Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Angelia Waite
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000126A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life in Recovery,
00:11 I'm Cheri, and these friends of mine are so full of joy,
00:14 it's unbelievable.
00:16 But it wasn't always like that,
00:17 there were a time in their life they couldn't even breathe.
00:20 Come join us in the cafe,
00:21 you are not going to want to miss the story.
00:23 It is absolutely amazing and God is so present.
00:54 I am so proud of God.
00:55 Our whole season is talking about grace
00:57 and being loved and being taken care
01:00 of not in only our good times,
01:03 but when it's the worst time is God still present.
01:06 So this season we're going over our workbook
01:08 is Victory in Jesus.
01:10 The book is primarily focused on,
01:14 are we enough for God?
01:16 And I'm thinking, when I first came to God,
01:18 I wanted to be everything,
01:20 I wanted to do all the right things,
01:22 and I want to be this powerful woman of God
01:26 that just is joyful all the time,
01:28 and then I get hit with something,
01:30 and I'm thinking, okay, there goes that.
01:31 And now does God love me? Am I by myself? Am I alone?
01:36 And then when I learned it's no and I got to say,
01:40 Angelia, for one welcome to the program.
01:42 Thank you.
01:43 I adore you, but when I say
01:46 that in the midst of getting hit,
01:48 I would go back and forth, am I alone now?
01:50 Do you love me now? Am I doing the right thing now?
01:53 And I know that in your life, you have felt that way
01:55 but so I want to ask you I...
01:58 You know, usually I start the show with a teaching.
02:00 But I just don't want to take any time away
02:02 from what you're going to say to us,
02:03 and I want to know who you are, why you're in this seat,
02:07 and what do you think of God and grace?
02:10 Those are great questions. My name is Angelia Waite.
02:13 I have three sons.
02:15 My oldest son 28 years old,
02:18 a middle son he is 23 years old,
02:21 and then our youngest son Ramsey
02:23 drowned in our backyard pool.
02:25 We are serving the Lord,
02:27 loving Jesus with every ounce of our being,
02:30 and on a Friday afternoon,
02:33 I found myself standing on the poolside,
02:37 the worst day of my life
02:39 and I am standing there thinking God,
02:42 how can this be happening to me
02:45 and my family, when we're doing it...
02:46 So you were saying that you know
02:49 we are a loving family, we're doing it right.
02:51 We were in church. I love you. Yes.
02:54 And I'm standing there at the bottom of the pool
02:56 looking at my...
02:57 How old was he? Three and a half years old.
02:59 Three and a half.
03:00 I can't even hear it still and I've heard you before,
03:03 and I know this and I can't hear it
03:06 still without just wanting to weep.
03:10 I can't imagine what it was like to stand in there.
03:12 Yes, you know,
03:14 I found walking through that afternoon
03:18 that we were on the mountaintop, something,
03:22 a miracle had just happened in our family
03:25 and within two hours, our youngest son was drowned.
03:29 You know, in Hebrew a blink of an eye
03:31 means a half blink.
03:33 Well, within a blink of an eye, half blink,
03:37 everything in my world changed.
03:39 I went from being mommy to mom against my will,
03:44 against my will.
03:45 You know, my children were 12 and 8 and three and a half.
03:50 Well, the older two didn't need me
03:52 the same way that Ramsey did
03:54 and so just like that, everything shifted,
03:58 no more, you know, no more bomb pops,
04:00 no more pull ups,
04:02 no more me cutting his nail, nothing.
04:04 It was gone.
04:05 And so I'm thinking, I'm thinking I have years
04:08 and years left to be a mommy and just like that it shifted.
04:14 Everything changed. Everything changed.
04:16 You know when on that day,
04:18 I remember you talking about your other son was home.
04:24 Our oldest son Benjamin, 12 years old, it was May 26th,
04:28 and they had just had an end of the year pizza party.
04:32 And he was in the bed with sea...
04:36 Sorry I said sea food poisoning,
04:37 we had food poisoning and just really, really sick,
04:40 and my middle son, I could hear the TV and I just,
04:46 I had just gotten popsicles out for the boys.
04:49 And I was going to run inside,
04:51 pick up a few things out of his room,
04:53 throw a load of laundry in, you know, three minutes.
04:56 And so while all this is taking place,
04:59 my middle son goes up the stairs
05:02 and I said, "Where is Ramsey?"
05:03 He said, "He's on the deck finishing his popsicle."
05:05 So I continued with what I was doing picking up,
05:08 straightening up the room and through the load of laundry
05:12 and Ramsey did not even like the water.
05:15 He never got in the pool with us.
05:17 So it wasn't a thought that you had it all...
05:19 Never, never, we would have family pool day
05:22 and he would sit on the outside
05:24 with a blow dryer on the deck to stay warm.
05:27 He would only get...
05:28 the boys would splash him and he would,
05:31 he was okay with that
05:33 but never just to get in the pool.
05:35 So it never crossed my mind.
05:37 So when I looked outside, I didn't see him.
05:40 I still didn't panic, Cheri, because it was not,
05:43 it was off my radar.
05:45 So I looked outside
05:47 and we have this fabulous backyard swing set
05:50 and all jungle jam and things to climb
05:53 and things to ride and balls,
05:55 and it was just perfect for children.
05:57 So I just assumed he was playing.
06:00 So I walked all the way around calling his name
06:02 nothing, I still didn't panic.
06:05 You know, there's just mom's know we just,
06:08 there's just something about it,
06:10 but I didn't panic, and I went inside,
06:13 called his name nothing, went upstairs,
06:17 I'm calling his name, nothing.
06:19 Well, now I am beginning to panic.
06:21 It's starting to, it's starting to hit...
06:23 Yes. This child I always hear him.
06:25 It's been too long.
06:26 We're at about the three minute mark,
06:28 that's too long.
06:30 And so I...
06:31 my first thought was that we had a picket fence
06:33 around the pool and the gate was closed
06:36 and so I saw that the gate was latched and I...
06:40 my only other option was to go into the breezeway,
06:45 breezeway connected through a detached garage.
06:48 You know there's something
06:50 about your meeting place with Jesus.
06:52 Well, that breezeway was mine.
06:55 Four in the morning, whatever time,
06:57 you could find me there.
06:59 If I'm not sleeping,
07:00 I'm meeting right there with Jesus,
07:02 candlelit, my Bible, a blanket,
07:04 heater in the winter time, it was my familiar place.
07:08 So I walked through the breezeway
07:10 and into the detached garage.
07:12 The garage has the play room upstairs
07:14 and I called his name, nothing.
07:17 Well, by now I'm getting a little angry, mommies,
07:20 you know, how we do, I got my mommy voice.
07:23 Right. You better answer me.
07:26 Well, he had never hidden from me.
07:29 So I just, it just didn't,
07:31 it wasn't a game that we played,
07:33 that wasn't allowed to be played and you don't hide.
07:36 So I said, "You better answer me Ramsey, I mean it."
07:40 Nothing, I go running up the stairs to the playroom,
07:43 he's not there.
07:45 And so I'm panicking, I am panicking.
07:48 Where is he?
07:49 My heart is beating out of my chest,
07:51 I can't breathe just like you described,
07:54 and I open the door and I walk on to the breezeway.
07:57 You know in the presence of God,
08:01 there is a peace regardless of what you are facing
08:05 and the minute my feet hit that concrete pad, Cheri,
08:09 we know the voice of the Lord.
08:11 We also know the voice of the enemy
08:14 and that voice is the opposite of the voice of God,
08:19 and this is what I heard,
08:23 "I'm going to take them both."
08:25 At that moment I'm thinking what does that mean.
08:29 The Lord said to me, "Go back to the pool."
08:31 So I knew the different voices, "Go back to the pool."
08:34 My first thought was God this can't be right.
08:37 This can't be right. This can't be happening.
08:39 It cannot be happening to me now, it ever.
08:44 The second time he said, "Go back to the pool."
08:47 Although it was everything I did not want to hear.
08:50 I knew it was God.
08:52 I knew I was about to walk into my worst fear.
08:56 I go up the stairs God, I remember,
08:58 please not the pool, please not the pool.
09:02 Is there a part of you, it's even a part of me
09:04 that says I don't want to go.
09:05 I don't want to move my feet in that direction.
09:08 Because you're starting to in your spirit
09:10 you're starting to know.
09:12 Yes, have you ever been in the grocery store
09:14 and your toddler be there and just for a moment
09:17 they walk away out of your sight.
09:20 And you, you know, that panic that you feel,
09:22 you just need to find them.
09:25 Well, I think that is what took over.
09:28 I had to lay my eyes on him.
09:30 It was not what I wanted to hear
09:32 but I had to find him.
09:34 So I'm walking,
09:35 I'm running up the steps at end of the house
09:38 and I'm running to the pool side.
09:40 This was not the first time I looked in,
09:42 and I looked in and he was not there
09:45 and I'm like, "Lord," He said, "Go to the edge."
09:49 Well, I couldn't see him from where I was on the deck.
09:53 So when I walked off the deck and on to the concrete pad.
09:57 There he was in the deep end.
09:59 I could not see him from the deck.
10:02 But I could see him from the concrete pad
10:04 which is where the Lord sent me.
10:07 You know, people have said to me,
10:08 I just don't believe that was the voice of the Lord.
10:11 If you've ever been a mommy
10:13 and you cannot find your children,
10:17 the Lord hears our cry and our panic.
10:22 And the calm that His voice brought to me
10:26 I immediately jumped in.
10:27 Yes, I immediately jumped in the pool
10:31 and, you know, I've been swimming my whole life,
10:34 but in the moment of panic.
10:36 I can't imagine even going down
10:37 and breathing, holding your breath.
10:39 I could not breathe because of the panic
10:42 and the anxiety and the...
10:43 just everything and it's happening so fast,
10:47 and I remember trying to breathe
10:49 and I went down into the water
10:50 and I can't even hold my breath.
10:52 I can't get to the bottom
10:54 and I've been swimming my whole life.
10:57 We live next door to a church,
10:59 and I remember screaming at the top of my lungs,
11:03 "God, you've got to send somebody to help me, help me."
11:07 And I'm yelling desperate, I'm yelling,
11:14 and I hear the sound pounding.
11:17 And my 12 year old son
11:19 is running across the deck projectile vomiting,
11:24 he is so sick, "Mommy what?"
11:27 I said, "Ramsey is in the bottom."
11:30 Immediately he jumped in, and he dove into the pool,
11:34 he is so sick.
11:36 And when he went in I heard the enemy again,
11:40 "Now, I'm going to take them both."
11:45 I can't, even in that moment
11:47 when you say that in that moment,
11:48 I can't imagine how I would, I just,
11:52 just take me because I can't do this, I can't do this.
11:55 I was right there. Yeah.
11:56 I was right there. Yes. And Satan is relentless.
11:59 To me when you said, I heard a enemy's voice,
12:01 he is relentless when he does that to us.
12:03 Yes, he is. And he knew exactly.
12:07 First of all I'm yelling for help
12:09 and I could not save my child.
12:11 So my second child comes in 12 years old,
12:15 he became 27 within three minutes.
12:18 You say, he's a little child.
12:21 And he's suddenly in the bottom of the pool.
12:23 And the enemy speaks,
12:25 "Now I'm going to take them both."
12:27 I'm here to tell you the rubber met the road
12:29 right there in my soul.
12:31 Because now two of my children are in the pool
12:35 and I can't do anything.
12:37 I remember falling to my knees on that concrete
12:40 and I said, "God, you have got to do something."
12:47 It wasn't, God I need...
12:50 No, you have got to do something
12:54 and at that moment
12:56 I'm on my knees crying out for help.
13:00 You have to and he comes out of that water.
13:03 It was like an explosion not gentle, it was violent.
13:07 Benjamin shoots out of that water
13:09 with Ramsey in his arms, I said "God,"
13:14 I'm telling you he swam right over he's 12.
13:17 He's a child. Holding his brother.
13:20 Holding his brother completely limbless,
13:23 just leapt, just blew, just holding his little body
13:27 and he's getting, he's trying to get out of the pool,
13:29 I'm trying to help him out.
13:31 The whole time our eight year old,
13:34 if you have,
13:35 if you can remember your child being eight years old,
13:38 so innocent.
13:40 So innocent.
13:41 And there Chandler was ringing his hands,
13:45 ringing his hands all by himself.
13:48 There's no one there.
13:50 We're here and there's nobody there,
13:52 nobody's called, 911.
13:54 There's nobody there to help us.
13:56 And there that little child is
13:58 and I can see him just the terror.
14:01 No tears, no tears he's too afraid, no tears,
14:05 just the terror on him.
14:07 And I'm... And his whole world changing.
14:09 Yes. Yes. His whole world changing.
14:11 I don't understand what's happening.
14:13 No and Ramsey, they were inseparable, inseparable.
14:17 And he is living this out
14:20 about 12 feet from the incident
14:25 and immediately Benjamin pulls him out of the water.
14:30 I can't even explain what we're...
14:32 what I'm looking at, you know,
14:35 it's my husband was on his way home
14:37 had not gotten home.
14:38 You know, he's a veterinarian, he saves creatures
14:41 and all I could think of is where are you.
14:44 You know he's the leader of the home,
14:47 he's not there.
14:49 I don't know how to do this without you.
14:51 I can't do it without you, I can't but I'm having to.
14:56 You know, and so Benjamin immediately 12 years old,
15:00 begins to do CPR.
15:02 I snatched the phone, he is doing CPR,
15:05 I'm calling 911 and, you know,
15:07 they want to keep you on the phone I can't breathe.
15:10 My children are right here Chandler hanging on to my leg,
15:14 the other, I can't even, I can't even...
15:17 Somebody is got to answer this call.
15:19 You've got to help us.
15:21 And so they want,
15:22 they want details and I'm thinking,
15:24 "Please stop, just come, trust me you just got to come."
15:28 And so it seemed like three more minutes passed
15:33 and I hear this creak and it was the back gate
15:37 and I will never forget that moment
15:39 and the man walked in with a bag.
15:41 I had never been so relieved and I just remember saying,
15:45 "God thank you, thank you for sending someone."
15:49 He immediately comes over
15:51 and then there's more people coming
15:53 and the helicopter lands in the backyard is full
15:56 and I just remember thinking, you heard me,
16:00 this doesn't look like what it's supposed to look like
16:03 but you came when I called.
16:06 You heard me, you know,
16:10 and I was just telling someone my story
16:12 doesn't have a bow on it.
16:14 That's big and beautiful and lovely,
16:16 my story doesn't look like that.
16:19 The reality was, we buried our son.
16:23 We worked hard tirelessly.
16:26 People did not want to give up.
16:28 No. On him.
16:29 We fought, we did all those things
16:31 and it just didn't turn out like we needed it to.
16:37 So we were faced with a truth that shifted our entire family.
16:42 It shook us to the core.
16:44 We're gonna, I like to take a break
16:46 because, I know that Jade, your husband is here
16:49 and I would like him to come up and speak with us
16:53 on this next part of that journey.
16:56 But right now, I just, I want to,
16:58 I want to say that I can't imagine being in that place,
17:02 I can't imagine that shift,
17:04 I can't imagine getting up the next day
17:07 and trying to figure out how to survive,
17:09 how to breathe, how to make breakfast.
17:14 I mean, you know, any of that kind of stuff.
17:16 And one of the things I want to answer when we come back,
17:19 is a lot of people will say, "If God is God,
17:23 why did that happen."
17:24 And I really want to answer that question
17:28 or I want to have Jade and Angelia
17:29 answer that question because you know what,
17:32 we want to blame God and God says,
17:33 "I promise you, this was not my fault."
17:37 If you're out there,
17:39 if you struggle with this kind of stuff
17:40 and you're having a hard time right now,
17:42 don't turn the channel off now.
17:44 Stay with us, we'll be right back.