I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia with three brothers, two loving parents, and a golden retriever; all we were missing for the full American dream was a white picket fence. I shared a bathroom with all three brothers up until I was seventeen, which I think says more about me than anything else I could put on this page. My parents were Sunday school teachers, my brothers active members in the youth group, and I was third in line trying to find my way through the crowded halls of high school. I believed the only way I could be happy was to be different than my family, to walk my own path, so at fifteen I left the youth group for the “popular crowd” and into a life of addiction and heart ache.
I wouldn’t say my story is different, in fact I would say what is compelling about my story is just how ordinary it is. I was just a girl trying to find love and acceptance. I have the story most high school kids have, drinking and partying were my weekends and for a while I thought I was happy. I filled the void that my soul ached for with friends, booze, and drugs and when the high would ware off I began again. It wasn’t until a bad break up and moving away for college that I realized I was empty and desperately alone. Every happiness I experienced was temporary, every drunk faded, and Friday nights always turned into Saturday morning hang overs. My heart told me I was made for more.
Desperate for something different I accepted my parents invitation to a Christian conference called, Passion to hear my oldest brother Kristian Stanfill lead worship (pictured at right with Tindell). In a few days my whole world was turned upside down. I realized this Jesus who had always been just a figure head in my family was my Savior and I cried out to him as his child for the first time. I was twenty at the time and haven’t looked back. Some chains have been harder to break than others but God is full of grace and mercy and he guided me into a new life.
From that day on my life has been a journey with my creator, he has mended relationships with my family and at 22 I married a Godly man who continues to challenge me. After graduating from Auburn and getting married my husband and I moved to Texas. I realized, through substitute teaching in high schools around Houston that most teenage girls were like me. I realized that I had the answer they were all looking for, I knew who could mend their broken heart, I knew who could break the chains of addiction, and I knew who could love them like no one else could. After hours of prayer I felt a gentle nudge from the Lord loud and clear telling me to, write my story, so I did. The whole process took three years. Meanwhile we moved back to Atlanta and had a sweet baby girl (and a boy added a year and half later), and “Popular” has been published by Tyndale House.
I once heard someone say, “if you ever doubt God’s faithfulness re-read your own story” and I can say after re-reading my own quite a few times I am blown away daily by God’s faithfulness. My life was dead and now I am alive and I can think of no better way to honor him then by sharing my story in hopes that more girls will come alive in him.
This is Tindell Baldwin and this is her True North Story®
Purchase Tindell Baldwin’s book HERE:
Her brother Kristian’s music HERE: