I am so thankful that my path intersected with these lovely ladies of Mosaics of Mercy when it did. A little over a year ago, our daughter Brooke who was then only 12 years old was admitted to the Texas Children’s Hospital in the Houston Medical Center for an eating disorder. It turned out that she had become anorexic over the course of about 4 to 6 months. To provide some historical context, Brooke strives for excellence in all she does, academically, athletically, etc.. which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but when taken to the extreme, isn’t good. Brooke is an athlete who plays competitive soccer and in wanting to eat “healthy”, had restricted her eating to only fruits and vegetable and little protein. This in combination with playing soccer four times a week resulted in her heart rate plummeting into the mid-30s and blood pressure also becoming precariously low, to the point of hypotension. We had taken Brooke to the doctor for a check-up, sensing things weren’t right. They let her go. Thankfully, I called my sister-in-law Wendy who had the good sense to get a hold of her friend who is a pediatric cardiologist. Her friend, said, “That’s not okay. Get her to an emergency room.” We then took Brooke to Texas Children’s Hospital in the Houston Medical Center upon the doctor’s recommendation. The hospital had said that it would probably take at least a few weeks for her vitals to normalize. Indeed, it was 5 weeks later when Brooke was finally discharged from the hospital.
At that time, my sweet friend Alison Broussard came to visit us the first day that Brooke was in the hospital. She along with countless others from Brooke’s school and soccer team, friends and Crossroads Baptist Church came along side our family and prayed for Brooke’s healing. Today, I believe our now 13 and ½ year old teenage daughter is mentally whole, physically healed and spiritually redeemed. Thanks be to God.
When Brooke was in the hospital, Alison also introduced me to these other lovely women who either had others in their life dealing with mental illness/addictions or had dealt with it themselves. We offered each other support and began discussing how we could spread the message of hope to our community. That was April of 2016. Now, a little over a year later, we are launching this ministry that is already touching numerous lives.
Today, I am honored to share my own journey and pray along with others who may need a helping hand. You see not only did others come alongside our daughter Brooke to offer prayer and support one year ago; but over 30 years ago, people came alongside me and offered prayer and support. I had struggled with drinking too much and had reached a point where I could no longer help myself. One day I remember lying in my bed, so hungover and sick, not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually, that I could not get up. And I literally cried out, “God I know you have better plans for me than for me to live with such pain. Please, please help me to help myself.” Well, God heard my prayer because He is a God of his Word and promises. In Jeremiah 29:11He says “I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future, not to harm you but to prosper you.” Within days… here was this eloquent, classy lady speaking at our college campus of her pain as a teenager who never measured up and sought to numb her pain with alcohol. Most importantly, she communicated that she was powerless over alcohol and that her life had become unmanageable. Yet, by turning her life and will over to the care of God, she was now free and living a victorious life with 14 years of continuous sobriety.
These words resonated with my soul. Afterall, her story was MY story. For the first time, I saw hope!
Shortly after hearing this lady’s story, on my own initiative, I checked myself into a treatment center in Arizona that we called the “Dude Ranch”. That was November 20, 1986. I was 20 years old, over 30 years ago. I have not had an alcoholic drink since! But it wasn’t just me. My going into treatment actually had a domino effect on our family. Not only I stopped drinking but also my father and two grandmothers stopped drinking too. No one can convince me that God does not still perform miracles today!
So, my role with Mosaics of Mercy is to be an advocate for mental wholeness and well-being and pray fervently for others struggling to achieve mental well-being. I walk alongside these lovely ladies and others to offer hope. This is only the beginning folks. I believe that the sum total is much greater than its individual parts. Together, as a community, we can really make a big impact for God’s glory. So, let’s do this!