I entered the world fighting for survival--and the trend has continued. I grew up in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, amidst the smell of coal dust and the majesty of mist rising out of the hollers in the early morning light. Although lush with nature, I felt trapped by the bowl of mountains surrounding me. Isolation and loneliness led me to dream of a world I only knew through the books I read as I reclined in the front porch swing with my best friend, a mountain feist/beagle mix named Caspy (after Casper the ghost).
My goal in life was to become the kind of person who, instead of being judged by my shortcomings, would be loved by my family and friends, and to make a difference in the lives of people who struggle like me. I never knew that dream would lead me through a lifetime of adventure, struggles, challenges, and achievements beyond my imaginings. Through music, art, photography, writing and acting, God took the lumps of coal from my coal bucket of life and squeezed them with His power until the coal became diamonds of the purest and rarest quality.
We all have challenges. Some may be health-related, emotional, physical, mental, spiritual--or a combination of two or more. We all desire to be loved. Most of us want to give up the struggle to survive from time to time. We all hope someone cares. Crushing our lumps of coal can be extremely painful.
In this blog, I hope to share some of my lumps of coal with you--and how they were transformed, with great crushing power, into diamonds.
Most of all, I want you to know I understand your journey--and I care.