Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
It was nearly one year ago. That’s when it happened. When I started packing my emotional bags, and planning my escape.
Last fall, I found myself at a crossroads in my professional career. I am a writer, a communicator, a strategist, and while I love being all those things, and applying my talents and knowledge to a mission that matters to me, things began to crumble. The thing–the things–that made me smile each morning while the day ahead was still a gaze lost their attraction. Words. The words… I’d loved them since I was a six-year-old sitting with my wheelchair-bound grandmother as she wrote poems, and did the daily crossword with a pen. Something about my relationship with words was changing, but I could not put my finger on what it was. I built a whole life, a career on words, and suddenly the thrill was quickly evaporating. I tried to re-spark the romance with them, to spend time with them but nothing worked. A thought that has crawled across my mind near the end of every failed, and “What was I thinking?!” relationship began to inch its away into my thoughts: “This relationship is over.”
I prepared myself. I prepared to accept that the ride was over. That if I stayed on this train, that the joy, fulfillment, and effortless expression that they–words–once allowed me would be over. Forever. I prepared myself to stop fighting what was inevitable: An end. Completion. Redirection. Starting over. A new beginning. A new path for a new, and starkly different journey.
What Is This All About Anyway?
I even prepared to relinquish my dreams of publishing The Harvest Magazine in monthly print format, and perhaps shutting down this space. That was a huge gulp to swallow. I dreamt of publishing a magazine, actually magazines, since I was 18. There wasn’t much I was clear about when I was 18, but I knew I wanted to work with words all my life, write books, and publish magazines. I never deviated from that.
So the thought of walking away from those dreams made me anxious, and even a little angry if I’m being totally transparent. Words are my water water. Most of the dreams for my future were shaped by or informed by words. I craved paper and pen; I craved putting words on paper. Even typing this post, I’d rather be scrawling out this story on paper. I always was so sure about words. Even when I served sodas and fries at Wendy’s, and when I worked days at a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, water park, and worked nights at the city daily newspaper, I was still sure about words. Those jobs were temporary, seasonal if you will, but words were a permanent fixture in every season of my life. Words got through. No one could make me feel differently about words. No one. They were what I had always put my stock in, my hope. But maybe I wasn’t so clear after all.
Ugh! Oh, Lord. What is this, and why is this?
Deep sigh..Me and words were breaking up. Wow…But then I realized the looming break-up was not about the words at all. I had not lost any love for words. I was still very much hopelessly devoted and deep in love with them. No, this fog, this confusion, wasn’t about the words; it was about for whom and where I was employed. I had allowed my angst, sadness, anger about where I was lending my expertise daily to merge and infect my relationship with words. See, I was working in a place where I was disrespected, treated unjustly and unfairly, belittled, and overall mistreated. To be frank, I was oppressed. The relationships, the conversations, the behavior of my colleagues, and the atmosphere were toxic and poisonous to my spirit and soul. I had allowed a position in the marketplace, and the people I had to work with to dirty, weaken, and confuse my spirit man. I poured far too much of myself into a place, people, and their stuff and did nothing to advance –or protect– my spiritual trajectory, or my ministry.
Yep, I’m Definitely Leaving
Yes, it’s true that we should do our work as unto the Lord. It pleases God when we give our best to our work. We need to work with an aim to please God, always. It should never be about the people, or their approval. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. But I had allowed the lines of pleasing God and pleasing man to be horribly skewed and disfigured. Wow. I created a sloppy mess for myself. I got caught up in the people and their harsh and ungodly behavior rather than the spirits that pull their strings. I was warring with people who have no control over my destiny, and don’t have a heaven or hell to put me. People who were and are deeply broken and wounded, and clueless enough to think they have reign in authentic power. I allowed them to make question and doubt who I am and question my value. I am ashamed to share that with you, but it’s true. I let the spirits of others — witchcraft, idolatry, intellectualism, addiction, self-hatred, bias, emotional disorders, greed, discord and division, sexism, racism, agism, depression, low self-esteem, conflict, and hatred– to disease my own spiritual foundation.
Just to be clear, the enemy never takes time to craft new ploys or tactics. His games are always the same. ALWAYS. He always seeks to steal, kill and annihilate the greatest desires of our heart. And his strategy is always to use people to do the annihilating. ALWAYS.
It was during a time of fasting, deep reflection, and a sweaty pursuit of God for turn-around that He gave me the revelation I thirsted for. That’s when I understood that it was not about the words, or even the people I told myself I despised. It was about Him and His word, and that’s all. There would definitely be a break-up, and I was leaving something behind, but not in the fashion I imagined.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of “I’m Leaving You.”