The Times West Virginian

Features

May 20, 2006

For Stephanie White ...

Church is always with her

(Continued)

FAIRMONT —

“Only Mom could have done this, but she rolled the Blazer and the camper in a way that she was off the road. Thank goodness nobody was in the camper. It would have killed them instantly.”

Everybody was OK, but they went to the hospital just to be checked out.

“I remember my friend and I crying, ‘We’re not going to the horse show now, are we?’ But we actually got to go.”

Something special happened one summer night in 1999, at an event appropriately called Creation that she was attending with her mother and some high school friends.

“I’m a very strong Christian. The very first night I stood up with a friend of mine. I was resaved, reborn. My faith was renewed that night.

“A lot of friends didn’t understand what it meant to be in church. I was friends with everybody, from the poorest to the richest kids. And I always knew I was safe. I had friends with the weapons and had friends who knew the people who had the weapons.” She laughs again.

“I’ve always had a part of church in me. I knew probably that with everything that was going on, I could always have somebody to turn to.”

Her laughter stops as she wipes away some unexpected tears.

Her mom and dad divorced when she was 2, and she has been more or less estranged from her dad and brother.

“My brother is 16 years older than I am and we never related real well. With my father especially I always had to be tough. I knew that I could always turn to my mom but I could never turn to my brother or my father.

“In 1999, Mom had surgery for fluid around her heart. When she was going in for surgery, she looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make it.’ I always knew that if I had God in my life, everything could go to hell and back, that there was somebody I could turn to.”

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