Religious Journey, seventeen years ago back  in the 90’s was a horrible  time for me , I was truly lost to myself and my family.  In my world drugs ruled everything and almost everybody.  It was a time when my self-confidence as well as my self-respect were at its lowest point.  I was struggling with drug addition while trying to raise my sons and hold on to a relationship and maintain my job.  I had relapsed and ended up  at my mother’s church in the prayer line.  I recall one of the Mothers of the church praying over me.  This was a Sanctified Church that she belonged to so they were speaking in “tongue”. So I didn’t know what she was saying.   She had been praying over me for about five minutes when she turned to my older sister who was also praying and said ” The lord said she must come to him by her name”.  My sister said her name is Lorraine, the Mother said” no”, by her birth name, which my sister then said Viola Anderson.  Now I did hear her say Lorraine a couple of times while she was praying but never did I expect for her to say that.  It was so much commotion going on, praying and clapping, praising, and through it all I kept hearing her say ” she must come to me by her  name.  How would this woman know that Lorraine was not my birth name?  This is the name I go by in the streets, this is the name my family uses, I’m only Viola at work or for business.  But what I know for sure is what she said, she must come to me by birth  name.  That was the first time during these terrible  years I felt safe.  I felt as though these people had been waiting for me, waiting to help me get off this dreadful road I was on.  This was the first time I felt a personal connection with my Lord whom I do call Jesus Christ.  That there was a higher power that was greater than myself.    That I would not be judge by what I had done, that I would be given the chance to change.  That I was loved by my Lord, that I had during all this time a place to go where people where waiting to help me.  That I was worthy of happiness and I would be okay.  A couple of days later when talking with a friend of mine, I told her what happened and she said that this was my testimony, and that I should share this  experience with others, and I have.  I slipped once or twice more during those years but I never felt helpless or alone as I had before, this time I felt as though I was a stronger person who was loved and important to not only my family but my Lord and was more than that.   That is what help me put my life on track, feeling like I was more than my circumstances, more than my body size, more than as India Arie says, more than my hair, or my skin.  I was a descendent of Kings and Queens and of powers so much greater than myself, so valuable to many, so I stopped.   I chose instead to become a great mother, a great friend, a great daughter, a great employee, and even a great mate.  I don’t go to church every Sunday but I hold my God close to my heart and I thank him for everything even when I don’t get a parking ticket at work and I should have I yell out thank you Jesus because I feel like he’s still with me helping my out. I get up with these memories daily and that is what keep me going strong.  There you have it my Religious Journey.