In the midst of my darkest moments, I witnessed the brilliance of His light!

Published on 23 May 2023 at 19:54


For thirteen long years, I faced the uncertainty that plagued my life. Each day was a daunting task, not knowing if that fateful call or knock on the door would forever change our lives. Yet, every morning, I summoned the strength within me to fight against the relentless grip of addiction that had taken hold of someone I loved dearly. There were countless days when I couldn't fight for myself, but I fought relentlessly for him, even though my efforts often fell short. I endured numerous instances of ridicule and questioning, with people wondering why I persevered through it all. Why did I remain by the side of a man they believed would never change? Why did I hold onto hope when it seemed all was lost? And my answer, time and time again, was simply, "I love him, and I know his heart." Beyond that, I had no explanations to offer.

He had fought a long and difficult battle against addiction with every ounce of strength he possessed. The addiction was a source of immense hatred for him. He constantly tormented himself with self-disappointment and carried the weight of the pain and disappointment his addiction had inflicted upon our children, myself, and his family. His presence was overshadowed by his addiction, and his absence was fueled not only by the addiction itself but also by the overwhelming shame and guilt he carried. With each relapse, a piece of him slipped away.


But this time, it was different. He had reached a point where he had no fight left within him. The addiction had grown stronger, overpowering his will to fight it any longer.


A little over a year ago, I found myself in the darkest depths of my life. I was no longer truly living; I merely existed, carrying the weight of the heaviest hurt and heartache imaginable. Day after day, I grieved for the man I loved a man I had almost lost hope for, trapped in the suffocating darkness of his addiction. The beautiful brown eyes I once knew had turned solid black, and the reflection staring back at me was that of a stranger.


Devastation engulfed me. I cried constantly. Countless nights were spent calling on God, desperately seeking answers. I begged, screamed, and pleaded for His protection while yearning for the release of my own pain and burden. The uncertainty of what else I could do tormented my thoughts.


May 13, 2022, was just another in a series of unbearable days that had plagued me for months. After putting the children to bed, I quietly slipped out the door and into the garage. It had become my sanctuary during moments of despair, in an effort not to disturb the kids. As I reached the bottom of the last step, I collapsed to my knees, trembling with heartache and uncontrollable tears. Lost and utterly defeated, I no longer knew what to do or say. In that moment, I looked up, stretched out my arms, and instead of asking, begging, or pleading with God, as I had done for years, I simply uttered, "God, take it all. Take away the hurt, the pain, the heartache, and the weight. Ricky belongs to you now; I have done everything within my power, and I can no longer bear this burden." I called on God to protect Ricky, to spare his life, and to reveal to him his worthiness of a life free from addiction—a life filled with happiness and peace. I acknowledged that even if it meant I would no longer be a part of his happily ever after, or if it meant Ricky would face imprisonment, I pleaded with the Lord to do whatever it took to save his life.


During that time, a year ago, my hope for our relationship dangled by a thin, frayed thread. The pain inflicted by Ricky's choices in active addiction had cut deep within me. Yet, despite it all, hope remained steadfast within me, fervently believing that he could rise above the darkness of addiction and find his way into the light.


A couple of days after surrendering everything to God, we found ourselves locked in a heated argument that seemed to confirm my belief that the man I loved now harbored nothing but hatred for me. Little did I know that God was already working behind the scenes. Later that afternoon, an unexpected phone call shattered my assumptions. The voice on the other end asked, "Hey, is Ricky in jail?" Surprised, I replied, "I have no idea, but if he is, I'm probably the last person he would call." "And if he is in jail," I added, "at least we know he's alive." Unbeknownst to me, I was actually the first person Ricky reached out to. He uttered a simple phrase, "I'm sorry," but in my wounded state, I interpreted it as remorse for landing in jail once again, as if he were luring me back into the same destructive cycle. Despite having entrusted everything to God, I still carried hurt and bitterness within me.




Ricky made a decision that would change everything. He chose to enter Hope Center Ministries for a year of treatment. It was another prayer answered. He embarked on the journey of self-discovery, battling for his own sobriety and the restoration of our family.


I vividly recall a Wednesday night at church, a few months into his treatment, when I glanced over at him and saw his beautiful brown eyes gazing back at me. In that moment, I witnessed the rekindling of a light that had long been extinguished—a light that had endured the darkness for far too long.


Today, as I reflect upon the past year, I stand in awe of the remarkable transformation that has taken place. Ricky's decision to surrender to God's guidance and enter Hope Center Ministries has been nothing short of a miracle. He has exhibited unwavering determination and resilience, actively fighting for his own recovery and the restoration of our family. I have witnessed a profound change within him, as he has confronted his demons and embraced a path of healing and growth.


Gone are the days of him being consumed by addiction and drowning in shame and guilt. Ricky's commitment to his sobriety has allowed him to reclaim his true self, to emerge from the depths of despair and rediscover the light within. I look into his eyes now, and I see a reflection of the man I fell in love with—the warmth, the love, the hope that had once seemed lost. The darkness has been replaced by a renewed sense of purpose and an unwavering determination to lead a life free from the grips of addiction.


Our journey has not been without challenges. The scars of the past are still there, reminders of the pain we endured. Yet, through it all, we have learned the power of forgiveness, both for others and for ourselves. We have learned that true healing and growth can only come when we release the shackles of the past and embrace a future guided by love, compassion, and understanding.


To anyone who finds themselves in a similar struggle, I offer this testimony as a testament to the possibility of redemption and transformation. Though the path may be arduous and filled with obstacles, there is always hope. The darkness may seem all-encompassing but remember that even the tiniest flicker of light can dispel the shadows. Trust in the power of surrender and the support of a Mighty God that is ALWAYS there. Seek help, reach out to those who can guide you, and never lose faith in the strength that lies within.


As for Ricky and me, we continue to walk this journey together, hand in hand. We have come to understand that our love is not defined by the trials we have faced but by our unwavering commitment to support and uplift one another. Our story is now one of resilience, growth, and unwavering faith in a future filled with hope.


In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude to God, who heard my cries and answered my prayers. I am grateful for the strength to let go, to surrender my pain, and to trust in God. May our testimony serve as a beacon of hope for all those who find themselves in the darkest corners of addiction.


Remember that within each of us lies the power to overcome, to rise above, and to step into the light. His Light!!



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Ricky Brown
a year ago

9 prior rehab stays , 3 mental hospitals , a suicide attempt , and 20 years of daily meth use brought me to a point of numbness and and being completely broken to where I just didn’t know how to feel anything anymore . I can never repay you Jana for loving me through it when you should have ran the other way . I tried every way that I knew possible to do it on my own but it wasn’t until I fully surrendered everything to God that anything changed . I give God all the praise and glory . Not only has there been a change that is supernatural in me but also my Wife and my children . I’m thankful every day that Jana prayed and prayed for something to change .I love you babe and thank you for doing this I hope and pray it can help someone else

Brittany Plunkett
a year ago

This blog is the testimony of surviving the grips of addiction & how when you finally let go of the control, give it to the Lord he can do all the things you can not.

Kristi Tinin-Hodge
a year ago

But God... Thank you for sharing this part of the journey with others. Praying for continued healing and restoration for you all.

Cindi Baxter
a year ago

Oh Jana! What a beautiful testimony of faith and healing! Wishing you all many years of happiness and service in His name. 🙌❤️ Praise Jesus!