The First Lady of Soul’s Healing Journey
A Story of Forgiveness
Tomeeka Morris has an air of confidence and solemn wisdom. Her composed and serene nature is enveloping like a warm embrace. Tomeeka allows readers to explore her life’s triumphs while also diving into the incredible heartache and searching to find peace and healing.
The Source of Pain
On a harsh day in November, a little baby girl who is just three days old or so is given up by her mother. Carolyn Dixon was a woman who wanted the best for her newborn, and so she gave her up to be raised by an aunt on her ex-husband’s side. Unbeknownst to the little girl Tomeeka, she would be raised by a woman that was not her biological mother. Ironically, the little girl would be surrounded by Carolyns in her life. Carolyn Dixon (later Bracy) was her birth mother; Carolyn Watson would play the role of the favorite aunt who nurtured her during her teenage years. Her future husband, Stevie Wonder would share the same birthday as Iziah, the two-year-old child that she would tragically lose years later. In the gaps of her pain, Tomeeka explains that it was as though God brought love in divine ways, bringing love and peace to fill in the holes of her life in unexpected ways. These synchronicities are one of many that would line the path of Tomeeka’s story.
Change is in the Air
A season of redemption allows Tomeeka to be able to complete the healing and close chapters of pain and rejection. She explains, “I’m getting breakthroughs in Atlanta. There was such healing there for me. I decided to let everything go. I’m going to Total Grace Christian Center; I’m loving the Lord; I’m getting healing from abuse that happened to me as a girl. I remember talking to my girlfriends, those were crying and healing sessions… And I think I learned forgiveness in that place.” Tomeeka attributes this period of forgiveness to the time that she spent at church. “I’ve been in church all my life, but I understood the word for the first time for real… God would show up for me all the time.” Expecting a child at 19-years-old, the young woman would move into a space of healing, which would be critical in her capacity to overcome yet another series of painful circumstances, the death of Iziah, on May 13, 2005. Tomeeka explains, “In losing my son. It’s brought me closer and closer to God. I remember crying out on a floor underneath my bed… I always believed that there was more, like I always knew that this wasn’t it. I think it was never about me. I don’t think I’m that great. I don’t think any of us are that great. I think that God is no respecter of persons. I think if he can deliver, heal me through all the trials and tribulations, he can do the same for the next person. I know my story is out there for someone who may want to give up, thinking that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s not it. There is so much more there with God.”
The Search for Carolyn Dixon
“I was pregnant at 19, while Bri Sche’ my first daughter was in my belly, they are asking me questions about my mother’s history. I didn’t have a mother to give history about. So that’s when I started my search for her.” Tomeeka would not manifest her dream until the age of 42. This would be 23 years after the first time that her family had seen Carolyn. In fact, she would track down her maternal family, but the encounters were not what she had hoped for. “It felt like nothing but incompletion.” Her mother’s family was also hoping that their daughter would surface and this tension created an uncomfortable situation for Tomeeka. It was as though her mother’s parents, Catherine and Vincent saw her as an extension of their daughter, and she was not in a space to be that for them.
Despite this, Tomeeka’s victory was still manifesting. “I think I was already complete when I met her. In the background of Tomeeka’s reconciliation, her mother had also experienced a transformation in her own life; Carolyn was now known as Nandi. Tomeeka affirms, “In a trip to Africa she was given the name Nandi, which means ‘women of high self-esteem, high self-worth.’ This greatly resonated with my mom who had been a woman so unsure of herself.”
Forgiveness & Love Defined
There is deep forgiveness and love at the foundation of Tomeeka’s vulnerable story. She is a pillar of love despite the circumstances, she was abandoned as a baby by her biological mother and lost a child in a tragic accident. She shares, “I think if we could work with our own stuff, if we work on our own selves and our own love, then we can learn to love and forgive and be accepting of others just as they are. You shouldn’t expect someone to change for you. I’m not going to change for them. I can accept them right where they are at. What if the person never changes? God loves us through everything. When we’re good, when we’re bad… Why can’t we love others through everything? We can show them love; we can show them grace, and we can show them forgiveness. Now, does that mean I have to sit with you and your stuff? Now I don’t, I can love you from over here, but I don’t have to try to change you to love you either. I could simply say, I’m here whenever you need me!”