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  1. On July 25, 2009 my daughter and I struggled with an immense amount of pain. Her father, the love of my life for twenty years had been killed on his motorcycle. He was going down the road and a drunk driver pulled out in front him. He had no time to stop or avoid impact and t-boned the passenger side door. He was thrown from his motorcycle and landed several feet away on the asphalt highway. He broke every bone in his body, lost almost every drop of blood and suffered a major head injury that left him with inactivity. The doctors tried but could not save him. He had died within hours of the accident. It was the most difficult time in our life. Due to the nature of the incident, an autopsy was performed. We requested the coroner let us know if there were any drugs or alcohol in his body that would have prevented him from stopping. The coroner came back with his report and told us that there were no drugs or alcohol present. Then he told us something that forever changed how I see tragedies. He told us that my husband had lung cancer. He had been a smoker for thirty years and I could recall many times when he would hack and cough and run to the bathroom. My daughter and I had no idea he had cancer. Whether he knew or not, I can't say. If that accident had never happened then he would have lived to suffer with lung cancer. Not only would he have suffered but so would all the people that loved him. I believe it would have been much harder on us. His tragic death that summer night was actually a blessing. He was taken from this earth quickly; he did not suffer. God does work good for those that love him so when I hear of great suffering, I am comforted by this assurance. There is a blessing in the tragedy.
  2. In the fall of 1999, the company I worked for sent me to a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, I was married and had a one year old daughter. I also was in my twelfth year of drug, alcohol, and sex addiction. For over a decade, I had turned my back completely on God. I blamed him for the bad things in my life up to that point and never thanked him for the good things sprinkled throughout. At twenty six years old, I was a complete mess. The first night of the convention several coworkers and I went to a casino after dinner for drinks. We had the same waitress for hours and shortly before midnight, she told me she would get off work soon and did I want to go out with her after. Being the party girl I was at the time, I very quickly said yes. I don't recall much about that night and it is probably for the best. It is the next morning that is etched in my mind so vividly. At 7 am the next day, I awoke on the floor in my hotel room. I was lying on my left side just inside the door in the foyer. The tile floor was cold and hard. My body was numb and for a few moments I thought I was paralyzed. I managed to pull my upper body up and off the floor and pull myself towards the bathroom with my legs dragging limp behind me. This wasn't a hangover. It was something much worse. I pulled myself up using the bathroom counter for support and looked at myself in the mirror. My entire left side from my head to my waist was covered in vomit. At some point while passed out on the floor, I had thrown up on myself. My makeup was running down my face and I barely had on any clothes. Dried up blood was under my nose and even though I was feeling so horrible, I was also thinking about getting high to feel better. What I saw in the mirror that day was not a twenty six year mother and wife; what I saw was a hardened woman, worn out from years of cocaine use. I thought about my baby girl back home in Alabama and wondered if she would grow up with a mother. At the rate I was going, I was going to end up dead. Then the thought hit me that maybe she would be better off without me. My sadness poured out of my body in tears. I couldn't go on any longer. I wanted to die. With the last bit of energy I had, I stumbled into the foyer again and collapsed. I could not stop crying and for the first time since I was thirteen years old, I cried out to God. As I wallowed in my brokenness, I told Jesus everything I had ever done. Each confession bringing forth a convulsion of tears. I left nothing out and bared my soul to the one that knew me best. I begged him to take me right then and there. Death was all I wanted because it was all that I deserved. When finally, I could cry no more, I heard him. Jesus told me to just "breathe". It wasn't a booming, dramatic voice like you hear in the movies but a gently, loving voice giving me the simplest of instructions. For hours, I laid there and did just that; I took a breath, one after another. I told Jesus that I was so sorry for turning my back on him and asked for forgiveness. In between phone calls and knocks at the door that I refused to answer, he comforted me. It was on that day that I finally turned my life over to Jesus. That was twenty years ago and I am forever thankful he did not give me what I deserved but instead gave me his breath of new life.
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