I met Tracy a few years ago, we spent a lot of time together and she shared her personal story with me and permitted me to share it with all of you. Her story begins when she started drinking alcohol socially; it escalated to confidence building. Over time her drinking got out of control and altered her behaviors.
For her twentieth wedding anniversary, she and her husband went to Rome, where she experienced a conversion. This conversion created a desire for God, but not a desire to change her behaviors. With God now more present in her life she believes he challenged her to face these behaviors. She was reluctant, but eventually conceded and confronted her husband with the truth. She told him about her excessive drinking and indiscretions with others. He responded as you might imagine, into a fiery rage, full of anger and disappointment in her. He told her to pack her stuff and get out. This caused a surge of emotions for her and she became overwhelmed by guilt, grief and remorse to the point of despair. Tracy said that at this point she quickly sank into a dark hole and she felt the only way out of her situation was to kill herself. She explained to me, that when you are in a state of despair to this degree, you do not think about your kids, God, your husband or anyone else. All you see is the problem and the solution, which for her was to end her life. She locked herself in the bathroom and downed an entire bottle of sleeping pills. She then went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of vodka before she left, but her husband in his anger forced her out before she could grab it.
When she left it was dark, and she didn’t want to face her family so she ended up driving around for thirty minutes until she found a church and parked in front of it. She began to write letters of goodbye to her children and that is all that she remembers. She was later told that her husband informed her mother to the situation and when Tracy didn’t arrive at her house, she called people to go out and search for her. Her friends’ account of the situation is this; they had no idea where to look so they just kept driving around. When suddenly, they started to see an unusual light and they were drawn to follow it. This light brought them directly to her car and saved her life. No one can explain what this light was or where it came from. It remains a mystery, though some believe it was her guardian angel.
When she woke up in the hospital, they strongly suggested she enter rehabilitation for alcoholism. She was in denial, but decided to go to appease them. Her 28 days in rehab were life changing. During the entire stay, she found herself in deep prayer and contemplation, growing closer to God. God began to reveal to her deeper truths about herself. Two especially important things were pointed out to her, 1) she liked drama and 2) she liked to play the victim. She acknowledged that she was sexually abused as a child and although this made her a victim at the time, she was no longer a victim now, so why continue to play one. AA helped her to face and change these character defects as she calls them. She was given a sponsor to help her and they became very close. This woman credits Tracy for bringing her back to the Church and they remain friends to this very day. After a long and vigorous healing process she became transformed.
Tracy moved forward, taking every step she needed to get healthy. In addition to her AA and counseling Tracy nurtured her spiritual life and was confirmed into the Catholic Church and began to give back to the community. This is when I met Tracy. However, in spite of her progress, last year, when her youngest child was old enough to finish school and Tracy had gone away for the weekend, her husband moved out and filed for divorce. This time Tracy handled things differently. She reached out to her new faith community and begged for prayers to save her marriage. She appealed to religious groups all over the Country and even had her local Bishop pray for them. She then reached out to her husband expressing her desire for them not to divorce and to work it through. That he is the love of her life and means more to her than anything in the world. After seeing her handle this separation as a changed person, he began to believe in her again. He commented that these words were all he ever wanted to hear. They got back together and they are happier than they have ever been.
Tracy continues to stay in her sobriety and believes that the true miracle of her story isn’t so much that she survived, but how God never gave up on her. How He answered every one of her prayers and how he healed her of her past. She believes He gave her many miracles and he has a miracle for each one of you and is waiting for you to receive it.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.