just like I failed to do at pivotal points in my life. The spirit of rejection is what was at the root of the silence that I nursed for most of my life. I would incur wounds, experience inherently unacceptable or uncomfortable situations, but I wouldn’t speak up. 

I didn’t speak up. I didn’t speak up. I didn’t speak up when I was inappropriately touched when I was a little girl. I didn’t speak up when I got bitten by a Doberman Pincher on the way to school. I went to school with black and blue bruises on my right leg and a torn skirt and never said a word. I just kept it moving. I didn’t speak up about the lack of relationship with my father. I didn’t speak up when my boyfriend stood me up for junior prom. I didn’t speak up when I experienced things with young men that felt uncomfortable. I didn’t speak up when I saw red flags. I didn’t speak up when I experienced situations that revealed there was deception and when I witnessed dysfunction. I didn’t speak up when I realized others withheld the truth from me thereby robbing me of the right to make a different choice. I didn’t speak up when I realized I was conceived in ignorance and deception. I didn’t speak up when I witnessed and experienced abuse. I didn’t speak up when I experienced my own moral and character failures. I have asked for forgiveness for the parts I played in other people’s experiences. I have forgiven others for the parts they played in my experiences. I have asked The Creator of All Truth to help me forgiven myself. I AM has helped me to see all offenses through the same lens by which I AM has forgiven me - mercy. I am not judging anyone. Neither am I’m pointing fingers or blaming anyone. Sin is sin, no matter what forms it takes, and in whom it is revealed. I don’t blame anyone for my experiences because I know all forms of darkness originate from one place. I am removing the spirit of darkness from its throne. I am taking away the power the spirit of darkness has tried to wield over my life and the lives of those I love. I’ve spent my life silencing my voice, and because of it, I didn’t speak up. I didn’t speak up. I didn’t speak up. I acknowledge the truth in others. I honor the truth in me. We are connected; sin affects everyone. Don't compartmentalize it. Extinguish it with light. I hear these words reverberate in my mind, “remain committed to light even in the face of insurmountable threats and darkness.”

Today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heaven is an elevated, high, and lifted-up state of being. God’s words are true and just. God, my heavenly Father pursued me from my mother’s womb, and He is pursuing you today by way of me being sent to speak to you. I believe I was sent here to speak to you from the pilgrimage of my Exodus experience. It has been a 44-year journey to know the true and living creator. The Creator showed me my path(ology). Pathology is the study of the cause and effect of the disease. My pathology revealed ignorance, low self-esteem, low self-worth, confusion, abandonment, rejection, incongruence, settling for less than genuine desires, unequally yoked marriages, forbidden, and inappropriate relationships. This knowledge provided insight into how I came to make the choices I made. In the words of a modern-day sacrificial teacher, Iyanla Vanzant, “I have done my work, and I will continue to do my work.” Because of this, the Creator and all of the sacrificial teachers He has placed on this earth including Yeshua/Jesus desires that “all come into the knowledge of The Truth,” (1 Timothy 2:4) and “[when The Truth] sets you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:32) I believe, I too have been called to be a sacrificial teacher and speaker. I am ordained by the proclamation of a king. King David states in Psalm chapter 51 verse 13, “I will teach [offenders] [your] ways; and [offenders] shall be [restored].” The Hebrew word for David means loving. The King is The Most High God. The King is also a father. A father is loving. God is my Heavenly Father, and I am his daughter. You are also a daughter of the King if you walk and live in his ways.

“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” 

Ezekiel 36:27 King James Version

Daughters, in the same manner as sons, you are also teachers. You are also builders of the family name. You are also the village. You are also the nation. You are the apple of His eye. You are also the first. You are also the repairers. You are also children of the King, just like the sons. Therefore, you are also co-creators and joint-heirs of the promise given to God’s people long ago. God’s people are people pursuing God’s true heart and character, and desiring to create his kingdom of light in the world. I am the first born of my family. I am the first in my family to attend and graduate from college, and with honors. I am the first to take the risks in my career that I’ve taken. I am the first in my family to start a business. I am the first of my family to be set free by The Truth. However, I will not be the last. I am reminded of the mother and daughter experiences detailed in the book of Ruth. Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth are teachers. Naomi is the mother-in-law. Ruth and Orpah are the daughters-in-law. Orpah and Ruth are women with incestuous family roots. These women originated from a land called Moab which was inhabited by the descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Lot’s daughters were unmarried and decided they didn’t want the family name to die, so they devised a plan to become impregnated by their father. The children from this incestuous encounter are the descendants of Moab. Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth became widows during a famine and were in dire need of shelter and provision. A famine is a hungering for provision. Naomi was not a native of the land in which she was residing. However, her daughters-in-law were natives. Naomi’s husband brought her to Moab from Bethlehem-Judah. This city was also known as the “City of David.” While residing in this foreign land, Naomi's sons married Orpah and Ruth. Bethlehem is the Hebrew word meaning “house of bread or house of food.” Naomi and her husband left their birthplace hungering and seeking because of a famine. When you seek provision in the wrong places, things will die, and you will lose your security. Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth survived the famine. However, their husbands did not survive the famine. Although these women survived, they were now left with new responsibilities. They would need to figure out how to provide for themselves. Following the death of their husbands, Naomi desired to return to her birthplace; the place of her husband’s family, Bethlehem-Judah. Naomi presented Orpah and Ruth with a choice; to either stay in this land and return to their families or seek to find a husband that would provide for them. Orpah decided to stay in this land and return to her family. Ruth decided she would return to Bethlehem-Judah with Naomi and live among Naomi's people. Ruth decided to leave the land of Moab, the land of an inappropriate upbringing, choosing to learn a new way of life. Naomi taught Ruth the ways of living in among her people. Naomi taught Ruth how to live as a woman who would later be redeemed by a man who was a relative of Naomi's husband. This man in the Jewish Levirate tradition is called a Kinsman Redeemer. The kinsman redeemer is a male relative who is responsible for delivering, rescuing, and or redeeming someone, or redeeming the family property in distress. In the book of Ruth, the kinsman redeemer is Boaz.

Boaz was a wealthy gentleman with a strong sense of leadership and manhood, and who was well equipped and prepared to take on the responsibilities of a wife. Naomi’s admonition to Ruth was for her to go wash, put on new clothes, and get close to this man that would redeem her; close enough for his experiences to transfer to her. She was also instructed to put on a covering and remain cloaked until she had completely consumed the food she needed to eat to enter into the Redeemer's presence. Upon Ruth following this instruction, she would ultimately uncover the mystery of this man’s journey. In turn, this man; the redeemer, would then disclose to her additional information on what she needed to do next. Once Ruth made herself known to this man, she acknowledged his position as a redeemer and asked him to provide for her. Boaz “saw her.” He acknowledged her as a daughter of the King! He noticed that she was kinder at this position in her life. He noticed that she did not chase after men, whether young, poor or rich. Therefore, he promised and assured her not to be fearful and that he would do all that is required for her because he was aware that everyone saw her as a virtuous woman; a woman of power, wealth, substance, ability, and worth. Because of this, Boaz knew he had to act quickly to put things in order. He made a promise and he worked quickly and diligently to keep it. Until such time Boaz was able to make good on his promise to Ruth, they continued to spend time with each other. However, Boaz took on the responsibility to protect her position, purity, dignity, worth, image and respect. He remained diligent while he worked to make good on his promise by making sure Ruth did not return home to Naomi empty-handed. Boaz made sure to send provision for both Ruth and her teacher, Naomi. In keeping with the nature of a teacher, Naomi provided yet another instruction to Ruth. She instructed her to wait; reminding her to be patient while Boaz makes good on his promise to redeem her. Before Boaz could finalize his plans, he visits the council of elders to handle the business of redemption. He was even willing to step aside to allow another redeemer to come forth if capable to provide for Ruth and Naomi. During ancient times, as custom would have it if a redeemer was going to make good on a promise he was required to take off his shoe and give it to his neighbor. This was visible proof that someone else was connected to his promise. This act served as a witness to accountability. When the time was right, Boaz publicly announced his intention to marry Ruth. In the midst of this announcement, he even acknowledged her deceased husband in the fact that he was taking Ruth to be his wife, and although her former husband was dead, his name would not be defamed. Everyone who was present became witnesses to Boaz’s intention and prayer. He prayed to God for Ruth to dwell in his house like the daughters that came before her who built a prosperous family under God’s instructions. When Boaz and Ruth joined together in agreement to live as redeemer and wife, they became a famous pair. Boaz first made a private agreement with Ruth to be her Redeemer, followed by a public agreement to be her redeemer. Together, Boaz, Ruth, Naomi and the community created a safe place for Boaz and Ruth to birth the beginning of a new lineage out of which royalty would reign. Boaz restored more than Ruth’s life. He also restored Naomi’s life; her teacher. Naomi became a grandmother to Boaz’s and Ruth’s first-born son named Obed. In ancient times, firstborn sons were deemed more valuable than daughters. Also, naming a child was very important. A name represented identity; character. The Hebrew name for Obed means serving. Ruth became more important than the value of seven sons. Ruth birthed the character of serving.

The woman who invited me to lunch and sat down with me, walked me through Romans chapter 8, let me share my greatest disappointments and hurts, and who reciprocated by sharing her greatest disappointments and failures became my Naomi. Through the illustration of the book of Ruth and my own experiences, the power of the Holy Spirit revealed to me that my mother’s brokenness represents the broken obligations of the law. Through the experience of reaching out to my mother-in-law at my most vulnerable point, I was shown that experience represents the lack of power the law has to permanently change a situation. Through my spiritual mother, I was shown how the provision and plans of God are sovereign. His spirit will not fail to do the heavy lifting of setting captives free. The day my spiritual mother was used as a conduit to remove the veil of deception, and open my eyes, she became my mother-in-covenant, and she passed the baton to me. However, I wouldn’t be prepared to take hold of that baton for another 8 years in the year 2019. 

Naomi was a teacher. Ruth was a woman living outside of the covenant promise. My spiritual mother was a teacher. I was a woman living outside of the covenant promise. Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s husband. Naomi was the key to Ruth’s new life of redemption. My spiritual mother was the key to my new life of redemption. Boaz represents a sacrificial redeemer.  Boaz, like Adam, was required to give up something to obtain a wife. Adam gave up one of his ribs for Eve. A rib is a vital organ. Boaz gave up his shoe for Ruth. Boaz is a visible reminder of how much it costs to redeem valuables. Walking around with one shoe took courage. It meant he could afford the redemption price. Ruth was worthy of this sacrifice, and he paid the price willingly. 

Daughters of Naomi get into position to birth the character of serving; serving the lineage of a king that is gentle, overtly loving, and from whose wisdom all nations will benefit. Accept and embrace your abilities, ready and prepared to serve The King and his kingdom. Rest in the assurance of a king who is fully equipped to handle your past, heal you, and love you completely.

Let us receive and celebrate the love of the Kinsman Redeemer.

Listen: “Fireworks” from The Closet: Intimate Conversations


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