Day 6 of 30 Days of Breakthrough

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Today’s testimony comes from a woman I came to be friends with in a very unexpected way. She used to come to my neighborhood to visit her brother, who lived across the street from me. I would see her often, but never felt a connection with her. It was obvious she had come out of hard times, because she wore the hardness on her face and carried it in the words she spoke. I also didn’t think she would feel any kind of connection to me, because I was a Christian and lived a very different lifestyle than she did. So I kept my distance and just tried to be a good neighbor.

Until God spoke one day and told me to pray that she would become my friend. It came as a bit of a shock, but I began to pray, and before long, she showed up on my doorstep asking for prayer! From that day, we began to build a friendship, and I began to see God work in her heart and life.

I have grown to love my friend, and to celebrate our friendship. Because of God’s great love for her, He drew her into my life, and won her over. I am excited for all the ways He has yet to bless her!

May her story touch you and encourage you to rest in God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. He is truly good, all the time!

“My name is Carol, and this is my resurrection story…

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, baseball team mom , and neighbor.

My biggest struggle is with my oldest son.  I am a mother of 5 amazing children, but my oldest son has always been the one I’ve struggled deeply with.  This young man, who is now 26 years old, has always had his share of issues dating back to kindergarten. Up until he was 10, I struggled with my own meth addiction, which left me painfully aware of the need to be a better mother to my son. However, even after I got clean and sober I always felt guilt for what I put him through. So I made excuses for his behavior and fought all his legal battles for him. I never let him be responsible for his actions.

He made his way into the legal system at the young age of 13. By the time he was 15 he was facing felonies. Each time he went into custody, I felt my life get turned upside down. Our home was always being raided and my young sons were exposed to things they did not deserve  because all our world revolved around my oldest son. He went from juvenile hall to group homes and back to juvenile hall. One judge finally ordered him to stay in juvenile hall until he turned 18 in December of 2009. But by mid January of 2010, my son was arrested as an adult for having a loaded firearm.

This really turned my whole life upside down and backwards. I couldn’t sleep, eat or think straight. I wanted to just hide under my blankets until my precious little boy could come home. I decided to do what I could to get him out of there. I couldn’t wait much longer.  Twenty four long hours had already passed, and my son was still sitting in a jail cell with hardened criminals. I did what I thought I needed to do, and called everyone I could think of – family and friends – telling them how bad this situation was and asking them to help my poor son . We came up with the money to bail him out and got him an attorney. We are not a wealthy family, so it sure wasn’t easy coming up with this money, but we did it. At last, my son got to come home.

He did well for about 3-4 weeks . Once again I got that call from my son. He wasn’t in jail…yet, but he had been in a high speed chase with the police and was hiding. He needed me to get to where he was as soon as possible before they arrest him again. I left work and rushed to where he was at but I was too late because there was my baby boy sitting in the back of the police car, looking sad. I felt like I disappointed him because I didn’t save him, I didn’t get to him in time. This was all my fault .

I later found out that my son had been in a relationship with the nurse that worked in juvenile hall, and she had gone to the store to buy my son and his friend beer. But she left her phone in the car and she got a text from another guy she was talking to, so my son was hurt and took off in her car. She reported the car stolen and a Union City Police office saw my son driving and, since he knew my son well he knew he didn’t have a drivers license. When the police ran the plates on the car he realized the car was reported stolen and that’s when the hide speed chase began. Well, long story short my son  earned his first trip to prison.

Once again my world was turned upside down. I had one solid friend that always pointed me to God and encouraged me to go to church.  So I started going, but sometimes I just sat there and spaced out. I tried to listen but none of it made sense . This went on for years. It was like a revolving door. My son would get out then he would get arrested, and I would go running to my special friend. She was always so calm and encouraging. My son’s charges seemed to be getting worse with each arrest. What I didn’t realize was God was working on me without me even knowing it.

At 37 years old, I found out I was pregnant. This was the craziest news I could have received because I had all my kids when I was young. I had 4 kids by the time I was 24, so to find out I was having a baby was unthinkable. But my beautiful baby girl turned out to be a big blessing and has been part of what God has used to change me. She was born in February of 2012.

My son was in prison at the time. He was released in August of 2012, but ended up going back in October of the same year. He was released in March of 2014, and we tried again to let him come live with us, but he wasn’t willing to give up the lifestyle he was living. We would have police constantly patrolling our neighborhood. We finally had to give my son the choice to change or leave . He ended up leaving and blaming us for kicking him out and making his life harder than it already was. I felt terrible, but I was also pretty exhausted from work and having a baby to take care of. That made it hard to find room for the guilt. In early May, our house was raided again. This time it was different, however, because it was the DEA (aka the Feds), so it was a lot more serious than any other time we had been raided. I cried and cried some more until I couldn’t cry anymore, and that same day I got the call that my son was back in jail. I couldn’t even breathe. I did not know what to think being that the Federal Government was looking for my son. I didn’t know where to run . My husband tried to take the family out to dinner so we didn’t have to see the mess from the raid, but I couldn’t eat. All I could think about was,  ‘What could  my son have gotten himself into this time?’,  and ‘What could be going through his mind and could he be as scared as I am?’

Then I remembered one of my friends had given me a flyer for a church that had service on Friday nights. I told my husband we had to go, so the whole family went to church that night. It was so welcoming and much needed that night, and that night really changed my life. I kept going back week after week. My anxiety was still making me feel crazy, but that drove me go even more. I met one lady there whose husband was serving 15 years and she was the strongest person I had ever met in such a situation. She did not want anyone feeling sorry for her. She said this was God’s plan for her husband’s life, and that God was going to use her husband to touch inmates’ lives. At first I thought, ‘Okay, whatever,’ but here we are years later and now I’m able to say the same thing about my son’s situation .

I must confess the anxiety still comes around, but now I know I need to get on my knees and pray. Or when I’m driving or in a place I can’t drop to my knees I surrender everything to God, asking him to take control because I am weak, but He is strong. Most importantly I trust and believe that my God is able to take control, for He loves my son more than I do. I’m able to be where I am emotionally and mentally because I keep going to church, and I remember to stay in prayer daily. 

My son is serving a 13 year prison term and he is currently sitting in solitary confinement. When I got the news I was so sad and scared. Again I started to think, ‘What could my child be thinking, sitting alone?’, but a friend at church told me not to worry, and that this is God’s time to have with my son. I tried to argue and express my fears of my child being isolated away from everyone, but that friend told me that my son could be in the middle of a huge crowd and with the heart he had, he could still feel so alone.

I’m okay  today because I know that God’s plans are greater than mine. “

“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose.” Romans 8:28 (Passion Translation)

Dear Women of Breakthrough, let’s pray for this woman’s son to know the love of Christ and yield his life to His maker while he is sitting alone. Let’s pray that he, too, will have a resurrection testimony! Would you take a minute right now and do that with me, believing God to answer?

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 


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