That's the reason you're here anyway, right?
There are some things that happened to me and things that I saw that I couldn't believe were happening to ME! I willingly went to church every Sunday; I was obedient to my parents. They raised me right. Why was I going through so much turmoil?? For over 16 years my parents were together, they would never get a divorce. My family is tough and healthy; they'll live for a long time! God provides so I'll never get behind on bills. I'm Deaundra; bad things don't happen to me.
Who did I think I was? What made me think that I was exempt from trials, pain, losses, and disappointments? God sure showed me. Right around 16, my cushy little life shifted! My parents divorced after 17 years and I could not believe it. If someone asked me what was my first heartbreak. My parents' divorce would be it. I was 15 and I was on Summer Break. I thought my life was over. I would stay in my room and cry all day. I called friends on the phone but they didn't understand because either they grew up in a single-parent home or their parents were still together. No one wanted to hear about my parents getting a divorce so as soon as they hit me with a "I'll call you back." I would hang up and cry some more. I remember going into my room one day and seeing yellow Kleenex tissues everywhere. One song in particular encouraged me during my roughest days. It was, "Peace in the Midst of the Storm" performed by Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson. It was like someone had died. I felt resentment, anger, and depression. I needed peace. I hated leaving my house... my room... my bed! At 15! I placed blame on my parents, but never understanding that life happens. I prayed and prayed.
It was after midnight on 06/22/2005, my mom and I were riding to pick up my cousin to help her move some things into her new apartment and we got a call from my Aunt Deedee and all I could hear was screaming in the background. My aunt said that our 14-year-old friend had been shot and killed in front of his house. He had been stabbed a year prior. She was trying to console his older sister. We arrived to the scene and there he was with a hole in his head and blood all around him. Who did this? Why wasn't he covered? Why are the paramedics just standing around? Do something!! Save him! Those were the thoughts that ran through my 15 year old brain. He was only 14. He was my cousin's best friend and we all would hang out at my grandma's. Why is this happening? I couldn't rid my brain of the visual. Along with the grief from the divorce, I had nightmares for months; eventually, I would just stop sleeping.
I started the 10th grade in the fall as a totally different teenager. The summer took me through a bit of a BEATING and my teachers who knew me prior to that didn't like it. My attitude was different. I joined the Dougherty High Chorale and got a job and they gave me plenty to do. I grew and I slowly healed. That was the school year my dad got me a car and taught me how to drive. I had a good school year. I was just a kid but I knew in my heart to reverence God for the healing. I triumphed over the enemy who wanted to devour me with depression!
Maybe a week before my 18th birthday, I was getting off work and I wanted to visit my grandma's house like I would do sometimes after work, but I was tired so I went home instead. I was on the phone and my best friend started to beep in on the other end. I answered. She said,
"Please tell me it's not true that Pig was shot!"
"Wait, what? Girl no, they must be talking about someone else."
I called my mom to be sure although I just knew it wasn't true. She was panicking telling me to meet her at the hospital. I woke my dad screaming, “DAD, Pig was shot!” We got dressed, picked up my best friend and drove to the hospital. They had us in one of those rooms in which they delivered bad news to families. We were terrified. He was shot 5 times in my grandma's yard. Of course, here we go again... "Who did this? My cousin doesn't bother people. He goes to school, he's in the band, he's a great student and everyone loves him. Why would they do this to him?" My family is dear to me and when they hurt, I hurt. My cousin was in pain and I couldn't even see him. Pig and I are two weeks a part. Only a couple of years prior my Aunt Deedee was holding our friend's sister and now we're holding her and praying that Pig would pull through this. We left the hospital when he was stable. I woke up the next morning to visit him but they wouldn't let me in saying that too many people were back already. I went to school bombed. It was senior year and I needed to be there. You know how when you're barely holding it together and that one person hears the news and comes and put a hand on your shoulder and the complete bottom falls from under your emotions? Yeah, that happened. She said, "OMG Dee, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. Is he okay?" I lost it and broke in the middle of the hall way. One of my close friends walked me to the restroom and she tried to help saying, "Dee please... I don't know what to do. I've never seen you like his before." I could not stop crying because I honestly didn't know if he was okay. I just needed to see him. So, of course, I left school that day and went to my grandma's, my best friend met me there. The news reporter was there too. I eventually got to visit him. He was in good spirits but he could barely move. The bullets barely missed vital organs. I remember my grandma praying the alter call that following Sunday and she was pleading with God to heal him and to strengthen him. She thanked God for his life. He recovered quicker than expected. I praise God for him often, even now, over 10 years later. God is good.
I graduated high school and everything seemed to be going perfectly in my life after a few years of ups and downs. I was in love and achieving goals. I started a new job at the end of 2008. I was 19. So of course, I figured it was only right that I moved out of my dad's house and get an apartment with my boyfriend of two years. We were happy for a hot 5 months before things changed. We were young, he wasn't done partying and I wasn't having that. I moved out and got an apartment with my nieces. That lasted for less than a year. Things just couldn't get right. My sister had a stroke at 29 and her health began to fail rapidly and the doctors were shaking their heads regarding her.
Year after year, disappointment after disappointment, issue after issue... WHAT NEXT? I decided to move in with my mommy because I was done adulting. I was 20-years-old and life was not treating me right. I thought I was an adult because I had passed 18. I had no clue. My priorities were not in line. By this time, Daddy has passed the torch and I was paying my own car note and I preferred shopping over that bill. One night, my then "dude" was visiting me and called and said, "Man, they got your car." I jumped out of my bed like a whole ninja. Lol. I was probably about 2 months behind. What was I thinking? I needed a couple of grand including fees to get my car back. I was ALMOST done paying it off, how could I have been so stupid? Where was I going to get over $2000? I tried everything. Loans, DENIED. I tried borrowing from people I knew, DENIED. I finally broke down and called my brother (who's a US Airman) to tell him. I knew I would hear how dumb it was for me to not pay my car note. He didn't beat me up about it. He said he would check and call me back. He sent me $1300! I couldn't believe it. I got my car back and started paying my brother back immediately until I lost my job due to attendance issues. Now that I'm telling this story, I realize just how immature I really was. I'm reading it back as if someone else did these things and having to remind me that "No fool, that's ALL you!" LOL. Anyway, I was barely going to work and would just leave whenever I felt like it. So here I am, right before Christmas of 2011. Unemployed. Hmmm... So how am I going to finish paying this car off, put in gas, and pay the insurance? My brother was not looking for the money back but I wanted to be sure to pay him back but how will I do that now? These are all things that I didn't consider until it was too late. The guy I was seeing at the time and I barely got along most times but he helped by paying my car note and phone bill when he could, my mom and dad would help me with gas and food. I was unemployed for 5 months. I received rejection after rejection. I slept most days, Pandora radio played. I did have time to get to know Jesus better and I was able to build my relationship with Him. A fellow church member introduced me to the owner of a small car dealer who needed a receptionist. I was hired on there. I had to grow up. I grew tired of the same cycles and going through trials that I created for myself. I caught my bills up and found my purpose. I was tired of living for everyone else and trying to fit in with what everyone else was doing. I began breaking the soul-ties that had me bound. A few months prior I had written a prayer list and I started praying on it every day, it included finding my soulmate. I misplaced it after a couple of months.
I began a friendship with a drummer I met at my mom's back in March of 2012. He seemed interesting and I was intrigued so I sent him my number in May. I didn't want anything from him other than friendship but previously we were both in relationships. At first, we would talk here and there. Then, you couldn't keep us off the phone. He understood me and he let me talk. It wasn't all about him. We started praying together and then he told me he loved me. I was in love but I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND OF LOVE. I honestly feared love. I was a tad bit broken and he knew that. He was so gentle and so patient with me. We both had done it wrong so many times and for so long that we handled this new thing with much care. I'm falling in love all over again just writing about it. We decided on July 17, 2012 to take a chance on each other. The best decision I have ever made was marrying Antonio D. Bonner on 12/31/2012. I gave birth to our son on 10/23/2014. Life was just beautiful.
Along the way, I have lost people I love. I have experienced disappoints and some amazing triumphs! Regardless of what I have done or experienced, I've grown and loved harder. My relationship with Christ is stronger. He has sustained me. I realize that I am not exempt from trials and life's turmoil. As a matter of fact, who am I not to go through? Why not me? I am now grown enough to give God glory for my story.