Busta’s Person of the Week: A Heart in Pieces, Made Whole

Busta’s Person of the Week: A Heart in Pieces, Made Whole
August 26
15:15 2020

By Busta Brown

A four-year-old girl was innocently playing outside with her friends. This is just one of the visions that haunted her for years. 

“As we played around the tree and attempted to climb the tree, this older man came to his screen door and watched for a while. He was cheering all of us to climb higher. … At one point, he told us he would give candy to whoever could climb the highest. … I had been climbing higher than most of the kids most of the day. So, I pushed myself with excited energy to climb this tree. The kids on the ground cheered us on and it seemed like a good day. I jumped down and ran to the older man to get my candy. He pointed to the candy on the stereo console and said I could go get it. As I entered the apartment, he grabbed my hand. I was puzzled. He told me there was more he needed to show me upstairs before I could get the candy. So, I went with him upstairs,” she wrote in her book entitled “Heart in Pieces Made Whole.” The older man trapped the frantic and confused four-year-old, as she plotted on how to escape. 

Yes, a four-year-old plotting her escape, afraid for her life! 

I asked Yolanda Grier to share what came next. It took everything I had to hold back my tears as she was speaking. First, she laughed, and it was clear that her laughter was to keep from crying and that made it even harder for me as well. Her expression and spirit are now strong and confident and she began pouring her heart out like a waterfall. “It’s hard to find the words to describe that feeling, that this is not right. But I remembered that I wanted to scream out those exact words. I was intimidated, because I was aware of the disadvantage in size and his height. I was also aware that the community knew him as a good man, but this wasn’t the man that speaks to the kids. This is a man that’s holding me in a way that I can’t run,” she said. 

Four-year-old Yolanda eventually ran and got out of the bedroom, but not because he allowed it. He was in the process of positioning himself to do something that most us have only seen in horror movies or during a heartbreaking newscast. This was a moment no four-year-old will ever forget, nor should’ve ever experienced. “I’ll always remember that spirit of evil and lustful expression on his face. What’s interesting is that he was really calm, like ‘I’m not here to harm you.’ He begins to adjust me on his knee while he was exposed and I begin to feel numb. When he started to position himself to pull his pants all the way down, he put me on the floor and turned his back. That’s when I bolted out of his bedroom!” she said as her voice trembled. 

She heard some relatives calling her name and felt guilty as if she had done something wrong. “I wasn’t outside playing with the other kids like I was supposed to be. So, I thought my relatives knew where I was and thought I was doing something nasty. So, I blamed myself because I didn’t know what else to feel. I don’t remember walking home, only when I got there. … And I just knew I was in trouble, because I felt like I had done something wrong,” Grier shared. 

Afterwards, she took a few deep breaths, looked down, closed her eyes for a few seconds and then smiled into the camera. Although she was pouring her heart out and revisiting a very dark and painful moment, I was amazed how she put her feelings aside to make sure that I was OK. The first-time author demonstrated the strength I’ve only seen in women and mothers. Her smile and spirit were extremely calming and comforting for both of us, which made it much easier to continue an interview about a topic no child should ever experience and most definitely never revisit.  Yolanda Grier was strong, but the strength she has today came with a cost. Due to the trauma from her childhood, she became very quiet and distant. It affected her speech as well. A family friend suggested that she see a speech therapist because no one knew what was wrong. But four-year-old Yolanda knew. Yet, at such a young age, she didn’t know how to communicate it and was also afraid no one would believe her. So, like so many other children who were molested, she kept it inside. 

At age 14, it happened again. It was during a church event that was supposed be a day of fun and excitement for the youth. “We were playing in the pool and the men would lift the kids up and then push us into water. But when it was my turn, it was a lot of moving around and I wasn’t the one moving. I could feel them touching me very inappropriately. I was shocked and horrified! I knew who they were because the relationship between the youth and youth leaders was very close. So, I was puzzled about why would they do that. They were the adult church leaders and old enough to be my father. I got out of the water to go find my pastor, who I loved and adored. When I found him, he was talking to some other pastors, so I sat next to him. He asked if I was OK and I didn’t know what to say. I was horrified! I just made sure I stayed with him until we left,” she said. 

Yolanda remained confused as to why so many older guys were always attracted to her and bold enough to make the type of advances that made her feel lost and confused. She became sad and eventually went into a deep depression. She constantly asked herself, “What’s wrong with me?” Through it all, she didn’t mention it to anyone. She assumed it was her body that was attracting the older men and began to feel very insecure. Finally, the wife of one of her church members decided to tell Yolanda how to stop the advances from the older men. Instead of holding the older men accountable, she placed the blame on the clothes teenaged Yolanda wore. “At this point I was always sad, didn’t like being around anyone, and was very uncomfortable when someone tried to hug me. I’m just trying not to be found out, as if I was causing the issue with these older men,” she said. 

Teenaged Yolanda was searching for someone that she could talk to, or at least give her some advice. “I was in church one day and an older man shook my hand and then swirled his finger on the inside of my hand as I’m trying to pull it away. And I’m thinking, I know what this means in the projects, but it can’t mean the same thing with him because he was much older than me and married. He was old! Very shortly after that, as I was going to the altar to ask God for some understanding about all of this, a woman whispers into my ear, ‘As young as you are and with a shape like that, you should be wearing a girdle.’ This is the wife of the same man that followed me around church so he could shake my hand. So, I was very confused about how to show up to church as a young woman with a mature body. I begin to wear big clothes that hid my shape. But I just wanted to show up and just be a child,” Grier said. 

Yolanda Grier poured all of this and even more into her first book, “Heart in Pieces Made Whole.” It’s an absolute must read and will help you heal in every aspect of your life. I especially recommend it for anyone who is in a dark place because of the pain someone else caused you or the revenge you desire or wish for them to suffer. Yolanda said, “Vengeance is the Lord’s and not mine. I’m not looking for the men that molested me. I’m not looking to have anyone arrested, because I love and I know that I’m amazing. I own that! We all must own that! That’s a great place to be! I release you. I forgive you, and I’m healed. As a result of that, I don’t have to be in that place of hate, pain, suffering and darkness. I have the responsibility to help others heal as well. You can’t hold on to that pain and non-forgiveness, because you deserve to thrive. You can’t be all that God wants you to be if you’re stuck in your story. I wrote this book because of my obedience to God,” she said with a spirit of true freedom and peace. 

I know exactly what she’s feeling because I also forgave someone that murdered my first love and the mother of my first child. My son and I both prayed for his redemption and peace. And like Yolanda, I know that anything other than forgiveness and release isn’t God’s will. Ironically, my son was four years old as well when he witnessed his mother being stabbed and beaten to death. His 41st birthday was August 19. About ten years ago he said, “Pops, I can truly say that I have complete peace in my life and I will never settle for anything less.” 

Yolanda Grier’s testimony is a true confirmation of the power to truly forgive, let go and let God. And if you need strength to do so, you’ll find it in her book. The poems “I’m Healed,” “I was breaking,” “I was searching” and others will activate the spirit of release and peace that’s sitting inside of you waiting to come out. 

I can’t end this story without congratulating Yolanda and her husband Kevin and wishing them a very happy 32nd anniversary! When I met Kevin, it was clear that I met Yolanda’s true love and best friend. May God continue to keep his mighty hand on your marriage. 

For information on how to purchase “Heart in Pieces Made Whole,” join my phenomenal Person of the Week for her much-anticipated book launch on Sept. 1 on Facebook Live @thewell.lakeland. You can also call 336-259-4345 or visit

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