Mother, writer and advocate, Rhachelle Johnson has discovered that her life purpose is to bring healing and hope to others. Her personal story is one of tragedy, redemption and the surrender to God that revealed a life of healing and purpose.
Her book, Sunday Mourning, looks into the life of a preacher’s kid whose household lived by the principle, “What goes on in this house, stays in this house,” all of which included emotional and physical abuse and impacted a young girl’s faith in God and the entire concept of church and religion. Ultimately, Sunday morning finally came, and it opened up a revelation of hope, love and forgiveness, putting an end to the vicious cycle.
Check out FCG’s interview with Rhachelle below.
For Colored Gurls: How did you come up with the title, Sunday Mourning?
Rhachelle: Well, growing up in the church, Sunday morning church service was routine. No excuses, we were attending Sunday school and morning worship service. But some 30 years later, I was missing something. I felt like I had lost the most important aspect or understanding of what I was partaking in week after week. It was as if my heart and soul were grieving, hence the title, Sunday Mourning.
FCG: What inspired you to write it?
Rhachelle: Prior to me starting to write Sunday Mourning, I had gone through one of the hardest experiences in my life. I talk about it in the foreword. I found myself in a dark place, all alone but still experiencing so much heartache and pain. I had run out of people to blame for my own heartache. I began to cry out to God like never before, asking him to show me my heart and the wounds that I am causing myself. It was then that He gave me three areas to deal with: strongholds, surrendering and transparency. The more I searched out these three areas, the more He poured into me to write. It was as if as I was writing, God was healing me of my very issues.
FCG: How did your childhood affect some of the decisions you made as an adult?
Rhachelle: I was definitely in search of something. By the time I came along, my parents were owners of a very successful business, so at times, I feel like I was pushed to the side. My father did a good job for a while, balancing everythng, but hindsight is always 20/20; I really needed my mother. She was present physically but not necessarily emotionally. But now, I realize she was all that she was capable of being. I also realize that there were people who God placed in my life, even as a young girl, to fill that void; whether I accepted them or not, they were there.
FCG: How did you break the cycle, the generational curse, of your family?
Rhachelle: I refuse to carry hurt and unforgiveness and pass that on to my children. I make sure I am here for my children emotionally, physically and spiritually. I will not allow hurt to rob them of experiencing love.
FCG: Why was it important for you to share your experiences with the world?
Rhachelle: At first, I wasn’t going to share it. After I completed writing Sunday Mourning, I felt like I was on top of the world; a huge burden had been lifted. I had actually had my brother-in-law print it for me so that I could read through it. My sister just so happened to get her hands on it before he could drop it off to me. She stayed up all night reading it, and the next day, I saw her, and she said, “Oh my goodness, that was good; when is the next one coming?” It was at that point that I realized that I couldn’t just keep it to myself. I began to post excerpts on my blog, and the responses that I received let me know that I had to take that final step. I had to walk in the transparency that God was leading me to. It was as if God was saying, “Just trust me.”
FCG: If someone has gone through a situation similar to what you experienced, what advice would you give them?
Rhachelle: I would tell them to forgive, and let it go. What we go through is not for us but to help someone else. I often say, “Lord, someone has to go through the storm to show someone else how to weather the storm, so it might as well be me.”
FCG: What do you hope people take away after reading this book?
Rhachelle: That there is no hurt that God can’t heal. Forgiveness is the fastest and surest way to healing. Forgive others and also forgive yourself, learn and grow, don’t beat yourself up.
FCG: Do you plan to write any other books?
Rhachelle: Yes, I do. So much has transpired since Sunday Mourning. I am planning to write a sequel, Sunday Mourning…When I Rise. I have also considered and started a fiction novel.
FCG: What are some of your future goals?
Rhachelle: I would like Mother 2 Mother CDC, my non-profit, to be recognized as a national organization. I am passionate about working and providing services to families, especially mothers. I also want the “My Scars” tee, that was designed using the message I sign each book with, to become a nationally recognized t-shirt and fundraiser for domestic violence — “I show my scars so that others know they can heal.”
FCG: What tips do you have for aspiring authors?
Rhachelle: Write from your heart, allow your readers to connect with you, but whatever you do, don’t stop writing.
FCG: Is there anything else you want to add?
Rhachelle: Things happen for a reason that make us stronger, better and wiser. Don’t be ashamed of what was, learn from it, grow and be willing to teach someone else. We are more connected than we realize.
This is one Rhachelle’s stops on her blog tour, so we’re hosting a giveaway! One person will win the e-book version of Sunday Mourning and another will win a ”My Scars” tee.
- Follow Rhachelle on Twitter (@RhachelleNicol).
- Follow her blog.
- “Like” her on Facebook.
- Leave a comment with your name and Twitter handle below.
That’s it! Good luck : )
P.S. - For more info about Rhachelle and work, visit her online here.