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Rising Stars: Meet Imani Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Imani Thomas.

Imani, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
TW: Sexual assault/rape.

I have always been told that I talk too much. Every report card or parent-teacher conference provided this feedback. I think this is why I enjoy blogging. Blogging is a way for me to talk as much as I want about what I want. I grew up in a Christian household and growing up I would’ve believed that I had a strong foundation in Christ but college proved me otherwise.

My 5 years of college resulted in me dabbling in a lot of behaviors that I never planned to be engaged in. I began to grow more anxious and depressed than I had ever been. I grew into a woman that I didn’t recognize but I clung to her because she exuded this false sense of confidence. I needed to believe that lie to even make it through my college experience.

Less than 3 weeks before I was set to graduate, I was raped. In the summer of 2018, I started attending therapy while drinking more than I ever had. I was SO incredibly angry at God that every attempt to go to church genuinely upset me. I spent over a year turning to weed, alcohol, and sex to try to fill the hole in my heart.

I met a young woman in the fall of 2019 who, through months of gentle coaxing, convinced me to go back to church. I was still very turned off by the idea of God and church but my heart was a bit more open to what she shared with me. In January of 2020, I made the decision to give God another chance. I can honestly say that my life has changed in the best way possible ever since.

The blog came about during a business conference! I had to attend something for work and while I sat in the audience, something told me to start a blog. I was still learning what God’s voice sounded like so I wasn’t sure if this was my idea or if it was something that God was directing me to do.

I honestly failed with a few blogs before this attempt so when this idea crossed my mind I think a little part of me knew that this was God. So I did it. I started the blog! This blog has become a place for me as a survivor to express my feelings and desires while still being transparent about my growth in my walk with God.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I think the biggest obstacle that I had to overcome was not forcing a post for the sake of maintaining constant engagement.

There are two key reasons why I won’t force a post; the first is that I don’t want to write anything about my relationship with God that isn’t truthful and the second is that I want to create an environment that fosters healing for my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

In the early stages of the blog, I would try to write posts and publish corresponding IG posts just to garner engagement and more interaction. In my mind that directly related to how quickly my blog would grow. For a short period of time, I did see a bit of growth but the blog was no longer the authentic experience that I desired. I ended up deleting some posts and going back to posting when I felt led to do so.

I don’t update the blog on a consistent schedule and I know that it impacts how people may engage with/support the blog but I prefer to create an organic and non-curated experience. This allows me to have some really great months, for example, I published 6 posts last July vs the hiatus I took from November of 2020 to January 2021.

This doesn’t bother me but I know it is technically a challenge when it comes to growing my platform.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am such a creative! Outside of the blog, I enjoy painting, photography, drawing, and writing fiction stories. I acted in middle and high school and I am actually looking for opportunities to get back into it!

I have found that outside of the time I spend with God, tapping into my creative side is what truly allows me to find peace and comfort. I actually just started listing my acrylic paint pours on Miiriya hoping that I can make some sales over the next few months.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Likes: The vibe and culture of Nashville is so cool! I also loved Prince’s. You can’t go wrong with hot chicken and a lemonade. The history is amazing! I also love that there are 3 HBCUs in Nashville.

Dislikes: The traffic. It’s not so much the volume of the traffic but the way people drive in the traffic!

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