Jeannie’s Story

Oxford dictionary defines ‘miracle’ as “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.” So, what constitutes a miracle? An intervention? A missed opportunity? Or a tragedy? This is the story of Jeannie, and the miracle that’s changing her life.

Despite having parents that abused drugs, Jeannie’s childhood was pretty decent, and she didn’t want for much. However, when she was 22 years old, she decided to try meth with her mom. She was going to school for court reporting, so she was staying with her. At the time, the drugs didn’t seem like a big deal, until one day, their house was raided. Jeannie was arrested and convicted with a felony offence. She worked hard to start paying off her fines and put herself back together, and at the age of 30, she gave birth to a precious little girl. In 2013, her dad passed away, which was very hard on Jeannie and her mom. She had decided to get clean at the age of 36 so that she could focus more on her daughter. Her mom’s health was waning though.

One night, Jeannie and her mom were trying to talk with a man who was very angry with Jeannie. The man pulled out a gun and told her he would kill her. He pulled the trigger, and as the bullet left the chamber, Jeannie’s mom, caring only for the safety of her daughter, threw herself in the line of fire, and took the bullet to her face. Miraculously, she survived, but there was a rough road ahead of her. After that incident, her mother had several surgeries, and although she survived the initial shot, the damage eventually overcame her.A few years later, she became very ill and passed from septic poisoning, delivering another painful blow to Jeannie. This tragedy was more than she could bear.

Two years of sobriety went down the toilet after her mom passed, and she turned back to drugs to numb the pain. She recklessly got behind the wheel of her jeep, but it would be a decision would live to regret the rest of her life.As she was cruising down the road, something happened. The jeep was launched into the air and ended up flipping 9 times before coming to a rest. Jeannie was alive. And not just alive,she walked away without a scratch, like God Himself had been holding her head and protecting her. The mangled mess made it impossible to believe that someone could’ve ever survived it, but she did. Although she wanted to, she didn’t get herself checked out at the scene because of an outstanding warrant.  That would prove to be a near-fatal mistake.

That wreck was her wake up call, and it was time to get clean. Two weeks later, however, her world got turned upside again. Jeannie had a stroke. When she walked away from her totaled car, smashed to oblivion, she had felt so lucky, however, there was a bleed on her brain that was unseen to the naked eye. While in the hospital, she had 2 more strokes followed by heart attack resulting in paralysis of one side of her body. She was in the hospital for three and a half months and then rehabilitation for 3 more months. When she got out of the hospital, her husband and daughter had been struggling to make it without her, and they had lost their home. So, they went to a homeless shelter in Oklahoma City where Jeannie was able to get clean again and start to heal, not just physically but mentally and spiritually as well.

Some family members in Muskogee had heard of Jeannie’s struggles with homelessness and offered to let her and her family come stay with them. They were also newly sober, and it seemed like a great idea to work on their sobriety together. However, after 2 years of sobriety for her family members, the people she moved in with came into some extra money ended up using again. When she found that out, she moved out immediately because her now 12-year-old daughter was aware of what was going on and knew what drugs were and that scared Jeannie. So, she found the Gospel Rescue Mission and decided to give us a try.

Jeannie and her family have been here for 3 weeks now, and she’s already moved into the position of a hospitality and safety trainer here. Her husband is working, and they are ready to get settled into a place of their own. When I asked how soon they planned on moving out, she told me, “We want to be secure and know that we’re not going to be back in this position in a month from now.” So, for that reason, they have set their goal to be moved out and settled in by Christmas. Once they are back on their feet, Jeannie is going to pursue a career in teaching. She will be following her calling and showing God that His miracle is going on to do great things.