Saturday, January 19, 2008

testimony part 2

I was seeing a guy in Florida so I packed my car up and headed to Florida to look for a job and place to live. I had been there a few weeks and my brother told me he was going home for the summer. He had been in collage in Mississippi. As much as I thought I would never go back to Prairieville, all I wanted was to go home so with my car still packed, I headed home for what I thought would be a long weekend.

My siblings and I had such a good time, I wound up staying. I even took a job that was to last a few weeks. I still intended on going back to Florida mainly for the beach, not the guy. But for now I was having fun. Then on June 13th, I got a phone call that my brother had been in an accident. He was dead at 19. My brother was everybody's favorite and loved life and had so much going for him. I was SO angry it was him and not me. Alcohol was no longer enough to deal with this kind of pain.

I sent for the things I had left in Florida knowing I once again had to step up and take responsibility for my family here. I took a job in a local club as a stripper and when drugs were offered, this time I had no reason to refuse. My pit just kept getting deeper. One night after a shift at the club, a co worker and I went out looking for our drug of choice. The dealer we found liked me and gave us a deal. He also started coming to the club I worked at and soon we hooked up. I had a regular that spent lots of money at the club I worked for and one night he was a little annoyed I was not drinking enough. I never drank much if at all while working but that was not good for the club because they made money off men buying me drinks. I was given a hard time and figured what was the harm in a few drinks so I gave in. They got me so drunk I did not even protest when the customer wanted to take me home. We did so much coke that night I remember being awake for days trying to come down. I was so mad the club sent me home with this guy! That was supposed to be against policy. I was told if the customer pays enough, they would let them do whatever they wanted. I quit that day.

I also decided I needed to sober up because I was way more out of control than I wanted to be. I even decided to get a more respectable job, even if it meant min. wage. 2 weeks later I had another kink in my plan. I was pregnant. I was so thrilled! I had always wanted children and now I had a reason to stay sober and I immedeitly told God I was sorry and I would be good and thank you for my baby. For the first time, I had a reason to live. Not an easy one though. I was not married and the baby was for a black man. Every single person in my family except my 16 year old sister disowned me. I lost my min. wage job because I had no medical coverage to see a Dr. and you have to get a Dr.s approval to work during pregnancy. Kenneth was not able to work because his withdrawl was severe and lasted for months. I did not know what else to do so I took over his job and became a drug dealer.

I also started going back to church. I went back to the one that kicked me out. I did not know where else to go. Determined to do things right for my child, I began volunteering and eventually was put in charge of one of the church ministries and was even offered a staff position. Once Kenneth was able, he began working, like me starting at min. wage and slowly working his way up. We were trying to do what was right and do the family thing and while every day was a struggle, life seemed good.

On August 2nd, I delivered our first daughter. She was stillborn. No reason was ever found for why after a normal, healthy pregnancy, our baby had died. Out of all the hard, dark times I had been through in my life, nothing came close to touching the intensity of the pain I felt from losing my daughter. I feel like I actually shattered. But this time I did NOT run from God.

Kenneth and I eventually married and got pregnant again. I also got kicked out of church again. Same reason, questioning doctrine. I had met a woman at a pg. & infant loss support group and we became best friends. We spent a lot of time together because we both had lost babies and understood each other and one day she invited me to a bible study. I went because I was so broken I was desperate for ANYthing to hold on to. I was pregnant again and when I walked into the bible study, the teacher sees my belly and says, "Oh, todays lesson is just for you!". It was about how sometimes you have to go through labor but the results, like having a baby, make it all worth the struggle. I was so stinkin mad! After the bible study was over I found out when and where they were meeting again and told them I would be back. I planned to go back so I could prove that woman wrong. She obviously had no idea what she was talking about. The second time I went, I do not remember what the lesson was on but hearing the Word of God had done something to me and I was told about having a personal relationship with Christ and that was it. I took hold of my Jesus' Hand and I have not let go since. I was delivered from alcohol when my oldest daughter was about a year old and I even started dancing again while pregnant for my 4th daughter. Only now, I do it for my Savior and realize my beauty is simply a reflection of Him.

Jesus said in John 12:24 unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. It is never easy to experience death, but with Christ, it is always worth it.

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