By Paula Walter
Author’s note: With the exception of the name of author, all names have been changed in this article to protect those involved.
“Hannah’s Faith Through the Storm,” written by Linda Dickens Sturgill, is a memoir of her lifetime of abuse and finally finding her joy. Linda’s father and other members of her extended family were alcoholics and abusive, and it impacted every part of her life and the lives of her family members.
Linda was born in Banner Elk, North Carolina to 25-year old William and 17-year old Mary. It wasn’t long before the family had picked up and moved to Elkton, Maryland for work. She spent her early years bouncing from relative to relative within her family, never staying in one place very long. It was a pattern that continued throughout much of Linda’s childhood.
The family ended up moving to the Neva community in Johnson County to live with her father’s parents. It wasn’t long before Linda’s father started drinking once again and the abuse soon followed. Linda describes one incident where her father tied her mother with a rope to the bumper of a car and sped up as he took off. Kicked out of her grandparents’ home, the family found themselves on the doorsteps of Linda’s uncle. One evening after he had been drinking, Jack decided to kill some of his brother’s chickens. A fight broke out the next evening, and the family was once again seeking another place to call home. The next stop was to Mary’s mother’s house, and it wasn’t long before Jack began drinking again and cheating on his wife. Thrown out yet again, they ended up back in Neva.
Despite being in their own mobile home in Neva and the family somewhat settled, the abuse did not stop. Linda suffered at the hands of her half brother, Ronald. Afraid to tell anyone, it continued for years. As Linda got older, she also began to be the subject of her father’s rage and describes being beaten by her father and stomped on. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died when she was 31 years old, leaving behind Linda and her younger brother, Anthony. It wasn’t long after Linda’s mother died that she and her brother were removed from the home by social services and placed with her aunt and uncle.
William died on Linda’s 15th birthday. His death was ruled a suicide. In the course of one year, Linda and Anthony had lost both their parents. After being arrested for public drunkenness, Ronald committed suicide while he was being held in jail.
If you want to discover how Linda came to know Jesus and see where her walk with the Lord has taken her and her family, you can find “Hannah’s Faith Through the Storm” in hardback, paperback or available for your Kindle at Amazon.com.