Hello, my name is Promise Hightower. I started going to Godby High School in 9th grade, and my whole life when I was in high school was pretty much a secret from my parents – drugs and drinking and everything. They didn’t really know anything about it.
My senior year something happened and they found out everything. And so instead of sticking and cleaning up and making myself better I just decided to run and move to Georgia with my big sister, and just continue to live the life I wanted to live.
Got into more trouble up there and ended up having to move out of her house and move in with a friend from school, and really just running as hard as I could from God. And when I say running like I really…like every time I did something wrong, in the back of my mind I was sitting there thinking, you know, why am I doing this? What am I doing?
But at the time I was just making decisions that I knew weren’t right and I knew that I shouldn’t have been doing and that I knew were hurting my family and everybody else around me. But at the time I was just, you know, being selfish and doing what I wanted to do.
My parents were actually on a Daniel Fast, and everyday my mom would get up and pray, you know, “God I want her home. I want my daughter home. Bring her home.”
And down to the very, like, hour that they finished the fast, her and my dad were sitting praying. I was just sitting watching TV with my friend and, nothing special, just sitting there. And all of a sudden I just started crying and the power of God hit me, and all I could do was cry.
And I called my mom. And I had been talking with her every now and then while I was up there, and it wasn’t really an option for me to come home because I have a younger brother and a younger sister that they didn’t want me to influence on the decisions I was making.
I called my mom and I was crying and she was just like, you know, “Of course, we’ll be there.” She was like, “If you only knew the prayers that were prayed, like, to the very hour.”
And I came home, and it was tough at first because I had been used to doing things on my own and not having the rules and things that my parents wanted me to do. But I soon found that as long as I continued to do things the right way and to pray and ask God to help me that it got easier and easier and easier, eventually to where it wasn’t even an issue anymore.
God completely took the desire for drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, everything away from me.
I wasn’t supposed to graduate. When I came back they…I had all the credits and all the classes that I was supposed to take but I didn’t have enough days as far as attendance goes. I was mad because the reason that I couldn’t do it was because of me and the decisions that I had made.
I kept saying to myself I shouldn’t have went to Georgia. I never should have did that. I just ruined everything, and now I’m not going to be able to walk for graduation. They were telling me I had to wait until the next year and go six months and then I could graduate in that December.
I was talking to my dad one day and I was just crying and I was like, “Dad, you know this isn’t what I want.” And my dad was like, “Well, you know, just pray.”
And I didn’t even know he was doing this. He was on the phone with Bill Montford the superintendent, and they kept telling him, “No, this is a law, we can’t pass it.” And every time he’d hang up that phone he’d pray even harder. On the third day they told him no again and he was driving in his work van and he pulled over and he just prayed and he was like, “God this is not…Your word says that you will give us the desires of our hearts.” And he said, “God I know…I don’t want to see her have to go…she knows she made mistakes. She knows she did wrong. She’s asked for your forgiveness and Lord, we just need you to come through.”
And Bill Montford called his cell phone back and was like, “Mr. Hightower, I don’t know why I’m doing this but I’m going to sign the waver and we’re going to wave this and let her walk.”
I will never forget that day! I walked in from work and my dad was sitting at the kitchen table, and there was a couple family friends that had came over, and it was pretty random because they weren’t usually there. My dad sat me down and he was like, “I made some phone calls and I just wanted you to know that Bill Montford signed a waver and they’re going to let you walk at graduation.”
I had already come to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to. I went to the graduation banquet at church and it was all good and it was fun but in the back of my mind it was just like my stomach was turning because I knew I wasn’t going to walk.
And so my dad, when he said that, oh my goodness! I just busted out crying, and went to my room and I was just like, all I could do was pray and, you know, thank God. Like that was the best feeling in the world, walking down the graduation aisle and shaking Bill Montford’s hand and getting that diploma. I don’t think there was anybody there that was more happy than I was that day.
And more so the fact of, like, praise God I got to walk, you know, that He’s the only reason why I was able to do what I did. It really did a lot. It did a lot for our family. It brought us a lot closer, ‘cause we all kind of grouped together and prayed. It was really good for my brother and sister, too. They got to see how God worked in the situation, and it was really good.