tara’s story

tara

a story of answered prayer

From a young age my dad developed an excessive drinking habit. He met my mom when they were around 20 and 8 years later I was born. By that time my dad was already addicted to alcohol.

Most nights there was a lot of fighting in our home. Every other week my dad tried not to drink and then soon enough things would get out of hand again. My mom and I often had to leave home late at night and stay over with family or friends. My dad was never physically abusive but because of being very intoxicated, he would say and do many hurtful things and sadly there was infidelity as well.

When I was 11 my parents got a divorce. I didn’t see my dad very much in the years after, sometimes a year would pass that we would not see each other at all and other years we would see each other a handful of times. When I left school he stopped drinking for two years. For the first time my dad and I started to build a relationship. Then he met a girlfriend and he soon started drinking again. I was devastated, and went through rejection and disappointment once again.

Things got very bad over the next couple of years and everyone in our family tried to convince him to go to rehab again. He went a couple of times but would soon start drinking again once he was out. I constantly called out to the Lord to set him free and felt so disappointed every time he would get drunk after he promised not to drink again. I didn’t understand why God didn’t deliver him straight away. At that time I was very broken myself and had not walked through a process of healing. I knew that my dad was dealing with a lot of rejection and fear because of things he went through in his childhood but I couldn’t understand why he could not just walk away from drinking. His life was in turmoil and he was pulling our whole family down with him. We ended up enabled him by not sticking to the boundaries we had set.

Around 4 years ago I got a job offer in Dubai and decided to leave South Africa. A part of me was glad to escape the problems. Looking back, I now know that God took me out of the situation so that He could deal with my father… and deal with me.

I joined a church called City lights in Dubai and started going through my own process of healing with some amazing women who walked alongside me. They prayed over me, we broke strongholds and I had to go through a long process of mind renewal. I dedicated myself to following Jesus and the identity in which He wanted me to walk started to become a reality for me. God started laying foundations in my life that were never there before.

In the meantime, my dad had deteriorated and our family had had enough. He was drinking day after day, starting in the early mornings. He had developed symptoms that showed his liver was close to giving in and he would shake in the morning if he didn’t drink. Every-time I spoke to him on the phone he would be drunk and would tell me he didn’t want to live and that he has given up.

It was tough to speak to him because most of the time it felt like my words hit a wall but God kept telling me to hang in there and not treat him disrespectfully as I had done over the years. After my healing process started, I started experiencing a new compassion for my dad. God told me to love him and to start speaking words of life over him even in his drunken state. Somehow even when there was a particularly bad day, I could step into and experience Gods peace.

I started praying for him more and more but it was hard and many times I struggled with doubt and unbelief. I had to constantly remind myself that the word of God is true and to stand in faith and not to get stuck looking at what I saw in front of me. Mid 2013, over the phone, my dad told me he was ready to accept Jesus as Lord and we prayed together. It was an amazing and honest “God-moment” for my dad, and I was so thankful to Jesus for that gift. A part of me expected my father to improve after his salvation but unfortunately things got even worse and my dad became increasingly suicidal.

God gave me a dream in early 2013. It was autumn and my dad stood in a dark forest, the wind was blowing and he stood in agony with a huge baby blue snake with yellow horns all over it, and the snake had bitten into his hand. It had a firm grip and my dad could not get free. I ran over, took the snake by its tail and with super natural strength I ripped it from his hand and threw it so far into the distance it couldn’t be seen. The relief on my dad’s face was incredible. The dream gave me hope and through the rest of what I would call my dad’s “rock bottom” year I would hold on to it in the times when unbelief was knocking at my door. The Lord also gave me specific scriptures to pray over my dad and a friend and I both fasted for his healing.

I went to a small group in my church and we would often pray over the situation. Sometimes I felt like a broken record asking for the same thing over and over but nonetheless we kept praying. Towards the end of 2013, I went back home for a work trip and saw my dad for the first time in a long while. It was the worst I had ever ever seen him, I didn’t recognize my father… Physically he was a different person. The doctors said his liver was close to giving in and if he continued drinking solidly for a week he could die. I didn’t want to accept that my dad could pass on from this life in such a way. I came back to Dubai disillusioned but still hearing the Holy Spirit whisper gently in my ear “Do not give up”.

About a week later at my small group I asked that we pray over him one more time. I was truly desperate and in my heart I had an expectation that God was going to do a miracle. I knew that the situation looked impossible, but I knew that Jesus had given me that dream and that His will for my dad was not death but life and life in abundance. Our group prayed together and contended for him in faith.

3 days later, my aunt and uncle booked my dad into a new rehab. It was the first time in years he himself asked to go and he said he wanted another shot at life. That was the last time my father had a drink. 1 December 2013.

It is now 2 and a half years that my dad has been sober and his mind has fully been restored. Jesus made the impossible possible for me and my family. He saved my father when everybody said he had moved past the point of hope.

Subsequently my dad was baptized and he often tells me of the tidbits of wisdom he is picking up from reading the book of proverbs. For me this is the biggest blessing. God has restored his life and relationship with his daughter and family and blessed him financially. Of course there has been a process of forgiveness but thanks to the Grace of Jesus, we all now celebrate the victory instead of looking at the past negatively. Since then there are many other testimonies in his life that I could share.

If you have any kind of addict in your family, I encourage you not to give up hope that God can heal them. Do not to take it upon yourself to try and change that person but trust God in their situation and allow Him to take control. Surround yourself with people who can pray and trust God with you and declare the word of God over your loved one.