“Character cannot be developed in ease or quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”-Helen Keller
In previous blogs I’ve opened up and shared some negative things I’ve experienced with others in influential positions growing up and through the season during my journey of cleaning the messes up that I’ve been left to clean up over the years. Before I went public with my story I was supported and encouraged in my career I was pursuing. It’s the whole reason I stepped out in faith to finish college paying my own tuition out of my own pocket. But no sooner than I went public with my story when I saw the need for authenticity to help my community understand mental health struggles and addictions, I was no longer supported and was made to feel less than. At that time one check was my rent.
I was also being falsely accused of becoming prideful when I shared my struggles with completing college and how I overcame and mastered my accomplishments to encourage others. I’m still trying to process that false accusation against me because I’m far from being prideful. If that were the case I’d keep my stories quiet and keep moving without thinking about the ones who are still stuck in what I came out of, and I would have never even drove to Austin to speak to lawmakers when I didn’t even know what my future looked like. The attacks I have faced going public with my story have been brutal. People even went as far as messing with my livelihood while I watched them give my neighbor FMLA to get her help as I was walking through the battle with her and advocating for her in meetings with her CPS caseworkers. When I say I’ve walked through some brutal attacks, I truly mean I have walked through some brutal attacks.
After facing an unknown future because many started messing with my livelihood when they realized I wasn’t going to remain silent, I turned to a mega church that proclaims Jesus was for this city and I asked for help. That was very humbling for me because I didn’t spend over $10k out of my own pocket to be facing homelessness once again since people didn’t like me being so transparent about my life of past abuse, addictions, homelessness, and poverty. Instead of receiving help from this church I gave my time and money to sacrificially, I was referred to work for their homeless outreach provider making $10 an hour and working random hours that didn’t even cover a dent of my rent. I was on the verge of becoming homeless myself but out of desperation I took what I could get just to feed my kids. Talk about a deep blow to the gut. I just exposed myself and transparencies to help a community that still battled so many drug addiction cases and to help kids and their families overcome what I’ve been through and they turned a blind eye while I served the homeless as I was also on the verge of being homeless? Yep, I’m still trying to process that one too.
When COVID hit and now our Texas blizzard, I was prepared to walk back through the unknown because I had just spent several more years prior preparing for disasters. I lived through one personal disaster to the next all because I went public with my story. The difference between me and the disasters- I didn’t have anyone offering rental and utility assistance. Instead, I had to turn to my credit cards just to pay bills. I get the struggle y’all…
Through everything I just shared I turned to my faith and pressed into Jesus while I processed the disasters I faced behind closed doors. I cried out and He heard me because He gently reminded me that I needed to finish what I started despite what my present circumstances looked like. So, in the summer of 2019 when I honestly didn’t know what me and my kids’ future looked like because of all the attacks I faced, My Innocence Was Stolen was finally completed in less than two weeks and I completed my first book not knowing what tomorrow and the days ahead looked like. Without hesitation my manuscript was accepted for publishing and I was able to leave a written legacy for those who are battling what I’ve made it out of.
Although I’m still on my journey processing and accepting my previous losses, I have truly learned what perseverance is all about and absolutely nothing we face is worth giving up. To those who are contemplating suicide, let me encourage you to keep going. Your pain and suffering is just a season, so I’ve opened myself up more in this blog to give you that hope in your season because this too shall pass.