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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Conversation with Debra Davis, author of MY DADDY, THE DEVIL, AND ME


by Cyrus Webb

It was nine years ago that I first discovered Debra Davis’s story. What she has been able to overcome and achieve was chronicled in her powerful book MY DADDY, THE DEVIL, AND ME—and it’s a testament not just to what we can do with faith but the lives we can impact as well.

After she first appeared on Conversations LIVE radio show with me almost a decade ago, Davis and I have kept in touch. Like all of us she has had to make adjustments due to the pandemic and other issues that have come our way in 2020, but it hasn’t stopped her from achieving personal and professional goals. In this conversation we reflect on her journey and how she continues to move forward.

 Debra, glad to speak with you again. Let’s begin where we are. What has it been like for you to reflect on this past decade and all the great things you've been able to do?

Nine years. It seems like nine minutes sometimes. Time flies, you know? I've been very busy during those nine years. I've actually just finished getting my Master's Degree. In June I graduated with my Master's Degree. I'm so excited about that! And, of course, I continue my quest with reaching out to those that are hurting and in pain. I was visiting the jails, but with Covid-19 that has stopped that for a bit. I just keep moving forward. 

You bring up some interesting things, Debra. This has not been the 2020 a lot of people had planned for themselves, but you and others have been able to keep pushing forward. I think it's a great parallel to your story, and also what you've been able to achieve. When people read MY DADDY, THE DEVIL, AND ME what they're able to see is that even though you went through some horrific things, you found a way to be able to come out the other side. Talk to us about that. What is it like for you to show how you have turned things around in your life?

Good question, Cyrus. When you read the book and you see all that I went through and you take that journey in the book with me, you are saying to yourself, ‘Wow. She's still at it. She's still doing these things.’

I had to ask God those questions. I had to ask God, “Why? Why me?” I'm satisfied with the answer that I got from God. He told me I was chosen. He said, ‘You're chosen. You're chosen for such a time as this.’ We never know what people will be going through. I always thought I was the only one, but when God let me know that I was chosen, it was so much easier for me to accept and be proud of the fact that God chose me. A lot of people will never understand. God didn't let me die. He protected me the entire time, and He brought me through for such a time as this. 

In the book you do talk about the things that were done to you, but you also are very honest about the things that you did yourself. In one chapter you talked about even as a mother not being as careful as you should have been with habits. What was that like for you to hold a mirror up to yourself?

Well, I didn't even know. I didn't even understand what I was doing to myself. When I was a child and as you're growing into an adult and you're getting older and you're being abused, you have somebody to blame. It's the blame game. ‘Oh, if it wasn't for him, this wouldn't have happened to me. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have done that.’ But once I got older and I needed an escape, I had to accept my responsibility and my part and my choices. And I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘You did it to yourself as well, because you're older now. Now you should understand. Now it's time for you to look in the mirror, accept what you have done and make a change.’ How do you make that change? You look at yourself and you say, okay, now it's time. Time for me to love me. Until I accepted what I had done to myself, accept what was done to me and accepted the responsibility—my part in it—I couldn't heal. In order for me to heal, I had to accept the responsibility of myself so I can work on me and then I can start to love me.

Do you think because of what you've gone through and how faith has helped you get to where you are now, Debra, that you're able to be more empathetic toward people in the situations we sometimes find ourselves in?

Yes. I can look at others, and I can sympathize with others. I understand what it is they are dealing with. At the time I didn't understand what I was fighting against. I didn't know that I was fighting against spiritual wickedness, principalities, and rulers of the darkness of this world. I didn't understand all of that. I developed a way of existing and accepting what was happening to me and believing that this is just something that happens to children. It was all a lie. A big lie. But I didn't understand until God exposed the devil to me. Now I can look at others and sympathize with them. I can relate to what is happening. I understand it more and now I can deal with it better, and I can help other people become free as well.

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