'My daughter was drug addicted - and then Jesus changed my life'

Kaz’s story | The incredible true tale of a family restored

“I came to faith in Jesus half way through my daughter’s drug addiction, five years ago. It was such a hard time. We lost my mum, my aunty and my daughter’s best friend, all in the space of three months. It was too much for my daughter. She became addicted to ice … and during her addiction I took care of her son.”

“It was really hard. My husband and I were suddenly looking after a three-year-old boy, as well as managing my retail shop in town. And because of my business, I didn’t want other people knowing about my daughter’s drug addiction. I felt the stigma of it and I didn’t want to tell anyone. Eventually, I was in such a mess, that I went to the doctor and I told him what was going on.

“He gave me a piece of paper with a lady’s name on it. She was a mental health clinician and she counselled me for three days. The most helpful thing was learning that we can’t control what others say, think and do. It’s not our responsibility. We are not in control of our loved one’s addiction. It also helped me to network with services that would help her when she was ready.

“But half way through that year, I also started going to church.

“I think I was searching for some sort of calm through my massive storm. My parents had been Christians and invited me to church but I always said no. I used to say that it’s not my thing. But when I started looking after my grandson, I started going to his [Christian] school assemblies. I really liked the songs the children sang. They were pretty hip for Christian music. I’d go home and find them on the internet and I’d put them on the playlist on my phone. I even changed my radio to Vision Christian Media.

“So then I decided to go to the church on the school grounds. The first time I went, I met a gentleman who had known my mum and dad. He knew all about their faith journey and he shared it with me. It was fantastic! It made me feel so much closer to my parents. But that first year, everywhere I went, the same verse would pop up. It was John 3:16. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

“That verse was everywhere … and I’d never heard it before. I’d never read the Bible before … but it was telling me something. I saw it on the back of the church newsletter, then up on the screen after the sermon, then on a billboard near our local restaurant, then in a book for parents of addicts.

“Every time I saw it, I cried. God was telling me that it was okay and that he loved me, and that he had given up his son Jesus for me.

“I believed it. I’m so thankful to God. He has been with me all the time, I just didn’t know him. I’ve also come to realise that God uses us to help others. My journey through my daughter’s addiction has let me connect with so many parents to help them through their child’s addiction. I have a red couch at the back of my shop and people always come and sit to share their journeys, and with God’s grace I am able to help them.

“My family has also been restored. My daughter is now three years clean. And it was because of my journey that I was able to help her to get the help she needed. How amazing is it to have my God in my life!”

Kaz’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

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