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i received this in an email from my sister...

Check this out when you have time. There is a strong, strong message here. The AME church Women's Missionary Society had a Sister's Summit in February at Bethel AME, in San Diego. The Speaker was Pastor Joann Browning from Ebenezer AME in Fort Washington, Maryland. When she stepped to the podium to speak, she told the women of the need to let go of their baggage. (i.e., grown children still in the home, abusive husbands, etc.) Her speech referenced Erykah Badu's song "Bag Lady", and then she played the song in its entirety and was groovin' to it. One woman in attendance (and there were nearly 900) said the place was "On Fire!!!!" Reverend Joann then preached her sermon from the song. Here's the gist of the sermon....

By now, we've all heard Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady". This song is a prime example of the healing powers of music, lessons in lyrics, and a message in the music. It serves as a wake-up call to women everywhere. And none of us are exempt. From the very first verse to fade out, the words resonate.

"Bag Lady, you gon' hurt your back, draggin' all them Bags like that...."

Sermon: Holding on to pain, hurt, anger, and disappointment manifests itself in our bodies. The end result runs the gamut from chronic illnesses to life threatening diseases. Sooner or later, our baggage causes our bodies to give out.

"Bag Lady, you gon' miss your bus. You can't hurry up "cause you've got too much stuff..."

Sermon: When we spend our time focusing on negative people and negative experiences, we end up missing opportunities and blocking our blessings. We can't see the future because we're too busy living in the past. Meanwhile our perpetrators go on living their lives; oblivious to the hurt they've caused. So why are we really hurting?

"When they see you comin', {they just} Take off runnin...."

Sermon: How many relationships have come together on crutches? Most women know they have no business getting involved when there are unresolved issues within. Still, due to fear of being alone, or of 'missing out' on a good man, we cover our wounds with tight hairdos, beautiful clothes, and a fake smile. Forging ahead into an alliance with someone who has no idea we're still hurting over what that so-and-so did to us in 1995, or over the father that never came home. As time passes, the wounds get harder and harder to hide. When they're finally exposed, he's history! In the grand scheme of things, the only thing that is stopping us.... is...US! True, we have no control over what others do or say to us, but we can control our reactions. And as for the baggage, it's nothing to be ashamed of. We all have issues. The shame is not in having baggage, it's KEEPING it.

So to all my Bag Ladies, search yourself.

Be honest.

Ask yourself what's in your bag, then do whatever you gotta do.

PRAY, CRY, SCREAM, GO TO CHURCH, GO TO THERAPY....Do whatever it takes.

Just let it go. Let It go, Let it go! Stay strong.... Rock on!

I am your Salvation; trust in Me and do not be afraid. I am your Strength and your Song. [Isaiah 12:2]

<small style="color: green; font-family: lucida sans unicode">"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." steve biko</small>
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