I began to attend McLane Church approximately 12 years ago. The person that lead me to McLane was my son. He had been struggling with drug addiction for about six years and was spiraling downward fast. He had been arrested several times and had recently served a sentence in Philadelphia in a very rough prison. Upon release he lived in a shelter in Philadelphia and then returned back home. We tried everything to help him but every effort failed. I was desperate and I felt so alone, even though we have a large family. No one believed in him except for me. I just knew as long as he was alive there was hope. He showed up at our house one evening completely strung out and on drugs, it was devastating. I could no longer talk to anyone, not even my husband. Everyone thought I was crazy to believe he could ever change. I searched and searched and finally decided I needed to go to church. I had no idea where to start so I began visiting several churches in my area only 2 or 3 times and felt nothing. Mind you, I was still thinking I was not sure there even was a God.
I remembered a time when my son was fresh from rehab and he was coming over to McLane with a friend, mostly because it was the only place he was allowed to go. I remembered how happy he seemed for that very short time so I decided to pay a visit. At first it was so strange, but it was comforting to have a place to go and this may sound weird but "be alone"" for a while. I needed a place to think and retreat from the daily desperation I felt.
Well, gradually over a couple of years, seriously it took that long, I began to rely on my weekly conversations with God. There came the day Brian invited us to stand for the sinners prayer and accept the Lord. I did! I wish we would do that every week at McLane, it saved my life.
Then came the day Brian was preaching on baptism, I listened hard to that message and I just knew God was calling me to give in to Him. I was so scared! I met this guy at the sign up sheet, to this day I have no idea who is was, but he was scared too. We agreed we would both go that evening. Praise God, I was baptized. It felt pretty good, not great yet though. But at least I knew I had a friend in Jesus.
Still feeling very alone I came one week and the message was on the importance of small groups, well I joined a small group, it was not a good experience. I thought "how can this possibly be what they mean?"" I talked to an acquaintance I had made through volunteering and she invited me into their group.
Well, I went. I told God, this is it. I am going to give this one last try. I went there and at the end of the night in a group of about 15 women I poured out my soul, I am crying now over what happened to me at that moment. These people loved me, they listened, they did not judge me, they lifted me and my son in prayer. they prayed every week without fail and I know that they prayed alone everyday because what happened was a miracle.
I had not heard from my son in weeks and I was so scared he was alone and hurting(he Was) or possibly even dead. I went to group, I asked for prayer again. That night, my son called me. He was crying and frightened. I advised him to go to the hospital, I knew he would be fine. I felt calm in telling him to get someone to take him there. that next day his father called and said he dropped him off at the emergency room. I went there to see if he would see me, and he did. He was so thin and frail and ill, I thought he would not even live.
Well, he went to rehab and then to another one in Pittsburgh, and then to a mens home which was being run by a Pastor, he was the first resident of that home. I thought it was a cult, I went to group and told the girls. It was funny, but the church that was the home base of this mens home was a church one of the women’s brother attends. She assured me it was no cult. I laugh now to think how silly it was. He was not allowed to call home, he was not allowed to go anywhere alone, they were very strict. Long Long story, short version. He is saved! He is married and has a fantastic job, he has gone to Bolivia on a mission trip and was baptized in the Amazon River.
I could not be happier in my life, I love the Lord with all of my heart. He is so good.
I have stood in a revival tent together with my son and told our story from both sides. It was awesome to do that. There were so many mothers of children in similar situations that had a chance to hear a story of hope.
Thank you sweet Jesus and thank you McLane Church for being my salvation.