Believe

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. 

Believe

in the impossible.

If you want to read this miracle through my mom’s eyes, click here.

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  1. 1

    What a wonderful story!! i had tears in my eyes the whole time reading it! Thanks for sharing and encouraging us to believe in the “impossible”.

  2. 2

    Wow, Sarah. Truly remarkable. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3

    It is amazing what God can do, isn’t it? There are no limitations. Praise the Lord for such a miracle. There is nothing sweeter than capturing another child to keep safe in His arms. ((hugs))

  4. 4

    That is awesome! Wow. What a powerful story!

  5. 5

    wow! What a story. My dad is an alcoholic too. He quit cold turkey in 1987-ish and accepted Jesus a short time after that. People say that doesn’t happen. And usually, it doesn’t. But it did. He did. She did. Unbelievable, yet…believable. Thanks for sharing the details.

  6. 6

    That is such a beautiful story of redemption. Miracles do happen! Jesus Christ came to live and die and then be resurrected for sinners. Praise His Holy Name!
    Note to Sarah Mae’s mom – Thank you for having the courage to get back into your daughter’s life.

  7. 7

    Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! Yes I do believe in miracles. They happen every day all around us. They “get up and walk kind.” Our God is HUGE! He can do anything…and He does all the time!!
    Awesome story Sarah Mae! Blessings to you and you mom. My Our Lord continue to work miracles in both your lives.

  8. 8

    absolutely beautiful. encouraging. hopeful. praise God!

  9. 9

    And when you see miracles, you hush, bow low, and cry tears of wonder.
    I do, how I do.
    No words…no words… Just awe-filled, tear-filled wonder. I never get over the grace of God!
    Thank you, Sarah Mae, for the courage to believe.
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  10. 10

    I have an aunt (who was like a second mother to me) who has a similar story to your Mom. She is now an on-fire Christian!
    I am still praying for a miracle for my Dad! Thanks for sharing your story. It has encouraged me to keep on praying and believing that all things are possible w/ our God!

  11. 11

    WOW, I read this on your blog yesterday from your mom and now today here from your eyes. Thank you for always being so real and sharing such a personal and powerful story.
    God Bless you BOTH…
    Carisa

  12. 12

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

  13. 13

    This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been believing for a few miracles myself, and I feel my faith renewed after reading your story. Thank God He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think!

  14. 14

    That is an amazing testament to God’s saving power. Thank you so much. I was just thinking last night about a seemingly impossible problem in my life. It tugs at my heart, and I cannot escape it no matter how busy I get or how much I try to put it out of my head. It’s not my problem, but a problem of someone I love dearly, more than life itself. And in my finite mind, it needs. to. be. fixed. now.
    For almost a year I have been tormented about this and tried to fix it in my own way, to no avail. I realize I’m not God, but God uses people, right? So maybe I’m supposed to help?
    Evidently God has other plans. (Imagine that!)
    So just last night in bed, as I couldn’t sleep, I told God that He I was reliquishing control, and that I know He has a bigger plan than one my finite mind can conceive. He’s proven Himself to me countless times in my life; why should this situation be any different?
    I’m still troubled, and I’m still burdenened, but knowing that praying and trusting God are my only responsibilities in this is freeing.
    So thank you for the reminder that God is powerful and He can and will answer faithful prayers.

  15. 16

    Moved to tears by this testimony…so many “hopeless” situations I have given up praying for. I am encouraged to be faithful in prayer being reminded we serve a miraculous God! May healing waters flow through your relationship!

  16. 17

    Oh wow! You have truly given me hope. God IS a God of miracles. Powerful.

  17. 18

    This has given me hope for my father. My heart skipped a beat reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your hope.
    God Bless

  18. 19

    This is so beautiful, Sarah. I just love your writing. It’s easy to see why they picked you to be a part of (in)courage – everything you write blesses me immensely. Thank you.

  19. 20

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am where you have been. My father is a cocaine addict and has been in and out of jail for the last 10 years. The last time I saw him or talked to him was over a year ago. Most days I can barely picture what he looks like. The last time I saw/spoke to him I told him not to contact me unless he wants a ride to rehab. 6 months later he was back in jail. I used to pray for him but now I have all but basically given up. I also felt the desire for him to just die so I could greive just once. This is a difficult situation. I am glad you got your miracle.

  20. 21

    Thank you. This came at the right time. I’m also praying for a miracle for my husband to come to the Lord. I have been praying for years and there are days when like you, I just want to give up. Thank you for the hope to keep going.

  21. 22

    Thank you for the reminder of what an awesome God we serve. My 20 year old son has many problems and is living a lifestyle of the world. I get discouraged, but your story renewed my hope.

  22. 23

    Oh, Sarah, I sit here with my tears in my eyes and I’m saying “Praise you, God, praise you!”
    Yes, He has done a miracle in your mom’s life! He is limitless! But sometimes we need proof of that….those miracles!
    You are so blessed to have your mom back and she is blessed to have such a daughter as yourself.
    Thank you for your honesty in sharing this with us. Praying for both you and your mom.

  23. 24

    DON’T GIVE UP!
    I am so thankful to be able to share this story with you, but please know that I would never have believed it to be possible. So, for all of you who want to hope but are thinking “yea right” with your family member/friend, our God loves the impossible because it shows His power and it is for His glory.
    Never stop believing, never stop hoping, and never ever give up!

  24. 25

    amazing, sarah mae.
    takes courage to share it, ;)
    and hope…

  25. 26

    Wow, thank you for sharing this powerful story!

  26. 27

    That’s our God. Major capital G. God of wonders. Thank you for sharing.

  27. 28

    Sarah Mae! What an amazing story. I DO believe in miracles. I’ve seen them happen, too. Thank you for encouraging me with this story! Praise God for your mom!!

  28. 29

    I was thinking the same as Sarah (Markley), what courage it took to share this story. It made me cry. What a miracle!
    I believe too.

  29. 30

    I grew up in the home of an alcoholic mom too. Then I married a drug addict. God does perform miracles, all kinds of them. We just need to believe in Him again. My mom has been sober for many years as has my husband. But God does more miracles than just breaking addictions. He still performs all the same miracles that we read about in the Bible. People just stopped believing. We need to keep spreading His word. All of it. ((hugs)) to you and your mom!

  30. 31

    Thank you for this wonderful story and the encoragement it has brought. Praise God for He is mighty. I just love to hear what He has done. I will continue to believe for miracles.

  31. 32

    i started reading and thought, oh yes, i have a miracle of my own in my daughters eye sight… but your words simply took my breath away. i want to write a beautiful comment so you will know how awe stuck i am by your story… and by hers… but the tears are quite blurring my eyes… and even my own miracle seems small

  32. 33

    This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it! Thank you for the reminder that God can and does change people. I needed to be reminded to pray for my Mom. We do not have the kind of relationship I long for. I hope one day it will change.

  33. 34

    Wow! May I never ever give up hope in praying for the impossible.

  34. 35

    Praise God for His miracles still happen!!

  35. 37

    Sarah Mae,
    I had read the post through your mom’s eyes and looked forward to hearing yours. And I’m so glad I came back to read it. What an incredible miracle and what an incredible God we serve!
    You know if you had been able to intervene in your mom’s destructive path, you would have been given the praise. But God! God intervened and spoke to her that morning out of the blue. Yeah, right? He had a plan for your mom’s life. And now He gets the glory!
    This has been encouraging for me to read because I too have a prayer that I’ve prayed for years and not seen it answered …yet. It’s a different situation and circumstances but I’m encouraged to keep on praying and believing for a miracle.
    Hugs to you,
    Debbie

  36. 38

    What a beautiful testimony to the power of our Lord. This encourages me to continue praying not only for my mother, but my brother as well. Both are alcoholics/drug addicts who continue to insist they have no problem. Thank you so much for sharing. And congrats on finally having your mom to love. :)

  37. 39

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it. Today was a day where I kept feeling like I am praying and hoping for the impossible. I needed to see this. I’ll keep praying. Thank you

  38. 40

    Sarah Mae,
    What a powerful testimony to the Lord and His amazing grace and Power! Yes I believe in miracles and I, too, am praying for one in my Fathers Life. First and foremost for Salvation, then for a physical healing of the stage 4 lung cancer that he was just recently diagnosed with. He was an alcoholic and a smoker 32 yrs AGO.,but one day he quit both, and never picked either one up again. He doesn’t know the Love of Jesus. He knows and believes in God and his “HIGHER POWER” I am praying diligently for the deceit to be revealed and the truth to flow, the TRUTH that will set him free!
    THANKYOU FOR SHARING!

  39. 41

    Thank you Sarah Mae! I have been praying for my mom for a season! I can totally relate to your story! I thank God for your forgiveness toward your mom! I have forgiven my mom but I want to see her sitting at the table with Jesus! I believe in miracles because I have seen many! I am so proud for you and your mom! God bless you and your family all the days of your life! Lona

  40. 42

    I loved hearing that when you started to pray for your mom- you didn’t actually believe that the bondage could break, but that you prayed anyway. That’s where I am- not in a situation resembling this one at all… but facing my own mountain labeled impossible. And right now, I feel the courage to pray. Thanks for sharing your story.

  41. 43

    A very painful read for me (as the daughter and sister to alcoholics). My sister passed away last year at age 47 from advanced liver disease. My Mother (who could have been the woman in this article) died many years ago and another sister recently finished one year of rehab. I believe she has relapsed many times and continues to relapse as I write this. I still believe.

  42. 44

    What a powerful testimony Sarah! Thank you for sharing your story…
    It gives hope to the hopeless…
    Love you !
    Traci

  43. 45

    As I commented previously, this is just AMAZING. I can barely formulate a response, as I am so in awe of God and incredible mercy!

  44. 46

    ‘Believe’ is our family theme. We have this word displayed in various places of our home, along with scripture verses that go along with this theme.
    Our belief in a loving and all powerful Father in Heaven keeps us going in our never ending desires to give Parker the healthiest, strongest life possible.
    We believe in miracles. We believe that one day Parker will be healthy. And we strive to live our lives in such a way that this miracle can be realized.
    You story is beautiful.

  45. 47
    Melanie says:

    Praise the Lord! How awesome & wonderful (and miraculous). You pose the question of why someone becomes an alcoholic. I am a recovering alcoholic myself & I believe that a person is simply born to become an alcoholic. Not that a person drinks when they are a baby, but the disease is present from the beginning. There is a physical allergy to alcohol plus the horrible obsession an alcoholic develops for the substance. This is the brain part of the disease. I strongly believe that there is no element of choice in the matter, once an alcoholic is already in the disease. Unfortunately, the alcoholic cannot choose to quit because one loves her children or husband. If it was that easy, there would be many less alcoholics. In my case, as it is in many cases, it was direct intervention from God that did it. I could not have quit on my own even though I loved my children more than anything on earth. By the grace of God I have been sober for almost 3 years. God bless you & your Mom.

  46. 48

    There is so much pain, and missed opportunities that sneak out of the cracks in your story. How the reader comes away covered in joy is a testament to you, who had the heart to receive your mother in trust and in love. I rejoice for her story and for the chances of her everydays, but also for you , and the lost days that must move you to tears when her arms touch yours.. that just fills me with hope in yours held so long.Thank you for sharing this , it was timely and powerful.

  47. 49

    What an amazing story. I’m glad you have this time together now.

  48. 50

    WOW!!! Is really all I can spit out of my mouth right now. I totally ‘get you’ in this story; as I too have given up on praying for my own mother who has disowned me more times than I can count. Selfish? To me, I still see her this way, but I do also feel sorry for her and do see the other side too, that she is hurting, and very ill we (my siblings and I) feel. As the old saying goes ‘Those who are hurting, hurt other people.’ Sad, but true in most cases.
    Your story gives me new hope Sarah! (I’m also Sarah by the way; love your name! :D )
    It also shows me that I’m actually the selfish one, not my own mother (oh great now I’m gonna get all teary eyed!) because really how can I have given up on praying for her??!! THAT’S WHAT IS SELFISH ON MY BEHALF!!! She’s sick; I have just been stubborn and living in anger. Yet I’m the one who desires to serve our Lord and I gave up on my own mother who I’m supposed to always honor???!!! Foolish me!! Thanks for putting me back on track!! I am so glad I stumbled across this site today; I used to help out with CWO (Christian Women Online) as the blog moderator and miss that they’ve closed their site. It’s so great to know there is another one like ya’lls up and running to encourage and bring hope to where older sites left off at. So great!! I’m going to pass the word along and I’ve already subscribed and have your blog button on my site as well. Nice to be here amongst good company!
    Sarah Cecilia

  49. 51

    This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I have what seems an impossible situation in my life, and I have been praying for several months now that God would change the person’s heart.
    Like you it seems “impossible”, but that is what our Lord Jesus specializes in! And…the impossible does happen. Not always in our timing, but always in God’s.
    Thank you for reminding me of that, this post was just what I needed!

  50. 52

    Wow. Just, wow.
    Hard beautiful truth fought hard to win.
    Courage and grace in the same package.
    I pray that the Father who heals all things uses this past year to bind the wounds of the previous decades.
    Lisa-Jo

  51. 53

    I have read your story before and it always makes me cry! Thanks for sharing and praise the Lord for this miracle in you and your mother’s life!

  52. 54

    Thank you for sharing another testimony of His love and mercy.
    To Christ be ALL the glory.

  53. 55

    Wow. That is terrible and wonderful. Alcoholism is all over my family. Yuck. My dad is now sober and has been for 6 years (with some set backs). Praise God.

  54. 56
    Sharon O says:

    Your story is awesome. I know first hand what you are talking about. In 2006 my sister was put on hospice dying of starvation and alcoholism. She drank a 1/5th of vodka daily along with her husband. (my full story is on my blog site)
    Edited version. Her husband died first, saving her life. I rescued her, went through detox with her in my family room for 7 weeks. Around the clock I nursed her back to health, I slept on a cot next to her bed. My other sister and I, our two husbands, hospice and a wonderful doctor became a team.
    The demons tormented her, she tormented us. Hospice said she had days to live weighing only 90 pounds.(I have pictures)
    The final end of the story, in 2010 she is alive. Living in an assisted living care home. Doing very well. She is 57 years old and after YEARS of alcoholism and drug abuse, she is free.
    Her mind is coming back as you mentioned. And the liver function is doing very well.
    It was a story of sisters, (which I am writing about in the beginning of a book).
    It is a miracle. I do believe in darkness and light I have experienced both.
    Thank you for sharing .. it was very validating and meaninful to me.

  55. 57
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. My mother was an alcoholic literally her entire life. Her father had her drinking at the age of 9 and sexually abused her. After all the craziness with my mom’s antics and drinking, she passed away in April of 2008. Reading this article and your blog really helped shed some light and tears. Your words helped some of my deepest pain. Thank you! God Bless you!

  56. 58

    As I sit here reading this, I am crying because my mom was addicted to pain pills for almost 20 years. She too was a believer in the same sense your mom was…but couldn’t get out from under her addiction. I am crying mostly because I am a believer in the truest sense of the word, and yet gave up on my mom. I didn’t pray for her like I knew I should have. My mom killed herself on February 6th, 2010. She literally called me for help and I didn’t answer my phone…I didn’t even pray for her…I gave up hoping that she would ever change. I am so glad that you have been able to perservere with prayer…God is bigger than impossible. I just wish I would have believed that more with my own mom. I am at a loss now…not sure where to go from here or what to do with these feelings of such huge guilt that others keep telling me I shouldn’t have.

  57. 59

    Sarah Mae,
    Thank you so much for encouraging me to keep on praying for my father. A gentle reminder that He is the the Only One who can do the impossible. He is healing my heart in the process and giving me a desire to pray more specifically for my father, Joe.
    “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:7-8

  58. 60

    My daughter was born with a very rare brain disorder 9 months ago. We received MRI results 3 months later that led to a diagnosis of “impossible”. We were told by the best neurologist in the area she might not be able to walk/talk and a normal life would be impossible for her. The Lord led my husband and I to the same scriptures and to step out in faith on His power and claim scripture over her. We have been calling upon the power and mercy of Christ to heal her one milestone at a time..much to the discouragement of many around us telling us to be realistic. Guess what?? There is NO scripture that tells us to be realistic. There is scripture that says (Matt 19:26) With God ALL THINGS are possible. Praise the Lord, she is shattering impossible. He is choosing to show His power in her through one miracle after the other. Her neurologist in in awe and has said she does not match her brain scan. Every specialist she meets calls her a miracle baby bc she is doing things, by the power and mercy of Jesus Christ, that her brain is not able to do. Praise the Lord for merciful miracles!!!

  59. 61

    This is such a wonderful story. Thank you for encouraging us to keep praying even when we think it is pointless. :)

  60. 62

    God is so good! Praise Him!

  61. 63

    Very good post. Made me realize I was totally wrong about this issue. I figure that one learns something new everyday. Mrs Right learned her lesson! Nice, informative website by the way.

  62. 64

    Wow. I don’t even know how I got here, but this is almost exactly how I feel about my mom. She’s still drinking and we don’t have a relationship. I too have grieved her loss as if she were dead. It’s painful, and I take it to the Lord constantly. Thank you for putting words to my feelings and for helping me to make peace with how I feel.

  63. 65

    This is so wonderful. On one of my blog posts, I wrote about the growth that happens below the surface where no-one else can see it and encouraged those of us who have prayed for others, for situations, to not give up hope. I am a BELIEVER IN MIRACLES through the power of Jesus Christ!

  64. 66

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this. I do have an impossible prayer. But, this is tangible evidence that nothing is impossible with God.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] can read some history on my mom and me here and here and here and here and here and here, if you’d [...]

  2. [...] Spiritual gem I found this week . God’s answer to impossible prayer . A prayer the author had given up on [...]

  3. [...] Some of us were “churched” and some of us were abused and some of us grew up in lovely Christian homes and some of us did not. [...]

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