The Decolonization of my Faith
By Tasha Harris
Today we welcome Guest Blogger, Tasha Harris to the pursuit! Tasha is the Owner of Adirah Health and Wholeness; Life and Performance Holistic Coaching Practice. She shares a piece of her amazing journey of discovery with us today. I have been privileged to witness the miraculous through her life since we were kids. She is a gifted singer, a savvy businesswoman, and is fiercely devoted to her family. Tasha is one of the people you call when you just want to laugh. I’m blessed to call her cousin. If you’d like to find out more about her, her contact information is at the end of the blog. Happy July!!
It is the year of our Lord 2020 and it has come like a mighty rushing wind to shake up, stir up, and clear out any beliefs that were keeping us from living up to our highest potential. First, let me say that I am a firm believer in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I did not join the Church; I was born in it. The foundation of my existence relied heavily on the idea and belief that the wretched person that I was needed to be redeemed and validated by my confession of faith in order for the saints to accept me into the beloved; and more importantly, for God to accept me into Himself. Over the years, I began to ask more questions about a theology that would have me consistently oppressed with thoughts of inadequacy. The idea that God could only love humankind if we looked a certain way, voted a certain way and adopted a certain idea about how our faith was supposed to be expressed no longer set well with me.
In 2016, I started on a journey of discovery of what it meant to be a Christian, what it meant to be a Black Woman in Christianity, and how that translated into me being a Black Woman in the United States. The questions I had and the answers I was getting shook me to my core. Fast forward to 2020 who has brought in its wake, the height of the fight of racial injustice, a deadly virus that has not only caused the world to pause but turned our everyday routines upside. Now, more than ever; I am sure that all these years of research and questioning the tenets of my faith would lead me to this moment. This moment of understanding and knowing how traditional white evangelical teachings have skewed my view of God and blinded me to the true relationship God desired me to have with Him. Below, are three ideas that shifted my belief system and my ideas about how those beliefs should be expressed.
My African Ancestors believed that our very birth into this world was a Divine event. The Creator of all life on earth sent me here with a specific plan and purpose in mind. My Spiritual gifts are so important to all of humankind that my very name had to be a representation of what I was born in this lifetime to be and perform. I was never born separated from a loving God. I was never apart of a curse wretched race of people that had to be rescued from our indigenous ways of honoring God and expressing our faith. My proximity to God has never been Him sitting high and looking low. God has always been everywhere I am, and because of His breath of life in me, I have the capacity to be all that God is: creative, loving, gracious, wise, kind, patient, fair, just, and powerful.
There is no separation in my faith and my personality. I am not a consistent sinner waiting on grace to supernaturally activate some magical “act right” gene that keeps me in constant pursuit of goodness. My faith is who I am. It is my existence. My life has always been Divinely inspired; God is with me all the time, and I am the best expression of Him. Therefore, I honor myself and others. I know that I can not dishonor another; without bringing dishonor to myself. I can not hate another, without hating God. It is more than not loving my brother and sister who I can not see but loving a God that I was told I can not see. No, I am now aware that the original intention was for me to see God in everything and everyone, the same way they should see God in me in order to foster consistent love and respect in every interaction with all people.
As a woman, I am not only responsible for birthing, mothering, and leading my immediate family. I am responsible for birthing (creating), mothering (nurturing), leading (teaching and advising) my community that we are no longer wandering and oppressed people. That was never God’s intention for us. As a black woman of the Christian faith in the United States, my voice, skills, talents, and leadership are not to be suppressed to one area of the faith; just as black people are not relegated to one level of existence in the world. I/We were created to lead, innovate, teach, nurture, create, and love freely. The expression of our faith not to be delegated by those that seek to oppress to one certain position or place in theology, or organized church structure. I/We have a solid identity and a voice that makes crooked places straight and broken places whole. The stabilization of our culture and the direction in which the world is going depends on us using our gifts and our voice.
These are just a few of the major shifts that have taken place in my life since I began to seek and understand my place as a Black Woman in the “faith” and in the western world. I find a great parallel in the rise of Black Women in the religious world and the rise of Black People in the western world. We know and understand that colonization crippled our identities and limited our power to be used at the extent and expense of those that took advantage of our blindness and unawareness for too long. Now, we are awake. We are not afraid. We are bold. We are loud. 2020 has forced us to SEE and TAKE our place without apology and without restraint. We recognize the only thing that hindered our freedom was limited knowledge and understanding. Now that we have come aware of true nature and being our lives, our culture and our expression of faith will never be the same.
Tasha can be reached at: