Everyone who knows me, knows that Yolanda Adams is my favorite singer. However, not many people know why. So here it is:
I first heard Yolanda Adams in 1995. I was 5 years old, and I asked my aunt to turn of the music, she refused. My aunt told me that there would be a day that I would need gospel music. She was right. A week later, I was raped by my mom’s boyfriend; scared, crying with a gun held to my head, I heard her music that a neighbor was playing. I found rest and peace in her music from a young age. I was raped, and abused repeatedly by my mom’s boyfriend, I was abused physically by my twin brother every day, for 10 years. All I could do was sing “The Battle is Not Yours, It’s the Lords.”
Every time I was raped, hit and experiencing abuse, a stranger who knew nothing of me, was playing/singing Yolanda Adams. Through her music at a young age, I was able to hold true to my faith in God, and I believed that it had to get better. One night, coming home from school the door bell rung, it was a state social worker, telling me that I was leaving my house and was put into a foster care. I felt relief finally I was being saved, and Ms. Yolanda Adams was right–“Not matter what you are going remember this God only wants a chance to use you, for the battle is not your’s.”
I thought my life was finally changing, and it did! Not for the good. I was placed in my grandmothers home, and experienced physical abuse from my cousins, and verbal abuse from aunts and uncles. I was told “your just like your mother” “your mother doesn’t love you” “that’s why you were raped” “you don’t deserve a family” I went to bed crying, and went to church praying. They only thing I had the encouraged me, and allowed my heart to not become bitter was her voice, and the words in her songs. At 15 my mother told me “I don’t know how to love you.”
When I was 11 years old, I attempted suicide for the first time. I cut my wrists, and then I remember in a song she said “don’t give up, step out on faith” and I called 911. I was later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, and PTSD. I experienced pain and abuse that my mind turned. I live with an incurable disease. I lived in a mental hospital for over a year, in the hospital and I heard people singing her music (new music) and I would cry and pray. I was only 11, lost and alone, but I felt as though she understood and was saying to God what I couldn’t verbally say.
I found faith, and began to believe in myself. At a young age even lead a few youth in foster care to Christ, because of her music. I found solitude in school, and I flourished. I was good, and I realized I was smart. Although I lived in group homes, and residential homes I started to buy her cd’s. Determined, I bought every cd by her, until I knew God for myself, and was able to testify.
I went through court dates, depression, more hospitalizations, interviewing for families hoping to get adopted. Never happened! All I had was the word of God, music, social workers, therapists, and school. Finally, I found a church, and a spiritual mom, who helped change my life. I finally found someone I could call, pray with, laugh with, and cry with. Someone who wouldn’t reject me. Someone who loved me for me. I wish that she was my real mom, and often wished that she’d adopt me. I love my Mommy! I found my sister in Christ, who was my social worker, and now is my big sister. Similar to my spiritual mom she has opened her home to me, her family and answers every time I call. Over time I started to create my own family, and built a lifestyle based on the songs sang by Ms. Yolanda Adams.
Every time I’ve been hospitalized due to my health, and moved I’d listened to her music. I watched her performances. I followed my dreams. I gave my life to Christ. I give back to youth in foster care. I’m 23 years old, in college, eventually hoping to attend law school, become a politician. Newly engaged! Living with an illness. Thanks to Ms. Yolanda Adams, my mom, sister, church family-I’m following my dreams. I am changing my life, and creating a better future. I am a scholar. I have a voice. I can make a difference, and will.
Share this! Maybe Yolanda Adams will read it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to meet her. I pray I do. However, I just wanted to tell you “Thank-you” for you have changed my life and helped my heart healed. Because you stayed true to yourself, and God–I am doing well. I play your music when I’m stressed, happy all the time. I minister to young people, and have a huge heart. Thank-you.
-Domenia “Mia” Dickey