There is no logical reason for me, Cheri Hardaway, to be where I am today. Thanks to my self-sufficient ways, by my late teens I was abusing alcohol, flirting with drug use, and looking for love in all the wrong places. Odds favored my self-destruction, except for the mercy and grace of God. When Jesus Christ comes in contact with a life, He changes the odds; He breathes new life into barren and dead places. I know. He did it in my life.
Fast forward a couple decades and I'm married with teens of my own. Hubby and I taught them about Christ, their Savior, determined to spare them the heartaches we'd inflicted on ourselves in our own youth. But mere knowledge was not enough. Religious education cannot impart spiritual life; it can only point the way to the One who can.
It was a bleak day when I sat in my nineteen-year-old son's bedroom, the evidence square in my face. He was using, had been for some time. All our talk, all our plans, all our rules ~ for nought. All our well-meaning attempts to keep him innocent and perfect had failed. I sat there rocking and sobbing for I don't know how long. I had no more ideas. I had no pride. I was broken before God. Anguished, I cried out to Him:
He's yours, God. You've got to take care of this. I tried. I failed. It's hopeless. He's lost his way. If You don't do something, he'll be dead.
I imagine my grief was not unlike the mother scripture tells us about in Luke 7:11-17. I love verses 14 and 15 in particular:
14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
This son was literally dead: D-E-A-D. The odds were even more against him than they were against my own son, yet when Jesus came on the scene and touched the situation, He changed the odds. He brought life into the midst of certain death. He made a way where there seemed no way (Isaiah 41:18). He did this in our son's life too; he gave our son back to his mother. While at Teen Challenge, our son gave his life to Christ. God turned everything around.
My husband Wayne and I ventured into the world of blogging in December 2008, with hearts set on encouraging families; in particular, parents who are finding themselves, like we did, members of a club they thought they'd never join: the addiction-is-bent-on-ruining-our-lives club. Here in cyberspace we have connected with and grown to love families who we lift in prayer on a daily basis. God has also brought some local families into our circle for prayer and encouragement. And God has united us with prayer partners who pray for all of us, as well.
If you are a prayer warrior, please add the families below to your prayer list. (I share them as they are known to me, some more anonymous than others. We don't need details to pray; God knows all that needs to be known.) If they have a blog of their own of which I am aware, I'll list their names as a link to their blog, so those who want to drop by and leave a word of encouragement may do so. And if you are reading this post and want to request prayer for yourself or your family, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- KB and her son M
- Sherry and son J
- Lisa and son Bryan, and her niece
- Athena and her daughter
- Debby and her husband, C, Debby's son B, and B's dad
- B, her husband, L, their daughter and two sons
- Barbara and her son Keven
- Dad and Mom and their son A
- Angie and her son Randan
- C, her husband, T, and her son and daughter
- W, her husband, D, and their son B
- Janet and her daughter Alecia
- Renee and her son
- ChaiLatte and her son
- Sherry C and her husband, and their son C
- Annette and her daughter H
- Treava and her 24-year-old daughter
- "Fractal Mom" and her daughter
- Mom and her daughter Heather
- Jenni and her husband, their three sons and a daughter
- "Her Big Sad" and her daughter
- Lou and her husband, Gary, and their son Andrew
- Mom and her son Greg
- P and her daughter, a heroin addict
- Tina and her husband, Anthony, and their daughter
- Mom and her daughter Kelly
- C and his family
- The D family and their son
- C's son, 21, struggling with alcohol abuse
- Christina and her son Jackson
- The Martin family
- Gail, son Bob, granddaughter Alex, and their family
- Johanna and her family
- Madyson and her family
- Mom and her daughter Jo Lynn, an alcoholic
- Kay and her family
- Carol M. and her family
- Nora and her family
- Cindy and her daughter Sunny
- Renee and her family
- J-M B and family
- Courtney and her family
- CC and her son
- Tori and her son
- Carolyn and her daughter H
- Daisy and her son Jack
- One Pill Away from Chaos
- Panic Monster
- Kristi and her son Jacob
- Abbie and her family
To each of you, our friends, near and far, we want to leave you with two thoughts. 1) Prayer brings God into your situation. We saw from the testimony in Luke that once God is in a circumstance, no matter how badly it appears the odds are stacked against you, you are not without hope; miracles can happen. 2) We also have another powerful weapon in our arsenal, and that weapon is praise. In 2 Chronicles 20, there is an account of a great army coming against God's people. There are two verses we need to take note of:
15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
Praise undoes our enemy and his plans and plots against us and our loved ones!
We are praying. Others are praying for us. Now we need to praise and watch God move and victory come into our lives.
Here's a song to get us started:
May God bless each and every one of you,
Cheri and Wayne