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Praying Woman

When Normal Isn't Normal

When Normal Isn't Normal

by Lynne F.

I no longer knew “normal.” After-school snacks, regular meals, and family time were things of the past.

My mother died from a perforated ulcer that resulted in blood poisoning. I was twelve-years old at the time. From the time of the incident (when she entered the hospital in an ambulance) until her death was a matter of about two weeks. She was thirty-eight-years old at the time.

Prior to her death, my family was pretty normal. My mother was a stay-at-home mom who made sure all our basic needs were met, as well as our spiritual needs. My mother taught Sunday school to toddlers. My father taught Sunday school to teenagers. I was very involved in the youth, along with my sixteen-year-old brother and eighteen-year-old sister.

After my mother died, my father did not stick around much. He never went to church (none of us did) and would be gone for several days at a time without any contact. He became someone I no longer knew. In a sense, it was as if I lost two parents—not one.

I believe my father was angry at God and lost without his wife, but he never said those words to me. I was so young that I can’t recall much of that time but I do know it was a far cry from what “normal” had once meant.

As time went by, I moved in with a female relative who tried to take good care of me, but I had already started my teenage years feeling rejected and abandoned. Soon, I began drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. By 14, I was pregnant. At 15, I was married and a mother. Then, I became subjected to spousal abuse—although I also delivered some of my own. Soon, I had another child and then a divorce, another marriage, a miscarriage, two more children, and another divorce.

It seemed like every year just took me deeper and deeper into the devil’s dungeon. All four of my children ended up living with relatives, and I ended up living with a drug dealer in a tent near a river. Sad to say, I had given up everything—including my very identity—for meth. I was so far away from the Lord, I never believed I could not find my way back.

One night, the drug dealer I was living with took out a knife and began to cut his chest. Somehow I knew I would be next. In fear for my life I took off running—escaping the relationship and perhaps even death. It was at that moment when I realized I had no place to go. I couldn’t go back, and I couldn’t go forward. I had hit rock bottom.

Finally, I pleaded with a man I had once been in a relationship with to let me stay with him. At first, he refused—he said he was clean and did not want my drugs in his life. I told him I was “done with drugs” and wanted a fresh start. Reluctantly, he agreed.

It was while I was there that someone handed me the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. From the first page, God began speaking to me. He had not forgotten about me! I remember going to my knees and asking Jesus to be Lord of my life. I no longer wanted meth to be my God. Drugs had taken so much from me; I wanted my life back. That was the beginning of my return journey to Him.

That was also around 15 years ago. I never touched meth again. God has restored right relationships with my four children, and today I have several beautiful grandchildren. I also have a great job serving others where I have received multiple performance awards and promotions. My father never really became the man I knew before my mother’s death. He passed away about eight years ago, knowing that I loved him and forgave him.

God restored so much in my life, and gave me back my identity IN CHRIST. Most important of all, a day does not go by that I do not think of God’s mercy and compassion toward me. I love my “new normal” and would not trade it for anything! I also learned that there is no dungeon so deep that Jesus can’t rescue you. Although far from perfect, I truly am a new creation in Christ Jesus!


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