- The Other Side
- of Divine
- Can a dream
- be a mixed
- A Novel by
- Vanessa Davis Griggs
- 320 Pages
- Trade paperback
- Available Now!
- The Other Side
- (Book Trailer)
- RT (Romantic Times)
Book Review rating of Vanessa's newest:
- The Other Side
- 4+ Stars, Top
- The Other Side
- by Vanessa Davis
- Kensington Books/Dafina
Can a dream come true
- be a mixed
- Paris Simmons-Holyfield is finally pregnant with the baby
she's dreamed of for so long. There's just ONE complication:
she's not sure who the father is.
- Meanwhile, after a battle to keep her adopted daughter and
an ugly confrontation with Paris's family, Gabrielle Mercedes
has finally found love and happiness. But when someone from her
past shows up, it is merely another round of trouble.
- Darius Connors is still...well, he's still being Darius Connors.
- As all three navigate the path from sin to redemption, can
they forgive their way
- to the other side?
The Other Side of Divine
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God. --Ephesians 6:17
When I tell you how beautiful, you're not going to believe just
how much so. In fact, beautiful doesn't even begin to describe
it or give it justice.
- I'm sorry. Please forgive
me. I'm getting ahead of myself here. I hate when someone starts
in the middle of a conversation as though you've taken part in
what was apparently going on in their heads before they began
to speak and you have no earthly idea what they're jabbering
on and on about.
To those who don't know me, my name is Esther Crowe. Those who
know and love me best call me Esther, Aunt Esther, or Miss Crowe.
A few folks even call me Zion from my days when I had a dance
group called the Daughters of Zion many forgotten years ago.
The miss part of Miss Crowe is actually a miss statement.
- There I go again: my attempt
at a little humor and playing on words. I love words. For anyone
who may have missed it, I was playing on the word misstatement.
I was born Esther Morgan, no middle name. I married into the
last name of Crowe. My husband died young (much too young) early
into our marriage, from complications of an illness called lupus,
to be exact. I don't like talking much about it. Suffice it to
say: I never remarried; I never got around to finding anyone
special enough to fill his space.
- Then there was that terrible
automobile accident that pretty near claimed my life here on
earth. I was spared, although barely. For ten years, it was as
if I didn't really exist. But then my nephew, Dr. Zachary Wayne
Morgan, stepped into that Chicago nursing facility, bringing
with him someone near and dear to my heart: my dear, sweet Gabrielle
Mercedes Booker all the way from Birmingham, Alabama and all
grown up now.
- Gabrielle dropped the last
name of Booker and goes by Gabrielle Mercedes. That poor child
has indeed lived a hard life. That wretched woman who was given
charge over the almost four-year-old at the time was actually
the cause of Gabrielle (eight years old when I first met her)
and I becoming acquainted. I was out in the community on a summer
jog and Aunt Cee-Cee (Mrs. Cecelia Murphy) was out there treating
that sweet child like she thought her name was Cinderella (before
the glass slippers). I laugh sometimes because Gabrielle has
told me on more than one occasion that I was like her very own
- I suppose it's true what
some folks say: What Satan meant for bad, God will use it for
- I figured out a way to get
that precious little girl some joy into her life while she endured
being treated even worse than a redheaded stepchild. At least
I'd like to believe I brought some good into that child's life.
But Gabrielle could dance, oh my goodness, she could dance! The
first time my eyes fell on her running around picking up after
those four other children like she was their hired help, I saw
the greatness in her. I often described her movements as like
the seeds on the feathers of dandelions being carried in the
wind: Graceful with a capital G. I saw the greatness in her future.
- Gabrielle's aunt Cee-Cee
tried to say I believed Gabrielle was the child I never had.
She even said jokingly (or so she claimed after she didn't get
the response she'd apparently hoped for) that I could have Gabrielle
outright, for the right price, of course. If I could have gotten
Gabrielle without the insult of seeming to buy her, I would have
taken that child in a heartbeat, in a heartbeat. After I learned
how badly Aunt Cee-Cee had done Gabrielle after my automobile
accident-taking the money I'd paid for Gabrielle to attend Juilliard,
then throwing her out on the streets with nowhere to go . . .
- I don't even like thinking
about that. Why couldn't I have been here? I wanted so much to
see the look on her face when she received the information about
Juilliard. But to think: That wretched woman took that money,
stole it is what she did. . . . Well, needless to say, Cecelia
Murphy's day of reckoning is coming. And you can believe that.
Those that live by the sword shall die by the sword.
- I didn't think of Gabrielle
as the child I never had. What folks have to understand is none
of us truly own anything or anybody here on earth. Everything
belongs to God. Psalm 24:1 provides the title and the deed. "The
earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and
they that dwell therein." My father used to say, "If
folks think they own it, then let them die and see just what
they really own. You brought nothing into this world and for
certain, you'll take nothing when you leave, not even these earth
suits we fondly call our bodies."
- I miss my father. Our parents
taught us that if we saw someone in need, especially a child,
we should try to do what we could to help. That's how things
were back in my day. Yeah, I'm close to sixty years old, short
by almost two years. Nowadays, if you say something to a child,
not only might the child cuss you out, but nine times out of
ten, when the parents find out, one or both of them will hunt
you down and cuss you out.
- Yes, I meant cuss and not
curse. Having been a schoolteacher, I know the difference between
the two words. Cussing is a whole other word and a whole other
level than cursing. High-society folks, who make their subjects
and verbs agree, curse. Folks who want to get you good and told
- But back to what I was saying.
I don't want to get off on that because that's a whole story
in itself. I was in this horrific automobile accident. Everybody,
including me, believed my life as I'd known it was over. Then
Gabrielle stepped into my room and danced me back on my journey
to recovery. There was such an anointing in my room that day,
oh my goodness! I felt the glory of the Lord sitting . . . the
weight of His glory on me. There's nothing like the glory of
God to lift you up.
- Yes, God raised me right
up off of that sick bed. I heard Him speak to me just as clear
as you hear me speaking now. "There is more that I require
of thee. Get up, Esther! There's too much still left for you
- So I girded myself up. I
began putting on the whole armor of God. I held up my sword,
I'm talking about the Word of God, and I was ready to get back
on the battlefield.
- If God has ever told you
to do anything, please know that God equips those He calls. He
raised me up off that deathbed, and in a little less than a year's
time, my speech has become ninety-five percent clear again. My
dance returned, not so much in my legs and feet as in my heart.
There's something glorious to be said about dancing from the
- People come up and say, "Esther,
how are you doing?" And I say, "I'm still kicking,
just not as high."
- After God got me back on
my feet, He told me I had to go help Gabrielle one more time.
That there was a huge battle coming, and I needed to be there
to assist. All I needed was one Word from the Lord. Over the
objections of my family (mostly from my sister-in-law Leslie
Morgan, also Zachary's mother), I packed my bags and told Zachary
what time to pick me up from the airport. These new flying rules
are horrible. I feel like Rip Van Winkle with everything that
changed while I was out. What's all this taking off your shoes
and folks with purple plastic gloves patting all over you? I'm
almost an old woman. What exactly do they think I'm going to
- There I go again: another
subject for another time.
- In mid-November 2010, I left
Chicago and arrived in what had been my hometown for a few years.
When you obey God, things fall into place even if to us it doesn't
appear that's what it's doing. God knows what He's doing. I thought
I was coming to Birmingham, Alabama, to help Gabrielle plan a
wedding she and Zachary were taking much too long to move on.
There was also that little unfinished legal matter between me
and Mrs. Cecelia aka Cee-Cee Murphy, better known now as "the
- So after a beautiful Christmas
with Zachary and Gabrielle (not to leave out my biggest surprise
of all, little Jasmine Noble, who can dance just as wonderfully
as her mother Gabrielle), who would have guessed that at the
beginning of 2011, all Hell would break loose. No, I did not
cuss here. When I say Hell, I mean Hell in every biblical sense
of the word with the devil, his imps, and the fire and brimstone.
Well, all of Hell broke loose. It's definitely what you would
call the other side of divine.
- God knows in advance of spiritual
warfare when prayer warriors are needed to be called to arms
and in place. God sent me to Birmingham (the home of U.S. Steel
that helped give Birmingham its nickname The Magic City because
of how fast the city grew, although some say it was because of
the smog that caused the city to seemingly disappear then "magically"
appear again), for such a time as this and . . .
- You know what? Instead of
me telling you everything, why don't I just let you see for yourself?
- Excerpt from "The Other Side
of Divine" by Vanessa Davis Griggs Copyright © 2013
by Vanessa Davis Griggs. Excerpted by permission. All rights
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