Testimonies – Whatever it takes, Lord!

A Mother’s Account of her Son’s Deliverance

– by Joyce Estep –

Early October, 1997, I received a phone call from my brother telling me that Dennis, my middle son, had completely trashed my brother’s apartment, got in his pick up truck and drove out towards San Bernardino. When he left my brother’s place, he was hearing voices and the voices were telling him to kill himself. When he got to San Bernardino he parked his truck, got out and lay down on the highway wanting cars to run over him to kill him, but the cars didn’t; they drove around him. My brother told me that they had taken Dennis to the psychiatric ward and he was in the mental hospital in San Bernardino County.Dennis had just spent a year in Wayside Honor Ranch for drugs, drunk driving and a whole range of different things. While he was in there, I heard later, they had been having Bible studies and Dennis himself had participated.

For several years and especially the last two years before I received the call from my brother, Dennis was not talking to me. He didn’t want anything to do with me. He wouldn’t call me, didn’t like being around me and he didn’t like me saying anything about the Lord. Some years before, Dennis had received the Lord, he had a real encounter one day – in fact he was driving a pick up at the time and the presence of the Lord was so strong in the pick up that he pulled to the side of the road and couldn’t even drive. That very afternoon (I didn’t know what going on with Dennis) I had started interceding for him. I knew, through the Holy Spirit, that something was happening with him but I didn’t know what, so all afternoon on a Sunday I prayed and interceded in tongues for my son. Well, because of that encounter, he gave his heart to the Lord and he went to church maybe for two or three weeks, but he did not stay in church. And from that point on, his life started going down hill.

I would periodically hear reports on him that he was doing whatever – he was on drugs, he was talking crazy or he was doing something bad. For years prior to that, (Dennis is very talented and is a very smart man) he would have different jobs – very high paying jobs, but he got on the drugs – he was doing cocaine and different types of drugs. When he started doing that his life started going down hill. I had been praying for him – I love my son just like mothers love their children – I prayed for him along with my other children.

But Dennis just became worse and worse in his lifestyle. So I told the Lord, I said, “Lord, I want this son saved, I don’t want him to die in the state that he’s in and I’m asking you, Father, whatever it takes that you turn his life around, that you save him. I do request, God, however that his life be spared. I pray that he is not disfigured. I pray that his brain is not destroyed. I pray that his arms and legs would not be broken – that no bone in his body would be broken, but after that, Lord, just do whatever it takes.” And the Lord God took me up on that request because Dennis’s life just started spiraling downward until he ended up in this mental hospital hearing voices telling him to kill himself.

I had told the Lord when I was requesting all of this that His Word declares that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed and I had committed Dennis into His care. I had not contacted him, I hadn’t talked to him in quite a long time and my family knew that, but every once in while I would get reports on Dennis. At one point, Dennis was even down in San Diego trying to work for my oldest son but he was so agitated, so confused and talking so crazy that my oldest son called me and told me, “Mom, Dennis has really lost his mind and I think that he is just hopeless.” But God is a God of hope! When he was in the mental hospital, my brother called me and said, “You know, Joyce, I think that you need to go out there and see Dennis. He’s pretty bad this time.” So, I prayed, “Lord, I pray that if it’s ok with you, I am going to go out there and talk with him.”

And so Dennis was very nervous, agitated and walking around. I told him, “Dennis, this is not the end of your life.” And he looked and me and said, “Mom, do you know where I’m at – look where I’m at!” He said. “You just don’t get any lower that this.” He said, “I’m in the nuthouse – it looks like it’s the end of the road for me.” And at that point I told him, “Yes, and you’re hearing voices.” And I said, “Dennis those voices are real.” I left there and came home.

A few days later, they released Dennis from San Bernardino because he wasn’t a resident there and so they put him on a bus to send him back toward Los Angeles County. They had given him some medicines that were actually stronger than some of the drugs that he had been taking and so it took him all day to get from San Bernardino to Covina. He kept getting off and on buses because he was just totally lost and so confused. The only door open to Dennis was at my house and so he came here and I said to him, “Son, why don’t you stay with me for a few days?” It was a suggestion, I knew I couldn’t tell him anything but I suggested that he stay with me a few days just until he got to feeling better and then he could go. So he did that.

The first night after I’d fed him and given him some vitamins and things, I said, “I want you to lay down, honey, and you will sleep.” He said, “Mom I can’t sleep.” I said, “Is it because of the voices?” He said, “Yes, it is.” I told him, “I am going to pray over you and I am going to rebuke them – those are just demons,” I said, “and I don’t allow them to talk in my house.” My son fell asleep that night and slept the best that he had slept in a long time. My daughter, Donna, was staying with me at that time. She had received the Lord and was encouraging him to read the Bible and he started to read it, but he made it clear to me that although he was reading the Bible, there was no way that he’s going to be walking around carrying the Bible and preaching. “I’m not going to be saying the Lord said this and the Lord said that.” I said, “That’s fine – whatever.” One day I walked into the room and noticed he had earphones on his ears listening to the New Testament on tape while he was reading the Bible at the same time!

He had started going back to church. In fact, he got to where he wouldn’t miss a service. Not only that, he would go to the 5 o’clock Morning Prayer meeting and on the days that I didn’t drive him or his sister didn’t take him, he would just get up and walk. He had such a longing and a hunger for God and he loved being around the men of our church. Brother Jim Conrad was very supportive of him and Mike Stephens, Tony Britton, and Pastor Ken – they all just embraced him and encouraged him. And then after the 5 o’clock prayer meeting in the morning, Dennis, Brother Jim and Mike Stephens would go over to McDonalds across the street from Azusa Pacific College in Azusa and there they would have Bible studies. They would tell the people who came in about Jesus.

So, this son who had said that he wouldn’t be carrying his Bible anywhere, was taking his bible everywhere he went and telling everybody about the love of Jesus and what Jesus had done for him. That was in October, 1997 when Jesus came into my son’s life and changed him totally around. This is Mother’s Day May 14th 2000 and my son, today, is a real testimony and a witness to his brother who can see the change in Dennis, but he says that Dennis went from drugs and talking crazy all the time to talking all the time about the Lord, anyway, Dennis is really being used of God.

I want to encourage mothers and dads that no matter what they see in their children that God is faithful and His word is forever and it’s true. There’s a scripture in Proverbs 11:21 and the last part of it says, the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. God’s word says it and its true and it’s real: the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. We need to get a hold of scriptures like that and quote them back to the Lord. He says, Command you me regarding my word; put me in remembrance of my Word and we can put a demand upon His word – He really wants us to. He says, He sends forth His word and it will not return unto him void. There’s a scripture that I had quoted to the Lord for years and I still do and its in Jeremiah 31:16, Thus sayeth the Lord, refrain thy voice from weeping, thine eyes from tears and thy work shall be rewarded, sayeth the lord, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy and there is hope in thine end that thy children come again unto their own borders. I tell you what, I quote scriptures that I find in God’s word regarding my children. It says: Your children shall be disciples to our lord obedient to his will and great shall be the peace of your children. And I quote that to the Lord: that they are disciples to honor the Lord, they are, not they will be, that they are! I believe that God is speaking to the hearts of my children and instructing them and one day they shall all come from the land of the enemy; they’ll come completely out of that land unto their own borders.

God is so precious and so faithful and he really loves your children more than you do. So, I encourage you to really commit them to the Lord. In my case I had to get out of God’s way – I was standing in God’s way and preventing him from doing a work in my son Dennis’s life that He wanted to do. But now Dennis is really, truly a disciple taught of the Lord and he is obedient to His will. And so, this is Mother’s Day of the year 2000 and I have a son who would not talk to me, who did not want to be with me – who now loves me and calls me a lot. We share the Lord, we share scriptures. He has come out of the land of the enemy into his own borders. Praise God.