Life as a Mother of an Addict and Felon

I am the mother of a 34-year-old son who is an addict and a felon. He has been in more rehabs and diversion programs than I can count. He has lived on the streets, been an absconder, and is presently incarcerated for the 9th time.

Life as a Mother of an Addict

My son has put my life and the life of his disabled brother in danger so many times when he was dealing drugs that I had to move. I've paid off drug dealers. Once I met a gang member’s mom in a parking lot to pay my son's prison debts so he wouldn’t be killed or badly injured. I picked him up at the hospital on Mother’s Day after one of his many overdoses. I bought him cars that he sold for drug money. And brand-new furniture for when he got out of prison only to have him go back in a couple of months later.

God is Calling Me

My life for the last 20 years has been one of pain, shame, brokenness, disappointment, fear, and heartache. But my journey isn’t over, and I believe God is calling me to use this pain for His glory and to start a ministry for moms of imprisoned children...Imprisoned to drugs, alcohol, the correctional system or whatever chains control them.

My Emotional Extremes

Throughout the ups and downs of this nightmare, I have felt every emotion humanly possible.

I’ve walked in unconditional love, practiced tough love and been so angry at him, that I wasn’t walking in love at all.

There were weeks where I created posters and walked the streets trying to find him and there were months that I wouldn’t answer the door for him.

I’ve written the judge letters asking for leniency and I’ve helped the DA stack charges on him.

I’ve put money on his books every month for one prison stint and blocked his phone calls and refused to speak to him the next stint.

I’ve hidden him from the police, and I’ve turned him into the police.

I put him into rehabs, and I’ve pulled him out of them.

I’ve lied to him, for him, and about him.

I tried everything in the world to fix him and save him and other times I threw in the towel and let him live his consequences.

I’ve spent unending hours praying for healing and deliverance and I’ve asked God to take him home so he could be out of his misery, or maybe so I could be out of mine.

A Ministry for Moms Like Me

My story is raw and sadly relatable, and I obviously don’t have a lot of answers, but I know the God who does, and I have faith that He has me and my son cradled in His hand and is working all of this for His good. I grew up in surrounded by ministry and have had a call on my life since I was a teenager. I thought that Satan had robbed me of that ministry, but now I have peace and confidence that God is going to use my situation for great ministry even though it looks different than I imagined.  My ministry is to to bring hope and healing to others like me ...moms out there in need.

I'm just getting started but the vision God has given me is to use this ministry to create:
· Retreats where Moms receive fellowship, encouragement, inspirational messages and healing. Also, a time of restoration through relaxation, yoga, hiking, meditation, prayer, and worship.
· Regional conferences for moms who are hurting, ashamed, lonely, bitter, sad and hopeless, where they can find support and know they are not alone. Where they can discover healing, peace and a renewed hope for their future.
· Camps for grandchildren affected by this pain. As well as resources to help with their school supplies, clothing and even court costs to protect them.
· A book that shares our stories for the benefit of others.
I would appreciate your prayers for God to use this ministry for HIS glory. Thank you for what you do to restore faith in moms like me!
~ Brenda

What gives Brenda hope despite such an overwhelming situation with her son?  It is her faith that God holds it all in his loving hands and a purpose for it beyond her pain. If you would like to learn more about finding this hope, please download this free mini eBook - Understanding Hope.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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5 comments on “Life as a Mother of an Addict and Felon”

  1. This is a comment we received from Dawn and wanted to share here. "My son who I always referred to as my Gift From God put me thru H---. I left my marriage from a addict when my son turned 2. I put him in therapy when he was 7 so he would have a positive male role model,big brothers, boy scouts ect,ect,ect. Dispite all that I did he got on drugs, joined a gang . That caused me to join the gang unit to try and prevent him from going to jail. I barely slept ,calling the gang unit each time he left the house riding with them to see what he was doing spreading the word about gangs . Picking him up all hours of the day and night at the police station well he did wind up in prison for 20 years it broke my heart i would save my money to travel to the prison which was out of state once a year, accepted his calls, sent him packages prayed and cried every night that he would be safe. The bottom line is he was released married his old girlfriend from the gang days and now has chosen not to speak to me or see my granddaughter. what i know now is that this was all his choice and to never think that it is your fault what your child does"

  2. Dear Brenda, Your journey has been exceptional, but probably not much different than other moms across this world. Praise our God who come to those like you who are poor in spirit and in need. And I thank Him who is faithful through your story to bring goodness out of the depths of darkness and struggle to hold HIS light up for other moms. It encourages me to hear how incredibly difficult your journey has been, but God has been faithful once again to provide for you through it all. I would love to pray for this ministry and the vision that God has given you! May God bless you with immeasurably more!

  3. What a journey you are on your are so admirable that you will keep going! I’m praying for you, your son and the ministry 💛

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