2. An Audacious Yearning w/ Tiffany Brooks




Welcome to Sassy Spirituality. If you're returning are here for the first time I am so excited to be sharing digital sacred space with you. Before we officially dive into the depths of the conversation, allow me to formally introduce myself. I am your host TMBC Jordan. I am the sassy spiritualist. I'm a public theologian, digital content creator, consultant, writer and preacher through a sex positive effort centric woman his lens and approach to all the things I do here. I am here to help you embrace the sassy aspects of your spirituality. My work since is liberation, justice and wholeness for all and I am super glad you are here. What is sassy spirituality. I'm so glad you asked. Sassy spirituality is a digital sacred space that allows us to explore how our spirituality can be saucing autonomous. soul searching, sensual, end yearning. If you're interested in a liberated approach to all things spiritual, you are in the right place. If you hear something that resonates with you, we would love for you to join the conversation online by using the hashtag sassy spirituality pie.


Welcome back to another episode of sassy spirituality. I am super excited to have with us today in this digital sacred space to she's here with us in the sassy spirituality community. And so the church black girl on the inside of me is like I want you to read her bio. Let her tell you who she is. And so I'm going to invite to introduce herself to us and let us know a little bit about what she does and who she is in the world. Yes, hi, everyone. My name is Tiffany Brooks. Depending on the space that I am in it is Reverend Tiffany Brooks.


I grew up in Queens, New York.


My dad is Jamaican, my mom is American.


I do a lot of work in education.


I went to Wesley Theological Seminary for my master's in Divinity degree. I went to American University for my masters in education. I went to the University of Maryland for undergrad, I've done and been graced to be able to engage in a lot of amazing work helping other people.


And so that's just a little bit about me, you know, we talked about not giving biographies and being informal just because we care about people's souls. So that's what I'm here to do not run off my resume.


Without talking about soul work, we might go on to talk about how great I am, even though she's great. And we could do that. But that's not what we're gonna do today.


Also, and so, um, we're gonna jump right in, let's let's go straight for the sassy and the spiritual.


So do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? And if you would tell us a little bit more about that journey, and how you arrived to your current relationship with spirit and spirituality. Cool. So, um, I am big on words and phrasing. So, you know, for me, I thought about spirit spiritual spirituality. Um, for me, in particular, I've always


had this interest in knowing that everything we're do, we're always looking on the outside, you can't look inside your body, the only time you can see your own faces via a mirror, or give someone else's description, or someone gives you a description of what you look like. And you know, sometimes they may not be accurate, or they could be anybody as is different, right? Yeah. Either way, none of us are looking from the inside. We're always looking out. So that is where my first so that's where my journey first began. As a child, like, Hey, I'm moving around. And, you know, I feel like I'm always looking on the outside, but I can't see myself and I was very curious child and I grew up in church, I was I can't really see myself was that. And so you know, asking questions, you know, while people have different definitions, in short spirit, non physical part of us, our emotions, our character, those things that house, how we function in the world, and this is the body that carries that spirit right to engage in the world. And so my relationship with spirit and spiritual spirituality, ooh


is really


Bass in the practices that I engage in, that keeps me connected for me, not just for my spirit, but my spirit connected to the Holy Spirit. Right? The Spirit of the Lord. So, I'm in prayer and journaling and meditation and silent prayers and silent retreats, and sometimes just watching Netflix all day, right?


Come on mindless television. Is it spiritual, okay. I mean, because, you know, I think we tend to forget that, that we are spirit. And so we have to feed what is spirit, and oftentimes what our physical our bodies are showing, is what is going on in the inside of us. And so if we were hollow beings, and there was nothing inside, then there's no physical representation, like we don't see physical representation, a representation of hollowness, right? Because how long this means a lack of existence means that emptiness means a hot, you know, it has these different connotations. So that's what I think about. I hope I answered your question. Because you did.


You did. You did. And so you said, you mentioned silent retreats and silent prayers. And so that concept is still foreign to me, like, too much silence makes me a little uncomfortable. And so since we are different in that way, could you tell me a little bit more about how that's helpful and meaningful to you? Because I still, I'd be wrestling, I'd be like, I'm quiet. What am I supposed to do?


Well, silent retreats. So, um, it took me a while to get there. It's a it's a practice. And so going back to the journey to arriving with spirit, spirituality, practice. And so when I would say a silent retreat, is that time that I take to not do all the talking. I'm the Lord knows what I need. And I trust that and so often times, while I will know like, while I'll know what I want to pray for, sometimes I just sit, and I'll ask the Holy Spirit, Hey, what is it that you want to say, say to me? What is it that you want me to hone in on? What is it and this is for me how I build relationships, and maintain relationships? I know God knows all things and no answers. But to build a relationship with someone, you got to be in communication with them. And so for me, it's like, Okay, God, what's your desire for me? What is what would you have me to talk to you about? Um, and so that requires listening. Oftentimes, in the world we flow, there's a lot of distractions happening, and so you don't always hear. And so silent retreats or silent prayer, silent meditation is me literally taking that time to say, Okay, God,


what is it that you need me to hear? What is it that I have missed, because of all the distractions, like I said, it takes practice, like, I didn't jump out the gate and was like, I'm solid for fit for 15 hours, right? Like, well, I'm even sound for 15 minutes, it started with like, Alright, I'm gonna try one minute, then I'm going to try five minutes, that 15 minutes. And the more that I engage in it, it became that I stopped, um, I stopped even realizing that time was flowing by so I had to like, put a timer because I'm in silent retreat, and I got to go to work. And I was I don't know how to explain it to people. I'm late to work because I was I was, I was being quiet. That's where I was a silent meditation with the Lord. And you know, I work in a secular I work in the secular world. So I imagine me going through my nine to five, maybe give me like, Oh, so you late. Your reason is you late cuz you late, God, you like because you was out when she was asleep? Like, did you oversleep? Like, it's news, one too many


views. And so it just took practice, right? And then it became so a part of me that I didn't even have to schedule it. Like, if I'm at work, and it's lunchtime, I'll eat in silence. Um, sometimes if I'm driving in the car, radio off everything off. And I'm driving in silence because I am working towards and still working towards being sure that I hear the voice of the Lord at all times and and everything. And so that is what a silent retreat is, and that's what it can do and does for people. Yeah, that's awesome. It sounds like you use that time intentionally to listen and hear from God. And we all do that in different ways. And silence seems to be really helpful for you. So I'm gonna see if I can, I don't know too. I'm gonna have to start with the one minute and see if I can. If I can make it I know I can't just go out the gate with 15


So we'll see what it does for me.


I mean, even if you do a little quick little 30 seconds, something,


seconds, just turn a little brain off and be like, Alright, here we go. What are we gonna do it? I'm gonna do it. Just try and move it maybe 30 seconds at lunchtime, but


you know, God who meets you where you are, right? I just start that's what I that's what I just start. Yeah, man. Amen. Um, okay, so here at sassy spirituality. Sassy is actually an acronym. And so it stands for saucy, autonomous, soul searching, sensual, and yearning. And so we're exploring what it means to have a spirituality that encompasses all of these elements. So if you think about your own personal spirituality, which word or two words resonates the most with you and why. So I will say autonomous. That's


one of those strong words for New York.


Auto, auto, autonomous, right, how to get it, and yearning. And so for me, when it comes to autonomous I say that because throughout my entire life, people have always said that I walk to the beat of my own drum.


Um, and you know, that has its own connotations. But I always have to remind people, yeah, but I'm not the one. I might have my own drum, but I'm not the one beating it. The Holy Spirit is guiding me to where it is that I need to go. So I do walk to the beat of my own drum because it's my drum at the Lord has given me and the Lord is the one doing the beating. Okay, you came to preach you you can't preach on the back is my God. That's good. That's good. And since when I say beating on the drum playing the drum, okay, let's, you know, you know, people be like, Ooh, she said, being a little bit being hurt. No, that's not what I said. What I said was the Lord be playing the drum, that gives me the rhythm for how I move within the world clear, though, for the people clear it out clear. You don't have to because people will just, you know, be running, they'd be running with it ready? And they'd be like, that's not what I said. Um, but I say autonomous because I've always asked questions. My entire faith journey was because I've asked questions. And I've always sought out the answers to those questions. And not all of them have been answered, some of them are still being answered, and some have been answered. And then I will say yearning because I always have this deep yearning to be connected with Christ. And everything that I do, whether it is me crying, like Laurie, Oh, forgive me, because my mouth was reckless. Or whether it is like, oh, Lord, guide me to what the next step or the decision is, or whether it's something as simple as like, yoga. What are we doing today?


You know, and I always have that yearning, in whatever space I'm in, whether I'm working, whether I'm preaching, whether I'm engaging with my friends and my family, it's always, how can I ensure that every space that I enter into that I am my most authentic self, but that I am not doing it without Christ attached to it? Because people have seen different air quotes, variations of who Christ is, and you're like, Whoa, that that definitely ain't it. And so I'm conscious and aware of like, if I say, I represent Christ, which Christ am I presenting and my my representing, and I want to ensure that I am walking in alignment to the Holy Spirit that I am presenting the right Christ, right? Because people have their variations of who Christ is. And I'm like, Yeah, I don't know, if I flow with this. Christ y'all created that's very Euro centric, and the Jesus, I know that the views are no, at all right. And only the Jesus, you know, only cares about a certain subset of people. That's rude to me. And so I have to ensure for me that I am embodying the Christ that I say that I serve, and that I preach about because if not, then I'm a hypocrite, I'm a liar. And I'm fake. And we got enough of that. And I don't want to be that. We got enough of that. And I don't want to be that come home. i Yes. And so two things came up for me. One is that both of your words led to authenticity. So you talked about how you like to be your own drum being authentic. And then you talked about yearning for the Christ, that is a representation of you being fully authentic, like, you know, I'm going to live out my walk, I want to represent Christ, but I also want to be myself, right. So those two things have to go in tandem. And so I thought that was really cool. And then one thing that you said about autonomy, you as he talks about asking questions, and you said that some of the questions get answered, some of the questions haven't been answered. And I think that's something that's really important to sit with is is that God the divine


spirit isn't going to always answer our questions when we want them to be answered. And so what do we do with those unanswered questions? What do we do with those questions that take a little longer answer to take a little more deep thought? And so those two things just really stood out to me. It's, it's being authentic and sitting in the, in the sometimes uncomfortable nature of having those unanswered questions. Yeah.


Yeah, that'd be, that'd be I hear God. And and so you know, Gabby got it. Right. It comes is a process, it's a journey. It is. Yes. And so tell us about a time. Um, it can be booked podcast, Pom, sermon, you know, etc, all of the things


that helped you to embrace the autonomy and the yearning parts of your spirituality. So you can do both? You could do either, but those were the words she chose.


You like, those are the words you chose don't


see all of a sudden, right?


Go, what would you go what you said? Um, so for this particular question, since you said, just the question was phrased around time, I'm gonna answer it from that perspective, if you don't mind. Cool. So a time for me was when my mother passed away. Actually, I was 20 years old. I was a junior, in undergrad. Um, I actually just started my junior year, so she passed away, like, maybe like, I would say, like two weeks into classes. Um, and that's when I really had a lot of questions for Roo. Like that is when the autonomy and the yearning came for me. It was like, I got what you up to took my mom live. And you know, it's not some people have different relationships with their parents. For me, in particular, my mom was my role, don't you? I'm saying like both my parents besties. Okay, like my dad, currently still one of my favorite people in the entire world, I love him to know. And I am a daddy's girl through and through


to my mother, my God, Karen was my bestie. That was the SIS like, at the age of like, 1819, I was still like, wreck my arm or my mother's arm and be like, since where you going? I'm going to write you go, you go nowhere without me. And you know, I'm not the only child. So that's the crazy part. But no, people will tell you, I act like it. And it's okay. Right? It's all right. Um, but it was my mom passed. I had a lot of questions. And I had a yearning. And I was trying to search I was like, and that yearning was for that connectedness to God. But it was a different kind of yearning. It was one of those back to the questions. Hey, why, like, what? And you know, you got people that's quick to be like, everything happens for reasonable. And it's like, hey, at 20 I'm not trying to hit it. I have a life ahead of me that I have to navigate without my mother. Yeah. And I am a young woman. How do we do? How do we do this? And I remember, and I'll give parts of what, what the Lord revealed to me. That's how I got to the place where I stopped using


he, she pronouns, interchange, I started using it interchangeably. And then I stopped using them all together. Because my question was,


I need a mom.


God, I need you to be my mother, my mother.


And, you know, while I still have my physical father here, which is great, and dope, I all have learned about you in theology and theological spaces in churches is that your guide is that you're a man. But you're a spirit.


Interesting, right? I have some questions, but the base of it was I need a mama. How, how am I going to navigate life without my mother? My womanhood? How do I navigate that I need you to be a mom. And that's when things started before he was seminary. That's how things started changing. For me. I started reading asking questions, doing research, and I was like, Oh, okay. I have a different understanding of who God is as spirit and who Christ is as man and spirit like you know,


now we start really seeing ourselves in the word


and then started seeing myself in the word and being able for the word not being able before the word to be made more alive to me. Still having questions. still asking God why.


Still having answers rolled out to me, that may not be a better


For me, you know, some people, they might be like, No, that's crazy. But it's like, I know what me and the Lord and talked about about that. And I'm gonna leave it where it is unless I'm given the green light to, to discuss it. But essentially that's how my autonomy and yearning really started to like shape and mold my thinking of who Christ is to me and who I am in relation to who crisis and the three on one in general. Yeah, and I think it is so well, first of all, thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing that part of who you are with us. We cannot take that lightly. We appreciate your story and your honesty, and you being here and your full and true self. So thank you. Thank you for that. And I think it is, I think it's so interesting how the events that happen to us in our lives shaped us in those ways, right? Because how much different Do you see God? How much different? Do you read the Bible, once you see yourself in God, and you see yourself in the Bible, and I think we all come to that realization at different points in our lives, you know, just based on how we show up in the world based on how things are taught to us, for you know, certain people is really easy. If he was born a man you see yourself in the Bible all the time, because that's how people presented to you. But for those of us who are women, for those of those people who are queer, like, you know, it takes a little bit more work for, for us to see ourselves in the Bible and in the Divine, because we have to do the digging, we have to do the reading, we have to be in communities that allow us to ask those questions and come to those realizations. And so, so yeah, that was that was a beautiful story. And thank you so much for sharing it with us. Yeah, absolutely. You know, took it. You know, it took a while for me to be able to fully put words to what was happening. By accident. Like you were asked the late man. Oh, oh, no, I'm still trying to figure like, I'm still trying to figure me out. Ask me ask me. I remember one time I did have somebody asked me when I'm 30. Well, now we're here.


30 is getting closer and closer for me. And I thought I was gonna be like, real life adult bodied. And I'm not convinced because a child would know. me all the time. You are still young. Like what are you talking about? I am 31 years old. He was just like, yes, let's calculate. You graduated college and 22. How, right in a long time. You still you still an adult? It you in third grade? Right? You a toddler of adulting. Like you feel a child?


Right? I was looking at him like, I mean, I feel like you saying that? Because we're your ages in relation to my age, but that's perfectly okay. And it's so funny because the older older I get, the younger my parents seem. I'm like, oh, okay, so when I thought she was ancient at 30, like, Oh, you're not ancient. Okay. Okay. You start babysitting them. I tell my dad he was to do all the time. Now, OSHA when the worlds are various, and you got to start racing your parents. It's a whole different world out here. So


that's another podcast. Right? That's a whole nother conversation for a whole nother day. We could go on a whole tangent about raising parents, Lord have mercy. Um, yes. So let's switch gears. You told us about a time that helps you embrace your autonomy and you're yearning, tell us about a resource that helps you to embrace those things. So there's this book called Sabbath as resistance. That was


I feel like I've heard the book when I was in seminary, and by Walter Bergman, and it was like, oh, and I was in seminary, we had a lot of books to read,


that want me to do leisure reading.


in seminary, what a joke. When you basically told me that such and such could be such and such. I can't say too much. I ain't trying to take people away from Jesus. I take these away from people. But you know, I'm not trying to read that. But their pastor Kalita Forbes, she suggested the book. And when I say that book is Sabbath, I wrote it down because it's a long title. It's called Sabbath as resistance saying no to the culture of now.


And I'll link it in the chat. And I mean, now the channel Lord, this is the podcast, my Facebook, Jesus, I will link it in the show notes, if anyone wants to check it out. It's such a great book, because it basically helps you to maneuver away from functioning the way the world functions, for always being busy, and for always functioning like a machine, essentially, and burning yourself out but from a God led Spirit lead scriptural perspective. We are not machines, we are people. And once I started reading this book, and really, you know, prioritizing my


Life around resting.


That forced me to be more intentional about what I do in the spaces that enter into that forced me to really take a look at my life and question and ask questions about the things that I have adopted about who I am my identity? Is it based on who God says I am? Or is it based on this culture of working and overproducing? Even in the church space?


A lot of people be in the church spaces and begin overworked and


are not their effectiveness. Kanem effectiveness starts waning, because we have applied a worldly culture to what is supposed to be a spiritually a spiritual, separated, but not separated in terms of not interacting. But in a space that's supposed to show something different. Right? Even though we know that the people that are coming into this space, they are in the world, and they are working and doing blah, blah, how do we provide a safe, a safe place of refuge, and so crazy a place of refuge and a safe place? Because that means I use the same word kind of the same.


You know, people are grammar grammar snobs. But how do you provide a space of refuge for people when they come from outside. And once I read this book, I was oh, I'm about to be real autonomous. Now.


I'm, I'm still yearning. And that is a part of the yearning to write like, because I'm resting. I am now not only am I continuously yearning for Christ, I have invited Christ into every part of my being in my busy state, and in my red state. And when we rest we get we recharge, when we rest, we are refueled. But I have found that the more that I rest, the more that I can hear, because it's not 1,000,000.2 things going on around me anymore. And it has kept me away from entering into spaces, that I don't have no business or need to be in. Yeah, you know, and I'm talking about me just as a human, not me as Reverend, not me as preacher as I work here, not me as this, that and the third me as a human being.


I am resting my body is at rest, which means that I am exercising stillness. And the reason why people find in their lives that things are a little chaotic sometimes is because they've never stopped to be still. For me, it's like the world around me could be losing it. But if I am still and calm in the midst of it, I am able to see what exactly is happening in the midst of the chaos. And I'll have a better mindset of how I engage in the world around me. But when I tell you that book, when I tell you, people get people to keep No,


no is the whole sentence like you can put a period exclamation point, like full stop. That's it. And that's what it made me think about when you when you talked about what the book means to you. When you prioritize your wrist and you are comfortable in saying no. It makes you much more cautious of the things you say yes to, you're much more intentional of the ways you show up because you realize every space is not your space. Every every ask is not for you to be there. I don't I don't have to show up every time I'm asked I don't have to go every time I'm called. Because that might not be my space. If today is my Sabbath, if I'm resting and I said I'm not doing the work today, and your event is on the day, then. I mean, I impulsively do like I don't know what you want me to do. I don't you guys said that it was spirit because Spirit told me to be off and not home. Listen, and I I tell people all the time now take that. Oh god.


I just did that today. I was like, Yeah, you're gonna have to take that out with the Lord because it ain't gonna do me at this point. It's above me now. And that was that's what the people say. It's above me. Now, way above me. Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing that book suggestion. Like I said, I'll put it in the show notes if people want to check it out. And so as we prepare to wrap up today's conversation, which has been awesome and amazing. Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else on your heart on your mind that you would like to share with us before we close any final words? Yeah. So you know, I told you I like to write stuff down. So I wrote this down. I'm gonna read exactly what I wrote.


I wrote really quickly too. So praise the Lord for understanding my own handwriting. What I said was to always ensure that you have a deep understanding of self when engaging in video


spaces and seasons of life, discern spaces that will discern, be able to discern the spaces that basically won't allow you to bring your full self to them. And what that is indication of is either that is a space that you should reject. Or that is a space that you have been called to, to transform and shift and to change. Either way be you always just be you know, within itself, be you be who God has designed and called you to be in all of your uniqueness. I mean, in today's society when I try to be anybody else, or do it, just be you.

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Show Notes:

Sassy Spirituality with Tierney Jordan! Tierney is a public theologian, digital content creator, and host of Sassy Spirituality, a digital sacred space that allows us to explore how our spirituality can be Saucey, Autonomous, Soul-Searching, Sensual, and Yearning. If you’re interested in a liberated approach to all things spiritual, you’re certainly found the right place. Join us biweekly on Tuesdays and engage the global conversation by using #SassySpiritualityPod.

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