Updated: Sep 25
I am just a small- town girl who dreamed of living in the big city when I was young. My desire and love for the city maximized after I visited New York City. My mama took me there for my fifteenth birthday along with all our other travels; my love for adventure and new cultures I highly enjoyed. My hometown is Verbena, Alabama. Ten Minutes down the road is Clanton, Alabama. The BIG PEACH water tower you may notice while traveling to gulf shores. Exit 205 is a well-known stop by traveling visitors. Peach Park is a known destination located on South I-65. You cannot miss it nor the sign before you land there that says, "Go to church or the devil will get you!" The sign displays a red devil with a pitchfork. I lived in the "bible belt." "The Bible Belt is a region of the Southern United States in which socially conservative Protestant Christianity plays a strong role in society." To simply put it: I was taught Mormons were the weird people who knocked on your door and Pentacostal was the people who danced around "crazy." All other religions were non-existent in my world. I was sheltered from a lot of the evil that exists.
I lived on County Rd 437! That ole' dirt road holds many memories. Back then, homes were left unlocked and stopping by to see family was the norm. You may be thinking "redneck", I prefer southern bell. I lived in the country riding 4-wheelers, playing with my cousins who lived in walking distance, swimming in the pond, fishing, and building fort houses. Not only did I experience country living, but my mama has always been a bit boujee. She shopped in the "city"; I always had the best of everything. Now that I am older and wiser, I cherish those memories when life was simpler. My kids think Alabama is a fun vacation because they enjoy the country! Unfortunately, living in a suburban neighborhood with an HOA policy, 4-wheelers are not allowed. In a perfect world, I would have both. However, I have yet to see a Publix near a large piece of homeowner's property. I am sure it exists- not on my budget!
When I was growing up church was not an option. I knew every Sunday and Wednesday night was church. It was not debatable whether or not I wanted to attend or not. I may be old school, but I believe my faith that was established at a young age is what carried me through my darkest days.
Parents, you may think your child, or you do not need church. I am here to witness to you that had I not had some kind of foundation of faith from childhood I would not be alive today. Do I think you have to attend church to be a saved? No. But as a believer I think fellowship and serving are very important. And serving does not mean only in the church. Have you ever thought about how people who are going through a difficult time want to reach out to people of faith. Because there is power in prayer.
Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
I can remember when I felt my faith had been lost. I challenged everything I once believed. I doubted God. I was angry with God. Even with all my doubts, I remember telling my granny to pray for me. My granny is a woman of faith. She produces all the good fruit. She has always been a peacemaker. When our family would have arguments, she would disappear to another room in the house to pray. When I questioned my faith, I believed in hers. I thought, "God will listen to her. She has access to the heavenly realms."
What am saying? Even when I felt my faith was lost, I believed in hers. I STILL BELIEVED.
When I felt like I was about to die from all the drugs I injected. I prayed. My faith developed as a child helped me come out of my own darkness. Through anger and through tears and through gratitude I have come to realize...I was always speaking to Jesus. And that my friends are what a relationship looks like.
How did I, a sweet, wholesome girl come into so much darkness? I was curious and wanted to experience the world through different lends. Shocker! Not everyone grew up like I did and carried my same beliefs. I slowly drifted away. The deception began from numbing out anything that caused me discomfort or pain.
When I transitioned from my home to my own apartment freedom came! I lived in Montgomery, Alabama where I attended school at Faulkner University. I never partied in high school so the new city for me was exciting, electrifying. At the time, I was very responsible and very cautious. Drinking was not really on my agenda UNTIL after about two years. My social life went from partying with college students to partying with people a decade and older. I am an old soul and have always connected with more mature people. I met Grammy, who I have spoken of in past posts. I was not like all the other students; I hung out with the socialites. I attended charity events and drank with the best of them. I did not attend many nightclubs. I preferred my own watering hole with Grammy. Where alcohol, pain pills, and cocaine was always abundant. I maintained or began to manage my consumption. Afterall, I worked a lot and attended school full time.