Iyanla Vanzant Picking up the Pieces

Iyanla Vanzant once stood in the bedroom of her then recently deceased daughter with a pink, pearl-handled pistol in one hand and prescription pills in the other; mulling over the decision as to the “best” way to finally end the pain.

Nevertheless, Yana Vanzant is still alive and has a testimony to share.

From leaving The Oprah Winfrey Show to the cancellation of her own television program; the downward spiral didn’t crater with the death of her daughter at the age of 31 to a rare form of colon cancer — on Christmas Day, no less. In an off-air conversation with me, Yana remarked, “watching them put my daughter in a box and throw dirt on her let me know I could deal with anything.” The reality though was that things were to get far worse for far longer before they would get better. There was still an unexpected divorce (by way of email), loss of her house and tremendous trouble with the IRS still on the way. The fact that neither the pink, pearl-handled pistol nor the prescription pills won out is nothing short of amazing.

It’s one thing to read the book of Job; it’s another to live it.

I watched Yana Vanzant on the Oprah Winfrey show on Wednesday February 23rd, 2011, not in judgment but with compassion. Clearly this was a woman who is still in pain but is working through that pain. She is not there yet but she sure is on her way. I can recognize that look because I know what it takes to fall in the valley and what I had to do to get out of the valley. You see when I was in the valley; it was Iyanla’s book of the same title ‘Value in the Valley’ that helped me. I knew self and understood self but when you step out there and tell the God that you know and have all this knowledge, that KNOWING tries you. Sometimes you fall so hard, it is that KNOWING that faith, which sustains you and brings you up again. But let me tell you, once you stay the course, your rise is greater and mightier than the fall. Life happened to Yana and as spiritual and inspiring as she is to thousands, the KNOWING and the LISTENING collided. You see you could KNOW but when you don’t listen with your spirit – we are forced into that that place where we have to pay ATTENTION. Yana is on her rise.

You see I believe that everyone who will play a role in our lives and in our growth we have already met. Yana met Oprah more than eleven years ago, sure their paths went down a different path but the connection was made. It is Oprah’s turn to come to Yana rescue, not necessarily with dollars but with an opportunity. I believe that will happen because these women are two strong, spiritual and powerful not to make that opportunity happen. The world needs what they have to offer and I pray to the universe that it becomes a reality.

In her new book, Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through, Vanzant displays the scars of her life with an authoritative honesty, in the hopes of helping someone who might travel a path similar to hers, hurting unceasingly and hoping for help seemingly never on its way.

Iyanla and daughter Gemmia

Yana Vanzant is alive and well; today her testimony might bring tears to your eyes while also forcing you to question the depth and resolve of your own faith and relationship with the Lord. At the same time, she offers neither an excuse nor appeal for pity on her behalf. Yana in her book, tells the truth about the moments of her life leading up until now, from the death of her mother, being raped by her uncle and the pathologies set in motion by both.

Morris W. O’Kelly (Mo’Kelly) is author of the syndicated entertainment and socio-political column The Mo’Kelly Report.

To hear the Radio interview click the link below



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