Living the Reclaimed Life

It Didn’t Start With You, but It Can End With You ~ Heather & Mary Ep. 128

May 27, 2024
It Didn’t Start With You, but It Can End With You ~ Heather & Mary Ep. 128
Living the Reclaimed Life
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Living the Reclaimed Life
It Didn’t Start With You, but It Can End With You ~ Heather & Mary Ep. 128
May 27, 2024

Send us a Text Message.

God is in the business of rescuing and restoring. "Reclaimed" means to rescue from an undesirable state and restore to a previous natural state. That theme runs from Genesis to Revelation.

But God's restorative power isn't limited to individuals; it extends to families, too. Today, we invite you to join us for a deeply personal conversation between a mother and daughter. Where generational wounds and dysfunction once held them captive, they have experienced God's reclaiming power, which has led to a transformation and a closeness in their relationship that they had always dreamed of. We pray that this episode encourages you and those you love. 

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

God is in the business of rescuing and restoring. "Reclaimed" means to rescue from an undesirable state and restore to a previous natural state. That theme runs from Genesis to Revelation.

But God's restorative power isn't limited to individuals; it extends to families, too. Today, we invite you to join us for a deeply personal conversation between a mother and daughter. Where generational wounds and dysfunction once held them captive, they have experienced God's reclaiming power, which has led to a transformation and a closeness in their relationship that they had always dreamed of. We pray that this episode encourages you and those you love. 

Here are two FREE Ebooks for you!
1. Shame Off You: 10 steps to shattering shame in your life,
HERE.
2. ABC's:
CLICK HERE for a FREE E-book to help you combat lies and replace them with God's truth. For more encouragement, check out some of our offerings at www.reclaimedstory.com

Did you know we have a jewelry line that speaks to your identity in Jesus?
CLICK HERE to shop. Every purchase helps support our mission to provide healing and hope to women worldwide.

Would you partner with us to spread the message of hope and healing? You can
DONATE HERE. Living the Reclaimed Life is a Reclaimed Story, Inc. podcast, An Arizona non-profit corporation.

If you would like to connect with a safe group of women doing real-life together, join our private Facebook page,
“Living the Reclaimed Life” or on Facebook or Instagram

Transcript is auto-generated

[00:00:00] Denisha: God is in the business of rescuing and restoring. The word [00:00:05] reclaimed means to rescue from an undesirable state and restore [00:00:10] to a previous natural state. We see that theme running from Genesis to [00:00:15] Revelation. But God's restorative power isn't limited to individuals. It [00:00:20] extends to families too. And today we invite you to join us for a [00:00:25]deeply personal conversation between a mother and daughter.

Where generational [00:00:30] wounds and dysfunction once held them captive. They have experienced God's [00:00:35] reclaiming power, which has led to a transformation and a closeness in the relationship [00:00:40] that they have always dreamed of We pray this episode isn't an encouragement to [00:00:45] you and those that you love Welcome to living the reclaim life [00:00:50] podcast.

I'm Denisha We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope [00:00:55] inspire healing and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ So [00:01:00] grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. Welcome [00:01:05]

[00:01:07] Valerie: to living the reclaim life. This is Valerie, [00:01:10] your co host, and I'm so excited to be back with you guys and to [00:01:15] welcome our guests today.

Today, we have Heather Johnson. And she's [00:01:20] joined by her mom, Mary Burr. And I got to tell you guys that [00:01:25] wherever you are listening to this podcast, you might want to have some tissues nearby because [00:01:30] you're going to hear such a beautiful testimony of not [00:01:35]only these Individually, these women's reclaim stories, but the beautiful story [00:01:40] of reconciling and restoring their relationship and [00:01:45] how they broke.

Chains of generational dysfunction in their family. But [00:01:50] I want to first tell you a little bit about them. So Heather just [00:01:55] celebrated 16 years of marriage. She has three children, two [00:02:00] biologically, one adopted. 18, 14, and 11, [00:02:05] and she's a stay at home mom, but a homeschooling mom. And she loves to [00:02:10] volunteer on a regular basis at her local teen center and loves it.

And her [00:02:15] passions are to help young people feel seen, heard, and [00:02:20] loved. Love that. And worship and just spend time with Jesus. [00:02:25] And Mary. Her mother just moved to there in [00:02:30] Cascade, Idaho, you guys. So a little more green here in [00:02:35] Tucson and Mary just recently moved there. Goodness. Almost six months [00:02:40] ago, she is blessed with a job at a Christian camp conference center.[00:02:45]

Heather and Mary welcome to living the reclaim life. I'm so excited. [00:02:50] to have both of you on the podcast today. Thank you so much, Valerie, for having us. [00:02:55] I am so excited for this conversation. This month on the [00:03:00] podcast, we're talking about how it didn't start with you, but it can end with [00:03:05] you. And what we're referring to is generational trauma, generational dysfunction, [00:03:10] how we all have things that have been passed down in our family, [00:03:15]wounding.

And it's kind of like those heirlooms you don't want passed down, right? [00:03:20] You don't want those things passed down, but we're imperfect people and that happens, [00:03:25] but we're going to hear just such an incredible testimony from both of you of [00:03:30] how you both ended that dysfunction in your family and restored your [00:03:35] relationship.

So Mary, let's begin with you and your story. [00:03:40] What was it like for you growing up in your family? 

[00:03:43] Heather: It wasn't a horrible, [00:03:45] horrible childhood. I did have some really good memories to take from it, but I [00:03:50] remember always striving to do whatever to make my mom happy, which [00:03:55] wasn't easy, especially when she was drinking.

The alcohol was always a part of [00:04:00] my life from the time I can remember. There was always parties. We had a very large [00:04:05] family. And my mom, I remember her being angry a lot. [00:04:10] And I always felt like I was the reason for it. I remember feeling like I was [00:04:15] in competition with one of my brothers, my oldest brother, who was adopted, and [00:04:20] I started rebelling at a very young age.

And when we moved to Arizona, [00:04:25] things just escalated. You know, my mom started drinking more, and I think that was her [00:04:30] coping mechanism for being away from her family and everything that she knew in New York. [00:04:35] It just escalated, and so did my rebellion. 

[00:04:38] Valerie: Given growing [00:04:40] up like that, seeing that, witnessing that with your mom, how did that begin to affect you?[00:04:45]

[00:04:45] Heather: When my mom was drinking, she turned into another person. She just said [00:04:50] some really, really ugly things, not just to me, to my brothers as well. And [00:04:55] her alcohol consumption was a lot, so I heard these horrible things [00:05:00] about me. A lot that I was never going to amount to anything that I was always going to [00:05:05] be, you know, pretty much a loser.

And it was just so ugly, very [00:05:10] ugly. Things have really cut deep. And I think that I just let that sink [00:05:15] in. And so by the time we moved here to Arizona, I started living that life [00:05:20] from a very young age. I mean, by the time I was 11. I was smoking cigarettes, drinking [00:05:25] alcohol, and smoking weed. And then when we moved to Arizona, it just [00:05:30] got even worse.

[00:05:31] Valerie: It's interesting how you're able to recognize that it was a lie [00:05:35] that you believed. I do now. I think that's one thing when we're growing [00:05:40] up, we start to believe these things about ourselves and until we know it's a lie. [00:05:45] We live it as if it's true. And that's so true. So take us to [00:05:50] the time when now you're about to have Heather and you're [00:05:55]saying, you know, from a very young age, you started engaging in drugs and alcohol [00:06:00] and, you know, but now you find yourself pregnant, what was your life like [00:06:05] then, and what did you hope would be different and what happened as you.

found out that you are [00:06:10] now going to be a mother? Well, between the ages 

[00:06:13] Heather: of 14 and the time I had [00:06:15] Heather, I was a full blown cocaine addict. And I was [00:06:20] always trying to not only fill the gap, fill that hole with drugs, but also with [00:06:25] men. I think I was looking for the one who was going to save me and take me [00:06:30]away from all of that, you know, my knight in shining armor, so to speak.

[00:06:35] And so, when I met Heather's dad at a bar, and I think I moved [00:06:40] in with him probably a week later. A few months later, I got pregnant. I was [00:06:45] ecstatic because I felt like this was going to change everything. And I [00:06:50] fully believe that and then the day before went into labor, [00:06:55] Heather's dad decided that he was going to leave me.

And so I ended up [00:07:00] moving back in with my mom because I had nowhere else to go. And I was terrified. I [00:07:05] was terrified to leave the hospital. I had no idea. What being a mom [00:07:10] looked like, but I knew in my head that I was going to be the best mom [00:07:15] that there ever could be. I was going to be a better mom than my mom, and it was going to be [00:07:20]me and Heather all the way.

We were going to be best friends and we weren't going to need anybody [00:07:25] else. For the first couple of years, things were looking good, but [00:07:30] I quickly started pulling in me that I could never fill with men or drugs [00:07:35] just reopened and I just went right back to doing what I knew [00:07:40] how to do best, which was do drugs and just still looking [00:07:45] for that one that was going to save me.

From myself, I guess, going [00:07:50] to take me away, going to take care of me, going to take care of Heather and we were going to live [00:07:55] happily ever after. 

[00:07:56] Valerie: So Heather, what do you remember as far [00:08:00] as growing up with your mom and what life was like for you as a little [00:08:05] girl? 

[00:08:05] Mary: Yeah, so I primarily lived with my grandma, that same grandma, that drank [00:08:10] every night.

But I remember seeing my mom every weekend, which was definitely the highlight of my [00:08:15]week for most of my life. I just loved my mom. I put her on a pedestal a little bit. [00:08:20] Of course, I remember wondering why I didn't live with her. And my life with my grandma [00:08:25]was a struggle, probably more often than not. You know, granted, she did the best she could, and [00:08:30] I loved her as well.

But I think there was a lot of underlying bitterness towards both of them that I wouldn't quite [00:08:35] realize or understand until a little bit later. 

[00:08:37] Valerie: When would you say you started to [00:08:40] see kind of the effects of really this generational [00:08:45] dysfunction? When did you start to see those effects in your own life?[00:08:50]

[00:08:50] Mary: Definitely in my teen years, probably around the ages of 14 to 16, I began to [00:08:55] push back on my life situations a little bit. I was sexually active at [00:09:00] 13, gave myself away completely at 15, and began experimenting with drugs at the same time. [00:09:05] I was definitely looking for my identity in boys as well, and finding value in the attention that [00:09:10] I got from them.

Around 17 or 18, it was like something just [00:09:15] switched in my feelings and thoughts towards my mom. I was angry and hurt, and [00:09:20] the reality of her choices were suddenly really clear. And not knowing the Lord at the time, and [00:09:25] just with the upbringing I had, I just didn't know how to handle it for a long time.

[00:09:29] Valerie: Was your [00:09:30] mom in the picture? What was your relationship like at that time when you were struggling? [00:09:35] At that 

[00:09:35] Mary: time, it was more like she was a friend who I could [00:09:40] tell things like that to, but it was more, I think, in her way, in the [00:09:45] best that she could figure out, she was trying to, again, just be my friend, and [00:09:50] she didn't want to push me away.

So it wasn't that she was telling, that she was trying to help me, [00:09:55] It was more that she was just trying to let me know that she [00:10:00] relates to it almost in a good way at that 

[00:10:03] Valerie: time. Yeah, that makes [00:10:05] sense. As you started to get older, kind of head to adulthood, take us [00:10:10] on your salvation journey, really, to knowing the Lord and how your now [00:10:15] husband entered the picture.

And as you began a family, what shifted? What [00:10:20] changed for you? 

[00:10:21] Mary: Sure, so, still in my partying and, you know, [00:10:25] looking for my worth in guys, I met my husband, now husband, thankfully. I [00:10:30] knew pretty quickly that there was something different about him. I was living the party life, obviously, at that time, [00:10:35] but thankfully, so was he, because that's how I met him.

But despite that, his [00:10:40] core was Jesus. I gave my life to the Lord shortly after we started dating. And I [00:10:45] was really hungry for God. We both stopped partying every night and chose to read [00:10:50] the word instead. In 2008, we got married. In 2009, we [00:10:55] celebrated our first child. My mom and brother at the time were both a part of [00:11:00] our lives.

She seemed to be doing good for a while. She was going to school [00:11:05] and working towards getting a degree to work at a hospital and [00:11:10] was raising her son and everything seemed to be good, but it became obvious to me when she [00:11:15] started to fall back into the life of drugs. And my husband Todd and I were there to help my brother [00:11:20] Alex when she did.

[00:11:21] Valerie: So when your mom did have Alex, what was that like for you? [00:11:25] Like, just knowing how you grew up, and now she has another child. What were your [00:11:30] thoughts and feelings about that? What was your relationship with your brother [00:11:35] as he came into the world? 

[00:11:36] Mary: I had a lot of mixed emotions when Alex was born. She had my [00:11:40] brother, I even as a young adult feeling like you shouldn't feel [00:11:45] certain things like jealousy towards a life that you didn't [00:11:50] have that he might have, or getting that relationship with her that I didn't have that he [00:11:55] might get to have, but I was happy.

I mean, I love kids. I loved him. [00:12:00] I was happy overall, working through those emotions. The underlying emotion was definitely [00:12:05] joy. 

[00:12:05] Valerie: So I bring up Alex because I know now this is kind of [00:12:10] the next part of your story and even kind of the journey with your relationship [00:12:15] with your mom. So as you said, you became a believer and you and your husband, you were [00:12:20] married, you welcomed your first child, you were left kind of the old [00:12:25] Behind and you said your mom was in the picture and now this brother.

[00:12:30] So tell us a little bit now that you were a believer and beginning your [00:12:35] family kind of on a different foundation, right? A different foundation of Christ. How [00:12:40] did your journey begin of starting to really. Face maybe [00:12:45] or examine your family's past and you know now like you said having this [00:12:50] brother How did God began to help you recognize what needed to change or heal [00:12:55] the family that you grew up in?

[00:12:57] Mary: So when we first took Alex into our home We [00:13:00] really believed that my mom was going to get her life together and be able to get him [00:13:05] back But as the first year passed with little change We started to [00:13:10] have doubts, she was still really struggling, so we did end up adopting Alex. [00:13:15] We were still fully willing to give my mom permission to be a part of his life and our life [00:13:20] with our supervision and if she was in a healthy place, but she was absent from our [00:13:25] lives for many years.

And aside from hearing from her, Very [00:13:30] seldomly and randomly. I really didn't always know if she was even alive. For a while it hurt. [00:13:35] I was angry You know at times I was scared But as time went on and I [00:13:40] continued to grow in my relationship with the Lord Through my own wounds and bad choices and [00:13:45] need for healing God began to help me break the generational curses and be set free [00:13:50] And in doing so, my heart became softened for my mom and my desire to [00:13:55] pray for her became my passion.

I had so many friends and family members join [00:14:00] me in that prayer, you Valerie being one of them. So thank you. I just knew God [00:14:05] was going to bring her home to us. He spoke that to me on multiple occasions, and I just clung to that [00:14:10] promise. 

[00:14:11] Valerie: Mary, I want to bring you back into the picture. [00:14:15] I was thinking just as Heather was sharing about her journey [00:14:20] of now having a brother and how that began to impact her thoughts about [00:14:25] how she grew up.

So as she shared about adopting Alex, [00:14:30] take us back a little bit to that time and how that was for you, [00:14:35] because I know now it's a beautiful thing, but how was that for you walking through [00:14:40] that? 

[00:14:40] Heather: That was pretty much when I just dove [00:14:45] just full on into addiction. I felt like I had no reason to [00:14:50] even try anymore.

It was really hard for me because that was one of the times when my mom [00:14:55] absolutely closed the door on me. I was trying to fight from [00:15:00] the streets. I was homeless. So it's just super hard. At the same [00:15:05] time, I was so thankful because if Alex would have ended up in the system, I [00:15:10] probably wouldn't be sitting here talking to you right now.

When I had Alex, I had the [00:15:15] same thoughts of being this super mom. We were gonna be, you know, I had the same exact [00:15:20] thoughts that I had when I had Heather. 

[00:15:22] Valerie: It's really emotional and I [00:15:25] Appreciate you sharing a little bit of where you were then I think [00:15:30] of the promise of God working all things together for our [00:15:35]good Romans 828 and what you just said as hard as it was [00:15:40] having to let go of Alex at that time.[00:15:45]

But to letting him go to where now, as we will share [00:15:50] in a little bit, God has brought that full circle. So just the goodness of God [00:15:55] in that Heather, as you think about your [00:16:00]journey of both growing up, as you think about when you [00:16:05] became a mom. And then especially having a daughter of your [00:16:10] own, your second child.

Did you have any worries about what [00:16:15] might be passed down? How did you process that? And what did God do as [00:16:20] part of the healing process? And that you became a mom. 

[00:16:23] Mary: It's funny, when I got pregnant with my [00:16:25] first child, we chose not to find out what the gender was going to be, but I would [00:16:30] always tell people with 99 percent certainty that I was not having a girl [00:16:35] because I wasn't ready for a girl.

I didn't want a girl. And I was pretty sure [00:16:40] God knew that I wasn't ready for a girl either. And so, [00:16:45] even not finding out the gender, I just felt like I knew that I was having a boy. And [00:16:50] for whatever reason, whether that's really why or not, I did have a boy at first. I was [00:16:55] just well aware of my issues and insecurities as a woman during that time in my life, and I did [00:17:00] not want to ruin a daughter with them.

And on the practical side, during my first pregnancy, I read a [00:17:05] lot of Christian parenting books. I researched things and I just soaked [00:17:10] up a lot of advice from good Christian women. By the time I got pregnant with my second [00:17:15] child, I was ready for a daughter. In fact, I really, really wanted a girl. [00:17:20] As you mentioned, I had one.

And as I began raising my first two children, and [00:17:25] then later when I would adopt my third, There were definitely family patterns I [00:17:30] knew I didn't want to repeat, whether that be how much screen time I got [00:17:35] as a child versus how much I want them to have, or how little quality time I [00:17:40] received and how much I wanted them to, or how poor our family communication [00:17:45] was growing up and how much I wanted to make sure theirs was good, big or small.

[00:17:50] I always tried to be very intentional about the things I didn't want to repeat. Then later, as [00:17:55] I grew with the Lord and children continued to bring awareness to areas in me that still [00:18:00] needed healing as they are so good at doing, I became more aware of deeper prayer and [00:18:05] healing work, things that were more spiritual than practical, like breaking generational curses [00:18:10] and rebuking the enemy in certain areas of my family line.

And I think one of [00:18:15] the. Most important things that my husband and I have done for our family [00:18:20] is that we've brought our three kids into those moments with us, um, giving them the [00:18:25] space to learn about lies versus truth and [00:18:30] forgiveness and repenting and rebuking the enemy where needed. And just being open with [00:18:35] them about where our struggles were in our In our [00:18:40] childhood and how those even showed up in our family and choosing to confess and [00:18:45] repent directly to them and talk with them through that.

[00:18:48] Valerie: That's so so [00:18:50] powerful. I'm glad you shared that because that right there [00:18:55] is a step toward breaking generational cycles [00:19:00] is teaching the next generation of God's truth. [00:19:05] I think that's so so beautiful that you and your husband have been intentional about that, [00:19:10] that regardless of what you've experienced.

Being open and honest and saying, [00:19:15] Hey, we want you to be a part of participating and passing on blessing [00:19:20] and not dysfunction. So that is so, so beautiful. So Mary, [00:19:25] tell us about what led you to your redemption and to God [00:19:30] literally saving your life. 

[00:19:33] Heather: So the night before [00:19:35] I ended up in jail in 2019, April of 2019,[00:19:40] I was walking from Orange Grove and thorny Dale to the tunnel that I [00:19:45] was living in by Broadway and Campbell.

I had a suitcase that I was pulling with all my [00:19:50] belongings, and I literally wore the wheels off the suitcase. I started [00:19:55] getting super angry. I was yelling at God all the way I was praying to [00:20:00] him and yelling at him. And I literally prayed that I would [00:20:05] find a shopping cart so I could throw my suitcase in and push the rest of the way.[00:20:10]

Lo and behold, underneath a lamppost, no less, there was a shopping cart [00:20:15] just sitting there. And I was like, wow, really? [00:20:20] And so then I started praying also. It was late at night and I [00:20:25] knew that in Arizona anyway, it's a felony to have a shopping cart off [00:20:30] the premises of wherever it comes from. And so I was like, please God, [00:20:35] let me get pulled over so I can go to jail.

Cause I knew I had a felony warrant at that time [00:20:40] and couldn't happen. Police were passing by me. They wouldn't stop. And so I ended up [00:20:45] getting to my destination. Along the way, I would run into somebody who intended to [00:20:50] To cause me harm, he said something to me and I knew he was going to rob me. [00:20:55] He tried to get me to go in between some buildings with him and offered me his [00:21:00] meth pipe and I said no.

And I kept walking even faster [00:21:05] and I made it, I made it to the tunnel that I lived in. And the next morning I got up and I went [00:21:10] and I took a shower at a facility that offers showers to homeless women. And I went back [00:21:15] to the tunnel and I was just sitting there and I was just like, please, God, [00:21:20] please.

Nobody would open the doors to me anymore. I couldn't even get in a facility to [00:21:25] get help. I was trying desperately not to go to jail. And I knew that if I would get into [00:21:30] a program that that, there's a good chance that I would not go to jail. So, but I couldn't get anybody to [00:21:35]return a phone call to see me.

And so I [00:21:40] just sat there and the next thing I knew, some police officers showed up in, in the [00:21:45] tunnel where I was staying and I was just like, thank you, Jesus, [00:21:50] because I knew if not all of us, I would for sure be going to jail that day because I [00:21:55] had felony warrants. So the reality of you don't get out of jail the same day on a felony [00:22:00] warrant didn't quite set in yet.

But [00:22:05] while I was there in jail, before I went to court for my sentencing, these [00:22:10]people from a church, they came and they set up a collapsible tub [00:22:15] out in the yard of the pod that I was on. And offered [00:22:20] us all a church service and baptism if we chose to be. [00:22:25]And I was just, oh my goodness, I had already started, you know, [00:22:30] diving into any kind of anything that had to do with God that I could get my hands on while I was [00:22:35] there.

But when they said baptism and it was for everybody, I was [00:22:40] just so. So ecstatic. And I was just so [00:22:45] excited for that to happen. So I did, I got baptized in Pima County jail and it [00:22:50] was literally like veils have been lifted off of my eyes. Everything [00:22:55] changed. I mean, I felt this incredible, incredible peace [00:23:00] that I never felt before.

And that was even knowing that I still had two more [00:23:05] months to serve in jail. I was just like, you know what? Whatever. I'm good. [00:23:10] I'm good right here. It's probably for the best anyway. So that's when I got [00:23:15] baptized and just everything, my whole, I don't know, I just felt like the transformation, I could already [00:23:20] feel it starting.

So 

[00:23:21] Valerie: when you got out of jail, 

[00:23:23] Heather: then 

[00:23:23] Valerie: what? 

[00:23:24] Heather: [00:23:25] So my PO picked me up and took me to a 90 day program, and I stayed. [00:23:30] I finished it. I did well. But no, I started contacting, you know, people that [00:23:35] I associated with. I kind of felt this reservation inside [00:23:40] that I still had to find out one more time, you know. But when I finished that program, I [00:23:45] was still homeless.

And I ended up at the Gospel Rescue Mission. I left [00:23:50] there with one of my roommates, and on our way out of the door of the Gospel [00:23:55] Rescue Mission, she said, I can't wait to get out of here and have a beer. My insides cringed, and I [00:24:00] was like, okay, it's okay, it's okay, you can do this, you have a job. But the job wouldn't [00:24:05] last either, because I had some PTSD issues from another trauma.[00:24:10]

So I quit my job and it wasn't long before I found [00:24:15] myself grabbing a cigarette. And then it wasn't long before I went to her refrigerator and grabbed a [00:24:20] beer. And then I went and I found her meth pipe underneath the bathroom sink. And I just, [00:24:25] for about a week, I was just, I just, but [00:24:30] it wasn't the same. It wasn't the same anymore.

And I like to attribute [00:24:35] that to my having been baptized because I was terrified. I [00:24:40]was terrified. It didn't feel good. I just wanted to do whatever I could do to [00:24:45] stop it. And so that's when I finally fully surrendered and I went [00:24:50] to Teen Challenge. 

[00:24:52] Valerie: I appreciate Mary, your honesty [00:24:55] in this because we know the Christian life is not all roses and I [00:25:00] think as you guys will continue to share our salvation is [00:25:05]secure and we are secure in Christ.

But it just shows that God still wants [00:25:10] to break chains and that's what his grace is so [00:25:15] for. I love how you said, just realizing that it wasn't the [00:25:20] same anymore. That was the Holy Spirit convicting you. And yes, this is what I have [00:25:25] for you. I want you to be fully free. So now we're at this [00:25:30] point. I know there's more that God continued to do, but you went to team challenge.[00:25:35]

God used a year long program to really help you break free [00:25:40] from the addiction and the strongholds and the generational [00:25:45] trauma. And now the two of you are living in the same [00:25:50] city, the same state. And I guess I could boldly say, I think [00:25:55] you would agree having the relationship that you all [00:26:00] ways longed for and always dreamed of.

And so. I want [00:26:05] you both and Heather, I'll start with you. What would you say it took to [00:26:10] get to this point? 

[00:26:11] Mary: Honestly, a lot of hard work and [00:26:15] just truly knowing how loved and forgiven I was by God so that I could extend that same love and [00:26:20] forgiveness to my mom. Praying every single day for her freedom, taking any [00:26:25] negative thoughts and feelings that would come up captive and choosing to speak out my faith [00:26:30] that my mom would return to us whole and set free.

Seeking out healing through [00:26:35] deliverance ministries and learning how to pray through wounds of my own. I couldn't have gotten to this [00:26:40] place without God. We couldn't have together. 

[00:26:44] Valerie: What would you [00:26:45] say, Mary? How did it feel as you're packing up the car to move [00:26:50] and be near your daughter and grandchildren?

How did it feel to be at that [00:26:55] place? I was actually 

[00:26:56] Heather: full of peace about it. It took [00:27:00] two years after I got up until before I would [00:27:05] fully be ready to make that move. And I was full of peace about it. And it only [00:27:10] Came as a result of my fully surrendering my will and [00:27:15] just look seeking God instead of seeking the world.

So yeah, it was [00:27:20] so full of peace and I was terrified at the same time. Yeah. I mean, [00:27:25] I moved up here in December. I was terrified, but at [00:27:30] the same time, I knew that I would not fail. [00:27:35] Because God fully was in it. He was in it. So [00:27:40] I knew that I was going to be okay. 

[00:27:42] Valerie: So, so good. [00:27:45] So when I close podcasts, I always ask the [00:27:50]guests that if you could imagine a woman like yourself, [00:27:55] maybe 10 or so or more years ago, in the same place that you guys both [00:28:00] were, maybe it's in the middle of addiction or having just become a [00:28:05] Christian and still struggling with some of those old habits or just.

[00:28:10] Some of our listeners may be like, yeah, that's my story. And [00:28:15] I have no relationship with my mom. What do I do? Like, what would you say [00:28:20] to the woman sitting across from you right now? Mary, what encouragement would you give her? 

[00:28:24] Heather: [00:28:25] I would say God is the way, the truth and the law, and through him, [00:28:30] you can be set free.

Whatever bondage you find yourself in, [00:28:35] and he is the only way. He is the only way. His peace, joy, and comfort, [00:28:40] it's available to all who seek it. And he's just waiting, [00:28:45]waiting there with open arms. He won't turn you away. I always say, [00:28:50] if he did it for me after 40 years, and he will never turn anybody [00:28:55] away.

[00:28:56] Valerie: How about you, Heather? What would you say to a [00:29:00] woman sitting across from you? 

[00:29:01] Mary: If God can do it for my mom, if he can do it for me, he can [00:29:05] do it for you. He is no respecter of persons. His heart is [00:29:10] for reconciliation and healing for all. So just like my mom said, if you seek him in [00:29:15] your pain, in your deepest places of hurting and greatest need for wholeness, he'll meet you there.[00:29:20]

I also practically always recommend seeking out help from God's people, [00:29:25] whether it's a good Christian counselor or prayer through deliverance and healing ministry, both of which I [00:29:30] would have recommendations for. Just, yeah, do it. God put us here to help each 

[00:29:34] Valerie: [00:29:35] other 

[00:29:35] Mary: through hard 

[00:29:35] Valerie: stuff. So, yes. Amen. Amen. So, [00:29:40] so good.

As I am drying my tears, I told everybody have tissues [00:29:45] nearby. You both. I just thank you so much for having courage [00:29:50] and just for saying yes to sharing your story. I mean, it is, [00:29:55] for me, just so beautiful to see as we [00:30:00] Communicate to women every day that God wants to reclaim your story, but he [00:30:05] does. He wants to reclaim families and generations.

And [00:30:10] your guys story is just such a beautiful testimony to that. So [00:30:15] thank you. Thank you both once again, and thank you to our listeners for tuning [00:30:20] in to this episode of living the reclaim life. We pray, we pray that [00:30:25] you've received hope and inspiration and even courage like [00:30:30] Heather and Mary courage to pursue healing.

For yourself. So [00:30:35] you can bring healing to future generations. We'll see you same time, [00:30:40] same place in two weeks. 

[00:30:42] Denisha: Thanks for listening. I pray you [00:30:45] found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your [00:30:50] story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed [00:30:55] story.

Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our [00:31:00] growing community of reclaimers? Check out our website at reclaimedstory. [00:31:05] com. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoyed this [00:31:10] inspirational podcast, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review. Not only [00:31:15] will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help [00:31:20] in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.