#146 Little Church by the Creek

Photo by Nicole Tarpoff

When my husband and I were in the hospital getting ready to have our first baby, I was in labor but it was in the beginning and not intense yet. For some unexplainable reason my husband and I began laughing uncontrollably. This went on for a long time. The nurses even came in as my electrodes began popping off of my stomach. They asked many times, “What is going on?” We could not stop laughing and could not tell them anything. We were both in tears from laughing so long and so hard. Now, looking back on this, it had to be the Holy Spirit filling us with unexplainable joy.

Fast forward 23 years, and our son that was born that day is in the battle of his life struggling with heroin addiction. It started four years ago. Since then my husband and I have struggled from day to day with knowing what to do, how to help him. Often the situation has seemed hopeless. He would go to rehab treatment, transformation homes, get better, come home, and then relapse. We have found that there is only one answer. We have to depend on God, to pray each day, multiple times a day, to put everything in God’s hands. Through prayer, God has given us guidance about what to do next for our son.

I remember one particular day I felt God leading me to take our son to a church to participate in a men’s group. I even took off work to do it. He didn’t want to go but eventually said he would go but not in the car with me. He followed me there in his car. I thought he would ditch me on the way and was surprised when he actually followed me all the way to the church. When we arrived at the church, he didn’t want to get out of the car. It was time for the meeting to start and the other men were arriving. I told him he needed to get out of car but he didn’t move. Eventually he got out of his car but wasn’t ready to go inside. Just when I thought for sure he was going to jump back in his car and leave, the men who were getting out of their cars noticed him and came to him on either side and guided him into the church. I was going to leave but felt the Lord prompting me not to. I tried to leave several times but the Holy Spirit kept me there walking and pacing.

After approximately two to three hours, the men started trickling out of the church. Then I could see our son from a distance. He looked like a ghost. Glowing, he came to me and said, “I am overwhelmed and that was a lot to take in.” I could tell he had been crying. I hugged him, told him I loved him, and off he went with the guys from the church to begin a recovery journey with them by his side. I cried uncontrollably after he left. One of the church leaders came out and chased me down before I left and told me that our son surrendered everything that night and that he was going to be okay. Then I understood why God had prompted me to stay. It was so I could see this and hear this news. I cried loud and hard all the way home. I even kept driving past our house because I couldn’t stop crying. That night was the beginning of our son’s journey to recovery. It was also the beginning of me wanting a closer relationship with God. I discussed with my husband about getting into and belonging to a church and for our family to dig deeper, to learn and grow. He finally agreed. We went to several churches, finding the little church by the creek and making it our church home.

But there were many bumps in the road. Our son overdosed a few months ago. It was a terrifying experience for him and for us and our family and friends. We stood at his bedside as the doctor told us a few things were damaged (his hearing, his left side, etc…).  But miraculously he recovered completely. Something changed in him after this experience. He has been drug free since then and we believe he is truly seeking after Jesus. He gave up his previous “friends/community” who were into drugs, and alcohol and now the members of our church are becoming his new community. He has new family and mentors who support and encourage him. He meets with our pastor and some of our church leaders in hopes of learning to become a leader himself. Our pastor believes that our son is called to be in young adult/teenage ministry and/or possibly become a pastor and that he will change the lives of many people through his testimony and ministry. We have kept our faith and will continue to put our faith and trust in our Savior.

God gave us the precious life of our son 23 years ago and He has continually guided us as to the best ways to help him. God has not given up on our son. He miraculously saved his life from the overdose and has protected him from harm again and again. God is working in powerful ways in the life of our son, drawing him to Jesus. His life is transforming before our eyes and we believe that God will use his pain and his past to do great things in His kingdom.

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 1:6

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person

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