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The Beer Would Call Me: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 by Beatriz Balcort as told to Becky Cerling Powers

I started drinking when I was 14. I worked in a restaurant and with the money I got from tips I would ask friends to get me beer. I don’t know why. It’s just that the beer would call me: “You need beer. You need beer.”

My son was born in 1983, when I was 33 years old. I was a single mom. Gradually I started drinking more and more.

Drinking to escape depression

When my son was 13, I went through a really bad depression, and I thought what would heal me was to drink and smoke and not care about anything else. Before I started to work, I’d smoke two cigarettes and drink three beers so I’d feel OK. Then I’d work. After work I would buy another six- pack, sometimes wine and whiskey. To me it was a good feeling. I wouldn’t take care of my son, and I was hurting my body.

I worked at a country club. When I’d get a break, I’d go to the bathroom and steal a beer to drink. The manager finally realized it and said, “You better stop or we’ll have to fire you.” The club warned me three times and finally they fired me.

Drinking to escape trouble

I had money saved up. I started going every two days to the bank to get money and buy beer. I wasn’t eating, just drinking. I passed out and my mom called an ambulance. I was in a coma three days. I prayed, “My Lord, I beg of you, help me.”

In a dream my Lord said, “Daughter, everyone loves you and needs you, especially your mom and your son. I want you to make up your mind whether it’s heaven or hell.”

My friend Tola

I stopped drinking, but I was having seizures because my heart was so weak from all the alcohol and smoking. Then my dad and mom died, I got congestive heart failure, and I had another big depression. My neighbor, Tola, would visit me and insist for me to go to her church, but I didn’t go. Sometimes she’d see my house really dirty, and she would clean it.

In 2008 I saw two beautiful little girls, 12 or 13 years old, at the park. “Miss!” they called to me.

“What?” I asked.

“What religion are you on?”

“Catholic.”

“Would you like to change and go to that church over there?”

I said “Yes!”

Tola’s church

I started going to Tola’s church. I prayed, “My Jesus, I want to change.” After that when I went to church, it was like getting a gift from the Lord, like when I used to like dolls and toys.

One day a year later I started choking and my whole body was shaking terrible. I started seeing things blurry and black. So I called the ambulance. It was their sixth time to come for me. When they came, they said “We’ve never seen you this bad.”           

Beloved daughter

At 8 p.m. in the hospital I closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until 10 p.m. the next night. I had cardiac arrest. For two days I would see my good Lord standing with his hands open, looking at me saying, “¡Hija, que todas te quieren!” It was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me.

When he told me “Daughter, everybody loves you,” my body felt light. The doctor said I woke with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I felt like I was flying. The nurse said, “Ay Señora, it must have been beautiful where you were!”

I had my EKG and they said “You’re doing great!” They sent me home.

I think I’ll never forget it. I died at the hospital. I was blacking out in my house but when I got to the hospital, that’s when I collapsed and went up there. He took out all the bad inside me, all my loneliness. Since I saw Jesus at the hospital, I don’t worry any more. I live one day at a time.

The Bible says

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). And Jesus taught “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Today’s Prayer

I cry out to you, Jesus, to help me in my trouble. Change my attitude until I seek you with all my heart. Amen.

 

© 2010 Becky Cerling Powers

Reprint with attribution only

For more faith-based family stories, check out Laura’s Children: the hidden story of a Chinese orphanage and My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from Year of the Family in the Bookstore  

 

 

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