Where it all began ..

She was 19 years old, a teenage mother of a 1-year-old baby girl. She sat in the bathroom of her boyfriend’s apartment contemplating suicide .

“What are they going to think of me?”, already feeling like a huge disappointment to her parents and unfit to be a mother as the tears fell down her face and she stared at the positive pregnancy test. Pregnant again?–Being a preachers kid, the pressure to live up to a certain standard was high.

The look on her parents face would be even more unbearable. She already didn’t graduate from high school on time, ran away from home, had a baby out of wed lock, and now this. She felt like the black sheep of her family, and an embarrassment to her parents, so what was the point? Not seeing the future to be anything worth living for she found the closest thing to a razor and began to slice at her wrist.

“Everyone will be happier if i was gone.”

–She said to herself, but something made her make one last phone call. She called her cousin and simply asked …

“If i kill myself ..will I still go to heaven? “

Already believing the answer to be ‘no’, she still needed to hear some kind of hope. Did the person on the other end care if she lived? Would she hear anything genuine? Immediately the search went out! “WHERE ARE YOU! screamed her last phone call.. PLEASE TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE!

I remember this day like it was yesterday. As I look back, I’m pretty sure there’s tons of people who went thru way worse than I did . I don’t think it has anything to do with the amount of situations you go thru but the amount of despair that you are in– and I was definitely there. Having 4 kids of my own, I cant imagine the scare I gave my parents (or even the ongoing grief of having a wayward child) . But the thing I remember most about that day was when I finally went home, I started such a commotion that led the paramedics and multiple family members to my house. When my father came home he just stood over me and said “Rissa what is it that you want?” I couldn’t even respond..


Do you want to do hair?

I can make a shop in the basement!”


I used to spend all my allowance that I got from my dad at the nearest hair store and spend hours in the mirror practicing hairstyles that I saw in a magazine.

I nodded my head yes; and so it began .

He started to build a salon in the basement of our house.

He found a red salon sink.

One dryer,

mirror with lights around it

and built my very own bathroom that my customers could use.



My father never said much but some days he would come downstairs and say “you’re still at it?” after seeing me on my feet for hours doing box braids.

Unfortunately, daddy passed away may 2000. He never got the chance to see me finish hair school, rent my first booth, nor open my own salon . I’ve always felt cheated in a way because before he died I wanted to somehow make him proud of me instead of question what I was going to do with my life. I can have the peace of knowing that God allowed him to see the vision before I did. What he created in that basement was prophetic. With every shelf that was built, and lights installed, he spoke of what I was to become into the atmosphere: My own boss . He always wanted me to be independent, and I’ve grown into what he saw in that basement. I will never be able to see that look of pride but I’m grateful for praying parents. He left behind my mom that has single-handedly held down the whole entire family while grieving his loss and I respect her strength. The support that she’s given me, I can never repay. But my grind and passion to “make it ” will always be dedicated to them. My parents are now and will always be my rock.

At the bottom is where it all begins…

At the bottom is where your foundation is laid…


19 thoughts on “Where it all began ..

  1. Beautiful, testimony Rissa! I have never once heard of your struggle in life!! To God be the glory for preserving your life and allowing you to see what your Heavenly Father saw of you which he allowed yourEarthly Father to get a glimpse of!! I am so proud of the woman that you have become and best believe there is more in store! Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness and all the other things will be added unto you! The gifts that God has given to you is to advance His kingdom!! I can more. but you know how we Ministers of the Gospel can be!! Soar into your God given and ordained destiny!! I love you and you are in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am always impressed and amazed by your talent to create beautiful works of art on the human canvas and therefore give a newfound sense of confidence to your customers. And now you’re writing, sharing your story to inspire and uplift. What a beautiful soul you are. And of course your father saw it! I’m proud of you Lurissa!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. *tears* of sadness hearing of all you went through
    *tears* of joy knowing (and witnessing) you’ve overcome your battle
    Riss, you are AMAZING and you’re already doing GREAT things! You are truly a beautiful soul! Love you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG LAWANDA! you are now and always will be my “SISTAHHHH” love you and your family to pieces .thank you for your support always (all nighters before hairshows) and even from afar your presence is felt! thanks for your feed back!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much for answering the phone that day . I just might not have been here today which brings me to tears .. yes I’m going to keep writing , ive heard that statement too many times!


  5. God bless you my dear for recognizing that you are loved by us and even more so by a loving and kind heavenly father. Just like our God, we have a plan for our children’s life too. We want them first and foremost to serve the same God we serve. We want them to be contributors to society in a positive way etc. Yes, prophetically the basement set up as well as other things were and are in place for you to succeed. I’m happy your not missing it. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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