I was raised till seven years old, by parents who did the best that they could, until their drug habit took control of their lives. But while they were healthy, they taught me by public expressions of love for each other, a passion for life, how to dream and hope for a better future. Thankfully, my father’s parents stepped in and after it was apparent that they had chosen drugs over most other things, my grandparents who were a God sent, stepped in.
My grandmother stormed in the house one day and packed up all of my belongings in trash bags. We went to the courthouse and I sat at a small table made for children and explained to the Judge inside his chambers, some of the things I had seen. He even allowed me to draw them out with crayons… I exited the large office and the papers were signed. My new life with my grand parents had begun. I quickly went from Christian private school, to public school. But the change made me feel like God cared and knew my individual name.
My grandparents were the Deacon and Deaconess at the church, and this change came with a boat load of new rules. I had to memorize bible verses and help cook for and clean the church on Saturday’s. But the love was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. My Grandfather was a very large and hardworking man who had his own trash collection business, ran with 2 trucks, off a 6th grade education. He was one of 12 children, and I was the apple of his eye! My grandmother, was a hard working woman, who only had a 9th grade education, actually worked at AT&T as a switchboard operator.
She was 1 of 9 children and had such a mandate on life. And she refused to live below the standard that God had promised her and lived, loved, and forgave everyone according to the same promises of God. She was Holy Ghost filled and taught me the importance of praying out loud, memorizing scripture and dedicating time for intimate worship for God. Grandaddy exemplified for me what a real man was. And Grandmamma (who I call Mamma), taught me how to: live as a Christian woman; how to be a submissive and Holy wife; how to be a powerful prayer warrior that prayed God’s promises back to him and she taught me how to even die. I am what I am today, because of the 4 of them!
After receiving salvation at an early age, I backslid. And after years of playing with fire (as my Mamma would say), I became a teen mom at 15. My grandparents helped me with all that they had and my son wanted for nothing. I decided that me acting like Mamma, for men that weren't acting like my daddy wasn’t getting me anywhere. I got tired of doing things my way and decided to do things God way. I re-dedicated my life at 19 and became abstinent until 23. I decided to re-train my thinking and declared, Lord I’m going to hang on to You, until you bless me! I then met a man at a Christian Coffee House and within 30 day’s he had purposed marriage. 9 months later we were married. He joined church, got baptized and dedicated his life to Christ. He went to church the first 7 years, but never really became disciplined or gave up particular habits in his life. But for years he gave me his best and it became my honor to become the wife to him that had been exemplified to me for so many years. I fasted for him every Thursday and dedicated my spare time to marriage ministry for over 10 years.
After 13 years of marriage, he had drifted further and further away from what God had called him to be. And one evening in October of 2015, after refusing the pleadings of his help, he insisted on walking in his own wrath and his life was cut short at the end of an meaningless argument, by his senseless murder that could have easily been avoided. I often say that it was the worse beautiful tragedy of my existence. I saw myself at the worse depths of misery of my entire life. The essence of what I had prided myself to be (a wife) was obliterated on the weight of 5 ‘.45’ caliber bullets. What I thought was a fight for my life, became a fight for: my salvation; my sanity; my salvation; my calling; my belief’s and my strength and my will to live! Murder is such a vile act, that it forced me to fight daily, just to remain what Bill and Sarah Jackson raised so many years ago… I was broken apart like a glass porcelain plate, shattered on the concreate and put back together by the Master! To be re-constructed entirely whole and the old crack lines became beautiful ornamental scars, that are reminders of His healing power and goodness. God put me back together different, but stronger and more beautiful than I was before!
But after professional counseling, considerable prayer (once I could pray again), sewing into my healing through the Kingdom and dedicated time to working at the church, I learned that my calling as a wife was not attached to the person who was taken. I studied spiritual callings and started working for finding the essence of who God had created me to be and how I was supposed to impact the world. I held onto the promises that Jesus came that I might have life, and have that life more abundantly!
After doing the necessary work to become whole again… One day at work while talking to a co-worker on lunch, while sitting in the breakroom at work, I met my future! While washing his dishes at the sink, no one knew the friendship that was about to be sparked, on the introduction of a couple harmless jokes. Clifton Dozier introduced himself and soon offered his friendship, while I still had many hard days ahead of me. A year went by of completely neutral and platonic hanging out sessions: enjoying of movies; live music and good food, when I had made it past my worst days of murder trials and began walking the path to forgiveness and restoration that our friendship changed. Quickly God healed the individual chambers of my heart, by showing me an honorable man that was capable of being attentive and careful with my heart, as God finished His open heart surgery. Soon we found ourselves in counseling to work through our individual traumas and our love banks began to enlarge. We did the work and God added the increase. Till God allowed me to walk in my calling as wife again, and to flex my super power of showing genuine effort in love. We were married on June 5th 2021 and God has continued to Bless our efforts. And the best part is, I know the work He did in me, He can do in anyone!
I pray you Healing, Wholeness and Love!!