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July 26, 2020 2:00 am
In this episode, Susie is joined by another friend of the show, Lori Miller. She shares her testimony of growing up around addiction and the chaos it caused in her family. However, in Christ, Lori shares the hope that she’s hung onto all along. “You never know how strong you are until you have to be”.
I welcome words of life and all that and will welcome back to the Salvation Army's words of life. I'm joined in the studio again today by my cohost Cheryl Gillam hey Bernie how are you today doing great all right. Last week we had a special guest with us former words of life. Cohost Sheila Lanier. She joined Susie to share her incredible story as a fellow Susie calls them barefoot Cinderella. If you missed that episode. Be sure to check it out and as we continue to follow along with Susie's book. We are now in chapter 3, and this is such a powerful and heartbreaking chapter about growing up in a household with addiction this week. Susie's joined by another friend of the show Lori Miller this episode is certainly another survival story as we hear from women who have found more strength than they could have ever imagined. And God now like Sheila Lori is a former cohost of the show that we get to work with Lori here in Atlanta. She helps the Salvation Army with the programs that are coming out of our social services department, but one of the great stories I love to tell us Lori is the mother of five children and she calls them two sets and a spare because two of the sets of her children are twins.
That's an incredible story but she's also a widow and her husband Keith died years ago and that's part of her journeys.
I'm excited for listeners to hear some of the important for her to share her own story and loss and that way we help European plans mighty series. If you missed any episodes or to find out more about the book foundation Army sound cast out more/words of life and hello major Susie Erickson with the Salvation Army and I am in the studio today with major Lori Miller and I welcome Lori a joy to have you here.
We love any opportunity that we can get together and just talk and so I've been so excited about this day and having a chance to just sit down and and hear your heart and hear your story in your journey and your journey really started out as just pretty ordinary. Right now I just is one of those ordinary normal little girl kind of charmed in a way not really was imperfect and want to say that because nothing is perfect but it's pretty good parents who were in ministry who love the Lord. We moved around. They left me and there was very little about my childhood that I would change and I'm sure that you took some of those little girl dreams and what you saw in your parents enter your own ideas of what marriage would be so tell me about meeting the love of your life. So I met Keith actually in the Salvation Army church I was about think it was about 23 and I was working at the hospital and I had moved to Augustine Georgia. I didn't know anybody so I thought okay where you go when you don't know anybody in a time you go to church and go to the Army and surely in that setting. You'll know somebody and if you doubt that will come except you and love you and welcome you and so that's what I did and so I actually first met Keith's sister.
He has a twin sister her name is Amy and Amy and I became friends and so through Amy. I was introduced to Keith at the Salvation Army church there in Augustine Georgia so wasn't love at first sight. Now keep one thing about Keith as we are very different, which is really funny. Keith is very, laid-back and go with the flow and funny and charming. I was a little more serious and quiet and so to cerebral and those sorts of things that took a little while but slowly but surely it came around I was actually what I found that I was actually drawn to those things that were so different than myself and so over time. We just are talking into hearing his story and listening to. He'd been through a lot at that point that I had been unaware of any of that. And so is sort of connecting in that way, we connected over our sort of shared history, the Army. His parents were officers and my parents were Salvation Army officers and so we had similar experiences in that way, but there are a lot of other things that were very different, that I was sort of attracted and drawn to. But Keith was very charming and adorable and all of those things that it 23 just like there you go. That's exactly what I need in my life and so that will serve our introduction and then you fall in love you Mary and then life really starts to happen right right and so we fell in love.
We got married and something there were underlying things even at the beginning because I wasn't fully aware of Keith's history and the things that he I was aware that he had been through some things. As a teenager, but I wasn't completely aware of the extent and so as we as we got married and start our lives together started to realize the impact of of actually Keith's adolescents and what had happened in his adolescence, and what that was, was Keith was heavy into drugs throughout his adolescence. He started about 15 using heavily and so 10 years of his life from about 15 to 25 even maybe a little younger than that had been marked by addiction and drug abuse.
In this really dark world that I as a little girl and an adolescent, not really experienced myself and God had done amazing things in Keith's life he had. He never went back to using and that way I'm his life was never again once he was redeemed, marked by use, but what it was marked by is the trauma of addiction right and so there was a strange dynamic there even from the beginning, but we loved one another and so we sort of walked through those challenges pretty easily when it was just he and I and then we became Salvation Army officers weak very quickly brought five young children into our lives. He had five children in four years and that will put a strain on even the healthiest people and the healthiest relationship and so it was very difficult. I would say that as soon as those children came in that love story started to shift a little bit.
The love never went away, but the pressures of officer shipping and having a church and having five young children and all of those pressures began to really take hold in our relationship. So tell me about that moment when the clock struck midnight. There were little signs along the way so I don't want to say it was sudden but there was a moment where we could not keep up going the way we were going and it was not the right thing to do.
We were ministers we were. We were pastoring a church.
We had young children and so that midnight struck midnight to me was when he left and it wasn't necessarily his choice. It was something that had had been forced upon us, but it needed to happen inside. Just remember, for me it was a minute where the garage door opened and I could just hear it and then I turned around and saw a silo. People I thought all great. What now my kids were for 784-4778 and eight and they're very young. Two sets of twins two sons of twins and interests. That was the moment I just realized I guess when he left not only the grief of losing him in that way that also then to turn around and to look at how my life is not to look like my parents or or like the rest of the world when they thought that Dori should be. My life is so different. I was going to be a single mother.
What did that look like in the world. I didn't know it definitely didn't look like what I had imagined. At that point right so what would you tell someone who is walking the journey right now that you walked in what I would say to anybody facing the same thing is I promise you it will be okay. It may not look like you had imagined. You have to change your perspective, you have to broaden your view and you have to really give it up to God and allow him to take every broken piece of that experience and to use it in the way he doesn't isn't always to make everything okay things are hard and that's okay but what he's going to do with that hard is to use that hard to help someone else right because someone can benefit from your story and your pain and your experience and that's what that's what redemption is about. That's how he redeems the hard in your story and you really truly have survived some very difficult days. And through those journeys you do learn that all things are possible with God to absolutely and I am a far stronger person having had to experience a lot of those things and it is not been easy.
I don't want to give that sort of thought out there.
Everything has been very difficult. From that point on. Life hasn't necessarily gotten easier. I've gotten stronger and I've learned that every single thing that's ever happened to me in my life just fills me with this empathy and this understanding in this connection away. I can connect with people that had I not experience those things. It may not of been the same thing so I can sit across the table with a woman who's been through some of the same things I haven't connected in a much deeper and different way than I ever would have been able to have these things that happened want to share another outline with you from barefoot Cinderella's because I really do as we listen to your story and I think about my story on I really have come to the conclusion that our beauty was birthed by the scars. This unique blend of scarring sets us apart as barefoot, Cinderella's and that unique scarring is where we have this ability to pour in to the lives of other people.
I think as a result of all this and I'm so less drawn to perfection that I am to authenticity and am genuine, real people, and so every scar that I have. I have had to learn not to cover because it's those scars that attract people to me, and I am being my whole real genuine self when I allow people to see those imperfections as difficult as it may be as uncomfortable as it may be as perfect as I wish I could be the fact of the matter is, God uses the scars far more than he would ever use my perfection. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email email@example.com or call 1-800-229-9965 by this at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story here.
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