God came to me once. It was my first clear epiphany. And was a hell of a lot louder than your usual woman's intuition or conscious. A voice and vision I couldn’t ignore if I wanted to and have yet to forget.
I was 24 and fresh out of a toxic relationship that should have ended years ago but like most young adults I was beyond hardheaded and had a point to prove; I was grown and you couldn’t tell me anything. My house that once was viewed as the house that would be “our forever” home ached of heartbreak, infidelity, insecurities, and trauma. I masked these feelings with filling the rooms that once were a man cave and a nursery with roommates that were running from their own issues just as much as me with the help from a mix of drugs and hard liquor. We were just having fun or so we thought.
Many days the smoke could be smelled from outside and hangovers would bang like the police at the door trying to serve a warrant. It was the day I decided to mix a new combination of drugs and liquor. I figured my years as a chemical specialist and pharmacy technician would spare me the harsh side effects I saw others have. But oh how I was wrong. The toxic concoction led me to my queen-sized bed and let me drift away in a euphoric state I never felt before.
I saw myself driving down the highway on a bright spring day when my car suddenly drove off the overpass, it was as if it slid on black ice but instead of crashing into the interstate located beneath it, my car tumbled seven times landing on a grassy knoll (which in real life isn’t at that specific location). With a loud boom, all my windows shattered and glass flew everywhere; I closed my eyes fearing the worst. When I finally decided to open my eyes, there wasn’t a scratch on me. I looked around at the shards of glass everywhere, took my seatbelt off making sure to not cut myself on the debris, and stepped out of the car. The cars raced past me as I assessed the scene. Not a tire blown out or scratch on the car outside of the blown windows. In disbelief I hurried and jumped back in the car, the last thing I needed was any type of police problems (even in my dreams). I did a quick “sign of the cross” as I drove back home and went straight to my room.
Before any of my roommates could ask me anything, I closed the door behind me and lay down in shock. Not even five minutes later my phone rang. It was another friend I had no business dealing with but “loyalty” still trumped common sense in my life, even in my elevated state. I heard them tell me about a mission they wanted to go on and I just had to go, without giving me room to mention the car or decline they said they would be on their way in 30 minutes. I sat pondering if I should call them back and tell them I couldn’t go but dismissed it with the notion I was blessed. I opened my closet and began to prep, carefully laying out my possible outfits on my bed playing with shoes and accessories as if an accident just didn’t happen.
Suddenly a blinding light shone through all six of my bedroom windows. My eyes shut close once again, as hard as I tried to open them I couldn’t. The room became warm and suddenly a voice spoke to me and it just had to be the voice of God. Now everyone thinks the voice of God sounds like Morgan Freeman but on this occasion he sounded familiar, like an elder from Louisiana I met when I was a young child.
In the most southern twang his voice blared, “Didn’t I just save you girl?”, I attempted to answer but I couldn’t due to my mouth not being able to formulate the words I would have stammered out trying to save myself from the scolding. “Hush, chile. Should I have just let you die earlier? Was that not enough to make you sit still and examine your ways? Do I need to strip you of everything I have blessed you with, remove your protection from harm and leave you for the wolves to devour?” I stood there mouth still not able to open and eyes only allowing tears to flow.
“This is your warning.” The lights went out and I awoke from my trance. Tears still flowing from my eyes, my body shaking. I went to my windows to see if evidence of the light was anywhere to be seen. Then out into the main living areas and asked my roommates if they saw or heard anything, they all looked at me like I was crazy and laughed. I went outside and checked my car, yep it was still there no blown windows or damage. I walked back into the house and sat at the edge of my bed. Was I tripping too hard or did I really just talk to God?
Either way, I wasn’t going to play with it. At that moment I decided that would be the last day that I touched any drug. I told my roommates and they laughed even harder than before. I text and called all my other friends and invited them over. Every piece of drug prescription or other was given away that night. The idea of indulging one last time wasn’t even appealing to me, the feeling of the vision remained with me as I watched the debauchery of my final house party. Questions of “are you serious?” were spoken all night as I became more and more turned off from the lifestyle.
The following days I began to pray consistently and detached myself from my now old lifestyle. Calls to hang out or inquires about just having a “little taste” of a new batch of pills or strain of marijuana were made to test my will. Eventually, I either completely pulled away from them or they just stopped trying to influence me. A certain type of light and energy began to attach to me, which most people couldn’t put their finger on it but I knew what it was; my newfound sobriety and inner peace.
My friend that made the phone call during my trance still stayed connected to me; remember that part about loyalty I mentioned earlier. They respected my stance and would check in periodically to see if I wanted to step out just because. After one of our conversations catching up I saw them but this time I was dreaming.
We had a house together in a different neighborhood and talked in the living room before they headed out of the house to make a quick run. I began to cook, as they should have been returning home soon when an overwhelming pain brought me to the ground. I lay there holding my stomach and began to cry out in pain. I knew they were shot and could see them stretched out in the street in the same exact position that I layed in. I woke up holding my stomach and instantly called them.
They answered and listened attentively but laughed it off, reassuring me they were and would be fine. Over the next few weeks, an air of change flowed through them. This was the first time in years I heard them talk about getting out, forming goals and making legit plans for their future. Maybe they were taking heed to the dream. I had faith they could make the crossover like me until I got that call. The call we all dread when we have a friend or loved one wrapped up into street life.
As I listened to the details of the how and where my mouth dropped. It was exactly as I saw in my dream. I didn’t know what or how to feel. Why would God save me and not them? Why give me the vision of such a nightmare? It made no sense to me. I sat in the darkness trying to make sense of it all.
Jacquelyn Randle is the founder and head editor at C & E Reflections Inc publishing company. She has been writing since her youth and launched C & E to amplify women and people of colors voices. She got tired of the narratives being pushed about us because she knows we are so much more than that.