A moment from Brandon Johnson

Growing up in Atlanta, Ga., and moving to Huntersville was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life.

My mom was single and raising three children with me in the middle. We grew up very poor, and life handed our family more than its fair share of difficulties. My mother did the very best she could and worked multiple jobs. However, I strayed a bit and began making some poor decisions during my teenage years.

By the time I was 17, I was experimenting heavily with an array of different drugs, involved in some very risky business and behavior, and was on the verge of dropping out of high school. I will spare you many of the horror stories, two of which involved the inside of two different county jails. I became hopeless and found myself deep in depression.

Then something happened.

On Feb. 19, 1998, at age 17, I decided to move to Huntersville to live with my father. who was still almost a stranger to me. I learned very soon that his home was one that was Christ-centered. While living with him I began my relationship with
Jesus Christ.

This was and will always be the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. My whole life changed for the better. The Lord shook me in such a way that I wept for months on end. He was healing me. He restored my heart, my mind, my family, and he restored my entire life.

I graduated from North Mecklenburg High School on time, received scholarships, and received my business degree from Central Piedmont Community College. I was elected as the NCSGA President, which is the governing body over all community colleges in the state. I also sat on a state board with former Gov. Bev Perdue, where I was recognized as the leader of 800,000.

All the glory for these accomplishments goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is through Him and by Him that I was able to see these victories in my life and these are moments I will never forget.

Paulette Ballard collects moving, funny or interesting stories. If you have a story to submit, email pballardnc1029@yahoo.com. Include your name and phone number.