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My Story | Barbara Dorsey

At around 6 years old my world was totally changed. My parents got divorced and my sister's and my world went somewhat spinning. My grandparents took over and tried their hardest to not let us have too much of an unusual life, but it was inevitable. My mom had a surgery when I was young on her jaw and that paved the path of addiction.

She became addicted to prescription drugs. My dad started drinking a lot and eventually got into drugs.

I have a biological sister, Brook, who is 22 months younger than me. We could not be more opposite, but lived a very similar nightmare. I was a perfectionist at its finest... to where it made me sick to my stomach for years and years.

I wanted to make straight A’s...

to be pretty...

to be liked...

to be outgoing.

I made pretty good grades, but I worked so hard for it.

I never felt pretty enough,

liked enough,

or outgoing enough.

We lived with my grandparents most of our young lives. My mom was in and out, using... not using... it was a vicious cycle and it still is, even though she is better.

My dad was the same. He had a wife (my step mother) who was awful at the time. AWFUL! My stepmother had two kids, so I became the oldest sibling of four. I was in charge of three younger ones by the age of 10.

Laundry, dishes, dinner, it all and it was detrimental to my emotional state.

Fast forward 6 years...

My sister and I were approached by a family that we had seen before at family gatherings, but we really didn’t know them. It was my mom’s cousin, her husband and their four kids. They wanted to take Brook and me to Disney World with them! WHAT?! Disney was just a dream in our little minds. They lived in a really nice house and their world didn’t seem so crazy. So we went. We stayed the entire summer with them.

God has been in every moment throughout my life, every single moment, but I feel this was a turning point in my life.

They offered for us to stay and live with them. I was all in. I loved the feeling of having a consistent life style. I didn’t have to worry everyday if mom was going to be killed in a wreck.... if I would find her once again on the floor... or if I was going to be picked up from school on time.

At age sixteen, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at a huge event called Crash. I finally understood who this God was and what it all meant. We had grown up knowing of religion, but we totally didn’t get it!

I still struggled a lot.

I still ended up being the oldest -- and that role is hard!! But they became mom and dad and their four kids became brother and sisters. I was the “big sister." I graduated from high school with them.

I went to college and again had serious anxiety attacks... stomach aches... crazy out of body experiences. Satan attacked me in so many ways that I thought I was crazy... but I was really good at hiding it. We went to doctors to check up on me and nothing was there. I drank a lot and partied on the weekends to mask a lot of feelings of abandonment, frustration, and loneliness. I was not alone... God was there... He knew. I had a family that took me in and loved me. I had biological family that loved me...

But why couldn’t my real mom be straight for me?

Why couldn’t she be mom?

Why couldn’t my real dad have his act together??


Other kids had it. Other girls could go to their moms for anything, but I couldn’t. And if I am honest I still feel like that many times and I am a grown adult!

But, I am so thankful for a “mom” who took me as her own and a dad who did the same... and four blonde-headed kids that call me big sister. I love them so much I can’t stand it! Satan didn’t win!

I made it through. Dated a lot... got hurt a lot.

Then I found my amazing husband, Matt. This man saved my life. I had always been anxious with men and they NEVER felt right. I couldn’t date without having a stomach ache in worry... but I didn’t with him. We had both been engaged before we met, and called it off. We met at our church. A youth girl introduced us as much as I fought it. It was literally love at first site; we hit it off immediately. Crazy thing is we had been at the same church at didn’t know it! It wasn't God's timing then.

We dated for a few months, were engaged and married in less than a year! I just knew. I didn’t have stomach aches with him, I didn’t feel anxious, I could tell him all my crazy thoughts and he took them and helped me talk them out (and still does!). He listened to my past and accepted it. He loves me for all my flaws and makes me a better person every day. God was there... He knew.

I believe that God uses our circumstances for a better purpose. I became a high school counselor for six years. The Lord used my testimony daily with students. Every time I was able to say, “I understand 100%... I was there!” Most people cannot relate with the situations that I can relate too. High School had been so hard for me socially, emotionally, and physically... what better place to counsel? It’s a game changer. God is so good... so, SO good. I loved my time counseling so much, because I was able to use my life to help others.

This past year, the Lord told me to stay home. I fought Him so hard on it. I’ve been fighting for about two years now. I would tell him, “God, You told me to use my testimony to help others... that’s what I am supposed to be doing!” He told me, "That was for a season. Your new season is to be mom at home. I know you need to feel like you have a purpose and you are a busy girl, so here is a new business idea, too. So you can provide financially..."

With Joy Wholesale was created and it has been such a blessing and has thrived ever since I said “Yes Lord.” He has also shown me my passion for women. I am able to share life and Jesus through devotions and fashion on a daily basis.

Not only that, but I get to stay home and be mom!!

I have never been more happy, fulfilled, and at peace with life than I am right now. I am sure there will be bumps coming up, but right now I will sit in the glory of God and how blessed we are. God was there the entire time and holding me and will always be. My biological mom is better but always struggles. My biological dad is, too, and is a great man. My biological sister is amazing... I love our relationship we have now.

I am the proud wife of Matthew Dorsey and mama of Ella, Grayson, and Nathan.

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