‘God is bigger than the problems’
Almost six years ago, Jocelynn James made a decision that turned her life around. Since then, she has made it her mission to use her experiences as a way to help others find the freedom and redemption that saved her.
James said it is her dream for Franklin County to have a rehabilitation center like the one that helped changed her life.
“I want people to know my dream because it’s more than just a dream. It’s what needs to be here,” James said.
James is a Franklin County native who fell into hard times in 2008 and made decisions that led her down a path to drug addiction. For nearly four and a half years, she continued down the addiction spiral – until one day she came to the realization that something had to change.
She turned herself in and checked into a faith-based rehab program in Birmingham.
“I got my life together, and God put a work in me,” James said. “It’s my calling.”
Since September 2013, James has been praying for a building and money to become available to open a rehab facility in Franklin County, but the cards have not fallen into place yet.
“I have social workers who have told me they would be willing to donate their time for the first year. I have a lot of godly people in my life who are qualified and willing to help,” James said.
Until that happens, though, James will continue doing the work she has been doing since 2013. Currently, she works with 19 girls who are in the rehab program that once helped her. She got them into the program and visits them frequently. James has made more than 468 trips to the center and has worked with about 235 people over the years.
“Nobody will understand the love I have for my girls and how proud I am of them,” she said. “They give me hope daily.”
James about 30 percent of the girls enter the nine-month program ultimately graduate, but it is an overcrowded center, which is one reason she wants to provide the same opportunity to Franklin County.
“One of my girls recently told me she wants to do what I do when she finishes the program. I told her it takes nothing but a heart,” James said. “It has to be a God-given passion. If God is not in the midst of it, it will fail.”
James said she is confident that one day there will be a rehab center in Franklin County; she is just waiting on God’s timing.
“I know that God is bigger than the problems. In February 2013, I was saved and truly converted. In March 2013, I was delivered from drugs. I haven’t wanted anything to do with them since then,” James said.
It is tiring for James, who works four jobs and raises two children, along with helping women rehabilitate their lives. She said it’s only possible because she keeps herself grounded in God by constantly immersing herself in His word. That is what she encourages “her girls” to do – constantly dive into scripture because that is where salvation is.