Almost 24 years ago, a six-year-old girl learned that her mother had been tragically murdered by her father (a well-renowned pastor at a local church). Soon after, their father would be sentenced to 28 years in prison, she along with her four sisters would be taken from their home and thrown into foster care, and her life would never be the same.
Later, that little girl would go on to earn a degree and become an accountant, only to be fired from her job and ultimately create one of the most popular platforms in the media world, amassing millions of followers and subsequently securing a serious bag.
We now know the woman in this story to be the creator of The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu, a boss who now knows that every roadblock in her life has been a blessing in disguise.
The media mogul and star of the latest episode of UMC's Behind Her Faith (available to stream April 9), a faith based-series executive produced by Insecure's Jay Ellis that features stars like Niecy Nash, Aisha Hinds, and Essence Atkins, recently sat down with xoNecole for an intimate one-on-one conversation about the secret behind her success, and according to Angie, it was nothing but God's love. She explained, "When I was wrong, when I was right, when I was indifferent––He was there throughout it."
On the show, Angie opens up about how her mother's death changed her life, getting to know Jesus midway through her entrepreneurial journey, and how she learned to adjust when she felt like her vision and her values didn't align. We got a chance to catch up with Angie to talk more about her faith, facing her fears, and how to find purpose in your pain and, honey, it was a whole word.
Fear Is Poisonous
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will, and Angelica explained that this was a lesson she learned firsthand.
While you may think you're in the self-doubt struggle alone, our good sis revealed that she can totally relate. The Nigerian-American creative told xoNecole, "I'm going to tell you right now, I've experienced it all. I've experienced doubt, thinking, 'Oh, you know what, who was I kidding? God didn't say this is going to happen for me. I'm not up for this. I can't do this, I don't have the work ethic. I don't have the intelligence––the creativity.'"
"[Fear is the] biggest opponent that I have," she continued. "Because fear, for me, and its impact on me is crippling. It makes it so that I don't do anything. Either I don't do anything or I consider things failures before they've even started."
Angelica explained that while analysis paralysis can become addictive, it's a cycle that she's learned to break by pulling the weeds before they even have the opportunity to grow. She shared, "I've noticed it, that monster of fear just growing and growing and growing, and I've noticed that it is so poisonous to a lot of areas in my life. Fear doesn't just show up in one area. It kind of seeps into all areas. You'll notice it just creeping in, creeping in and growing and seeping into different types of relationships, coming out in different ways."
"You gotta hit fear with technique. You got to figure out how fear gets you––what triggers you and then start breaking that down. Address the triggers. Triggers are places where you need healing. Why am I so scared of failure? Why? Why am I so scared of being alone? Where are the roots of these feelings coming from?"
Coming face-to-face with your trauma is never easy, but Angelica wants you to know that it's always worth it, sis. And as painful as your past may have been, when it comes to discovering your purpose...
Hindsight Is 20/20
Unfortunately, life doesn't come with a built-in rearview mirror, but if it did, it would likely reveal that hindsight is 20/20 and Angie wants you to know that many of life's roadblocks are only blessings in disguise. Despite facing legal woes, business breakups, and moments of disappointment, the TSR creator remains adamant that faith will take you places hustling won't.
"When I put out that prayer, 'God take things that you do not want me to have––that you don't have a plan for––that are in my life. Anything that's not supposed to be there, make it fall, make it collapse, just cancel the deal, get it away from me.' And when I have prayed that I've seen so many things fall through."
She continued, "I think I've seen big deals fall through with big companies. I've seen things just canceled, get ripped from under my feet. Right? And in hindsight, I look back and I see why those things were taken and I prayed the same prayer."
Angelica told xoNecole that this is a prayer that she's also prayed over her company, but instead of blocking her business, He has allowed it to thrive, "We get hit with these big things and it's like, how did we survive that? Why are we thriving in this time, how are we getting through this?"
Which led Angelica to drop yet another noteworthy gem…
Your Purpose Is Promised
In the docu-series, Angelica revealed that although she has come a long way from being that seven-year-old girl whose life was uprooted and transformed forever, she has to remind herself that God has been at her side, pushing her further into her purpose every step of the way.
She told xoNecole, "I really do believe that my belief in God is the only thing that's keeping me. When you think about it, what else can I rely on that won't change? That is always the same? That is true to the word that I know for a fact because of not just the Bible, which I love, but because of my past experiences, I know God is real."
While Angelica says she still experiences moments of doubt and unpromising pitfalls along her path to success, she now knows that the valley is where you gain perspective. "I know he's 100 and I know His promises are true." She explained, "And so because I know he has a promise on my life and I know that He's promising for me, when [bad] things happen, yes. Don't get it wrong. There are times where I'm doubting it. But I have to take it back to, well, God has a promise to me. It hasn't come true yet, [but] it's going to come true. His word is true. He will protect me until the fulfillment of that promise, and then He'll promise more. "
"To me, it's about having faith that things are gonna be OK even when they're not. If I lost everything today, I have to have faith that He'll bring it back together. But, see if I don't believe in Him, then what faith could I have? I could have faith in myself. But life is fragile. I have to believe in something bigger than myself and that's big for me. And I think that's what's getting me through."
Featured image courtesy of UMC.