I moved to Louisiana in 1978 and I I was ecstatic when I found my home at last at the tender age of 30.
As a native of Sulphur Springs, Ark. ending up in an orphanage near Tulsa, Okla., moving more times than I care to count, I found myself at last.
In 1978 I pinched myself. I had finally come home. Wow! I had never met such a group in my life!
People who seemed a little blinder to my faults, a whole lot more caring as “they” actually reached out and touched my arm, looked into my eyes as they spoke to me. These “folks” seemed to see me, to acknowledge me for who I am and where I am coming from.
Up until then I was so insecure, so concerned about what people would think of me. But I finally made it home to Vivian, La., as I connected to kindred spirits one step at a time. And my steps began to quicken as I got into contact with who I am.
It happened so fast I could hardly catch my breath!
Could it be true that I was really at home? I found this is where I belonged. The first time in my life I felt I was at home.
Then in August of 1981 I was faced with one more move.It hurt! I cried all across the state of Arkansas. I missed my friends, those who knew me for who I am.
I missed Joyce Moore, her almost daily visits to my door. She became my friend, my mentor. Incidentally a friend is someone who gives you therapy free of charge and says thank you at the end of the visit.
But here I am in Mountain Home, Ark. beside myself. Beautiful place, nice enough people but not Vivian.
I crashed. I had a breakdown. They tried to hospitalize me but I couldn’t do that. I had to maintain my image to help my husband keep his job by being a “perfect” minister’s wife. Back then we still hid behind closed doors, were afraid to voice who we were.
I lost my appetite, everyone complimented my great diet, not knowing I was dying on the inside. My tranquilizers helped me to keep it together but I cried from one day to the next, trying to hold it in so no one would know.
Then I moved again to a tiny place, called Ganado, Texas, for one more year. Moving all of the time! My nerves were still unglued. I cried every day and I sometimes let it show.
On our way to Falcon, Ark., to visit in-laws I prayed “If only Plain Dealing needed a preacher” because they had tried to hire us back in the early 70’s when my daughter was only four-years-old.
She prayed the same thing — I heard her praying out loud at night at the age of 12.
And then God stepped in! He heard my prayer one more time.
Within five minutes, my mother-in-law said “Did you know Plain Dealing is needing is needing a preacher and they called and asked where you were?” My mind spun!
Within that one week’s vacation we had a short meeting and were hired to begin as quickly as we could get moved here so back to Texas to give a short resignation and back to Louisiana to get our children in school.
My dear friend, Joyce Moore, could hardly believe her ears and neither could I. She said “God must have heard my prayer and said I can’t find you another friend like Sarah. I will just have to bring her back.”
So my life began normalcy once more for the second time in my life! Only better now. Because I quickly quit crying as I visited Joyce at least once a week in Oil City and she visited me and I made new connections in Louisiana.
And I continued my writing skills I had picked up again in Arkansas as my form of therapy to keep me from going off the deep end completely. And this is the place where I’ve grown the most. And this is where I wish to live out the remainder of my days because I love Louisiana as my roots have spread out near Caddo Lake.
I say, “If you don’t like Louisiana go ahead and move but keep your house because you may just want to come back. It will be a lot easier that way.”
I am so grateful that God has always gotten me through the tight places because He is the same yesterday, today and forever, always getting me to the right place at the right time.
Sarah Hudson Pierce is a President of Ritz Publications and a resident of Shreveport.