Would You Believe?

"Would You Believe"?....... Born July 26, 1960 in Austin
Texas, my daddy named me "Joy". He had two boys
and wanted a girl so bad, that when I was born, it brought him so much
happiness, that he named me Joy! Sweet story.....? It changes, drastically!
By the time I was 6 months old, my daddy was in the Arctic Circle
and was given a Hardship Discharge to come home and raise his three
children. My mother had abandoned all three of us. Having two toddlers and
a 6 month old baby was all the hardship any 25 year old young man could
handle. My mother took us to an elderly woman to baby sit us while she
went to look for a job. She never came back and the woman got sick and
had to call an ambulance and the police took us into custody.

The newspaper printed our photo and story to try and find the mother...to no
avail. We were living in Houston then, where most all immidiate family
lived then. My grandma and Aunt Louise went to CPS to pick us up, but
they could only hand us over to parental care at that time. So, here
my dad's life as Mr. Mom begins. It wasn't a common scenerio in the
1960's for children to have a dad as a single parent. He did the best he
could. He went to work for what was known then as "Dresser Atlas
Industries". They had an office in downtown Houston, (known as Dresser Tower),
and a high security building at Westhiemer and Dairy Ashford. I'm not sure
at what location he met Dorothy, but she became my step-mother sometime in the
year 1965 or '66.

Dorothy came from the Rosenburg, Tx area. She was raised on a cotton farm with very harsh
and strict parents. I suppose she was somewhere around 25 years old when she
married my dad, still a virgin and very disciplined and harsh. Which by this
time, we three children we not disciplined much at all and were pretty
well ruined because of the lack of. (single parenting is very hard, I
know, but it can be done correctly and effectively). Needless to
say, I was a very spoiled little girl. Dorothy had probably bitten off
more than she bargained for, but here we go. We never had a good
relationship and year after year until I was around 12 yeard old, I spent my
days in foolishness and my nights in fear. Fear of the dark, fear of
what would happen to me if something ever happened to my daddy and fear
of my brothers not liking me. Fear so gripped my heart, I couldn't even
cry out sometimes and would lay there in bed sweating and

I had always slept with my dad and it wasn't easy getting into a new
routine. Our new routine also included me not running the show and that
was hard to deal with. My parents, like most with both in the workplace,
were not home until 6pm ,or so every evening and our babysitter was my
brothers off and on girlfriend who lived three or four houses down from
us....go figure!

Rebellion came early and easy for me. My dad and
step-mom helped to pioneer Alief, Tx in SW Houston, and living in the
big city didn't help any either. I was a spoiled little girl with a
hard head and a broken heart that no one but God really knew about, and I
didn't know that much about God. I can remember one day, walking on the
road behind my house, contiplating running away from home, as I walked
along, a quiet voice came to mind and said,"I am God", and I said,
"ok", and He said to me, "I want you to know that I love you and I am
watching over you". It brought me much peace and comfort at the moment.
Comfort that didn't last long. Not because He couldn't have made it so, but
because He requires our parents to make it so.

Church was always good and effective to me, but we just didn't go steadily and even
though we were all baptised by the time I was nine, it doesn't do any good if
there is no home-based discipling and training. "Train up a child in the
way he should go....", otherwise it will be "A child left to himself,
brings his mother shame"...

We moved to Willis, Tx in 1972, waiting for my parents house to get
built at Walden on Lake Conroe, in Montgomery, Tx. I am 12 years old by
this time and already smoking cigarettes, thanks to my brothers, and my
dad smoked, but he never showed me how or handed me one. By this time I
had already had exposure to being naked with a boy.

My parents divorced a few short years after we
moved to Walden on Lake Conroe and by this time I was 15, having sex,
smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, a run-a-way, juvenile jail, you could
almost name it, I was either doing it or was headed for doing so. (Here
came the time my dad wished he could change my name, because he
realized he couldn't change me).

By 1976 I was married, 6 months pregnant, and soon to be divorced, but not before
I was already pregnant again. Moved back into my dad's house; I had to adopt my 11 month
old to my first husband's mother in Las Vegas Nevada and my dad sent me to Planned
Parenthood to have an abortion. This would start a series of them as that
became an easy way out of being responsible for my actions. Which I became
to well schooled at.

Now I am 18 years old, divorced, have been on the needle with methamphetamine for two years
already, a baby adopted out, one aborted and years of living hell and foolishness. I was a
prostitute for many years and a needle junky for 20 some odd years (off
and on for over 20 years). My ex-husband, in his Houston apartment, drew up a lethal shot of heroine and died on his bathroom floor. His old friend who had moved from Vegas to
work with him in Houston, bled from every hole in his body. He survived only to be found dead,
draped over his steering wheel, overdosed on cocaine, a few years later, back in Vegas.

In the beginning of my drug use with a needle and methamphetamine, was
an encounter with an old gangster who lived in downtown Houston
He only had one eye from doing an almost lethal shot of heroine years before. I
didn't do heroine, I was only around them who did that used speed to
kick it and would sometimes mix it. I usually ended up being a babysitter
to them. Anyway, I had been clean for quite a while,it was 1986 by now.

I had met Billy and his wife Eddie when I was 16 years old and I was
now 25. Shortly after I returned from an 8 month visit to the Virgin
Islands I ended back up at Billy's (like a dog returning to it's vomit)...
I had done some speed and spent the entire night fixing old antique
(and otherwise), cigarette lighters. I was sitting in the upstairs living
room of the old house and all of a sudden, a man came through the
curtain entry and had a ski mask on, walking in a cat like striding toward me
and said,"Get your head between your knees!" Which I did so instantly!
At first I thought someone was playing around, but it didn't take long
to find out this was for real. As he walked me, holding my hands behind
my back, down the short hallway to the next room, we halted there in
the hallway, my head down. As we paused there, in the doorway, I saw
another man, with a sawed off shotgun, in a cat stance, standing in the
middle of the room, with a ski mask on. It was only for a split second,
but we made eye contact and I immediately put my eyes back on the floor
in front of me. His eyes were piercing, cobalt blue. An image that would
remain in my mind for several months.

They already had Billy and his girlfriend on the floor,(in front of the shot gun),
they layed me to the back of the room. I was tied up with a lamp cord and you could
hear several sets of footprints running all over the house frantically.
The thought came to me about my dad reading in the paper about his
daughter getting blown away in some drug house..... But the strangest thing
was I felt totally safe, there was an awesome calm that came over me
and all of a sudden all I could think about was those blue eyes.... the
mucking job was over now, all of us got free and for the next two
months, all I could think about was those eyes.."Who was that masked
man"?...... I was literally "love-sick" over it and the fact that I knew I
would never get to meet him or ever see him again. (You think that's crazy,
hold on to your seat".

After two months went by, I finally decided to get out and went to visit a girl
who knew Billy and the crowd. When I got there, there were several people there
and not long after I had got there all but one disappeared. In the mean time he
makes a phone call and a little while later, everyone comes back, including two other
guys. As I was walking by the one big guy, I looked at him in the eye,
stopped, and asked,"Have we met somewhere before"? He said "We met
once...briefly". I blew it off and those two new guys took me to a motel
room, where we didn't stay long.

The man I had spoke to, was taking me with him to Conroe from Houston. As we were riding
along, he had a cough, (from cooking meth, which I knew nothing about). I said,"Hey,
I know a guy who was run in on a while back and the guy there had a cough just
like that". (No, it wasn't an Einstein moment, plain stupidity). He
said, "Well, I probably know who did that". Of course, Ms. Brains says,
"No, you wouldn't know, no one know's who did that, not a word on the
street about who did it". (Are you laughing yet?) Anyway, I finally figured it out,
later that night it was the "masked man". Of course I was
so stupid, I was elated, not scared! This guy ended up taking me to
Mexico, on the run from the Federal Government and getting arrested at
the border. I married him in the Oklahoma couty jail, he got 5 and 1/2
years Federal Prison, and I got a hard trip out in the cold. He was
sentenced in 1986, by the time 1990 came around (one year from his release),
I came up pregnant. It would seem like a really bad thing, but little
did I know, at 30, I really wanted this baby, the only problem was, I
wanted it from my husband. Bless his heart, he couldn't have known, nor could I the hell
that would come for the next 5 years. Mike got out a year later, we got
back together and remarried (I divorced him when I got pregnant).

He came home in early 1991, and my entire family was called together in
April of '91 for my dad to tell everyone he was terminally ill with the
fastest killing lung cancer there is. One day, I went to his house
to visit (only one time...) and he sat up on his bed and said, "Joy,
I gave my heart to Jesus the other day, and I feel certain that
when I die I will go to heaven". I told him,"Dad, I never thought you'de
go anywhere else". (We are so deceived without the spirit of God living
in us).

My dad,went to be with the Lord on July 9th of 1991. I was numb through and through.
My dad left and so had all the opportunities to love him and do right by him (and myself & others)...
I was in a great deal of shock and denial. My dad had wrote a little
something to everyone before he died and had his wife Suzie give a copy
to everyone. It had everyone individual good-by on it with a little
something at the bottom addressed to all. To me, he wrote:"Good-by Joy, I
love you. You were a great daughter, I believe that with all my heart,
and don't let anyone tell you any different".
A very important thing I would like to share at this time is, at the
bottom of the page, He asked that everyone would try to get along and
that no one would hold grudges and we would love one another.
case, aside from the influence of drugs. When I walked into the Church, I went to
go in the main sitting area when I saw pictures of my dad in his military uniform
a tux portrait (he was a very handsome man), sitting on the table in front of
the podium. I turned around to walk out (as I had on most all
responsibility), when my husband grabbed me and turned my back around and said,
"You have to do this for him, you have to do this for you". I went in
and sat down, but I kept looking around, restless, as if I was looking
for someone... I was, I was looking for my dad... but he was gone.
Everyone there at his memorial hated me and I knew it. But they don't know
how much I hated myself. It still wasn't over. Mike and I went back
on the run and several more years went by. I know am pregnant with our
first child. Mike is back in prison for a violation and
soon gets out and I am pregnant Lloyd and then immediately with Kimistry.

It's now 1996, June to be exact. We are living in a house on the river in Conroe,
and the Fed's come to our door. Mike and his buddy are taken to jail and I am left there
with his buddies girlfriend and four children. We rock on for about a month or so. I was
arrested for failing to appear on a Grand Jury subpoena and taken
to jail on June 24, 1996. I already knew I was going to be arrested, so
I had John (my 1990 baby) go to stay with his natural dad Jim
The three baby's that were between Mike and I went to friends of Mike's family.
I go to jail and by this time, FINALLY, I am getting really sick and tired of all the rig-a-moroll.

The way of transgressors is hard and I can confirm that to be absolute
truth. My heart was desiring the things of God and I really wanted to
do right. But I got out 30 days after my arrest, planning on doing
right. I went to get only Johnny, because he had to start school. I didn't
have any money,and would have Mike's friends bring the kids down, when I
got the house cleaned up and ready. It never happened that way. I got
my Johnny, we cleaned up the house best we could, got him enrolled in
school, and I got back on just pot at first, then the meth came around,
and sucked me under again.

One morning, I got Johnny on the bus and called him back for a kiss, before he
disappeared off to school. I got in my truck while a guy friend (well, enemy, but it
wasn't a sexual thing, for once in my life), got in a station wagon I had and we drove to
Houston to get some Meth. Johnny was only in school for a half day and by
the time we needed to go get him, we were still in Houston. I called
the school, sent the guy after Johnny in my truck, and by the next
morning no one had showed up yet. I got a ride by a friend to the people
where I was, he drove a wrecker. We got to Conroe, and found Bill,
the guy who "had" my son and my truck. He said Johnny was at a sitter
and the truck was stuck in the woods. He showed us where the truck was
and then he took off running on foot. We got the truck out and I went
home, not knowing what to do, I called the police, and by this time
Johnny had told them who left him out in the woods all night.

Yep! Bill had come and got Johnny and then done some cocaine, flipped out, got
my truck stuck out in the woods somewhere and left Johnny out there all
night. Just walked away and left him there. I didn't know until later,
but he'd run with Johnny in his arms all night, through a creek and
woods and got Johnny all scratched up and wet. So he covered him with his
jacket and left him there. The next morning, Johnny, only 5 years
old, was walking out of woods, crying for his mama and a lady found
him. Carried him to the hospital an CPS was involved then. I knew
nothing until I called the police. They said Johnny was aright and that I
was to come to the police station after a brief visit with him at the
hospital, which I readily agreed to. Well,... they cornered me at the
hospital, the detectives came and drove me to the station. They were very
upset and they told me they were going to take Johnny away from me and I
would never see him again! I told them that if they did that they would
be hurting him more than Bill doing what he did.

But how was I to know that God was the One who was hardening their hearts, to have His
way with me? They arrested me and put me in the holding tank where it
all started to come upon me so heavy I couldn't even breathe. The other
girls (lost souls) in the tank asked if everything was ok? I told them,

"No, my heart is completely broken". Hallelujah!!! FINALLY, JOY
ETERNITY! Hell on earth may even be the cause to bring you to God,
eternal hell is forever seperated from God without a chance for redemption.

Anyway, they moved me to a solitary confinement jail cell. Let me pause
here to give God praise and glory for solitary confinement jail cells!
They put in that "incubator" and when I first woke up in the middle of
the night, I got up off that bunk and looked around in the somewhat
dark cell, could barely lift my hand toward heaven and said, "Jesus, help
me". I didn't know what happened at the time, but peace flooded my
soul. I layed back down, and slept like a baby. When I got up the next
morning, the first thing that happened was God said to me, "You will not
blame anything you do on anyone else ever again". I said, "Yes Sir". Then
He told me to forgive Bill, and I said absolutely! Then He told
me to get a Bible, so I did. When I got the Bible, it looked 10 feet
tall and greek to me without even knowing that's what it was
translated from! So I asked my Father, "Where do I begin, and how do I begin
to understand"? He said to me, "If you will begin, I will give you
understanding". He made that real easy, but it takes obedience on our part.

So here we go, The Creator of Heaven and Earth is living in me, you
know me, filthy, rotten, no good me, Joy. Yep, God Almighty came to live
in me to lead me to His Son, because I called upon His name,from
what,from a broken and contrite heart. Praise be to His holy Name. Now I was
first lead to the Love Chapter, I Cor. 13. That's how I knew I needed
love. Johnny needed love, my other children needed love and without God's
love, in me, it's all in vain.

God kept me in the old Testament for quite some time. But mostly in the
Psalms and Proverbs. Now don't forget, I was just in the Conroe jail
and Waco jail (Federal Charge for contempt of Court, remember?) just one
month prior to this. Ok, now I am concerned for Johnny and am trying to
get out of jail. One day, the phone was rolled down to my cell, and as
I was waiting to hear my Attorney's voice, I heard my Father's voice
say, "You are struggling against me". So I put the phone down and said,
"Father, then I don't even want out of here until You have done whatever
You need to do in me, not just to keep me out of jail, but to keep me
walking in your ways". That wasn't easy to do, but by the spirit in me
now, I knew I could not only trust God, but must trust Him.

One day as we were getting cleaning supplies to clean our cell, I passed by a girls
room that had all kinds of child art in her cell. My heart longed to
hear from Johnny and get something like that from him. Only God
knew! Later that very morning, when mail came, I had a letter from CPS.
It had a picture Johnny had drawn for me, it was a heart, a heart I
tell you, it was colored inside with pretty crayon colors and it was
signed, "I love you mommy, Johnny. You would have thought I won the lottery!
Everyone in solitary thought I was getting released! ha! Better than
that....I was given redemption and was in the beginning stages of
Salvation and Restoration. I was in jail, but being set free. Wow, what an

I had never been so full of peace, felt so free, nor had joy
like this before. Anyway, we are only still in the first two weeks of
being born again, I must get busy, because if I were to recount all the
works of our Lord and the miracles He's performed in my new life "The
whole world couln't contain the books thereof"! Now they are shipping me
off to Waco. Remember those Federal charges? Well, Fed comes first. All
the girls there remembered me from before. It can take quite a while
for the legal process to do their thing, so most of those girls
were still there, (same as Conroe). Only Joy isn't the same! My husband
and I are becoming husband and wife for the first time and weren't even
together. He had given his heart to Jesus almost the same time I did, in
the Belton County Jail.

Ok. So now is where God not only confirms His
Holiness and Love for me through the old Testament and Psalms and
Proverbs, He also fills me with His spirit with the evidence of a new
language. I didn't use it out loud, but boy when I woke up speaking something
very unusual I said, "He did it"! Like a child given a gift from their
Daddy. I was devouring the word every waking second, forsook the t.v.
and every evil work and word. I was as a calf let out from a stall. My
feet were like hind's feet, and I was still behind bars. ha! Imagine the
testimony the Lord established among all these women in both jails,
without me even being aware of that happening! I grew quickly in the
Lord and after my Federal sentencing, 6mo. in Federal prison and a
2500 dollar fine, they were moving me back to Conroe, to face abandonment
charges. But, CPS had already sent me papers stating they voted for
reunification. With me having 6mo. of urinalysis and doing there parenting
classes, etc. Which of course I was very happy about.

So I am consumed in this new relationship I have been given with Jehovah God. I am taken
back to Conroe, and when I arrived, (I had been gone for 3mo.), I was
dragging my bed down the hallway to the cell (no more solitary) and one
of the trusties there, who was in solitary with me three months earlier
said, "Joy, is that you"? And since I couldn't deny it said, "Yeah, who
do you think it is"? This girl was looking at me like I had grown 12
heads and said, with her head cocked sideways, "You don't even look the
same, your glowing"! Of course I looked at her then like she had grown
12 heads and didn't even reply because I didn't know what she
was talking about.

Once I got back to Conroe jail, I was able to attend
the Christian services they provided for the inmates. My main source of
all my joy and pleasure was found in my cell, alone with God every day,
being raised by my Father and taught by the Holy Spirit about Jesus and
both being revealed to me and in me. There is so much more to this
story, because, now, 7 years later, I have my three children back and
Johnny was taken from me, given to his dad in Missouri. I didn't loose
parental rights. My husband ,who only got 7 years is now out as of Feb. 2003,
and I see Johnny every year if possible. I was incarserated a total of
11 months (that's including Fed. and state), the state gave me an
injury charge, with time served in the county jail.

There is sooooo much more to share with you all, I am going to work on a testimony booklet and
get it into the county jails and prisons. God is faithful, God is love
and the only answer to any problem is Jesus Christ and the redemption God has provided through
His sacrifice for all mankind.

Would you Believe? Believe today!

Testimony submitted to the Breadsite. To submit yours click here.