My Sister Jodi

Allison Stevens —  April 19, 2012 — 30 Comments
My sister Jodi died unexpectedly yesterday. I’m so incredibly sad, and I still can’t believe it. My heart breaks that she’s gone and that I can’t talk with her. I know she’s with Jesus—she’s happy, fulfilled, and satisfied in the Lord; and that gives me comfort. I love you, Jodi, and I look forward to seeing you again when Jesus comes back or takes me home. Rest in peace, my dear sister.

My sister was sick a lot during her life. She struggled with drug addiction. After one terrifying, almost-fatal overdose at 50 years old, she was convinced into going to Teen Challenge for drug rehab. Funny, isn’t it, a middle-aged person going to Teen Challenge?!  But for Jodi, and she would tell you this, that was one of the best decisions of her life. God used that place and those people to change her. I remember one conversation in which she told me that she knew God loved her and that she was learning to obey Him. She’d call me and tell me Bible verses that meant a lot to her. She was reading the Bible like crazy! Over time, I saw my sister become the loving and kind person she was deep inside but that the drugs had overshadowed for so long.

My family, friends, and I prayed for Jodi for years—not months or a few years, but decades.  Often, I’d think, and I’m so ashamed to admit this: “Why bother? She’s never going to change.”

I’m sorry I thought that and thankful that I did not stop praying, because Jodi is proof that God can change anyone. My sister praised God for helping and healing her. She wanted to tell the world about her transformation. Jodi was not a quiet person! When she believed in something and wanted something, she went for it wholeheartedly.

Jodi was a consummate Southerner, and in true southern fashion, she wouldn’t hurt a fly if she could help it. But if anyone crossed someone she loved, boy-howdy, they’d better watch out!  She was fiercely loyal.

She was also generous. Even when she didn’t have the means, she found ways to show people how special they were to her. When my son was born, she didn’t have any money, but she made a pillow for him. When my daughter was born, she made a blanket for her. She consistently sent us gifts and cards for special occasions. Jodi loved her family—her husband, children, parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. And I can’t adequately describe how crazy she was about her grandchildren.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s addicted to drugs, you know how difficult it can be. But don’t stop praying for your loved one. Never give up, because you don’t know what God is doing and when His Spirit will bring that person to his or her knees. Never ever stop praying.

Jodi was clean for 2 years before the Lord called her home. I’m so proud she was my sister!

Allison Stevens

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30 responses to My Sister Jodi

  1. Im so sorry for your loss, but I am thankful for this beautiful story of recovery and your sisters testimony! I too have struggled in my life with drugs and alchohol, and I am now clean and sober for almost 9 years by the grace of God! God is so good and faithful, and I thank Him every day for my second chance. Thank you again for sharing this, it has touched my heart. You are in my prayers.

    Your brother in Christ,

  2. I am soooo, sooooo sorry for your loss yet so grateful she knew Jesus! Thank you so very, very much for sharing your/her story! Thank you for your encouragement! You’re an amazing woman! May God continue blessing you with every good and perfect gift!

    Love & PEACE

  3. You have no idea how you have touched my heart this morning. I have a son who struggles with drug addiction and I have been feeling nothing but anger and sadness towards him on account of his current relapse, but once I read about Jodi my heart softened and I am reminded that my redeemer lives. Thank you.

    Please help me pray for Jonathan that he may give up his addictions and that he may be sold out for Jesus!

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it hurts and the tears will come and go. I remember in Scripture how Jesus wept. I’m so glad that Jodi knew her Savior. How wonderful it is to know God’s peace and love during this time of sorrow.

  5. Allison,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking to lose someone you love, yet we have a God who is with us though times like this and gives us peace beyond understanding. Though you and your family are grieving now, your sister is with the God who rescued her from drugs and from her sins. She is the happiest she has ever been. Hold on to that.

    Your sisters life will be a testimony to those who have lost hope in themselves. They will see the work God did in her life, and know that her God, our God, can make the impossible, possible.

    May you all feel God’s presence as never before.

    Peace and blessings to you all.


  6. Allison, I am sorry for you losing your sister. This must be a time of mixed emotions, sadness because we do grieve. We’re human yet also relief. Relief because you know she accepted Christ and served him also because you and the family stayed faithful and continued to pray for her even when it looked like things would never change and there was no hope. May God comfort you and your families’ spirits and minds. Also, may this experience be an opportunity for everyone to draw closer to our faithful God. Many blessings.

  7. Your testimony of your sister moved me to tears. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to be praying and wonder if your sister would become clean of drugs. I’m so glad for her change and I’m so glad for the encouragement you left in your end statement about never ever stop praying for someone who is addicted. Thank God for He is truly able to convict and change someone’s heart. Thank you Jesus. May God surround you and your family with His presence in this time. God bless.

  8. Prayers and Condelences to you and your family!! I am saddened at your loss but grateful to God that Jodi had the chance to accept Jesus into her life and that she was able to touch the lives of others in a positive way, before she left this home!!
    Rest in the Lord and his Peace, dear Jodi!!

  9. Love to hear the testimony of the death of a Christian, because its not a loss…its only a slightest loose.
    Praying for others no matter the case of their sin is like planting for God-the reward is the greatest! Help us o’Lord. Amen!

  10. Allison Stevens April 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Wow, what a great family of God we have! All of your responses have touched me deeply. Thank you all so much for your love and prayers for me and my family. Thank you Sean for sharing a part of your story and I’m so grateful that you’ve known 9 years of sobriety! That’s amazing! Praise God! Continue to stay strong, brother. And for Denise, I’m so sad your son struggles with drugs. I can totally relate to the feelings you’ve had. It’s pure anguish to see what an addiction will take from a loved one. And to all of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words of encouragement and comfort. Death has no victory here! As a matter of fact, I was overwhelmed to tears of joy with how Jodi’s story is impacting people, even in her home-going! She will be thrilled.

  11. Sister Allison, I praise the LORD for your courage and faith in him. We Christians don’t die but just sleep in the LORD. As one family, we would hug sister Jodi on that great day and say “hi, you are here too:D!” I wish you all the protection, comfort and blessing from the LORD. Ken.

  12. Allison,

    I was so saddened to read your post today. So sorry to hear of the loss your family has had, but really glad to hear your sister is with Jesus. Your story also inspired me. Two years sobriety… that is so awesome. It was so encouraging to read of the change in your sister. May 7th I will have 10 months sobriety.For some who know me the thought of my sobriety was a long shot. Some still expect me to fail. Sometimes it feels like forever and often it feels like it’s been a day. I’m encouraged by your sister and your story to keep fighting and growing.Thank you for sharing, and I’ll pray for your family.

  13. I read this post yesterday but was to emothional to respond. Allison, my heart aches for your loss but, as you can see, you have touched so many of us with your story.

    My 23 year old son is in jail on drug related charges. I will NEVER stop praying or give up on him.

    Cynthia, and anyone else who suffers with addiction, hang in there! Through Christ, ALL things are possible!

  14. Canadian christian neighbour April 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Dear Allison-
    Your story of your sister almost mirrors what I have had to live with, with my sister – years of addiction to alcohol (which is still ongoing). Plus estrangement from the rest of the family for years, and feelings of resentment and bitterness from her towards us all. Her addiction brought her close to death a few times and now her liver is damaged – she was told years ago she needs a liver transplant. But somehow, someway she is a very different person now. She is 50 years old, and although still very sick, she has turned to God and not only allowed Him back in her heart, but allowed her family back into her life too letting go of past grudges. Like your sister she is kind and generous and gives us all sweet thoughtful gifts here and there, whether it be sweet treat like a butterscotch pie, carrot cake, or a stunning bracelet or scarf. She posts very thoughtful, loving messages to us often on facebook. She is very vocal, a force to be reckoned with at times, but willing to stand for what’s right always. She overwhelms easy, cries when needed, but when quiet fills her heart again, she turns to God and has the most amazing conversations with Him thanking him for all she has in her life (she shares her words on her facebook page and we get to read them). I love my “re-newed” sister and my “re-newed” relationship I now have with her and I don’t want to take it for granted. You see, my sister is now battling breast cancer. Because her liver is not well as it is, the option of liver transplant is no longer. She is in a lot of pain from the radiation treatments right now. I wish I could do more to help her. I feel she is helping me more these days – her love does wonders for me. These beautiful women – your sister and mine were a gift given to us by God. I see you are ever so grateful for your sister, and I will continue to be for mine. Thank you for sharing your story about Jodi – I am so happy for her right now (oh, to be a fly on the wall of Heaven and see the joy she is experiencing!). Please pray for my sister – whose name also starts with “J” and is 4 letters long. :)
    With love, your Canadian christian neighbour xo

  15. I am sorry for your loss.
    But your testimony today has helped me today in great. Many a times I used to get this feeling that even though I pray for my family members to turn to God, many are yet still lagging a lot. It used to discourage me a lot. But your testimony today has showed me that I need to be patient and also I duty is to pray and do whatever is possible from my side. God will do all right in his time. This is what I learnt.
    Really thank you for your testimony.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. But am rejoicing that she is in heaven. My husbands uncle died April 26th. And he was a believer in Christ. Praise God.
    The reason I am writting is because my husband is an alcoholic. At one time he stopped drinking for a while and started going to church with me and got saved and baptized. Now he is back to drinking and not doing much of any thing with his faith. I am so discouraged with the whole situation. Please pray for me and my family

  17. This story is really touching. Am really pleased that she was saved by Christ before her death. i hope God will work on me just as he did on her and help me thru my own struggling areas too. Thanks for posting this article for me to read. You sure have touched a life today. Thanks.

  18. Ive struggled with alcohol and can relate to the people that battle addiction. I do know the Lord can make us successful overcomers if we focus on Him. Sorry for your loss. God Bless. Brother in Christ, Robert

  19. Thank you for sharing and drawing a wonderful picture of your lovely and much loved sister Jodi.
    You have written her story so that the person she is comes across in reality.

    What a wonderful testimony of rescue and love and answered prayers and what encouragement to keep praying.

    love in Jesus Allison to you, to your family and her friends.

  20. Jodi, I have lost my only sister to an addiction and now a brother to addiction of drugs.. I know you have to pray about them and for them.. I know how very sad you are because you miss your sister. I still get sad after all the years the siblings have been gone from the earth.. I do know that they are having a grand time with our Lord.. I am so looking forward to being able to see them with our Lord.. Please know that I feel your pain..

    Love from your sister in Christ,

  21. Allison, my heart goes out to you over the loss of your sister. I have 2 sisters and I know how close and deep the love between sisters can be. Jodi sounds like a beautiful person. I know how much you must miss her, but thank God she’s at home with Him now. I lost my niece Chistina 3yrs ago on her birthday in March. She tried so hard but I know she knew the Lord and her daily struggle and pain to stay clean is over. She left 4 little girls behind that my sister and niece are taking care of now. I myself have had addiction problems so that’s how I know whether anyone else in the family does or not she has peace from trying to fight the battle of waking up every day and thinking, “Can I make it through this day without drugs?” Her battle is over and she is with our Lord God and savior. I hope you can feel the same peace about Jodi. God bless you Allison and know how much sharing your personal trauma with others has been such a blessing to me and I’m sure to many, many others going through the same thing right now. Again, God bless you and give you His love and comfort during this painful time. Your sister in the Lord, Fran

  22. Allison Stevens July 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this. You have brought me so much comfort. Jodi’s been on my mind a lot lately and being reminded that her battle is over, soothes my heart. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this; you are a blessing to me. I look forward to the day when all our suffering is over. In Christ’s love, Allison

  23. Allison,

    First I want to say just how very truly sorry I am for your loss. I was on here ordering the “Our Daily Breads” for a “Skills For Living” class that I help run and a “Recovery Support Group” That I run, we put them out on our resource table for all of these people to get one and sometimes they may even ask if they can pick one up for a friend or family member and we always tell them yes. Then I started to look around at all of the resources they had on here because I was looking for a prayer group or a place where you can post your prayer request for a dear friend of mine.

    Allison, Trust me when I tell that I truly do understand what you are going through right now! There is one thing that I always tell people in both the class and the support group I run, is to always try to see the positive side of the whole of her addiction and all that happened in her life. I know right now you are probably thinking there is no positive side to my sisters addiction or death! What I mean by that is everything happens for a reason and her addiction is part of that as well! It could have been her personal experience as an addict that helped save a life or more than one life and that one life could have been a teenager or even an unborn baby’s life. It could have also been what it took to bring her closer to God and that was truly a blessing for her because she was able to get right with him before she died. You can also look back over all of the years that she was living and laugh at all funny things that the two of you did when you were kids. I know that may be very hard for you to do right now!
    The reason that I know how you feel about your sister being an addict and then losing a sibling is because my brother too was an addict but the only difference was that he never got clean and he took his own life one night when he was high. That was 25 years ago but the pain is still there and it will always be there. I talk to my brother all of the time and you can talk to your sister when ever you want to as well. Just know that she will always be with you right by your side even if you don’t see her she is there.

  24. Dear Allison and those who have loved ones with addictions,
    The Battle is not ours but the Lords as the Bible says. It is so hard though.
    I have a 31 yr old son who has had health issues, ADHD, allergies etc all his life and has struggled ever since he was a little boy.
    This year he came looking for help and after many places rejecting him, I got him into a rehab at a hospital. They all seem to want to put them on more drugs.(that’s not the answer)
    A drug they put him on caused him to go into seizures, his tongue swelled up, cutting off his airways. He almost died and was put into ICU. We think it caused brain damage. He is now worse than he ever was before. He thinks they planted something into him that injects drugs into him all the time. He mind is tormented terribly. He hears voices all the time now, sees spirits etc. He doesn’t eat healthy, does caffine, power drinks, lots of sugar, chewing tobbaco and very evil music. I’m not sure if he’s getting any other drugs or not. But he desperately needs healing and deliverance from the Lord. I cry out to God for his healing. He talks about suicide at times, etc and goes into scary rages.
    I know there are more and more people young and old alike who are struggling like this. We just need to join hands in prayer and loving support to seek God’s help and mercy. Please pray for us and I will pray for you. Thank you for sharing your hearts. May The Love of Jesus surround you, comfort strenthen and encourage you, bring healing and deliverance and give you peace…..
    I Love you all with the Love of Jesus…

  25. I have a 52 year old son who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, so I understand what Allison has endured. I have done everything I can to help, most importantly leading him to The Lord. But the years of worry and fear have taken their toll and I have reached a point where I feel totally helpless to help him and know I have to trust him to the Lord. Financially I have exhausted all my resources and I know if he doesn’t allow The Lord to change him and accept God’s help he will lose everything. I try my best to trust him to God, but as a mother it is very hard. I pray for him constantly and God has answered my prayers in miraculous ways, but I am so tired and weary after over 5 years of dealing with this, I have reached the point that I’m concerned I won’t be able to stand up under the stress much longer. I am 70 years old and each setback my son has drains more of my energy and ability to cope. Please pray for my son and for me.

  26. Delores, as a mom you’ve done all you can to help. Now it’s up to your son. You’re both in our prayers.

  27. Lorene, We’re saddened to hear of your son’s struggles and the pain that has inflicted on you as his mom. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

  28. Delores,my heart goes out to you and your son. Here is a promise from God. “Thus says Lord: Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land ofg the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come back to their own border” Jeremiah 31:16-17.

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