Anna was not supposed to be born. Her mother had 3 boys by the time she was 21 and then a hysterectomy at 22 from uterine cancer. For 14 years, Pastor (Anna’s mother) didn’t used birth control. Her husband was the reverend, but had been caught cheating so the church elected her mom pastor. He worked at GM and had excellent benefits. Pastor decided to go use the insurance one more time before leaving Hayward, Anna’s dad.
The doctor felt of Helen’s stomach and said, “Shirley… I’d say you’re about 6 months pregnant.” Pastor was a nurse in the 60s and 70s. She knew how to spontaneously abort a pregnancy. She began to fast for 5 out of 7 days. It didn’t work. Anna grew and was born a few months later almost 10 lbs.We are all spirit. We came from spirit. We will return to spirit. Anna has a distinct and clear recollection of being in heaven before she came to this earth. She’s only told a few people about this story. She was looking into a fountain of water. She saw her mother (who was only 20-something at the time), and said, “I’ll do it … I’ll go down and help her.” She’s been helping her mother for 44 years.
People from all over the country and world came to the hospital when Anna was born. Both her parents were pastors, each had their own preaching radio broadcast, and traveled the world evangelizing. People knew Helen could not have children. They wanted to witness first-hand this miracle child.
Anna was, indeed, a miracle child. At the age of 2, she was at death’s door with whooping cough (pertussis), experiencing fevers of 104° and accompanying seizures. The year was 1975 and children died from pertussis at the time (in fact, they still do). Remember, although Anna knew she came to this earth to help her mother – she came at a time her dad needed love. Although he was wrong for having an affair, he was completely abandoned by his congregation. Maybe it was justified, but he still felt the sting of rejection. Hayward would get up in the early, early hours of the morning before driving to the GM plant in Doraville. Anna would wake-up with him every morning, come out in white t-shirt and panties, rubbing her eyes, and say, “Daddy, I want some grits.” So her daddy would make his little girl some grits. He would always give her everything she wanted, including handing her $100 bills as a 5-year old, taking her with him to every flea market event, yard sale, and pawn shop; and buying car for her to drive around in the yard when she was only 8. When she was in her early 20s, she always had the fastest, showiest, newest GM-made car that included the 30th anniversary edition of the Chevrolet Camaro. Her dad didn’t want her working, because he knew everything Anna did: devoted her whole life to the church as the praise-and-worship leader and meticulously and obsessively kept up with their massive yard. He would say, “Baby… you ain’t got to work… we’ll take up a love offering for that care note.”
So when Anna was 2 years old and the doctors didn’t know what else to do for her, after high fever and seizures for days on end; Hayward did the only thing he knew to do: prayed. He drove from Eggleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta back home to Douglasville 45 minutes away. With 2 pastors in the house, an entire room was devoted for praying. As soon as he got there, he immediately went to the prayer room, shut the door, and began to wail. His 3 young-adult sons were at the house, Anna’s brothers (who were already 17, 19, and 20).
The boys had never heard their dad cry. But this wasn’t an ordinary cry; he wailed and trevailed before the Lord in agony that God would heal his baby girl. Less than 30 minutes later, his wife called from the hospital and said the fever broke.
Although Anna’s mother loved her, she has always resented her because she forced her to stay in a situation she did not want to stay in. She was also jealous of Anna… for the unconditional, insurmountable love her husband gave to their daughter and from the amazingly spectacular spiritual gifts God bestowed upon her. At the age of 8, God annointed Anna to play the drums. Within a few years, she was leading the church music, singing and playing the drums. You’ve not seen someone play the drums and sing under the annointing until you see Anna sing and play the drums. When I first went to her church and witnessed it, I was floored. Not only had I never seen a female drummer like that, I had never seen any drummer like that. She owns the stage. She has a unique singing style that is all her own, with a mixture of both white and black gospel. She has a gift. When she sings and plays the drums, she sweats profusely. This is the annointing. Within a few minutes, she has sweated off all her make-up off. Her mother has to keep towels washed, dryed, and ready for her to soak up the sweat. It’s amazing.
Famous gospel singers visited the church and wanted to take Anna to Nashville to record an album. But her mother wouldn’t allow it. She wanted to keep Anna all to herself. Although Anna had all of these gifts, including the gift of prophecy, her mom would scorn her. She liked the fact that Anna drew in all kinds of people, including the back-slider to the atheist to the satanist, to church… BUT she didn’t like that it came through Anna. When an older church man tried to call Anna’s 14-year-old self at home one evening after church; her mother called Anna a slut. She never wanted her to have friends. Pastor had a spirit of control , which the Scripture says is as unto a spirit of witchcraft. Although her mom tried to minimize and belittle Anna, it didn’t work. Anna is of God and shines with the glory of the Lord. Where there is light, darkness cannot dwell. People are drawn to light. There are only two types of people who don’t like Anna: those who are heavily involved in drugs and substance abuse and those who are satanic, dark, and evil. The Word says, people with a dark spirit hate the light. This is true of dark people and Anna.
I cannot tell you how many people Anna has led to the Lord, not on purpose. We say we are spiritual and not religious because we do not believe you can put God in a box. God is everywhere, in everything, and in everybody (well most everybody). After listening to a Naomi Judd interview with Larry King a while back , we discovered that the primary guiding factor that determines what religion you will probably be is not spiritual conviction, but rather geography: if you were born in the south east, you’ll be Christian; northeast, Jewish or Catholic; middle east, Muslim. Religion was not made by God; it was made by man. I’m not saying religion is bad – if that’s the medium you use to connect your spiritual self with spirit, that’s awesome. What I am saying is religion has to do with legalism, politics, rules, guidelines, etc. That’s not what God was about. Jesus said there are only two commandments, to love God with all thine heart, soul, and mind; and to love thy neighbor as thyself. Other religions have similar teachings. So who are we to put God in a box of rules? Anna and I haven’t gone to an actual church in over 15 years. Why? Because we are the church. We’re not going to get in a theological debate with someone (although I used to do this, as a 10-year-old Pentecostal who believed in speaking in tongues, with the white Southern Baptist schoolboy on my bus who said that wasn’t of God and we were going to hell). No, instead we just love people. That’s what Jesus did. Loved people.
As a famous person once said, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” 🙂
The reason Anna has led Atheists, Satanists, Agnostics, and the more to God is not because she was preaching to them; but rather, simply sharing her personal experiences with God (or whatever you call Him). She reminds people that none of us are perfect, that she repents 15 times a day! It doesn’t matter – there is no greater or lesser sin. Do you think we go around ‘sinning’ 50 times a day!? No! I “speak” we have sex 50 times a day! Cause that’s great for your emotional and physical health!
No; we are not perfect. That’s God’s job. God is the one who created us… ALL of us. God had to show Anna that as a teenager. She always felt like a boy and liked girls. She remembers sitting on her brother’s girlfriend’s lap and absolutely loving it, getting so excited to go to the bank with her dad and seeing all the pretty woman up there, and had her fist crush on Wonder Woman’s Lynda Carter. After she got ‘saved’ at the age of 13, everyday in the shower she would pray to God for him to remove her ‘nature.’ She thought it was a sin to feel the way she felt. One day, after months and months and months of beseeching God to remove this thorn in her flesh, God spoke to her, and said, “Anna, you didn’t create yourself. I created you.” From that moment on, she knew that she was not wrong; she was Anna – made of God. She still has to struggle with reconciling her spiritual (or should I say religious) beliefs in relation to who she is because the church upbringing had such a huge and impactful influence on her life. For years, she vowed we would neverget married because she didn’t want to offend God. Even after same-sex marriage became legal 3 years ago, it took me over 2 years to convince her to finally do it. And even then, it wasn’t planned. On one rainy Monday morning in October when we were getting ready to go see her mom at the nursing home, I simply made her pull into the courthouse and do it right then there. I don’t give Anna time to think about things I know must be done.
I don’t struggle with my sexuality and gender identity as much as Anna does. I didn’t grow up feeling like a boy or remembering being strongly attracted to girls. I just know, once I met Anna, Anna was the person for me. Where there was an Ellijay, there was an Elisha. Where there was a Ruth, there was a Naomi. Where there was a David, there was a Jonathan. Where there was an Anna, there was a Katie. Even if Anna was a man, I would still be with Anna. It doesn’t matter. God gave me, no entrusted me, with Anna. And I will honor and protect that until the day I die.
Even the other day, Anna made a spiritual connection with one of the workers at the hospital. She was prophesying to him, and in true Anna-fashion, asked him for his number so she “could text him once every couple of weeks just to let him know she loves him.” Anna does this everywhere we go. And she does, indeed, text these people just to tell them she loves them and to be encouraged. Of course, it never ends there – once people know Anna has the gift of sight, they stick to her like white on rice.
Although Anna made a spiritual connection with this man, when she went to hug him (which she hugs everyone after just meeting them), he drew her in close and pressed himself against her. I was 12 feet away and could feel the sexual energy he had towards her! This infuriated me! Where I will shout it from the rooftop that Anna and I are married, Anna will often let people come to their own conclusion of how we’re related. They often assume we are either sisters or mother and daughter (which of course, she hates). She doesn’t correct them when they make this assumption. Several hours later, I was awoken from my cot in the corner of Anna’s hospital room to this man and Anna having a conversation. He was nervous and anxious, showing Anna a picture of his wife, telling Anna he didn’t want his wife to get upset with him if Anna texted him. Anna said, “Have you gone to TheShirleyGirls page yet on Instagram?” He had not. That has become Anna’s way of telling people she is married. I’ve gotten on to her about this and told her she absolutelymust begin to tell people we are married. She did it for the first time the other day at the salon. I was so proud of her. But then the girl got upset and told Anna she was mad at her. Come to find out, the girl ‘liked’ Anna. Shaking my head … story of my life… it makes me laugh … REALLY feminine and attractive girls LOVE Anna and are VERY attracted to her! I don’t blame them – I am too 😉
So when I woke up to Anna trying to explain to this man in her own way he had nothing to be worried about, I feverishly and erratically yelled out from my cot, “She’s married! We are married to each other!” Anna was not happy. She tells me it is not my place to tell people that when she’s doing a ministry with them. But I view it differently; the same way God did when he revealed to her that day in the shower when she was 13: that He created her the way he did. And that other people’s opinions of us are not our business. There is research that suggests that only 1 in 4 people will like you no matter what. Another 1 out of 4 may like you, but can be persuaded by others TO NOT LIKE you. Another 1 out of 4 may not like you, but can be persuaded TO like you. And the last 1 out of 4 will not ever like you; no matter what. If this is true, and I believe it is, why are we always trying to make people like us? Spiritual teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer said he could look out an audience of 500 people and there would be 500 different opinions of him. Stop trying to seek peoples’ approval; it’s a waste of time.
When I marked my claim on Anna, I was really acting out what I wish I would have done several hours earlier when he sexually hugged her (after she had just ministered to him and given him a Word from the Lord!). So now was my chance. His countenance immediately changed when I told him Anna and I were together. He went from being nervous about Anna calling him and getting in trouble with his wife to being the typical judgmental “Christian.” He pulled his shoulders back, got taller, and asked her boldly and aggressively, “now how does that work … I mean with you being in the church and having these spiritual gifts and all?” She reminded him she told him she was spiritual, not religious. He went on to ‘preach at her,’ telling her she has to keep it 100.
This was the same man, who was married, who was sexually hugging her just a few hours earlier but now condemning her because “in the church,” homosexuality is the worst sin there is” (even though it’s prevalent from the front door to the back door… have you seen who is leading most church choirs!?).
Remember how I said, there are only 2 types of people that don’t like Anna? One are those who are into drugs and substance abuse. The second are those filled with darkness. This man was the latter.