A year ago, I wrote a post about our girl Kelsey, and her struggles with life controlling issues. Today’s post is an update on where we are, as a family, in her journey.


On June 13, 2017 Kelsey checked herself into Freedom House Teen Challenge in Checotah, Oklahoma. For 14 months, we watched in wonder, at the changes taking place in her. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  We were thrilled for her, for her new-found happiness, and excited to see where God would lead her next.


But, then life happened…


On Wednesday, august 15th, I received a call from Pastor Karen Coon, the founder of Freedom House. Her tone was heavy with grief and dread as she said, “Tonya, I’m calling to tell you that I am releasing Kelsey from the center, today, with immediate effect. I am so sorry to tell you this but…” and she went on to tell me the full, ugly story. My first response was, “please don’t tell me this…please do not tell me this is the case.” Again, she expressed her sorrow.

A hundred million thoughts, emotions and questions ran through my mind in a matter of seconds. I tried to organize them, and collect myself but I could not.  It was just too much to take in. BUT, with all of the doubt, anger, fear and disillusion running through my head, there were three things that were clear as a bell.

First, Freedom House, Pastor Karen, Miss Kathy Love and the entire staff have done everything humanly possible to help our daughter. I know they will NEVER give up on Kelsey or God! From the moment she walked through their doors, nothing but love and support was given. But because of Kelsey’s actions, their hands were tied and I knew it. I love them and they love Kelsey and our family. I will NEVER stop supporting them in any and every way I can.

Second, none of this changes who God is. Not one bit! It does not alter His love for her.  It makes Him no less powerful, mighty or loving. He is still BIG, still full of mercy and grace. He is not caught off guard, surprised or dismayed by this recent turn of events.  While, we as her parents and family, are blown away and confused. He is not.


Third, my faith in God has not wavered. My love for Kelsey has not lessened. My eyes are still focused squarely on God. I. Will. Not. Be. Moved!


Our second leg of this journey has just begun. While it will be difficult, we, as a family, have decided at this time to not help, assist or enable Kelsey in any way, shape, form or fashion. I know some of you may see this as cruel and uncaring.  Even if you might not agree with our position, we ask that you support us in this effort. I firmly believe that there is not a person walking this planet that can say or do anything to help her, outside of prayer. Only God, and that’s all she needs.


After I posted “She Found Her Brave”, on July 26th of last year, grieving mothers from all over the country reached out to me. Some with a word of encouragement, some for prayer but mostly, because they knew there is power in numbers. We moms must stick together, no matter what stage of life our children are. Pointing fingers, passing judgment or turning a back does nothing but give the enemy exactly what he wants. Division. A divided community is not nearly as strong and a united one. The day before Kelsey walked away from Freedom House, I felt the need to create a Facebook prayer group page named “Praying Moms of Adult Children”. It is designed to unite grieving mothers and praying mothers together in support. If you would like to be added please let me know.

Lastly, let me say that the amount of unconditional love and support that we have received over the last 14 months from friends, family and even strangers has been a lifeline. I cling tight to every word, letter, e-mail, text, hug and gentle pat on the back. I am brought to tears each time I think of the love that has been sent our way and the prayers that have been prayed on Kelsey’s behalf. I believe, one day, we will see the fruits of that love and those prayers. So, from the bottom of my heart thank you!


In closing, as I write these last few words, my eyes are dry, my focus is clear, my mind is set, and my faith is strong, but I am not so foolish as to think it will always be this way. I know the enemy will whisper in my ear and tell me a lie, because that is what he does best. So. . . I continue to covet your prayers and I will do the same for you.


Much love to you all, Tonya.