ACTION WORDS

Raised Up
by Frances L. McDaniel

 

February 2011

 

My name is Frances L. (Roberson) McDaniel. But, everyone calls me “Bootsy”. Only, in terms of history, a portion of my classmates calls me Frances. I actually prefer Bootsy.

I thought that I would go into the Marines. That was one of my childhood dreams. People would probably never have believed that.

At any rate, I became pregnant at 16-years old and I chose to keep my daughter when, during the pregnancy, I felt her kick inside. I was determined to take care of her no matter what.

I began committing crimes at a young age; I’ve truly forgotten how old I was. I wasn’t using drugs. Money was something that drove me and having more things all the time. I bought my first car and I never had a driver’s license.

Amazing.

Before I write further, I want to say that I come from an amazing mother. I wasn’t raised in the projects. Actually, I grew up in Grosbeck; if you are from Cincinnati, Ohio, you probably know about the suburbs. Then, as I became a little older, I was raised in Madisonville, in a nice neighborhood at that time. My mother took really good care of her girls. The only complaint I can honestly say is that we had to wear dresses summer, winter, spring, and fall. Church was mandatory. We never were hungry. So, basically, what I am saying is that I have no excuse for the life I lead.

Checks were my main crime of choice. I’ve never been violent – except only toward myself. Eventually, I started using drugs because I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I used drugs to cover up. I became addicted to all the bad habits.

Now, I sit in a federal prison because I just committed crimes to live my life. Don’t get me wrong. I have worked before, but I never held a steady job for long periods. I slowed down temporarily, got married, and thought I was going to live normally. However, Satan had plans. I started committing crimes a little at a time.

Finally, my life started falling apart, so I separated my children and left town with my youngest. I left my husband; I thought that was better. The good thing was that when I left, I worked hard in three jobs at one time. But, I was alone: only myself and my baby girl. Eventually, things turned bad and I had to bring my baby home.

Then I left Cincinnati again. I was doing this because I didn’t want to go to jail, being alone in a state where I didn’t have any family and friends. I didn’t turn to crime as a result of an abusive man and then drugs. I had never been hit by a man, so I thought he would not hit me again – he promised. But, it was a vicious cycle. (I’m doing a lot of jumping around, because life my life would probably make a best-seller.)

God made it to where my testimony is worth telling, and he’s not finished with me yet.

I’ve lived in several different cities and states. When I lived in South Carolina (Edgefield), I lived on a couple of migrant camps. Well, I was stabbed four times in the back and the side of my face. I lived to tell about it. I don’t know why it happened. But, God was with me. I’ve been put in dangerous situations that only God pulled me through.

When I came home, I started back in the game and lived inside of jail and outside. That was my life: drugs, money, and jail. It came to a point in my life where I tried to take my own life in a crazy way. I’m here to talk about it. I stabbed myself in the stomach so many times I lost count, and I cut my wrists. But for some reason I just wouldn’t die.

Now, that was who I was ten years ago. In 2006 I started my madness over again and I decided that I didn’t want to live. I bought a gun and every day I sat with it on my bed loaded. My only reason I’m not dead is that I lived with my daughter, and my son decided he wanted to be up under me, too. My life was crazy and I was so tired.

Well, I’m in prison. All the things I was out there doing caught up with me. So, God placed me here to save my life. I’m sitting in prison today, in late 2010, and my life has changed drastically. I’m over the prison’s dance ministry called “New Generation”. I’m also active in the choir and praise team. I work at Unicor; it is a call center. My work as a volunteer in Hospice has truly opened my eyes to how cruel life can be. I have taken different classes while here in prison. I’m starting my G.E.D. program over again. I’m very determined to accomplish that goal. I’m 44-years old and I’ve learned how to stomp and praise dance. I’ve lost a lot of weight and my health is improving all because of God’s grace.

So, this is a little about myself. I have a living testimony, and I truly hope that something in my life will help someone. I appreciate the Bible verse, Romans 9:17 – “I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying my power in dealing with you, so that my name may be proclaimed the whole world over.” God has a plan and purpose for my life and I’m waiting. During this process he is raising me up to do great things.

Share/Bookmark