Alea White: 'Looking at a Miracle'
By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Some of Alea White’ memories of her childhood were pleasant. Her mother was a strong, Christian woman, who tried to raise her children in a loving home. Her father was another story.
“My father was very abusive, very abusive,” Alea said. “There were times where he used to beat us and put socks and cotton in our mouth, not to hear us cry.”
“He would beat my mom,” Alea said. “I remember it just like it was yesterday. He had knocked my mom on the bed and he had a double-barrel shotgun pointed at her head. He went to pull the trigger and the bullet got stuck. It put a lot of fear in me. It put anger inside of all of us.”
He died from complications of alcoholism when Alea was just 9 years old. She dealt with her emotions, by tucking them deep inside.
“I really didn’t know how much I hated that man,” Alea said. “When he died, I didn’t even cry.”
Alea went to church with her mother, but by the time she was 13 years old, she was running headlong down the path her father had paved.
“I followed in my dad’s footsteps because that is what I had seen,” Alea said. “ I started drinking. I guess I wanted to see what it felt like and then I was trying to kill some of the pain from the anger I had.”
Alea had once dreamed of becoming a lawyer. However, by age 16, she was a high school drop out, had two children…and was addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and acid.
“After 16, I started smoking Love Boat, that’s marijuana soaked in embalming fluid,” Alea said. “At 18, I was doing speed. At 19, I was snorting coke and at the age of 20, I was smoking crack. By 1991, I had five children.”
When Alea was 30, the State took all five of her children from her.
“I didn’t want to lose my children, I wanted to quit,” Alea said. “I knew what I was doing was wrong, I just didn’t’ know what the outcome would be. Who knew that would be the beginning of my 17 year drug addiction with crack cocaine.”
The pain of that loss was unbearable. Alea medicated it, the only way she knew how.
“When I found out I had lost my children, I didn’t want to live,” Alea said. “I walked the streets for two weeks straight smoking crack. I prostituted. I stole. I lied. I begged and I borrowed for crack cocaine.”
Alea was homeless for over a decade. Living on the streets proved to be a nightmare.
“I had one foot in the grave and the in prison and I knew it,” Alea said.
Because of the drugs, Alea also did several stints in jail and had multiple warrants out for her arrest. Life seemed completely hopeless until she reconnected with her mother over a phone call. She suggested Alea try something simple from her childhood.
“She said, ‘Alea, anytime you feel like things are going down around you,’ she said, ‘Open up your Bible and read Psalm 23. Alea, you have faith and believe that God will change things for you. I promise you things will change.’”
“So, I started carrying a little Testament with me,” Alea said, “and I can be sitting in one room getting high and I would get up and I would go into another room and I would read Psalm 23, just like my mother said”
Alea also got help from a local pastor, who frequently came to her side of the neighborhood for street ministry.
“I would have a beer bottle in one hand and a stem in the other and some dope in my mouth,” Alea said, “and wherever I would see him, I would flag him down and say, ‘Pastor, Pastor…would you please pray for me and my children.’”
“She was always reaching out,” Pastor Jimmy Terry Sr. said. “She would tell you no matter how long she had been up, no matter what she had done all that week or that night, when she saw me, she always asked for prayer.”
“Some of my prayers when I was out there with my addiction,” Alea said, “were God, please keep my children in the palm of your hands, please let them know that I love them. Keep them safe. And, Lord, I need you right now. I can’t do this by myself.”
Just a few months later, Alea was at friend’s house, planning her next high, when God answered her prayers.
“I was sitting on the couch, I was smoking crack,” Alea said. I was like, ‘Harry give me $10 so I can get me some more.’ He said, ‘No Alea, I’m not going to do that.’”
“I thought to myself, ‘Well, I’ll go out and get my own money. I’m going to turn a trick. I went to get off the couch, and when I went to get up…I couldn’t move. It was like I was a weight for myself.”
“I was dumbfounded,” Alea said. “And a warm wind went past me. And when it went past me, it knocked me out”
Alea slept for hours. When she woke up, her desire for crack was completely gone.
“When I woke, It was like I was a brand new person. God delivered me from cigarettes, from drinking, from prostitution, the streets,” Alea said.
“I knew it was Jesus that delivered me. I took my stem and I threw it in the trash. I hated everything I did instantly, instantly just like that. Ever since that day, that was June 17th 2002, I have not had one temptation. That following Sunday I went to church and got saved. I turned my life over to Christ.”
Alea soon found a good-paying job and later earned her GED and her deepest desires came true when she reunited with her family; all 5 of her children and eight grandchildren! But there was still the matter of hatred for her father …
“I prayed for God to give me the strength to forgive him, so I forgive him now,” Alea said. “My forgiveness for others and Christ’s forgiveness of me means a lot.”
Today, Alea is a leader in her church street ministry, under the same pastor who prayed with her years earlier. She is reaching out to homeless, drug addicts, and prostitutes.
“The scripture that says, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, she is the personification of that,” Pastor Terry Sr. said. “I see another evangelist, who had come out of this community but had returned. They see what God has done in her life, and so there is hope for them.”
“What I would say to others who are maybe in this same situation that I was in,” Alea said, “when you look at me, you are looking at a miracle. God did this for me. There is no trial, no tribulation, no addiction, no affliction that God can not work out. Just have faith and believe and know that God will work a miracle for you, and I promise you He will.”
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