by Rhonda Ellis
I can't say that I had a bad or hard childhood. In fact, I had a good one. I am the youngest of four girls. I had the best parents a girl could ever want. Even as a young girl, I wanted to be a part of something. I was shy and didn't have many friends.
Somewhere my life took a left turn and I wanted to be with the bad girls. They accepted me and it made me feel welcomed and a part of something. As I started junior high school, I started rebelling, and by the end of high school, I was smoking marijuana and seeing guys. Not the good guys, but the bad ones.
My family did not go to church often, and religion of any kind was never pressured upon us. I knew the things I was doing was not good at all; but I kept doing it. I would get involved with guys that treated me horrible; but I thought that was love. I was blind.
I met this one guy and we moved in together. He was very abusive. I was a waitress at this time. He beat me. I remember going to work with broken fingers and black eyes all the time. It was hopeless and I was at my bottom. I did not know God. I mean I know that there was a God; but I had no idea how to reach out to him. The relationship went on and the abuse got worse.
My mother lived two hours away at this time. One day, he went to jail for something, and I took the opportunity to leave. I was doing great, had a good job, a new car, and was living the good life. Until one year later, I let him back into my life for one weekend. That is when my life changed forever.
He was an alcoholic and that night in question he was mad because I no longer wanted to move back to Houston. We was together that night and made some stupid mistakes. He ended up committing 16 first-degree felonies. Because I was with him, I got the same charges.
As we were leaving, it was raining. He had lost control and the truck started flipping. I was ejected. He went to jail. I got air-lifted to the hospital. I received a broken neck, my lungs quit, and I had head damage that required surgery. I was in ICU and the doctors told my mother she should plan for my funeral and call the family from out of town. I would not make it.
I was on life support for two weeks, then I began to get stronger. Three months later, I walked out of the hospital. I had to learn to do everything all over again.
The county that I received the charges could not have me because my injuries was too severe. So they let me rehabilitate three years. I got a 17 year sentence. Two days into my sentence in 2010, one day before my birthday, the Chaplin informed me my mother had died. That night, I tried to take my life. That was my rock bottom. I no longer wished to live.
I was contemplating how to do it, then a few seconds later, a guard came and told me someone sent a Bible for me. So, that night, alone in my cell, I cried out to God, and begged for him to help me. He did, and now it's 2016, and I am still walking with him daily.
He has given me meaning to live and I do every day for him. I help others daily. I worship God with everything in me. He has pulled me from the fiery furnace. My life, as I once knew it, no longer exists. I will never live that kind of life anymore. Although I am not sure of all God's plans I am more than confident that he will never let me down.
My life now is no walk in the park. I have to die to myself every day and dedicate my all to Yahweh. My eyes are wide open now and I look forward to starting my new life that awaits me.
Now I know the life I had before was not a life. My life began the moment I cried out to God in that dark, hot cell that night.
I hope my story may bring hope to someone that may be experiencing the life I once knew. Don't wait like I did. Call out to him today. I thank you for your time. Remember: “Forever is real.”