Afraid To Live, Too Scared To Die

Afraid To Live, Too Scared To Die

It was on Friday the 13th over 25 years ago…

I had ran into my friend from high school, Tondelayo, earlier that day or the day before. It’s a bit fuzzy now. We were both enjoying our first winter break as freshman in college and hadn’t seen each other since graduation. Several of us were visiting our alma mater Midwood HS, that night for the Annual Winter Concert. She said a lot of people were going to Micky D’s on the Junction to hangout and asked if I would meet her there so we can catch up. “Awww man I can’t get down there any earlier Tonde but I’ll see you at the concert tonight!” We smiled, laughed, hugged and parted ways… 

Later that night:

“Did you hear?”
“Have you heard?”
“You ain’t know?”
“It’s on the news!”
“What’s on the news?” 
“The shoot out!!”
“What shoot out?!”
“At Micky Ds on the junction!”
“Yo it was mad packed in there!”
“Some dude came in there spraying”
“She was the only one who got hit!”
“Hit?! She?! Who?!”
“Yeah some girl got shot twice!”
“I think only one caught her though!”
“Huh?! WHO?!?!”
“She ran with everyone else though ’cause she ain’t know she got hit till she fell right in front!”
“Sad too cause I heard she was sweet, mad cool, that adrenaline ain’t no joke son!”
Wait!!! What girl?! Whooo?!
“Some girl named Tonde…”


Fighting back tears as I type this has startled me. These tears that are attempting to coat my face are unfamiliar. Though I’ve told this story hundreds of times when asked why I love so deeply & passionately. Though told that I give the best hugs, every so often I’m asked why I do. Though accused of being intense in my faith, teased and ostracized by some peers for being “too deep” or haphazardly pinpointed as religious; I can answer these questions with vivid supporting evidence. Tondelayo

Tondelayo is why I do a lot of things.

What do you do when you’re afraid to live but no longer scared to die? This can be tackled from so many angles. From theological and philosophical perspectives to coin tosses and bucket lists. Viewed through many lenses. Though I can exegete a text if needed or spoon feed an infant the same info, I don’t wanna do any of that right now. 

Seeing it through the lens of my then 17yr old eyes:

I remember being devastated, enraged and drowning in survivor’s guilt. I wasn’t inside the crowded McDonald’s with my closest friends, where she had asked me to meet her. I wasn’t running for the exit with my closest friends, dodging the array of shots fired from a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun. I didn’t have time to process or even mourn properly with my friends at the memorial because I was headed back to college the following day. I had no other time or resources to get back to school, so I had to leave…and that 8 1/2 hour drive from Brooklyn, NY to deep in the woods of Virginia felt like… f o r e v e r. 

I remember being on the phone with my boyfriend that night as I rededicated my life to Christ. No I wasn’t at a church. I was home sitting on our dining room floor. I remember crying and crying out to God (There’s a difference). Being afraid to live was not an issue at that time butbeing afraid to die was. I wasn’t sure that I was ready. I prayed a prayer of rededication to the Lord, just so I can be sure…that I was sure. 

Again, to each his own. 

Yet I have lived many a day since then beneath my privilege as a King’s kid inundated with the opinions of others swarming around me under the guise of noisome pestilence. Encouraging others that theycan make it while hearing crickets when it came time for me to shine. After all who encourages the encouragers?


That was until….
I discovered 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and by the grace of God I’ll be riding this thing until the wheels fall off:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

What a relief…

God Himself supernaturally encourages and comforts me as I comfort others. 


Such as I have. I give unto you. 
I open this safe space for dialogue. 
I am not clinically trained to address any suppressed emotions or memories that this post may trigger but I can provide a safe space for dialogue. 
Though I love the Lord my God with all my strength and with all my soul with all my might…I don’t have all the answers. But, I can provide a safe space for dialogue. 
Though I’m too legalistic for the liberal and too liberal for the legalistic. 
Though I’m too sensual for the prudish and too reserved for the unbridled. 
Though I’m too outspoken for the demure and too obscure for the rash. 
Though I’m too churchy for the worldly and too worldly for the churchy and…

WAY too polite to tell them ALL where they can GO FILE THEIR TAXES...👀


(Ladylike sigh) It’s breathtaking to be accepted by God just as I am. Just as we are. He loves us too much to ever leave us in the condition He found us in. 
I’ve decided being afraid to live is NO way to live! What are you waiting for?
Write that book, write that song, start that blog, launch that business, make that phone call, offer that apology, give that hug! 
Oh and you know what?
It feels amazing being authentically me here at authenticitee…and you’re more than welcome to do the same. 
Like I said yesterday….


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  1. You did it again!!! Standing, shouting, clapping, and saying YES LORD I hear ya!!! Thank you for pouring, being apart of the healing, thank you for having the courage to expose the truth, thank you for doing what you are TOLD by FATHER to do!!! This is what it looks like community!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If only you knew where I was today and why God wanted me to read this today, not yesterday, or the day before that, or the day before that. If only you knew, beautiful e! God has this amazing way of putting things on ice for me, that He knows I can’t quite appreciate as fully and explicitly, as He ordained. I’ve always been stubbornly upset about that. Not always functional in my will to do His will, with gracious obedience. Today is a new day, though. Beyond my gratefulness to be ALIVE and in the land of the living, is my thanksgiving to be wiser, while doing so!

    He put this post on ice, for over 4 months for me! And believe you, me, I surely know why!! You know Kevin Hart’s, “sheeeee wasn’t reeaaaddyyyy…” Lol, I wasn’t ready. I am ready today! Thank you God, for bringing me this far, under your watchful arm, to this day of grounded understanding. Thank you e, for being right there, along the way, the entire time. For doing His will, when you didn’t quite understand why. And for simply being you. If only words could express the depth of this depth, I feel in my heart right now. If only you knew, my love. If only you knew…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Shaquana that is amazing to hear! Wow thank God…He really knows what we have need of and also when we need it.

      Continued prayers of strength for you & baby girl!



      Liked by 1 person

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