Heidi's Story "Chapter 1 - Addiction"

I was sick on Mother’s Day. Brock and Brady had known for a while that I was sick, but they didn’t understand the concept of addiction. They didn’t know this was the reason I was sick--they didn’t know what “sick” really meant. On Mother’s Day in 2011, the pain of my addiction came flooding in, frightening the boys and myself in ways I had so desperately tried to hide… 

I had been through a very painful divorce from Brock and Brady’s father two years earlier because of struggles with prescription narcotics. But in 2007, I entered a secular program for 90 days and had managed to stay clean from prescription narcotics until this very day. But, even after I became clean, the painful emotional, verbal, and mental abuse that continued in my marriage was too much to bare. Their father and I inflicted so much pain on each other, and the reality of it caused me to have a mental breakdown. Every hurtful word and action I had been holding inside that, in the past I dealt with by the use of drugs, all came out violently and a devastating price was paid. This led to my then-husband leaving me with nothing, literally nothing, and taking Brock and Brady away from me.

Having conquered the prescription narcotic addiction, I was terrified to go back to a full-on drug dependence, but was still too weak spiritually and turned to over the counter cough medicine. I was able to function normally for a short while (at least in my mind), but the signs were showing to my children and the rest of my family that my addiction was not hidden as well as I thought.

I was losing everything slowly one day at a time. My career, friends, family members, support, and then finally, my children. That is when it became too much. To know that I had scared my precious boys in such a terrible way by overdosing on the cough medicine and by allowing them to see me in a drugged out, hallucinated state was more than I could bare. And of all days, Mother’s Day. I knew I needed help, but I knew the only way I could do it was by getting my life back on track with God. 

Addiction has no stereotype, no prerequisites. It does not discriminate. It will take anyone and everyone if you allow that door to be opened. That is exactly what I did, and it brought me to my knees. I let my anger, resentment, unwillingness to forgive, and desire for revenge take over, ultimately leading me right back into the one thing I never wanted to be again. An addict. I grew up a pastor’s kid, sleeping on pews, singing on the praise team in church, being a youth leader, and reading my Bible faithfully. But, life kicked in and threw me a curve ball I never saw coming.

Brock and Brady had to pay the price for my weakness, and I never would have dreamed in a million years that God would look down and extend grace and forgiveness. But God is a God of second chances and I desperately needed one...

Read Chapter 2 of Heidi's story below

Heidi's Story "Chapter 2 - Amazing Grace"

Note: This is Chapter Two of Heidi's story. Read "Chapter 1 - Addiction" above

After that horrible day, two months later I walked into the doors of Teen Challenge on July 17, 2011. It was the hardest, most painful day of my life. It also was the most freeing and safest I had felt in a very long time. My parents drove me from Springfield, Missouri to Minneapolis, Minnesota; a ten hour drive. I had nothing left but two garbage bags and a broken heart. After we had filled out all the paperwork, I got into the van with one of the staff members at the house where I would be living for the next 13 months while my parents followed in their car behind.

When we all arrived at the house I would be calling home, we went into the basement with my two garbage bags of belongings down into the laundry room and said goodbye. My parents prayed, kissed me goodbye and my dad said to me “I choose not to believe what is standing in front of me, but to believe the promise God has for your life.”

I never had the chance to tell my boys goodbye. I wasn’t allowed to speak with them for eight months, and being 10 hours away, seeing them was impossible. My own parents were fighting the war back home to save any ties to their grandchildren that they could. They believe in the power of God and His grace. After time, the weapons were laid down and peace began to form. I was able to find forgiveness not only for my ex-husband but also within myself. In April of 2012, Teen Challenge recognized the pain I was in by not seeing my children and found a way for me to go home for four days to spend time with my boys and work on rebuilding that relationship. My father said that when I walked in the door, my boys were like little puppies trying to climb as high as they could to get to their mama.

I graduated Minnesota Teen Challenge in July 2012. Brock, Brady and I were able to celebrate a brand new Mother’s Day in May 2013 all because of God’s amazing grace. The road has not been easy, but it has been worth every crooked bend, stormy wave, and fierce element just to know that my boys see me as beautiful and love me just exactly for who I am.

Heidi "Where Is She Now"

Where Are They Now - Heidi Small.jpg

So where is Heidi now? We received an amazing update from Heidi this week. You may remember, we posted her story on Mother's Day this year about her very difficult struggle with drug addiction which led to a divorce she did not want. Then, her two sons were taken away from her when she went to rehab. Well Heidi contacted us and said she is healing and moving on in a positive direction. She says, "I can officially say I am back in the saddle again! I have my boys back and I accepted a position as a stylist at a great local salon...even though I swore long ago I would never do hair again, I have a newfound love for it. God's got a funny sense of humor that way! What's amazing is I finished my first week, which was awesome, and realized I actually had forgotten how much I love making people beautiful!  Thinking about my story, I learned many things. I would say to you, don't give up! Just be 'you' because life is too short to be anyone else. Reality, authenticity, and being just exactly how God made you....unique and special for a particular plan and purpose. Don't ruin that by trying to 'fit in' or be in the inner sanctum of circles. Just be you and know that beauty comes in all different ways."