It happened 25 years ago

How Jesus set my family up.

It happened 25 years ago

We were born in '91. Stayed near the woods with a river and marsh creeping up. It was a Victorian home, over a 100 years old on the bayou in Moss Point, Mississippi. We called it The Big House. I grew up going there every other weekend. My three brothers and I never missed it. I remember the pictures I saw where the paint was peeling off of the windows, above the door. When I wanted to sleep over at a neighbours house I could hear my dads sadness over the phone when I would ask to skip it. He always suggested the friends come join. They always went home with wild stories.

My twin, Thomas and I were 3-5 years younger than our older bothers. They always had a later bedtime then us. Thomas and I would go to bed after Dad sang us a few songs and literally tucked us in. We could hear the fire crackling outside our door in the living room, the TV and laugher from our dad and brothers. It was hard to go to sleep.

So what happened 25 years ago?

One night when we were seven, Dad slipped in and got us dressed. He took us to his little Toyota truck where we went to the country. We stopped at a lake and climbed out. As we got to the edge of the lake we saw a reflection of stars falling from the sky. It was a meteor shower. What a special time to get the little ones out of bed without an explanation. He watched with us in amazement. I don't remember what else happened that night. Part of me thinks we went to a friend of dad's where he had a few drinks, I think they had a bird. But that may have been a different time.

My whole life I have known my dad loves me, likes me and wants to be around me. But part of me felt like he valued alcohol more than me... like something about me just wasn't good enough to give up alcohol for. Something in me knew he and my mom weren't together because of his drinking.

I would try to talk with my dad about Jesus and about being sober. He wasn't open to the conversations. He would shut the conversation down with jokes and sarcasm.

After I got stuck into the same cycle of alcoholism and addiction, I decided I needed help- partly because of his encouragement. Then while I was in treatment at ATC in Florida, I found the scripture in Acts 4:26 "I will save them and their household".

I circled that and claimed it as a promise for me from Father God. I believed he would show Himself faithful. In my heart, I told God, "If you save my dad from hell, I don't care about the alcohol, I will do whatever you want. I will go wherever. I will be anything you want God. I just want you to open heaven to my dad."

When covid was first starting and everything was wild, my dad wasn't answering his phone for a few days. My uncle Kenny went to check on him and found he was pretty beat up and unconscious in his unkept home. He took my dad to the hospital where he was put on a breathing machine, life support.

My twin, Thomas called me and told me dad was in the hospital and that things weren't good. I went into shock. Everything was a blur. I started to pack a bag for me and Stella (6 months), but kept walking in circles. I was afraid I was going to lose my sweet beloved father who I never gave up hope for, but still hadn't surrendered to Jesus... at least not that I knew of.

We flew down south and my brothers, uncles and aunt I were in the waiting room, able to go see him a few at a time. We had to be careful because of covid so my nursing daughter couldn't join me.

Photo from that trip

I remember me and my three brother standing around my dad holding hands and praying with him, not knowing if he could hear us or if he was aware at all that we were there. We prayed for him to received Gods' forgiveness, for dad to choose to follow Christ and know the truth.

The next day our flight took us back to Canada... Aaron, Stella and I go back to a somewhat normal life while I am worried that my dad's life is over. Then, I get a call, he is okay. He is awake. Dad, Tom, calls me. His raspy voice, whispering from the tube in his throat.. he tells me he saw the light, he wanted to live differently..

To me this was clear his heart was softened and God was welcome. He never wanted to talk about change before this day!

This really felt like Father God showing me what kind of dad HE is... a dad that keeps his promises, a dad that fights for me and has strength to do big important things for me.

Thank you Jesus for loving me, my mom, my brothers and my dad.