Misty Norris, 36, is a one-armed woman who shares her troubled past, but what she’d always wanted to tell people is putting emphasis on faith, hoping for tomorrow, not only for her, but all those around her at the River Street Gathering.
She said that faith and hope got her out of her drug addiction and other strange experiences. Her parents divorced when she was 8 years old, she was a good student, and in 1996 she graduated from high school.
Norris worked at a hospital and rehab center after her high school, although she did not last that long, it was because of her choices, she said. While surrounded by the wrong set of friends, she started smoking pot, and other dealers gave her different substances to try eventually.
From a future in nursing, she landed into a criminal life. Norris admitted a devastating childhood molestation, which she experienced when she was 7 until she reached 13. She said she was wounded and needed to feel better.
In 2000, she got married to a man who was in the service, moving to another state to start anew. After a year from the service, the coupled moved back to Carthage, however, without jobs and transportation. The man left her, but she tried to make it into Sarcoxie on her own.
All throughout, she had different jobs, while on and off drug addiction. In an effort to better herself, she enrolled at a state college, alongside financial aid for a theatre degree. One semester, she made it to the Dean’s list, but dropped out totally when she got married to her second. Working hand-in-hand, the couple cooked and distributed meth.
During an illegal, she lost her right arm due to a shot. However, she’d say strongly that she was never angry or resentful as the experience was because of her own circumstances. God healed her, she said, claiming that she went through emotional healing, that it was real, adding that people have to forgive, repent, and then move on.
Her second husband was abusive; she said and was wheelchair-bound after a 2009 drug-related car accident. Those 2 years were drug free, leaving her husband 2 months before his passing.
She had lived at the Crisis Center, while visiting the River Street Food Pantry whenever she needs. After several instances, she said, she could hear God’s voice, whether during her alone-time with the Bible or through a good neighbor named “Brian”. The group started praying out for her, claiming that it is instrumental.
The city could be saved, she added, by gathering the people up and praying. Making a decree is better than praying the problem as it has changed her. The women in the center taught her how to pray.
In 2013, she began volunteering at the River Street, making connections to people who were going through difficult times. She also joined the jail ministry, becoming involved in missions, going to conferences, events, and spiritual cleanses. This October, Misty will be two-years clean, saying that there is hope, and putting God in the center of everything is the only way for everything to work.