I had come to the end of my rope. There was nowhere left to run, nowhere else to hide. I had been down every long lost road, until everything in my life came crashing down. On this day, my daughter had run away from home and was nowhere left to be found. There was nothing but a letter explaining how she was leaving for some time to chase her dream life, and threw her cell phone away in the ocean to avoid further contact with us.
My marriage was as well, in such a state of chaos and my heart was completely broken. I literally felt like the life had been sucked right out of me … like my soul was just a vacant hole. I knew I couldn’t go on another minute with the echos of emptiness deep within my heart.
The pain that I suffered in these first moments of my daughter’s disappearance hit me with waves of emotions that were too much to bear alone. It seemed I was dangling off the edge of a cliff about to fall off. I had no idea how I would even survive this feeling. I was just trying to hold on, until I saw a flash vision of ending my life to escape from it all, but this was just not the plan. It was in that moment of crisis, I sought after God with all of my heart.
Ohhhhh, how everything changed in a sheer matter of seconds, as I bowed my head and let out a groan. My life flashed before me, shedding light over all of the darkness. I saw where I went very, very wrong. My sins emerged out of the dark corners of my mind, where they were hidden for way too long.
By this point, I was too weary to speak, and beyond each and every breath was this indescribable pain of heartache. I felt like if I cried the tears would drown me with the years of all my sorrows. But as I sat still with not a single muscle moving in my body, I heard something that I haven’t in quite awhile. It was the quiet whisper of God’s voice saying … I was still His child.
I immediately felt my spirit rise from this deep and darkened place that was a living hell inside my mind! As I opened my eyes however, I knew the darkness was gone … I made it out of the pit more alive than ever before. I felt a shift deep down to the bone and it seemed the despair was gone. I knew in just these few moments that transpired, I was saved from the spirit of death and given the will to go on.
There was a sudden surge of energy running through my veins, and as my future flashed before my eyes, I saw the path that was carefully planned … it was a path already laid. I saw my family being pulled out from underneath this curse that we had been living, with the promises that I heard from God. This was truly the turning point for all of us, as I was saved, saved, saved … saved by the Lord. I was changed in just a matter of seconds by the miracle of a loving God.
It had been years that I had been living in denial, and I refused to face that I had turned into this woman that no one recognized anymore. I had become so hard-hearted and was estranged from God. I was completely lost and lived in the grips of the devil with strongholds that I could no longer control. Day in and day out, I was defeated by the darkened thoughts of where my life was going.
It wasn’t until this turning point in my life that hope was finally found. I had truly come to the end of myself, and I knew deep in my heart that I could not find the strength to go on without the love of God. As I repented for my sins, I felt an instant softening of my heart and His love pouring in. I knew from this moment that the old me was gone. Even though my soul was still a raging mess, my spirit had somehow been changed forever. It was from this point forward that I was led on an unforgettable journey with an everlasting God who would change my life for the better.
It was suddenly made clear to me that as a woman of God, I had to change my behaviors as a wife and a mother. The only way to begin was to have faith that God would give me the grace to do what was already laid out before me. I saturated myself in the Word of God, and most importantly, as I faithfully acted with obedience, it began changing my life. I needed healing from my bitter feelings, which poisoned my heart and wrecked havoc on my family.
I made a vow to God on this day that if He kept my daughter safe from harm, I would forever be His faithful servant and spread this story all over the world. I cannot even give reverence to such a moment as this with my own words, other than in my weakest moment, God became the strength to see me through this trial. I do not remember much over the next few days, except that I was on a mission for my salvation and my family’s restoration.
It had been several days since my daughter was missing, and all I could do was cry out to God to keep me from having a nervous break down. I just laid on her bed and prayed for her to be found. I patiently waited for the missing persons report, and all I could do was pray that they would trace her before too much time had gone by. I had no idea when the next time that I would hear her voice again, but I was determined to focus on God and His promises to bring her back safely into my arms again.
During this time, I was face to face with myself and the cold harsh reasons that she had run for her life. I knew that I played a major part in this tragedy that took place, and I couldn’t believe that I had just let everything in our lives fall completely apart. I made a mess, and our lives were in mangled pieces, but this time, I was leaning on God to mend our hearts and bring us restoration.
It wasn’t until four days later that my daughter was found over 3,000 miles away from home. I cannot even describe the sheer panic that struck deep into the core of me. She was only at the mere age of eighteen, and had never been more than just a few miles away from home, but the police could not give me any further information because she was already considered an adult in the eyes of authority.
There I was, left with nothing but the ruins of our lives, knowing that most of the damage was my fault. I pleaded with God to keep her safe from harm, and to bring her back home again. I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day of sheer panic, but God gave me hope that he never breaks His promises, and that was truly how I didn’t lose my mind and fall apart from the harsh reality. My life was a total surrender because I knew that God was the only One who could save me. I refused to doubt God for even just a split second, because I knew in that second, I would lose all hope and crumble into a million more pieces.
The next thing that came to mind, was that I had a friend that may have been able to help me because he lived in Los Angeles where my daughter had been traced for her whereabouts. Sure enough he was the connection that God had lined up, because he knew someone that could help mentor me and support me during this terrible time of tragedy.
Two days later, I received a call from his friend. Although he was a total stranger, I could sense that he was a fellow Christian that knew how to handle any situation with wisdom … and he was going to help me when no one else could. This man named Sammy Maloof came into my life through a phone call out of nowhere, and wanted to find my daughter just as much as I did.
I will never forget his words during that first phone call. He said, “I am going to help you get your daughter back.” I just knew that this was the divine connection that would mend the broken pieces and bring my daughter back. I was certain that from the very first words that he spoke with authority, he knew exactly what he was doing and how to handle my emotions while my child was missing.
Although he was just a total stranger, he was the most important link to this story. This man reached out from over 3,000 miles away and mentored me when I was completely broken. I do not know anyone else who would have cared for me and my family as if they knew us all along, except for someone who was sent by God.
The months crept by without a single word from my daughter, but I never lost hope that one day I would hear from her, and as the months passed by my faith only grew stronger. I was a completely transformed woman, as I was led by a vision of hope and was on a mission to be made whole again. God healed my broken heart, and while my daughter was in unknown places, He assured me that He was changing her heart through my prayers and faithfulness to finally reunite with us.
I patiently waited each day for the phone to ring and to hear her sweet voice once again. I dreamt of this day and that she would hear the changes in me as I would welcome her call with all of my heart and sincerity. I was certain that God would give me just the right words to say to her and change everything that was standing between us.
It wasn’t until almost three agonizing months later that I heard from her again. As I answered the phone and heard her voice, my knees grew weak and my voice began to quiver … but I mustered up the courage to say hello to her. After our first hellos there was nothing but awkward silence… I wanted to cry out and say, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!” But I knew deep within my heart those were not the words that I wanted to express to her. So, I bit my lip and prayed in my heart for God to give me the grace to say something that would show her how much I had missed her! The next thing I knew I was telling her how much I loved her and no matter what she did, she would always be my daughter. She was a-taken back by my gentle manners and a love for her that never wavered.
She said, “Mom, the changes that I hear in you, changes everything for me.” I knew right then and there that my unconditional love for her won the battle, and I had her heart back again. I was a faithful servant of God and everything in our lives was changing for the better. From this day forward our hearts as a family had begun to mend, and God gave us beauty for ashes as He rebuilt our relationships.
Five years had passed since this frightful time in our lives, and our family has been restored through our relationship with the Lord. We have had so much time together to heal from the past and have had many new glorious beginnings.
Over the years, we have found our true meaning and purpose to minister to others through the gifts God gave us. It’s funny how God worked in each of us throughout this journey in a unique way to reach out to others, as we have all become writers to express our journey in our own way.
Although my husband and I are still in the process of finishing our own books about our personal journey with God as well as our marriage and family’s restoration, I am so proud to be able share with all of you that my daughter’s new debut single which is now on CD called, ‘Hold On’ is ready for preorders.
I believe that she wrote this song as an expression of her love for God, and for saving her from the grips of a knife, in an attempt for a fatal suicide. It seems this moment was nearly too much to bear when she finally realized that running away had destroyed her life, and deeply hurt the ones she loved the most. Her desire is that this one song has the power to inspire us to never give up hope, because even when we are at the end of our rope, dangling by a single thread, God can save anyone who gives to Him all of their heart.
A special thanks to Janeen Ferdinand for your great voice talent and incredible mentorship. You have made it possible for my daughter to live for her dreams and make her first debut single to help give people hope all over the world!