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If you doubt the power of prayer, this is for you. (This is the most private thing I've ever shared)

The phone rang late one night. It was around 11:30 p.m. My stomach clenched and my chest tightened, as it always did when the phone rang that late. I knew that it was either going to be my daughter, or the police calling me to inform me of a tragedy involving her.

girl in trouble
When the child you love is on drugs

I picked up the phone, and my girl said, “Mom, I need to talk to you. I’m coming over now.” She had a sense of urgency in her voice. I knew something was wrong, but before I could ask what it was, she hung up. I got up and got dressed and waited, dreading whatever was going to happen next.

When she walked through the door, I could tell that she’d been crying. Her eyes were red and her mascara was smeared. She looked like she hadn’t slept in days. She was 23. An adult. Whatever was wrong was probably something that I could do little or nothing about. She wasn’t a little girl anymore who just needed Mommy to kiss a booboo and make it all better. I had prayed for so long and so hard and had seen no change. I knew that whatever was wrong with my girl was beyond my power to repair. The child I would have given my life for was suffering, and I was completely powerless to do anything about it.

My sweet girl came in and sat down on the sofa. I sat next to her and planned to just listen. For once I wasn’t going to lecture or give advice or make suggestions on how she could improve her life. I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to just be quiet and listen.

She began to tell me that she couldn’t go on anymore. She had made too many mistakes, and taken too many drugs. She had done too much damage. She told how she felt that her life was a shambles. My girl who had been raised with faith in God, who had been taught personal responsibility and work ethic, who was an athlete and a good student, who had been a good girl—never having caused a minute of trouble, came over to tell me face-to-face that she was planning to take her own life. And she wanted me to help her do it.

Sarah told how she had prayed about her situation but nothing changed. Using the logic of a drug addict, she had decided that if she continued to live without answered prayer, she would eventually lose her faith in God. So she wanted to commit suicide before she lost faith. I sat there stunned into complete silence.

Before I could summon any words, she went on to say that she had decided that she was going to hang herself in the park where she used to play as a little girl. She knew the tree in the park where she wanted to leave this life. She had planned it all out. I wanted to scream but no sound came out. Then she said it. “Mom, I need you to go with me to hold my hand.

This daughter, the only child that I brought into the world, wanted me to be with her when she left it. This girl was literally my world. I had told her since she was born that she was the air that I breathed. And I was having trouble catching my breath as she prepared to make a decision that would destroy us both.

Sarah finished explaining her plan and looked at me with her tear-filled big brown eyes waiting to hear what I was going to say. I had no clue what to say. I wanted her to feel grateful for the life God had given her. I wanted her to feel a sense of wonder at the intelligence and athleticism and the good common sense, and the great sense of humor He had given her. I wanted her to feel joyful anticipation of the good things God would do in her life. But I knew that she didn’t feel any of that.

I was quiet on the outside as I searched her eyes trying to find some glimmer of hope, but on the inside I was screaming and crying out to God, asking for the right words to change her heart and her mind. And then I opened my mouth and was literally stunned at what I heard come out. It was like I was observing what was happening rather than being an active participant in it. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard myself say, “My girl, I heard you. My heart hurts with your pain. I will go with you. I will hold your hand as you leave this life...ON ONE CONDITION.

Her eyes got big as she absorbed what I was saying. She must have expected me to explode with screaming and yelling and crying and pleading. When I did none of that, she didn’t know what to do. She just sat there completely still looking at me. I said, “The condition is that you have to give your life completely over to Jesus right now. If you do that, and if nothing changes in the next 30 days, and you still want to follow through with your plan, I’ll go with you.

She whispered a faint, “OK,” and I took her hands and said, “Repeat after me: Jesus, I believe in You. I give my life to You. Take my life and do something good with it. I’m trusting You completely.” As she repeated after me, she began to sob. She could barely get the words out. She was crying so hard that I couldn’t even make out what she was saying. But she repeated every word. Afterwards I held her and silently begged that God would work an undeniable miracle in her life within the next 30 days.

Sarah couldn’t imagine how God would completely turn her life around. In her mind, she was wondering where God had been when her life began to fall apart. The reason she had started taking drugs in the first place was when a friend gave her something to take to calm her down after she had heard the news from the fifth doctor she'd seen who said that she would never be able to have a baby. Being a mother was the only thing she had ever really wanted. Depression set in. Her marriage fell apart. And the drug use escalated.

After we both cried until it felt like there was no more water left in our bodies, I walked her upstairs. We both got some much needed sleep. We didn't talk a lot over the next couple of days as I kept a close eye on her, and then it happened.

Sarah, named after Abraham's wife, ironically, mother of a miracle child, took a home pregnancy test and learned that she was pregnant. The thing that five different physicians had said would never happen was now happening. She was pregnant. Her lifelong dream of being a mommy was coming true. She had her ultimate motivation to quit the drugs.

That experience was years ago, and my girl, who couldn’t imagine then how God could change her life, has seen it happen as only He can do. She is married to a wonderful husband, she has two awesome sons, and she serves God by caring for her family and running the operations of a cancer center.

That is what prayer can do. Whatever seems impossible in your life may be one heartfelt prayer away from your miracle.

Rhonda Sciortino, mother to one amazing daughter, is the author of Succeed Because Of What You've Been Through (featured on The Today Show).

She used the coping skills from her abusive childhood to create personal and professional success. She built two successful businesses, then turned her attention to helping others to find their purpose and their authentic success. More info can be found at

You’ve got one job in this life! It’s to find and fulfill the purpose for which you were born and perfectly matched. This podcast is to help you find and fulfill your purpose and to enjoy the real success that accompanies it. Subscribe now and share this with a friend. Listen at or wherever you get good podcasts.

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