Country crooner Dolly Parton said faith is the reason why she has persevered over the years.
Despite her lasting success as a music icon, the 72-year-old admitted she’s endured plenty of private woes.
In the early ‘80s, Parton developed gynecological problems that had plagued her for about three years. By 1984, she underwent a partial hysterectomy and was told she’d never be able to have children with her husband, Carl Thomas Dean.
The couple had married in 1966.
“It was a really bad time,” Parton told Closer Weekly Wednesday. “Sometimes God just has to smack you down. He was almost saying, ‘Sit your pretty little ass down because we have to deal with some stuff!’”
Parton admitted she sank into a two-year depression and was forced to scale back her professional commitments to heal. It was also around the same time when Parton wrestled with guilt over an emotional affair that left her heartbroken.
However, Parton was so rattled by her feelings for another man that she even contemplated suicide.
“I looked at it a long time,” said Parton about eyeing her gun at the time. “Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it, and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs. The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality. I suddenly froze and I put the gun down.”
Parton said it was then when she started to pray, begging for God’s help.
“I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God,” she said. “I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure. Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities, even for someone solid like me, if the pain gets bad enough.”
“A belief in God is essential,” she stressed, adding she never lets a day pass by without her daily prayers.
Parton and Dean even built their own small chapel on the grounds of their farm in Tennessee.
“She spends time there the most every day she’s home,” a friend told the magazine. “She not only prays there, but she often goes there to write spiritual songs. Carl goes as well, and it’s their quiet place to reflect, pray and give thanks.”
And Parton’s love for Dean has only gotten stronger over the years.
“There’s still a lot of passion between them,” claimed the insider. “Dolly still enjoys cooking for Carl, and he still writes her love poems. Despite all of their ups and downs, they both consider their relationship a match made in heaven!”
“She always lets God’s hand guide her through life,” another friend added. “And she’s always come to the realization that God believes her place is with Carl.”
As for Parton, she’s feeling perfectly content with her beau.
“We know each other so well,” she said. “I know every line in Carl’s face, and he knows every hair in my wig!”
But Patron’s belief in God isn’t new. The singer revealed that growing up in a one-room shack, faith was essential to help her face poverty head-on. She even found refuge in an abandoned chapel near her home that had a dilapidated piano inside.
“I would sing hymns to God,” she recalled. “One day as I prayed in earnest, I broke through some sort of spirit wall and found God. [The Lord is] a friend I could talk to on a one-on-one basis.”
Parton added, “The joy and the truth I found there is with me to this day. I had found God. I had found Dolly Parton. And I loved them both.”
This article originally appeared on FOX News
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