Oprah has never shied away from talking about her difficult childhood, growing up in poverty and bounced between different homes. She was raised by her grandmother in Mississippi for the first several years of her life, before being sent to live with her mother in Wisconsin. A few years after that, Oprah was temporarily sent to live with her father in Tennessee. Eventually, she returned to her mother. Oprah's youth was marked by uprooting, but the one thing that remained constant in her life was always her faith and belief in God.
"I grew up with an understanding that there was this God -- all-knowing, all-powerful -- who loved me," Oprah says. "The wonder of that, the magical mystery of that, is what carried me when I was separated from my grandmother and sent to live with my mother at 6 years old."
That particular move was a dramatic one, especially for such a young girl.
"I suddenly land in a place that's completely foreign to me. I don't know anybody. I don't really even know my mother," Oprah says. "I walked into that space feeling completely alone and abandoned."
Oprah's mother was working as a housemaid at the time, and Oprah can still clearly recall the evening of her arrival at the home in which her mother had a room.
"I remember the first night entering into that house and being told that I wouldn't be able to sleep with my mother and I wouldn't be able to sleep inside the house," Oprah says. "There was a little foyer/porch before you actually got inside the house. I was put outside to sleep there."
Oprah was initially confused by the command, but she later realized that it had to do with race. "My mother was boarding with this very light-skinned black woman who could have passed for white... I could tell instantly when I walked in the room that she didn't like me. It was because of the color of my skin," Oprah says. "I don't know how I knew that, but I did."
Yet, as Oprah slept on that porch outside the home, she still didn't feel alone. Rather, her faith and beliefs gave her comfort.
"I remember praying on my knees the very first night I had been removed from my grandmother," she says. "I don't remember ever shedding a tear about it because I knew that God was my father, Jesus was my brother, and they were with me."
Profound moments of belief can happen in all types of circumstances. This weekend, Oprah Winfrey presents "Belief," a seven-night series that searches for the heart of what really matters by journeying to the far reaches of the world and places cameras have rarely been.
"Belief" premieres Sunday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. ET on OWN.
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