My nephew Joe is a recovering drug addict. I couldn’t be prouder of him. His story gives hope to everyone who has ever hit bottom with no where to go but up. He is a testament to the incredible power of the human spirit.

Joe was in and out of jail as a result of his drug use. For several years, whenever he was incarcerated, Joe’s wife and two boys lived with my sister (Joe’s mom). Joe also lived there when he was not in jail.

Then my sister disappeared after meeting a man on the Internet and moving to Montana with him. Evidence of foul play and a presumption of murder made it clear that Joe would never see his mother again.

At this point, Joe’s addiction spiraled completely out of control and over the next six months they lost everything – all their earthly possessions, the roof over their heads, friends and family. Literally everything was gone. Joe hit the very bottom and had no where to go but up. He began to ask questions about his life and what he was (and wasn’t) doing. His wife was also an addict and his boys were paying the price for their choices.

It was a painfully slow and extremely difficult process but things began to change. Over the next three years, thanks to some intense counseling sessions, Joe and his family have emerged victorious from their journey through hell.

Joe is now attending college, studying to become a drug counselor. He and his wife are active in their local 12-step program and have started their own chapter. Their boys now have the loving and responsible parents they were without for so long.
As I contrast the dark and desperate days of my nephew’s life during his years of drug use with the fine, upstanding, responsible young man he now has become, I give thanks to God. When my sister disappeared, I asked God not to let her death be in vain. I asked that something good would come from it.

Joe and his family are living proof that God answers prayer – even the prayer of an aunt for her seemingly hopeless nephew. If you are reading this Joe, I love you. Keep up the good work and know that somewhere in heaven your mom is smiling.

Written with Joe’s permission


Melissa Ohden December 30, 2009  

Hi Cassandra,

Thank you for the follow on Twitter and the link to your wonderful story about your nephew. The Lord truly works in miraculous ways, even in those moments when we can't figure out what it is that He is up to in our lives, or what He is attempting to help us learn or grow through. Like your nephew, my brother is a recovering drug addict. He has gone from being in serious criminal trouble, dropping out of school, and being severely addicted as a teenager, to now being a healthy, clean 25-year-old who owns his own house and has a job in management for a large corporation. Bless you and your family! I will keep reading up on your posts.

Post a Comment