Reverend A. Benae Colbert was born in Houston, Texas from a lineage
consisting of Cherokee shamans and traders, as well as ancient and medieval Welsh peoples. Reverend Colbert holds a Bachelor of
Arts degree in both Journalism and Psychology, and raised in a "progressive" Southern Baptist household. A true GRIT
(Girl Raised in Texas.) Dancing, smoking and a little cussin' here and there were allowed. So was the occasional drink
and public display of affection, as well as independent thought. So you're thinking by now, "How can you call that Southern
Well, let's just say that behind Reverend Colbert lies a host of unique relatives, contradiction,
and complication that formed the very unique and spiritual woman we know today.
But back to the history.
After a divorce betweeen her parents at the age of seven, the family was no longer welcome at
the church they attended in Cypress, Texas, and succinctly ended any participation in organized religion. Attending vacation
bible school each summer was sorely missed, by the way.
It would be years later when Reverend Colbert was barely 13 years old, when a life-altering
event would take place. After becoming very ill during school, she was rushed to the hospital with increasing breathing
and swallowing difficulty, and simultaneous ascending and descending paralysis. Within hours of being checked in, the
young girl was completely paralyzed and in PICU with very little hope of a diagnosis and ultimate cure.
During the course of the two weeks she was hospitalized, the young girl was hooked
up to a heart monitor, a breathing machine, a catheter tube and numerous other wirings. She never slept for fear she would
die. One evening, the teen felt herself slip into a dreamy state where some interesting things occurred. Benae saw her maternal
grandfather, "Paw-Paw Lee", running out in the pasture of the small farm her grandparents lived at during her early youth.
Paw-Paw yelled for Benae, whom he called "Sugarfoot", to come join him and help feed the cows. Knowing what fun she'd had
as a small girl doing just that, she followed with verve, running and skipping on the same legs that held her
captive to her hospital bed.
Suddenly, the area around the pasture became darker and the sun became crisp and detailed,
causing an almost magnetic pull to the bright beacon. Benae heard her Paw-Paw in the distance telling her to come on,
but heard her mother calling her name to come back to the house. She told her Paw-Paw that she couldn't come with him and
needed to go home. He said okay and that he'd go ahead without her, but told her he loved her, something she never heard from
him as a child.
The youth then awoke with a start, noticing about 6 medical professionals hovering around
her, one fellow with some "irons" in his hands. As it had turned out, her heart had stopped and the PICU team used the
defibrillator to induce the organ back to life. One of the nurses were overheard saying the young girl was out for
at least 2 minutes and that they were suprised they got her back.
Miraculously, the young girl began to get better the next day, the feeling coming back
into her arms and legs, and showing enough pulse oxygen (blood gas) to breathe on her own. They transferred her to a regular
room, began physical therapy, and the teen was able to go home within a few days. What was waiting for her at home was not
the best of tidings, in contrast to her recent ordeal. Her mother gave her the sad news that her beloved Paw-Paw had
passed away while she was hospitalized and didn't want to tell the girl while she was ill.
It was a few years later at around 16 years old when the youth put two and two together
and realized what she had experienced. She asked her mom when her Paw-Paw died, and found out it was the exact time she had
gone into cardiac arrest, and was having her "dream". Needless to say, what this young girl experienced was nothing less than
a miracle. But adding this near-death experience, and her interaction with her passing grandfather, Benae was spiritually
impacted with a gift she will honor her entire life: getting to come back.
Along the way, Reverend Colbert has continued to experience these spiritual "passages" in
the form of people and experiences. She has been present at the passing of friends, advised many people spiritually, experienced
a "spiritual lightening bolt" at a religious retreat, and has been assessed with the spiritual gifts of Discerning
of Spirits and Martyrdom. Reverend Colbert is no stranger to grief, loss, abuse, the difficulties and joys of human relationships,
and the general task of living life to its fullest. In the course of her quest for knowledge, Reverend Colbert has
studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, read the Holy Bible, portions of the Talmud, principles of Islam, is
deeply influenced by her Native American traditions in spirituality, and believes that a simple life is the key to happiness.
And being quite the outspoken woman, she'll always tell you her thoughts on any matter, which are usually quite interesting.
(She gets that spunk from her parents, and from her clairvoyant grandmother for whom she is named.)
Around 1994, Benae was invited to a commitment ceremony in Austin, Texas through some friends. She did not
know the couple, but was forever changed by the experience. The ceremony was performed by a Native American shaman-priestess
who was bedecked in colorful traditional robes and associated accoutrement. It was a non-traditional rite using the "hand-fasting"
aspect, inviting the attendees to stand in a circle around the couple and hold a rope made of every color of the rainbow which
was then connected to the betrothed. The shaman-priestess then conducted the ceremony to a teary-eyed backyard congregation,
joining two souls in love and life in a way in which Reverend Colbert had never known.
It was at that time that Reverend Colbert secretly wished she could do the same for people, and has since
made her wishes come true.
Reverend Benae currently resides in Austin, Texas with her spouse and their 6 furry kids: Xena, Eli,
Taco, Kirby, Tux and T.J. An online marketing expert by day, her ceremonial ministry is a part-time joy that she hopes
to build and continue into retirement.