RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – If you looked up The Place of Grace, you’d find the local nonprofit that helps people struggling with substance abuse. But the woman behind the nonprofit has a story of forgiveness and perseverance that is nothing short of outstanding.
Jocelynn James Edmonds enjoys the peace and purpose of her life because she remembers where she was before.
“I fell into addiction in 2006-2007 and caught a lot of charges, lived a really bad life” Edmonds said. “I was really broken.”
But November 5, 2012, she made a decision.
“I went to rehab, and got saved, and never looked back,” she said. “God and recovery is why I’m where I’m at today.”
A mother, grateful she didn’t lose her children after she lost almost everything else to her addiction. She emerged clean, restored, and with a calling.
“It was to go out and help other broken women and broken people who struggled with the same thing that I did,” Edmonds explained.
So she started her nonprofit The Place of Grace.
“It’s really hard to find people that want to help you and are sincere,” Edmonds said. “I want people to know that through Christ you can overcome addiction. It’s not a life you have to live forever. There is hope and purpose for anyone who’s breathing.”
She goes with them to court while they fight for their children, she ministers at jails, shares her story, helps others where she can, and if she can’t she connects them to someone who will, because she knows that road first-hand, and knows the way out.
“People contact me and I go head-first,” Edmonds began. “I meet them where they’re at, whether it be a dope house, jail, the side of the road. God has allowed me to help over 900 women and a hundred and fifty-something men.”
Her life has truly come full circle. Today, she’s newly married, sober and saving lives. Not just those she encounters through the nonprofit, but also the life of someone she encountered in her last chapter: an officer who arrested her on three different felony charges while she struggled with heroin.
That officer is now-retired Phil Campbell officer Terrell Potter who learned his kidney was failing in the fall of 2019.
“The Holy Spirit told me that I had that man’s kidney,” said Edmonds.
Last July, she saved the life of the officer who handcuffed her years prior. Now, she calls him a friend.
“It goes to show that God will use you in the most amazing ways if you’re just obedient to the Lord,” she said. “Who would’ve thought that my kidney, someone who was an IV user for so long, that kidney could save another man’s life. God, He restored me from the inside out.”