Broken Crayons Still Color
October 2, 2018
1. Thank you for joining Farfromacurse to share your testimony. Please introduce yourself to the viewers and readers and let them know who you are and why you’re joining #TestimonyTuesday :)
Hey guys! I’m Ja’meeka Banks-Price and I’m here to talk about my childhood struggle growing up with one parent on drugs and another on the streets and how God turned everything around!
2. Give the readers/viewers top three interesting facts about you.
a. I learned how to play the violin and the piano by myself.
b. Last year I started training to learn how to fly a noncommercial plane but it’s super expensive to complete. You have to accumulate many hours so it’s going to take a while to acquire the license.
c. I am working towards achieving my dream to becoming a Dentist.
3. So, briefly Ja’meeka tell us about your life growing up.
My life growing up was very hard! I’m originally from New York and I was born to a mother with a cocaine addiction and a father who was a drug dealer. I was subjected to many real life issues like sexual abuse foster care, emotional abuse, trust and abandonment issues, which eventually led me to escalated issues as an adult. I also made poor choices to be in an abusive domestic violence relationship.
4. I understand it wasn’t the easiest to endure those situations. How did it affect you as a teenager?
It affected me greatly. Those issues set the foundation for my upbringing. I had behavioral issues and I was angry. I had issues in school and I grew up feeling as if I wasn’t worth anything. It really affected my self-esteem.
5. You mentioned the foster care system, do you mind sharing your experience through that system?
There are actually some good foster care systems but unfortunately, I was placed in terrible homes. Foster care really changed my trajectory on life because I had the worst experience! I received the most abuse through foster care. My first foster mother used to lock my older sister and me in closets. The following foster family neglected my well-being, which resulted in molestation. Overall, the foster care experience left me as an abused child.
6. Did you ever have any hope for a brighter future?
Honestly, no. I did not think I was loved or anybody cared about me. I didn’t think my life mattered and I felt like trash. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why I was going through all of this. I didn’t have a say so in any bad thing that happened to me and I didn’t have the means to protect myself. Therefore, as I got older, I had no sense of self-value, which showed in everything I did. I would constantly get in fights and occasionally steal cars, I didn’t care if I was in trouble. I was so reckless and I didn’t care if I went to jail. I didn’t care about what happened to my life. This nasty attitude sent me to someone’s jail cell.
7. Wow! Talk about your experience in jail
Jail is terrible, it’s literally a hole in the wall with a sorry excuse for a bedroom. I was given three nasty meals a day, it’s very cold and lonely in there. I was so reckless, I even got in trouble in jail. I would constantly get into fights and they ended up putting me on admin segregation. It’s another word for isolation, so you’re not allowed to mingle with other inmates. I needed to be there despite all of the trouble. My final time in jail was the pivotal mark in my life that changed me for the better.
8. Oh, wow. Please talk about that moment of change.
Prior to me going to jail for an assault and other charges, my relationship with my mother was nonexistent. Ironically, the last time I was in jail she started visiting me. We had a life changing conversation. I remember her asking me why I was getting in trouble and keep going to jail. My response was, “You’re on drugs and you weren’t there for me plus you abandoned me!” I remember listing all of the bad things that happened to me due to her non-existence. When I was done, she stood and starred at me and said, with her exact words, “Ja’meeka, I am not a crack head anymore.” I was shook! We continued to discuss further and at that point I realized my mom had been clean for almost a year! That’s when realized the excuse I had no longer existed.
9. What changes occurred after that conversation?
Immediately after her visit, I returned to my jail cell, I reflected on my life, and I decided to move towards change. I couldn’t believe my mother gave me the first example of change being possible. While in jail, I decided to get my GED. I’ve always been smart but I never applied myself in high school. I truly came up with a plan to do better once I got out of jail.
10. Tell us about getting out of jail and the life you decided to live moving forward.
When I got out of jail, I found a new sense of self-worth, hope and faith. After obtaining my GED, Idecided to go further with my education. I started looking at schools and I was determined to figure out what I actually wanted to be in life. I decided to go with nursing and I absolutely hated it!! Lol but I still finished as an LPN (License Practical Nurse.) I was making strides to give myself a better life but I still found myself broken. Nevertheless, God delivered me from all of that!
11. How do you attribute this testimony to God coming through for you?
When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I realize that God had his hands on my life from the very beginning. Every time I look-back, I realize I could’ve died a long time ago because some people just don’t make it from what I’ve been through. Some people are still held captive by their negative life experiences. I’m so grateful God has definitely made a way to where I’m not a victim but a living victor! I realized God was real when I witnessed what he did for my mother. Her healing was for her but it was also for me. He truly delivered her from addiction. Which was something I prayed for my entire life! He listened to me even when I didn’t know how to pray. She’s currently been free since 2005, that’s when I realized He was real!!!
12. Where are you now?
I am married with two beautiful children. I am a sophomore at Clayton State University. I am working towards receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene and Health Care Management. I am pursuing my passion to fulfill my aspiration to become a Dentist! I’m a Sunday school teacher at my church, Word of Faith, and I’m also a frequent volunteer in the community. I am in amazing organization called Adjust Your Crown Mentoring! I am so excited about my first event coming up where I will be throwing a nice shopping experience for troubled teens. I was also an Honoree for a Domestic Violence Survivor organization. On top of all of this, I am closer to God than I’ve ever been my entire life. I feel like I’m walking in my purpose and He’s showed me that everything I’ve been through was for a reason because now I help people who are going through the similar situation I endured.
13. Lastly, any advice to give anyone feeling like they are stuck in their situation and everything is going down hill and they feel like they’ll never get out?
To anybody that has gone through any of the things I've been through, which my list consists of domestic violence, rape, molestation, physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse, abandonment issues, physical violence, you name it, my advice and encouragement to anyone experiencing any of these things is, you are not your circumstances. God has not forgotten about you and He has His hands on your life. He can and will deliver you from whatever you may be going through. I am walking proof and my mom is too. Just know that God got you and hold on to any encouraging words anyone tells you. Remember you are special and you're enough! You can be the person God has called you to be. You don't have to be the victim, you can be the victor God has ordained you to be. I am a walking victor! He turned me from a victim to a victor. He turned my trials and tribulations into a testimony! If He can do it for me, I know He can do it for you! So, for anyone going through the struggle or hardship, please keep pushing. It is worth the walk and going through the fire to let God polish you to help others. Everything I've been through has been to help others. He has molded me to walk in that and now I finally understand that broken crayons still color.
Father Lord, I thank you for Ja'Meeka. I thank you for allowing us to be together to enjoy each others company and for me to be able to have this recording. Lord bless her life and family, including her father and her mother. I pray for forgiveness.... Lord help us to forgive others and to live a life of forgiveness and to not treat others the way they treat us. I want to pray for any other brokenness that Ja'Meeka may be feeling. Heal her family and break every generational curse. I pray for anyone reading this will be healed from whatever they're going through. I pray you will lead them to the right people and places so that they will see you in every situation. I pray they understand that all things works together for your good and I want to pray that this testimony will bless everyone that needs it. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Check out the video below if interested in watching the interview :) Hope you enjoy!
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Until next time...