Her name is Jennifer Leigh Allison and what first attracted me to her was her sense of humor. Then I discovered her blog and her recently published memoir entitled, Confessions of a Rambunctious Kid: A Quest for Self Discovery and the Meaning of Life.
Intrigued and knowing she is an excellent writer (and artist) from sampling her blog, I downloaded her memoir on my kindle, and devoured it in one day. Here is Amazon’s description:
“This book is a nostalgic coming-of-age memoir about growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. Jennifer began her quest for self-discovery at an early age when she realized she was different from other kids. Suffering from a bizarre condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder, she has a unique perspective on life and shares her innermost thoughts and struggles. She fell into many deep potholes on her journey, which included abuse, addiction, and poverty. Ultimately, however, the challenges taught her some valuable life lessons. This story will make you laugh, cry, and cheer as you travel alongside Jennifer on the road to hope, transformation, and the meaning of life.”
What I enjoyed about the book was the total honesty that I felt shining through it, and even though she recounted some horrible experiences, she did so without self-pity. Her life spiraled out of control and when she reached out to God, He revealed Himself to be a down right show off in His quest to save her from destruction.
It was refreshing to read of acceptance and support from her parents, and the Christian community who never gave up on her. Today her prison ministry is inspiring, and her adversities truly prepared her for this outreach….because God always had a plan for her.
Just as Amazon promised, I laughed, cried, and cheered her on as I read her story. I was especially touched by how her son London turned out. He grew into a fine young man who loves music and leads church worship. I had watched his YouTube of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” prior to reading the book, but now that I have read it, I find it even sweeter. Things could have turned out so much different for him if Jennifer had not taken brave actions to protect him.
Her story made me realize that when we have loved ones who are lost to us through addiction, prison, mental illness, or estrangement of any kind, we must never give up on them. We must continue to pray for them, be there for them in a healthy way (non-enabling), and hope that their hearts will one day be opened to love and forgiveness. Miracles can happen and you can read all about it in Confessions of a Rambunctious Kid.