She Found Her Brave

by | Jul 25, 2017 | Inspiration


June 13, 2017. 11:00 am. Checotah, Oklahoma.

Not a day or place I will soon forget.

Three days before, June 10, was a happy, busy, fun filled day. It was the day our youngest daughter, Cassady, married her high school sweetheart. 250 of our closest friends and family gathered from all over the tri-state area to help us celebrate this joyous occasion. The bride was stunning, the decorations were perfect and the food was plentiful.  Pure joy surrounded me at every turn, yet, in the deepest most secret part of my mother’s heart, there was sadness, an ache that the joy could not reach.

That’s what happens to a mother heart when one of her babies is struggling with ‘something’.

It hurts. Physically hurts.

My baby was Kelsey and her ‘something’ was addiction.

We had known for some time that she was struggling with multiple issues. As her parents, we talked, worried, pleaded to God for wisdom, sought council many times, cried a million tears and prayed a thousand prayers for her protection and ultimate freedom. For years I watched as she struggled and prayed that God will bring back the Kelsey that was given to me so many years ago. That bright eyed, full of life, joy filled, talent packed, fearless and brave girl that God designed her to be. I knew He would answer my prayers, I just knew it. I just didn’t know when or how. Fortunately, I didn’t need to know, I just needed to trust. But sometimes that the hardest part.

A few weeks before the wedding, Kelsey came to the house to help me prepare for the big day. After a while, we found ourselves sitting on the porch swing drinking sweet tea and enjoying each other’s company, which had not happened often the past few years. Soon our conversation took a serious turn when she said, “Mom, there’s something I need to talk to you about”. I don’t know about you, but when one of my kids start a sentence with those words, I panic a little on the inside. At that moment, I whispered a silent prayer. Dear Lord, please help me handle whatever is coming next and help me be the best mom I can be for her. AMEN. “ok”, I said, “what’s going on?”

Her voice was shaky and weak, her eyes began to puddle and a blanket of dread came across her face as she said, “Mom, I am checking myself into teen challenge for women.” In that instant, I knew God was right smack dab in the middle of this and that He was answering this momma’s prayers and the prayers of so many others. From experience, I knew I had to be very calm in my response to her as I replied, “ok, well I think that’s a great idea honey, tell me all about it.” The tears began to fall for both of us as she opened up about her struggles. About the years of fear, anger, anxiety, depression, addictions and all around unhappiness. Years of believing the lie. The lie that she was somehow not enough. A lie that the enemy had planted a long time ago. But now…that lie was in the process of being exposed!!


As the conversation continued, I learned her decision had been in the making for some time. She had already completed the paperwork, background checks and blood work that was required to enter the program. She had been in constant contact with the leadership there and was already in the final steps of approval.

This is the point where I need to give praise to God for another answer to prayer. I have prayed many times, if my kids ever got to the point where they would not listen to me or Devin that God would put trustworthy people in their life they would listen to. He answered that prayer by placing three incredible, caring, and godly woman in her life. All of them had been friends of mine for years so I trusted them completely. They are the ones that directed her to this amazing program and for that, I am FOREVER grateful! As an added bonus, (what I like to call a ‘god wink’) I found out the center she would be going to was Freedom House in Checotah, Oklahoma. Just the year before, I was privileged to go there with a group of women from our church to help beautify their grounds as a mission project. After we were finished, we were given a tour of their facilities and an overview of the ministry they provide to woman in crisis. I remember coming home that evening telling Devin about how impressed I was with the program there and how amazing the staff was. Little did I know that my own daughter would be there just a year later.  As a result, I was able to tell Kelsey that I had been there and how wonderful it was. That provided much comfort to us both.

Even though we knew this was EXACTLY where she was supposed to be, it was still hard knowing our girl would be gone for a year. Devin and I drove her there the morning of her admittance. As we approached the center, the tension grew. The heaviness of reality was almost unbearable, and seeing the fear on her face was nearly more than I could bare. Making our way up the steps of the historic 110-year-old building, I could see yet another blessing waiting for us just inside the door. A beautiful piece of art, hand drawn by one of the women in the program, welcoming Kelsey to Freedom House. My fears melted like warm butter as we opened the door to an army of women eager to meet Kelsey and welcome her in. And On June 13th, 2017 Kelsey Rohr found her brave and walked over the threshold toward freedom.

After all the necessary paperwork had been signed and instructions were given, we hugged, kissed, cried and prayed as we said our final good byes. As we walked back down those same steps, leaving her behind, a flood of tears and emotions overcame me. Will she be ok? Could I have done more? Where did it all go wrong? I quickly recognized what the enemy was trying to do. He was trying to bring fear and doubt back into the equation, so I came back with MORE praise and thanksgiving for what God is doing and going to do in Kelsey’s life.  I KNOW she is exactly where she is supposed to be and I KNOW God has great plans for her. But let’s be honest here, as moms, it’s so hard watching our kids struggle with the realities of life.

Last week we were able to see her for the first time during one of our monthly visits. And OH MY! What a transformation that has already taken place! She looked so good and sounded even better. Her complete freedom and healing are full steam ahead. During our four-hour visit, I asked if there was anyone that she wanted me to tell about her decision to go Freedom House. Up to this point, only a hand full of people knew. She pondered for a moment and replied, “Yes, I want everyone to know. Please write a post telling everyone where I am. I want my entire church behind me, supporting me and helping me pray.”

So, at her request, you have been given a glimpse into her story thus far, with the best part of her story yet to come. Devin and I would like to personally thank those of you who have loved and supported our family over the years and to thank you in advance for your prayers where Kelsey is concerned.


Parenting is hard work.

Parenting adult children is even harder.

We can’t ever stop fighting for our kids. Keep praying. Keep believing.

Love unconditionally. Even when it’s hard.

Don’t carry your burdens in secret. Take all your burdens to Him. He’s big. He can take it.

Finally…It’s not your fault. You’re a good mom.

If you would like to know more about Teen Challenge and the services they offer, please click here for more info.

Thank you for reading. IU!



Tonya is a mother of four, a wife of 32 years, and always finds the laughter in everyday life. Learn more.