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Our new friend Bethany…what an inspiration!

Posted by on May 11, 2015

HER STORY. Born in rural eastern Tennessee, raped, pregnant and addicted to drugs by the time she was 14 years old, incarcerated a few years later after a conviction for selling drugs, one would have guessed that she’d pretty well run her course…that any kind of meaningful life was beyond her reach. Well, one would have been wrong. After a six-year stint in prison, she’s truly put her life together. She’s been clean and sober for nine years. She’s a grounded member of Narcotics Anonymous, a born-again Christian, a motivational speaker and happy to have begun a meaningful life of service to others.


Florence and our new friend, Bethany.

MEET BETHANY. Our new friend Bethany just graduated from Tennessee State University and has been accepted into the Masters program at Lipscomb University, a private faith-based Christian school in Nashville. She’ll emerge in a few years ready to become an accredited counselor, and my guess is that she’ll save a lot of lives in that capacity. Saving lives that would otherwise be lost to the devastation of drug addiction.

In the meantime, she’s become a motivational speaker. She finances all this activity and education by working as a server at a local steakhouse and by offering drug counseling to troubled youth. I’m not breaking her anonymity by telling her story. She’s proud of her accomplishments and happy she can serve by speech and example.

MORE THAN JUST LUNCH. What began as nothing more than lunch at a local steakhouse today became a special afternoon. I knew I was going to like Bethany when, just after we were seated, she approached and said, “Hi, Pickles. How are y’all doin’ today?”  No doubt about it, I thought to myself, I’ll be able to joke around with this effervescent young lady and have some fun. Little did I know that within the hour I’d have been impressed and inspired almost to the point of tears. I’m happy we met her. We’ll stay in touch. She and folks like her are the kinds of people I so enjoy meeting on our journey across America.

THANKS, BETHANY. Thanks, Bethany, for making my day. Godspeed.


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