Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Broken to be Blessed

Published:Saturday | August 27, 2016 | 8:00 AMTamara Bailey
Stephanie Rowe-Lee, a true survivor.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

As the only girl of eight children, having been born after miraculous occurrences, Stephanie Rowe-Lee knew that there was something unique about her and that she had a special calling upon her life.

However, she gave in to the influences of the world, and the voice of God that beckoned became faint.

But little did she know that God had a special plan for her life and His call was not to be met with disobedience.

"My mother found out she was pregnant with me at eight months and two weeks because she was big in body. She wasn't supposed to have anymore children because after my last brother, she became blind. She later regained her sight, but she was put on contraceptive. She went to the doctor because she wasn't feeling well, and she was told that she was pregnant. I was born two weeks after and called Stephanie 'Hope' Simone Rowe because my mother was always hoping for a girl," said Rowe-Lee.

The miracle baby, as one would call her, grew up in a family of love and Christian teachings, but as she became older, she deviated from the teachings and gave in to the ways of the world.

"I was bad, I got expelled from school twice, I was rebellious. After my first daughter, I went on the road every night, road a did me base ... On Mondays, I would go to Hot Mondayz, Tuesdays I go to karaoke, Wednesdays I go to Boasy Wednesdays, Thursdays I go to Jerkies, Fridays I go to Shockwave (club) and Saturdays me jus go a bar, and Sundays, I would go back to karaoke... Every night me used to go out," she told Family and Religion.

Rowe-Lee continued: "Me used to deal wid sin like milk. When you have a box of milk you want to drink it before it spoil, and that was how I was dealing with the world, like it was about to end."

Life was good in Rowe-Lee's eyes, but the signs of God's displeasure soon came, one after the other.

The first of which was the death of her first daughter's father.

"When I was 18, I met this young man, we were together for a while. I got pregnant, had my daughter. When my daughter was two years old, I was in bed with her one day, when I heard my babyfather's brother calling saying he (babyfather) got chopped.

She continued: "When I went outside, he was in a taxi. I told them to take him to the hospital. I later went up there, but because I knew he wasn't innocent, I didn't want to tell the security I was with him. He was pronounced dead."

The days ahead became more difficult as Rowe-Lee was left to care for her two-year-old daughter as a single mother.

"A friend advised me to get into another relationship. She told me it would help, but she was wrong, the only relationship that can get you over another relationship is a personal relationship with Jesus Christs," said Rowe-Lee. She soon ended up in several other relationships, but they all turned bitter.

"I was with a man who had a woman at home and that didn't work out. I had other relationships too, and none of those worked out. I soon met my second babyfather, and we were in a relationship until he got married secretly. We broke off, he was living his life and I was living mine. But he was a good father who cared for his child," she said.

Years after the separation, Rowe-Lee would see her second babyfather return to Jamaica on vacation, but her heart was torn when she heard he would not return overseas because death had come knocking and he answered.

"This happened after I was saved, but it still hurt. I believe it was the worst thing that could happen. I had gone out the day before with my friends, and that was the happiest day of my life, then I got the call that he had died," Rowe-Lee recalled.

God was not letting up as life became more difficult to deal with.

"One day, after coming home from a date, I was on the phone at home talking and walking down the stairs. I missed a step, fell and broke my ankle in four places," she recalled.

According to Rowe, a pastor had prophesied years before that she would only come to Christ after having her leg broken. He was right, and life after her decision made everything worth it.

"I got the real conviction and I decided that it was time to give my life to God. I remember initially, when I was sold out for God, I went to a fasting in Christiana. At the time I was engaged and the lady prophesied over my life and told me the man I was engaged to is not my husband. She said 'God is going to provide for you a husband'. I have been saved since 2008 and married for two years with a wonderful son," Rowe-Lee said proudly.

The woman of God is now preparing to begin her studies in theology as she feels becoming a pastor and sharing the good news of Jesus is her life's purpose.

"There is not one broken vessel that God cannot mend, and no matter what your tribulations are, God is there with you. There is a source, and the source is Jesus. I know throughout all of this, I was broken to be blessed. God has been so good to me," she shared.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com