Testimony of Susan J. Decuir

Spiraling downward through a tunnel at the speed of light where there was no light, I cried out to God - grasping, hoping, praying there was a God as darkness pulled me into its inky depths, gripping me with a terror I'd never known. With what little optimism I had left, I determined; if I wake up tomorrow and I'm not in Hell, I have to find out if there is a God.

A blazing Texas sunrise filtered through the curtains, waking me abruptly, my head pounding. I forced myself to get up then slowly edged my way to the kitchen to start a pot of strong coffee. The odor of dry vomit on my hair sickened me, a grim reminder of the escapades that had led to the terrifying near death experience. I pulled my waist-length brunette mane into a ponytail. I'll shower as soon as I medicate myself with coffee, I thought, thankful to be alive and not in Hell.

I downed a cup of strong coffee then stepped into the steamy shower. Soothing water covered me outside; shame flowed through my insides. Though I scrubbed vigorously, dusted myself with floral scented bath powder and drenched myself with perfume - I still felt dirty.

Divorced at age twenty-seven after nearly ten years of marriage, I struggled to make ends meet for my son, Mark, and me. I spent five and a half years in rebellion, bitter over my failed marriage, going from one boyfriend to another, looking for love until I found a man who wanted to marry me. I began having second thoughts about marrying him. His four children and his mom and dad lived with him. My son didn't get along with any of them. Then I learned his mom would decide the carpet color, etc. in the home we were buying. What was I thinking? I had the diamond ring examined by a jeweler, and as I suspected, it was as fake as the relationship.

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