Odd title huh? Well, that’s me, I have to be true to myself when I post because that’s where the meat is.
I wanna tell ya’ll a story that’s very personal to me. It’s where my life changed, where I learned the meaning of leaving my comfort zone, and where I learned how to move in blind faith.
Back in 2008, I lived in a house with my hubby’s best friend and his wife. We had been sharing the house with him before they met and they had recently got married. Well, let’s just say this we did NOT get along. At all…not even a little bit. And it was a miserable experience, depressing for all involved. My husband and I were both unemployed with no prospects of a job and I was at my wit’s end. It was hard.
In the spring of 2008, a young guy my husband was friends with had a cousin visiting. She had just moved back to Chicago from Paris, Tennessee. She was going on and on about how she loved it, how easy it was to get housing and jobs there. I don’t know why that stuck in my mind but every once in a while I kept thinking about us moving to Tennessee. Anyway as the summer approached things just got worse. The house was bootleg as hell, with no furnace we had been heating the house with the stove. Bad Idea! It made the paint in the living room sweat and start to mold. We had mold growing up the walls. Thank goodness I found out that tilex could get rid of it. The lights and gas were on illegally and then the water got cut off. I kid you not we spent the entire summer getting water from the neighbors’ house in a tote. I had never lived like this in my life and it was so frustrating. I kept hearing move to Tennessee but I was afraid so I ignore it.
I remember sitting on the porch at 5am in the morning with my bible praying to God for something to change. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t listening. But it wasn’t until I almost got into a fight in the church that I realized I need to make a change. My hubby’s best friend’s wife and I almost came to blows in church and I’m telling ya’ll I knew then I had to go. I cried almost every day in secret because I was so miserable. I got up and walked the neighborhood praying for a change. Go to Tennessee I kept hearing it. I started doing some research and calling around to see if we could get housing but I wasn’t getting any answers plus I didn’t have any money. To add insult to injury, I found out I was pregnant. Now I was more determined than ever to get out of that house.
One day I was talking to my grandma and I told her my idea. She got so excited she almost jumped through the phone. Yes Go! she said. Now she didn’t know how bad I was living but she wanted me to get out of Chicago. She told me she would help us with anything we needed. She and my aunt sent us some money. And the cousin who told us about Paris, her mother was going down there to visit and she agreed to take us. Off we went to Camden Tennessee which was a couple of towns away from Paris. Her father took a liking to my hubby and offered him to stay and get a job while I came home to get our stuff and our son. But hubby wasn’t for it, as much as he wanted the job he didn’t want to leave his pregnant wife to take care of everything at home. But he told us we could come back when we were ready. We came back home and made arrangements to come back in a couple of weeks. The mother was moving back down there too. Well, needless to say, she backed out at the last minute. Her father still agreed we could come and stay until we found a place. And I was determined, I mean I was willing to go live with strangers to get out of the house. That should tell you how bad it was. My grandma and aunt sent us more money to live off of until my hubby could find a job, and we got on a bus with seven bags and our 10-year-old son and headed for Tennessee.
Happy ending right ….Hell naw lol. It was craziness from the moment we stepped off the bus. First of all, the mother agreed to get her friend to pick us up from the bus station, turns out she never talked to her. Then the father had went to visit family in another state and wasn’t back. Remember the cousin who told me about Tennessee, she had moved back and was staying there. She was supposed to tell her uncle we were coming. NOPE!!! And to top it all off, his daughter had moved back in the house and she was pregnant too. But he was willing to let us stay until we found a place. Or so we thought. My husband waiting on me hand and foot and I think it made the daughter feel some type of way. Because a few days later, she and her dad went to the store and when they came back he told my husband if the cousin didn’t pay rent by the next day we all had to leave. Now my husband offered him money when we first got there and he turned it down. I was so lost. I remember going in the bathroom and crying out to God to please help us. I knew he didn’t let us get down there to have us come right back home.
Well the next day, the friend that was supposed to pick us up from the bus station decided to help us. She came and got us and brought us to Paris. Her daughter let us stay with her and the next day her boyfriend took my husband out and he got a job. Within a week one of the tenants moved out and the property manager allowed us to rent the apartment. And you would think that was the end of our troubles. Hardly!!
A week after we moved into our apartment I got sick. My blood pressure was high. Because it was a threat to the baby, I had to be transported to a hospital in Jackson, Tennessee that was 50 miles away. We didn’t have a car and my husband accidentally put the cell phone in my purse so I had no way of contacting him either. So there I was in the hospital by myself, husband in another town, family in another state, my blood pressure won’t go down putting a threat on me and my baby. After two days they told me they had to take the baby or we would die. I was barely 7 months pregnant. But the funny thing is, I wasn’t afraid at all. I knew God was gonna see us through it. And a few days later they took my baby girl out. She was born 1 pound 15 ounces. My husband found a cab service that brought him all the way to the hospital and took him back. She was hooked up to all these machines and they told me she would have to be in the hospital for the duration of the time I would have been pregnant which was like three months. But my baby was strong. She was breathing on her own by the time I left the hospital. Since I didn’t have a car I couldn’t see her every day but I came once or twice a week and she would be moved to different spots because she was getting better. When we finally got a car, I was so excited to go see my baby, I didn’t take my hubby’s advice and waited for someone to check the car out before we made that ride. Guess what? 20 miles away from home we stopped at a stop sign and the radiator blew. Ya’ll know he was pissed, we were stranded by a convenience store in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I realized there were still good people in the world. A kind man called the town mechanic, he came and towed the car to his shop and gave us a ride back to Paris. I was crying cause I wanted to see my baby. And my son told me “Ma don’t worry about Dawn she was gonna be alright, she’s gonna come home on Christmas.” And I kid you not they called me on Christmas to tell me I could come and take her home. That was only 6 weeks after she was born and she was 3 pounds and 3 ounces. Fast forward 13 years later she is alive and well and never had any problems medically.
This moment in my life I call Tennessee Faith, it was the lowest I had ever been in my life and I grabbed on to all the faith I had stored up in my body and moved away. It humbled me and taught me resilience, and how to listen to God. He has the final say so. When those doctors told me my baby had a 50/50 chance of living, I held on to the faith that my God wouldn’t let her die. He brought my husband and me close again and showed how we could accomplish anything as long as we work together. Sometimes we have to step out on blind faith and do it. Not question it or give it too much thought because nine times out of ten we will end up talking ourselves out of it. I spent almost 6 months going back and forth with the decision to move and God just keep making my situation more and more uncomfortable. He basically forced my hand. It was the worse and best time in my life. And I am grateful for the experience. I hope this story finds someone at their wit’s end and you grab some Tennessee faith and move.