Do you believe in miracles?
I’m not talking about the sunset or the wings of a butterfly being a miracle. I’m talking about impossible prayer miracles. Real life, life-changing, the dead rising from the grave, physical healing kind of miracles. And I’m not talking about them only happening to those you read about somewhere in some other country.
Impossible prayers. Do you have some of those?
I did (and still do).
One of my impossible prayers was that my mom would stop drinking, get her mind back, and come to know the Lord. Let me give you some background: My mom has been an alcoholic for 20 years. She was a vodka drinking, sun-up to sun-down functional alcoholic. She was mean and verbally abusive when I lived with her. She told me I was ugly. She laughed at me when I told her she hurt me. She told me “go ahead” when I sat in the bathtub with a razor and said I was going to kill myself. She also told me she loved me.
I used to hate her.
Do you ever wonder why someone becomes an alcoholic? I always thought that she was just selfish and if she really loved me she would quit. There is truth in what I thought, but as a young woman, I couldn’t see past my own pain. I couldn’t see that standing before me was a broken women who had been sexually and physically abused, had two abortions, was accused of sexually abusing her own children (this alone would personally send me over the edge), had her daughter (my sister) taken for two years not knowing where she was, has been married five times, and felt completely unloved by her father all her life. Oh, and as if that wouldn’t be enough to break someone, she didn’t have the Savior to hold her up.
After 20 years of drinking, my mom’s mind had gone. Talking to her was like talking to a stubborn two year old. She argued about everything and was cruel in her humor. She didn’t have an edit, whatever she thought came right out and struck the victim with poison – whether it be a current husband or her children. Through all of this, she maintained that she knew Jesus. She would read her bible and talk about Him often. I think she desperately wanted to be loved for “who she was,” drunk and all. Jesus fit the bill in her mind.
She had it partially right.
After years of heartache and tension between us, I gave up. I stopped hoping and just reconciled myself to the fact that she would never stop drinking, would never have the clarity of mind to understand the gospel, and would never really be a mother, my mother. Some days I even hoped she would die so it could just be over with. I was so detached, and I could have cared less about her…my heart had become hard.
Good thing Jesus occupies my heart! He gave me hope when I had lost it and faith when I wanted to quit praying for her. I didn’t believe the bondage would break, but I prayed anyway. I prayed that she would stop drinking and come to truly know the One that could finally give her love and life…and rescue her from the depths. The One that could bind up her broken heart and set her feet upon a rock. The One, the only One who could give her an identity that said, “you are loved, my daughter.”
My mom has been sober for nearly a year now.
10 months ago my mom woke up and got started on her morning routine of fixing herself a drink. She sat down on her couch and prepared to indulge in the daily numbing. As she raised the drink to her lips, she heard a voice. “Put down that drink. You don’t even want it.” She put down the drink. She didn’t pick it back up. She went through days of withdrawal on her own that nearly killed her. She would wake up and “see” rain in her hallway. She would look out the bedroom window and “see” people laughing at her. After a few days of blacking out, hallucinations, and physical pain, she finally went to the hospital. They couldn’t believe she had survived withdrawal on her own. They told her she should have died. Then, after a series of tests, they told her she basically had no liver left and would most likely die within a month or two. If she didn’t die that quickly, her brain would go anyway and she wouldn’t be functional. It was time to say goodbye.
A strange thing happened though. She survived. Not only has she blown the two months to live date right out of the water (it’s been 10), her clarity of mind has come back. And guess what friends, she knows Jesus, and she goes to church, and she prays for people on a prayer line, and she is kind and she is calm. I feel like I know her for the first time in a long long time, and I want to be around her. I want to hug her and curl up with her and take every moment that she gives me.
I didn’t use to believe in miracles; real tangible miracles. I do now. I believe, and I believe in praying and hoping in the impossible prayers, because we have a God that is greater than “impossible.”
So friends, if you have an impossible prayer, don’t stop hoping, and don’t stop praying. Have courage, put yourself out there and trust your God! Believe in miracles.
in the impossible.
If you want to read this miracle through my mom’s eyes, click here.