Walk to Beautiful

I did something last night that I haven’t done in a long, long time: I stayed up until 2 AM reading a book. 

Good stories, especially true stories, intrigue me more than anything.

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne is a captivating story of one man’s troubling childhood and how he became successful despite the trials. 

walk to beautiful

There was no way I could put the book down.

No matter how many chapters I said were the last.

No matter how many times I told myself, “30 more minutes, Audra.”

How could I stop now? The story was holding me captive! 

Jimmy lived in a world raging with violence and with no sense of normalcy, but he still had hope.

This one fact is amazing to me.


We are all hardwired to hope, which is why I think the saddest thing to see is hopelessness prevail. A sense of utter hopelessness is the #1 reason people commit suicide.

What I love about Jimmy’s story is how he wrestled hopelessness to the ground, tied it up, and ended it’s life–not his own.

Inspiration is awesome, no doubt, but inspiration that leads to change? Yes! Sign me up!

The biggest obstacle Jimmy faced as a boy was loneliness because people saw him as another juvenile delinquent when he was just an innocent kid. He only knew darkness; he’d only seen glimpses of light.

Many children in foster care face the same challenge. They want to do better, but no one’s ever modeled what that was for them. Or, in the worst of cases, they’ve succumbed to hopelessness.

All it takes, though, is one person reaching out to help. 

And that’s all I could think about last night as I turned page after page….






The Biggest Impact…

My dad asked me to share about the impact of his absence in my life.

He told me to be brutally honest. To not hold anything back in order to spare his feelings.

Well, here’s the truth, the biggest impact: Simply not knowing him.

This sounds really stupid but it’s the truth.

I have a lot of friends, so I’ve heard all kinds of stories about their dads. Some girls sing praises, others tell horror stories.

Here’s the thing: at least they knew their fathers.

I am not the only person who grew up without a dad but not knowing him made me think.

What’s his favorite color? Movie? Band? Do I look like him? Is he funny? Smart? Is he a Christian? Atheist?

When I was older I learned that he was a missionary and that he had a family. This added a whole new smattering of questions.

Doesn’t he care about my salvation? Does his wife know? How many kids does he have? Is he a good dad to them? He hasn’t been to me…

My dad was a shadowy figure, a ghost, who haunted my dreams. I just wanted to meet him; To sit in a room and ask him a few questions. After all, he was my father, so half of my DNA came from him.

Whatever anyone tells you here’s the truth about abandonment: Kids want to know their parents.

That’s God’s design.


I wanted to know my parents so bad because I needed to understand who I was. And, I wanted to hear the whole story.

Was it true my dad’s parents hated me? Why did my parents split up? Why, dad, wherever you are, did you not want me? What did I do? I was a baby.

My mom was a drug addict, scarred by her past. My dad was a ghost. I carried my questions around with me because they could not be answered by anyone but my parents, so why burden anyone else?

Plus, I didn’t really have any friends who understood either. There were a few but not many. I grew up watching other kids interact with their parents and thinking to myself:

Unloading the dishwasher, putting my clothes away, and cleaning my room would not be that bad if my mom or dad asked me. I would do just about anything if I could spend some time with them.

Don’t get me wrong, my Me-maw is awesome. She did a great job raising me. However, we both understood that her love and care could never replace the desire I had for my parents.

Thankfully, God gave me so much more than I could have ever dreamed of.

God gave me an awesome grandmother; a supportive extended family that made sure I had what I needed and wanted; and, most importantly, God lavished me with love and protected my spirit.

I’m so glad God gave me those things to help me better accept the bitter truths of my childhood.

***I just couldn’t end this blog negatively.***