Everything can change in a split second, so you better get prepared.
It all started on a Thursday evening. I stood by my son Mitchel’s bed and told him he needed to work towards moving out. He was twenty-two at the time and I felt like I was holding him back by not pushing him a little on taking the next step in adulthood. He had a good life. I cooked every meal for him and provided a warm place to sleep. I even made the mistake of doing a little bit of his laundry, mostly because I didn’t want his bedroom to smell like a stinky teenage boy room. My husband Brian, who is his step dad spent time having meaningful conversations. We wanted him to feel welcome but not stay forever. I wasn’t mad at him; it was just time to gently push my little bird out.
I heard Mitchel on the phone with my ex-husband telling him that I was kicking him out. I felt annoyed that he was misrepresenting me to his dad. I went back to his dad and clarified that I was simply encouraging him to begin figuring out his options. Still, what he heard was “Get out right away!”
I moved on and didn’t think much more about my conversation with him. The next day was Friday and my husband Brian and I sensed that the Lord wanted us to pray for Mitchel. It didn’t stop at just one prayer. We felt it so strong that we prayed together several times Friday. By Saturday the feeling hadn’t dissipated at all and we began to see that we needed to be deliberate in how we were praying. God was giving us the words; we were praying things we had never prayed before. Sunday morning at church during worship our pastor encouraged us to think about a person who needed to be saved and to pray out their name. We were confident that Mitchel was saved and yet we knew we were supposed to pray out his name. We could hear names being called out from all over the church. The spirit of God was felt throughout the building and we knew that it was having an impact.
After church I felt exhausted. I rarely try to take a nap. If I tell my family that I want to take a nap then I’m for sure not going to get one. In fact, when I want a rest inevitably so does my husband. I don’t really sleep, I just rest but when he is beside me, I don’t even rest. It’s his deep breathing that gets me every time. I thought I would be smart this time and warned everyone to let me have my time. It didn’t work. My husband kept asking me what was up with Mitchel. I was too tired to notice until Brian kept hounding me.
Mitchel had been packing up his bedroom and putting boxes into his car. Although when I came home from church he and I shared a sandwich and talked, I didn’t catch on to what he was doing. He found a friend to move in with. My idea of “working towards moving out” was that he would wisely save up his money, methodically choose a roommate and be ready in two months to move out. His idea was, “I must do this now!”
Since Brian kept asking me what was up with Mitchel, I reluctantly sat up in my bed and had Brian request for him to come into our room.
Mitchel walked into our room with his car keys in his hand, ready to drive off to his friends. I took this opportunity to ask him why he felt so compelled to leave that day. Brian and I both explained that we never demanded that he leave right away. I asked a few questions and within 5 minutes I could see he was tuning me out. In my mind, I was thinking this boy is not hearing one word I’m saying. Then Mitchel turned his body around towards the wall and looking towards my dresser. I immediately thought he was so mad he was going to hit the wall. Instead, he began to have a seizure.
I hope I never witness a person having a seizure again. First off, I was pretty sure my twenty two year old son was dying in front of me. A million thoughts can go through your mind in just seconds. It’s crazy! Brian told me to call 911 but I couldn’t get my phone to work. I was pushing the numbers for my bank password instead of my phone password over and over again. I finally told Brian he had to take my phone; I was jumping up and down in shock.
Brian took the phone and I got on the floor next to Mitchel. He was still seizing, throwing up blood and his eyes were rolling back in his head. Without any hesitation I began to rebuke the devil. Holding my son’s head, I told Satan he needed to leave and that he could not have my child. I pointed to the window as if to say “get out of here now!” A funeral flashed before my eyes and I screamed, “He is not going to die!”
My two younger children could hear me yelling from where they were in the basement and frantically came upstairs. All three of us began to pray together asking for mercy and for the healing of Mitchel’s body.
We live outside of town so it took fifteen minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Mitchel was motionless, just lying on my floor. About two minutes before the ambulance drove up to our home; Mitchel woke up, lifted his body and tried to walk. He was disoriented and I got him to lie back down until the emergency crew could check him out.
By the time Mitchel was in the ambulance and heading to the emergency room we realized how our prayers had an integral part in Mitchel being alive.
Remember when I said that Mitchel came into our room with his car keys in his hands? Had Brian not pestered me to talk to Mitchel, he would have been on the road at the same time he had the seizure. He would have been either dead or badly injured. He could have injured others on the road as well.
When I was at his side, praying and rebuking the devil I could hear the pounding of a drum. I explained it to a friend that it sounded like a war drum being pounding as I shouted every word. It felt like every word was being sent upward to the heavenly powers that watch over him.
Do not underestimate the power of prayer. James 5:16b-18 declares, “….The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” The early church understood the power of prayer so they were always on their knees. The enemy has made us so busy that we only fit in prayer when it’s convenient.
Here’s what I found out about what was going on that I didn’t know. Earlier that same week, Mitchel’s coworker offered him Tramadol, a pain relief medication. He had taken painkillers in high school after a surgery on his rotator cuff. He liked how they made him feel and the doctor prescribed a large amount of pills. Often kids are introduced to drugs by doctors and dentists. Parents have no idea how addictive the drugs can be and naively allow them to take the prescribed drugs. Honestly, it has been a regret that my son has now. At the time, he was living with his dad so I didn’t have any way to monitor it and quite frankly, I’m not sure if I would have understood the dangers.
There is a war that we cannot see. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are “fighting against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The Scriptures tell us there is a war against us and we need to believe it. We prepare for battle the way a soldier does. He is disciplined and ready for the attack through intentional preparation.
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have: Mark 11:23-24 Jesus told his disciples “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted to you.”
What I didn’t know about what was going on with Mitchel. This particular week, he was feeling a little low and he said he didn’t really have any particular reason why. Mitchel started taking the drug on Thursday. Remember, his step father and I began to pray on Friday and by Saturday evening while praying I blurted out, “I pray against the spirit of suicide.” I was in shock about what I just prayed because it was the last thing from my mind. That’s when things got real for me and afterwards I could clearly see why. Mitchel had no intention of committing suicide but the lies that Satan fed him were worthlessness, loneliness, and despair in preparation to get him to that place. This boy is blessed because he has two parents who listen to the Lord and pray when we are feeling led to pray, even when we have no idea why.
The Holy Spirit intercedes when we don’t know how to pray: Romans 8:26 in the New Living Translation says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words.”
I want to make this as practical as I can.
Every mother needs to know that they are called to fight for their children. What you do now is shifting the future.
You might feel like you don’t have the energy for anything more in your life.
It could be as simple as a 5 minute devotional, 5 minute journaling, and a 5 minute prayer. You will not have the time to do what a seasoned mom can do because you’re busy doing what they have already done. Don’t compare yourself to a mother who is in a different place in life.
Maybe you feel like what you say and think doesn’t matter that much.
Get some time by yourself the way Jesus did; go on a quiet drive by yourself, read a book at the library, get together for coffee with a girlfriend or spend some time in your bedroom closet. What you need is to hear from the Lord how much you matter to Him. Don’t be afraid to share about what God is filling your heart and mind with.
You might feel like you need support to be able to guide your family in holiness.
Unfortunately, not every husband has the drive to lead their family in the ways that God wants him to. Show grace. Do what you can. Give up television time or social media to spend it in the training of your children. Take each meal time to connect and speak life into your children. Reading scripture out loud produces much fruit.
I believe God sees you for who you are going to be.
I love that God knows our full potential. He doesn’t place a guilt trip inside of us (Satan does that) but He gives us passion and a longing for more. You will have time to do all that God has called you to do. Find friends who will call out the good they see in you.
You probably feel like giving up a few times a day.
Most moms feel that fifty times a day. We get up every morning and do the same thing we did the day before. There’s never an end and always more piled onto our daily schedule. We are making small deposits into God’s treasure chest, His children. We are impacting the Kingdom a tiny bit at a time. When you are feeling discouraged, read Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.