Have you ever been in a place of utter desperation where you can kind of see the direction you need to take but feel completely unable to make the move toward it? I have. One such occasion happened while laying in my front yard late at night. What?!? Yes, it was a VERY bad night but it actually became a turning point for me. Not a moment too soon! If you’ve been following this story, you have an idea of what led up to this point for me. If you’re just jumping in now, I’d like to suggest that you read “Where Was My Voice?” Part 1. Today I’d like to pick up the story at age 16. We can move forward from here over the next few weeks. Ok, back to the “front yard”.

As my world was spinning faster and faster out of control like a psycho merry-go-round ride at a disreputable carnival, I made a careless decision that pulled my hand off of the control switch. I made the choice to go out with a group of people that I didn’t know well. Not my normal party animal group. I felt a bit of caution as I got into the car with them. But no one else seemed to be available that night and I HAD to get out of my house, if only for a few hours. I still remember the chilled feeling I felt as I closed the car door. I normally had a clear plan of control where, if things went south, I had means and plan of escape. On this particular evening, I had neither. I had no real allies with this group and I was at the mercy of whoever was driving. I actually wondered before we pulled out of my driveway if I would make it home that night alive. This is where my desperation had taken me to. I was losing my mind and my razor sharp determination to survive. I felt like I had already begun to walk this fateful plank and there was little time left until I reached the drop off. I was hyperventilating in my soul. I grabbed the bottle passed to me and we were off.

If you asked me today who I was with that night, I couldn’t tell you. If you were curious as to what we did or where we went, I have no memory of it. All I have is a couple of random still shot pictures in my head. One of those pictures was taken thru the lens of my eye looking down at the pills in my hand. Nothing unusual there. I popped them without hesitation. But it turned out to be a night of dangerous substance combinations. As the night wore on, I felt myself pass the edge of control and I knew that I was in serious trouble. Not a soul in that car cared a rip about me so I knew I was completely on my own. As I was losing consciousness, I managed to mumble something about having to get home and crash. With that, I blacked out. When I came to I became mildly aware that we had stopped, somehow discerning that we were in my driveway. I absolutely could not believe it! I was home and never so happy to be! I pushed my body against the door and fell out, pushing the door closed enough for them to drive away. I felt like I had been gone for days. It was pitch dark. I managed to pull myself onto the grass and there I lay. I squinted my eyes at my house, seeing the lights still on. It was just beyond my reach and my ability to get there. I lay there thinking, “I am so close. But I’m not going to make it. My mom is just 20 feet away but she doesn’t even know I’m here.”

My moms love was my only constant and comfort in life. We were the best of friends until my dad left when I was 11 years old, sending me into a tailspin of anger and rebellion against ALL authority! But even in the volatile years that followed, I knew my mothers love was the cushion that padded the walls of this cell I lived in inside of me. I pounded away at them. I pounded mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. Though the pads began to show signs of wear and tear, they remained, assuring me that I had a safe place in my mothers love. Now here I was out in the dark, beyond her reach and I couldn’t move toward that safe place. I kept my eye on the light in the windows. “How could I be so close but yet so far?”, I mused. I lay on the cold grass thinking about my life. I knew I was going to die before I turned 20. Hey, I wondered if THIS was going to be that fateful night! My mom and many others from her church where she had come to know Jesus had been praying for me for years. But like my house that night, having a relationship with God seemed just beyond my ability to reach. What I didn’t know was that even though my mother didn’t know I was there in the dark, my Heavenly Father did.

Something happened as I lay there. It was like the light from the windows pierced into the darkness of hopelessness within me. I thought through the decisions of my life and how I got to where I was. A determination sparked inside of me. “If I live thru this and if I can just get into my house, I’m going to be ok. I’m not going to continue to live like this.” I can’t explain why but I knew somewhere deep inside of me, I had greatness. It wasn’t greatness for myself, it was for a much bigger purpose. “This is not my life!! I have believed a lie. I’m done with this! It’s over!” I prayed as I did many times. This time I prayed that I would live and not die. I pushed myself up enough to crawl. It felt like an eternity but with every inch closer I felt hope and relief growing inside. It would be a challenge to get up the steps into the front porch and then be able to reach up and get the door handle open. But, slowly, with great effort, I did it. I pushed against my second heavy door that night-The first one threatened to keep me inside a place of danger and captivity while the other door threatening to keep me outside a place of love and hope. I honestly believe that Jesus made absolutely certain that those doors OPENED!! I’d made it. I was in! I crawled into the living room and attempted to get to my room. “I’ll just get into my bed and be done” I thought. I was exhausted.

My older sister, who had long past lost her patience with my wild lifestyle, began to lay into me. She was sick of it! I couldn’t reply as I was barely able to cope. She yelled for my mother who came in to see what was going on and found me in rather “poor” condition. It was debated over as to whether she needed to get me to the hospital. Instead, she prayed. But, right then and there, an important lifesaving body function, which I was not accustomed to, took over! I believe it did to save my life. I started throwing up! Yup. It was major, but crucial. It was a long rough night filled with hallucinations and terror beyond any nightmare I’d ever had but they began to subside as dawn began to break. I lay in a pool of sweat but I had made it through the night.

I was not well at all over the next few days and felt very sure my “friends”, who would’ve heard what had happened by now, would be on the phone or drive over. Not one. It was another clear picture of the truth I’d not been able to see up to this point. My mother had told me for years that these people were NOT my friends. They cared for no one but themselves. This had been a subject of heated fights over the years but her words now replayed in my mind over and over. Only now, I began to add my OWN voice to this statement. “These people are not my friends.” Anyone could see that. But the most important thing was, now I could.

To be continued……

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