Book Review by Dennis Moore
July 19, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Tameka Hicks is on the Dean’s List at Xavier University in New Orleans, but as proud as she might be of that achievement I get the feeling from reading her book; Said I Wouldn’t Tell It…But I Just Can’t keep It To Myself, that she is most proud of being on “God’s List.” Being given up at birth by her parents and after being placed in from foster home to foster home, Hicks describes in this spiritual and heartrending book how her trust level had bottomed out, describing in vivid detail how she was abused mentally, emotionally and physically. This young lady has aspirations of being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and building her own ministry. From talking with her and reading this book, I can say that she is well on her way.
Never knowing one’s birth parents even to this day can exact a devastating toll on the psyche of anyone, as it did the author, particularly a young child having to grow up in a cruel world. This was the experience my own mother had to live through during the course of raising 10 children basically by herself, so Hick’s story certainly resonates with me for so many obvious and profound reasons.
There have been many defining moments in the author’s life, which she writes about in Said I Wouldn’t Tell It. One of which is being adopted by a loving and nurturing mother, especially after having earlier been in a foster care home and the assigned parent or mother submerged her into scalding bath water with the intent to harm her. Hicks states in her book that this particular foster mother gave the real mothers that took in orphans a bad name. She describes this woman as abusive mentally as well as physically, with the lady stating just before she proceeded in her attempt to drown and burn her to death in the bath water: “You will never be anything and never have been, and I see why your parents gave you up.” Quite graphically, the author states of this encounter: “She grabbed me by the hair and dragged me to the bath. I didn’t know exactly what hot water felt like but I quickly found out. She dumped me in the water and I sat there crying, two years old, barely able to save myself. I was barely able to mumble a word. The last thing I remember was being burned all over my body. She (foster mother) threw back a loud laugh and enjoyed every minute of my suffering.” Hicks would reveal how she would later wake up in a hospital, and would later in life have flashbacks of that particular episode in her life. She describes this flashback (light) as God’s presence at such a youthful age. She further states: “I saw that flashback as a greater strength and testimony for my life.”
In a most profound statement in this book, and after her experience with a foster parent that tried to harm her, she states: “It wasn’t easy, transferring my life from a mother that cared nothing for me to a single mother that gave up everything to adopt me. I truly didn’t see why I was allowed to enter a place of so much suffering, just to turn around and be placed in a family that really loved and took me in. I didn’t understand it to the point of resisting the thought process.” This would lead to perhaps the most profound part of this book, the author’s description of her actual talk with God. She states: “Why have you so doubted me at all in your life? “ ‘I heard him say,’ “My child, you have a purpose to fulfill.” ‘He said to me.’ “Stop questioning me and embrace your testimony embrace what I brought you through.” ‘He said;’ “you love because you never felt the love you’ve been searching for, you fell hard because you gave all your energy and love to the wrong people.” In a lot of ways this author’s experience in this particular instance is similar to my daughter Brandy’s. Hicks sum up her conversation and talk with God, or God’s talk to her as; “I challenge you now to let your pain turn into My glory, and I will show you what real love is. Now it’s time for you to stop questioning me and My love for you and walk in your faith, because I have never left your side, and I never will. Many people don’t understand you because they don’t really know you, all they know is that smile that you put on underneath all your pain and insecurities.”
Another defining moment in Hick’s life was her walking away from a serious car accident basically unscathed when the car she was riding in was totaled, and a doctor later stating to her: “You shouldn’t be alive! God must have His hands on you.” That really is what this book is all about, “Devine Intervention.” She speaks of how she ended up in this vehicle in the first place, blinded by love or misplaced affection, and the object of her affection who was actually driving the vehicle having more concern for himself and the vehicle that belonged to his mother. Hicks stated that God spoke to her again at this time, stating: “you must get out!” She further indicated that she thought this meant from the house to the hospital after she had made her way home from the accident, but it was from the relationship itself! After getting to the hospital and looking at the doctor’s face, she knew that it was nobody but God that intervened that day! This book is replete with stories and poems by the author, in which her faith has been tested, but she always seem to come back to God’s grace. It is ironic, that just last night the author sent me a text stating: “You won’t believe I had another wreck – really should have lost my life but God spared me yet again!”
The author seems driven to get her message out through this book, as she has indicated to me upcoming booksignings at "Something to Read" on August 8, 2014 and "Oz Rare and Used Books" the next day on August 9, 2014, both in Jackson, Tennessee. Hicks will also be interviewing with Janet Wilbanks on August 5th at 2PM on Channel 6 and Steve Bowers on the Prime Time Drive at News-Talk 101.5 FM for the 3:15PM show on Wednesday, August 6th. See attached.
Perhaps the most defining moment of the author’s life, which clearly defines her character and faith in God, was when she was sexually molested by someone she thought was a friend and looked up to, and how she responded to it. She describes in this well-written book how she let her guard down and put herself in a situation in which the incident came about. Yes, she was disillusioned about life, and men, but as always she had her faith in God that would get her through this painful and emotional ordeal. This book is replete with poetry of a spiritual nature, and scriptures that the author embraces and lives, and a powerful testimony of strength and perseverance that we all can learn from. A book that I highly recommend, from an author that I am truly inspired by!
Hicks sums this book up by stating: "...this book is not written to expose my life, but to unveil the greater message that God spoke in and through me."
Dennis Moore is a writer and book reviewer for the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.