My mother was about 31 years old when I met her. She was a very loving mother, hard working and not afraid to dig in the “free” piles to support her children. She prayed every day and always tried to keep us on the right track. She was well educated but not afraid to get in the dirt. She could even make a blackberry patch grow a garden.
To me, my mother is a definite servant of God, and never in my life have I ever seen any doubt of that.
I’m sure before she had me she hoped to have a daughter who would wear decent clothes, maybe some ruffles on the sleeves of her Sabbath dress. A daughter who would get herself educated and take on some of her hard-working hobbies like gardening and working with fabrics. A daughter who would listen to her mother and follow her as she followed God.
But when I came into her life, the first thing I wanted to do was whatever I wanted to do. As soon as I could crawl I was taking off to the neighbor’s house. I was picking up cigarette butts and kissing boys by the age of 5. I never liked to wear clothes, and anything girly was just out of the question. I dropped out of school when I was 15 and was married to a boy out of our faith by 16. I was never against God or my mother, but I was way out of focus most of my life.
She continued to teach me God’s way. No matter what I did, she never gave up on me or on me coming back to God. I always knew she prayed and was very close to God. I could always see how God provided for her, and I thought if she was gone, I would be in trouble. I was sure God protected us because she asked Him to.
When I look back on things, I know God watched over me and let me try it on my own. But God will not let us go on living a sinful way forever. After all, I was called at birth through my praying mother, set apart and given God’s truth. The foundation had been laid.
We just knew we could handle it.
By this time I was 22, a mother and a wife. I had just bought my first house and was employee of the month at my job as a lead fry cook. I did not work on the Sabbath but was always following my husband around, so I never made it to church. I never read the Bible, and the most use we got out of having one in the house was using it for rolling paper.
We were young and determined to show the world we were going to make it. We were unique and above the law. So, of course, when meth entered our lives, we just knew we could handle it. I could be super mom, go to work, play with my husband and lose weight. We dabbled at first, and then found our life engulfed in a nightmare.
My mother and father watched my son every day when we went to work. They started to notice a problem when we would get there later and later to pick up our child. We would make up excuses and tell them we were tired. A lot of times I would pass out in mid-sentence while my heart was racing as if I was in a marathon.
My parents were worried and clueless. They tried to think of every possible medical reason for my behavior, from gas leaks to bad thyroid medication. Finally, when the meth world overtook my house and my husband grew more and more abusive, it became obvious we were on drugs. They were shocked, scared and at a loss. The only thing they could do was get my son out of the situation.
We were out of work, our cars were broken down and life was out of control. I was fortunate that my husband was offered a trip to Alaska to visit his mother. Looking back, I think it was a miracle. It was just in time; the drug had made him turn into a monster.
I was angry and determined to stay in my now-overtaken meth house to try to save it. I was going to do it on my own. I thought I was still in control, but I was really in denial.
My parents found out quickly they had no control. They would take me home, and I would steal their car. They would come over and kick everyone out, and I would let them back in. It was a nightmare.
My mother discovered through many attempts and research that this very well could be a long and possibly losing battle. She was trying to juggle work, take care of my child, raise her other three kids and attempt to save her strung-out, meth-addicted daughter. Nothing was working, and she had no control over the meth world.
She let go and started on a new mission.
With so much on her to do list, she decided to just focus on her kids at home and work. She prayed to God and let Him know it was up to Him to get her daughter out of this situation.
To keep herself even more occupied, she decided to visit random thrift stores and piece together a set of dishes to match a few nice plates she had at home. She let go and started on her new mission.
Only a few days later, in a small laundry room where she was washing clothes for one of her clients, she spotted a box in the corner. It was not unusual to have a free pile in the laundry room, and my mother always looked. As she opened the box, she discovered a set of dishes. And not just any old set of dishes. It was the exact and entire set of dishes she was looking for! At that point she knew her prayer was answered. God was with her—she was not alone! It was no longer a hopeless battle.
With God on her side, it gave her great comfort and strength. She stopped by to see me every Wednesday and took me and a few cronies out for cheeseburgers. She smiled and talked about God. She wrote me letters to let me know she loved me, that my kid was good and that I was missed in the real world. It greatly helped me. It kept me connected and ashamed of what I was doing.
God started to work in my life. I went from denying there was a God to reading scriptures in my mother’s letters and having a hope. The love and the strength God gave her helped me to come home.
I have been home now for over five years. I was baptized in January 2008. And as I look back, I have no clue how I could have gotten here without the help of God and my mother. I’m so thankful for the strength God has provided in our life.