I came up poor and I came up pretty rough. My grandma Reed took me on and raised me like I was her own child, until she couldn't think clear anymore she always called me her boy. I found myself in with the wrong crowd of people doing all kinds of things that were really bad, somethings worse than bad. One cold Ohio December night in 1995 I came close to overdosing on extremely powerful drug. The people I was with never took me to get appropriate medical care.
While the drug did eventually run its course and got out of my system, the aftermath was horrible. It pushed me all the way to very brink of losing my sanity, I Iook back on that time now and it seems like someone else's life, or like a scene out of a horror film. A couple months later I would have another encounter that would strike fear in me to very core of my being. I began to have horrible panic attacks, sometimes multiple times a day. This was in a time when anxiety was not even heard of, let alone considered a true medical condition. They got so bad that I had to drop out of high school.
So, I began to drink a lot, because my mind was on overload. My mind raced with fear day and night, relentlessly. I remember sometimes wishing I would die so I could have peace. Even sitting here writing this my hearts breaks for that little teenage boy who would have to become something he was never created to be just to survive. Through martial arts training and some zen practices I learned to control the monster that had been set free to wreak havoc in my mind, or lets say I could at least keep it quiet most of the time.
My grandma & grandpa Reed never really knew what I went through, and I thank God for that. They really were sent by God to help me and care for me in the early years of my life, especially my grandma. My grandpa was a man who was always larger than life to me, ( even though to this day I'm pretty sure he never really liked me much) I thought he hung the moon. My dad was never around, truth be told to the very day I write this at 40 years 9 months and 28 days old I don't honestly know who my real dad is. So my grandpa Reed was always a dad type figure to me. He taught me a lot about work, he was one of the hardest working men I've ever known. I still smile with pride when I can tell someone Harold Reed was my grandpa. He was an auctioneer, he also raised animals for a number of years and is the real reason why I wear cowboy boots and cowboy hats to this day.
Before I turned 20 I found myself in and out of a lot of trouble. At 19 I was involved in a fight that almost got me serious jail time, as a matter of fact, if it hadn't been for the bad attitude of the other guy during court getting me off the hook I'm not real sure how that would have worked out.
I got introduced to bull riding through a friend named Jeremy Purk at 18 years old. I never really had the money to do it so I just rode different places with him and watched him. One night we were in a place called the Mack arena in Celina, Oh and I got my first chance to ride a bull, and almost got my fool self killed!
After I got out of trouble for that fight I mentioned, and some other things had taken a turn for the worse I left Ohio and came to Tennessee to visit for a couple weeks. I fell in love with the place and after talking with my grandma, I decided it was best to stay. There was nothing but trouble for me to go back to, and honestly I would have probably ended up in prison or dead if I had.
My life got really interesting when my first daughter Ashley was born on November 29th 2001. It would be June of 2004 before I would get another shot at rodeoing. All the while I was still fighting anxiety attacks and dealing with the numerous repercussions from the drugs when I was 16. And then the added troubles of life certainly didn't help my case any.
In 2005 I found myself out of a place and local circuit to ride bareback horses so I decided to try my hand at bull riding, even though previous two attempts did not go well. By March of 2005 I found myself in great turmoil in my mind and in my life, and if it weren't for one of my best friends Floyd Angel, I know for certain I wouldn't be alive to tell the tale today. My drinking by this point was well beyond out of control and I had just about thoroughly slipped into a mindset that I didn't care much about anything anymore. And I had gotten to the point I thought I was pretty much unbreakable, I would soon find out that was not the case.
On March the 13th 2005 I found myself at the Dizney Mtn, rodeo arena trying to be a bull rider. The day had went well except for the fact it was wet and cold. As I was leaving one of the guys hollered and said you wanna ride waco before you leave? And a little shot of fear went through my body. Waco was a big light tan bull that was a cross between a charlotte and a brahma, and he was a monster. But if you're gonna be a cowboy you can't back down so I said I would. About a second after calling for the gate things went bad wrong. Waco took a big jump, we met head to face, thank the Lord I had a helmet on, and then he went into a spin, I fell down inside the well and he fell and landed right on top of me. He knocked me partially unconscious, and when he got off me I tried to run and my leg compound fractured. It was a bad day for team Brown.
They called for an ambulance, rushed me to the hospital, then they set up the surgery to put the rod and screws in my leg, and in one fell swoop my non-illustrious rodeo career was over. Oh I could have continued riding, but the bone dr said if I took another shot like that and bent the rod they would have to cut my leg off at the knee, so I gave it up.
I would start working at a local lumber yard in April of 2005, where I would meet my future (now ex) wife. On December 11th 2006 she told me we were going to have a baby, which scared me half to death. We each had a daughter before we met and we were struggling to pay the bills as it was. And honestly I spent two weeks upset about everything, and was worried how we were going to make it. On December 29th 2006 I came home from work to find her weeping in the floor, and when I asked her what was going on she told me that the dr. had called and said the all of her levels had returned to normal and the we had lost the baby.
I remember spending that night regretting the things I had said and thought because I was worried about how we were gonna pay the bills. The next morning I was driving to work and I told God: I don't know you but if you're real and you can do anything to help I give you my word I will do whatever it takes to get right with you. A couple days later we went to the Dr's office for them to do the dnc. When they did the ultrasound to see what they were going to have to remove they found a heart beat! On July 29th of 2007 that heart beat was born four weeks early, and she spent the first 9 days of her life in n.i.c.u at East Tennessee Children's hospital in Knoxville, Tn. This past July (2020) Cheyenne turned 13 years old and she's just as pretty as the morning sunrise, and I'm still doing all I can to keep my promise. I like to tell people the first miracle I ever saw God perform he raised my daughter from the dead and I was a lost man.
In March of 2008, with my dear friend Paul Ellis by my side at an alter in a little Methodist in East Bernstadt Kentucky I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior & Lord
From there it's been a wild rollercoaster ride off watching God perform absolutely amazing miracles. He saved my son Eli's life the night he was born when the devil tried to kill him. He has delivered my my youngest daughter Abigail from autism and numerous other afflictions, along with countless other miracles of provision, protection and healing for us personally and for many others as well.
There's so much to tell it would take days to record everything I've been through and all that God has done.
And if your wondering about that monster the plagued me for all those years, don't, he was kicked out a long time ago in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
So how does a man with the past that I've got go from where I was and all I've been through to become a spirit filled, tongue talking, miracle, sign, and wonder seeing minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Much like the apostle Paul said:
by the grace of God I am what I am-