I was leaving church. Had my coat on. My scarf around my neck. I passed a tight circle of people and I looked to see who was praying. And that’s when I saw her.
Her face crumpled as our eyes met. She pushed out her arms and I opened mine and held her tight.
She’s the age of my own daughters. A young woman I love and admire. A young woman who discovered that God loved her, that she wasn’t meant for addiction and living in the street, a young mom who was hugely pregnant the first time I met her in a small rehab class where I taught The Mom I Want to Be.
And now a young mom who had relapsed.
As I held her, she wept, and I prayed. I was angry — not at her — but at the enemy who desires to kill, steal and destroy. My heart was broken. I am crying even as I write this, my heart so heavy at her pain, at the story she shared with me.
But this is where I have to inject hope. It’s what I shared with her.
We can never get so far that God loses sight of us. There is no depths so deep that He can’t pull us up and out. And He does not see our failure near as much as He does us reaching out to Him, trying once again to follow in His footsteps.
Rehab a second time is hard. Trying to find your way back into your child’s heart again is hard. But staying down, walking away because you feel you’ve gone too far, is not an option.
“Make the best decision for you today,” I said. “The best decision for your baby girl. I know that you can do this.”
Today I am asking women — moms and grandmas and spiritual moms — to join me as I pray, as I war, for this sweet mom. Prayers of a righteous man or woman are powerful and effective (James 5:16). I am asking for prayers to rise with her name — Stephanie — to Heaven all over the nation.
Just a few months ago, as I sat with this beautiful young mom, I felt these words in my heart: strong woman of faith. I embraced the image God had placed in my heart, and shared it with her. I shared it with her again yesterday.
She struggled to believe it, but she held me tight as I spoke them.
There’s power in our words, in the way we see ourselves. My prayer is that she will see herself as God does, as what she can be through Him.
I know, I know what God can do. And I know, I know that this beautiful young mom is loved and cherished by Him.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart with you today, and thank you for praying for a beautiful young woman loved by God.