Mary Scanlon: Healing the Scars of Rejection
By Will Dawson
The 700 Club
Childhood conjures up memories of love and protection. Not for Mary Scanlon. Mary’s relationship with her mother made growing up in Minnesota more like a nightmare.
“If she couldn’t get the comb or brush through my hair a lot of times, I’d end up with it being broken over my head,” she tells The 700 Club. “As a kid, the more you’re hit over your head you start getting more and more broken inside. I felt very unwanted, very unloved, abandoned rejected. There was many, many times when I was told I should have never been born.”
Mary didn’t care who her friends were, as long as they made her feel like she belonged.
“The kids that wanted to accept me were the wrong crowd, and so I grasped at that because they were showing me attention.”
As an 11-year-old, Mary took her first drink, but soon alcohol wasn’t enough. By 12 she was smoking marijuana, and in her teens, she began using cocaine and LSD. Mary’s poor choices weren’t limited to drugs and alcohol.
She says, “I was so desperate. You’d be amazed what desperation can do to a person. So I chose the wrong men to be with and found out the hard way after being beat or verbally abused or abandoned or whatever. All it did was cause a lot more pain.”
By 23 she had been married, had three children and divorced. For a while, she quit using drugs because of her kids, but she still drank daily. Mary began dating a drug dealer who got her hooked on methamphetamines.
“The one thing I can tell you about meth,” she says. “There’s only two ways it makes you feel: either homicidal or suicidal. But it takes such a hold of you that quick.”
One day a rival drug dealer kidnapped Mary. He assumed she was a police informant and took her to his trailer for questioning. For three days tortured her. He laced her water with large doses of methamphetamines, hoping she would talk. It didn’t work and finally he gave up.
“After he overdosed me on drugs, he dumped me off back at my apartment back in Princeton, which is where the police found me babbling incoherently. I was crouched in the corner.”
Mary was taken to a mental hospital. Child services took her children away and placed them in foster care. After three days, she was released.
“I could not deal with my children being taken from me,” she recalls. “I lost my all my income at that point because of the meth that I had been doing. I lost my family, my friends, my home. I was just about to lose my home, my apartment, everything. I didn’t have anything left. I dealt with it the only way an addict would know how to deal with it. I went out on a drinking binge. I got pulled over for my second DUI in less than six months, and I was brought right to jail.”
Mary continues, “I remember thinking, ‘I just don’t want to do this anymore. I just want to die. I don’t have anything left. I might as well give it up. There’s nothing left of me.’”
She was planning her suicide when another inmate invited Mary to a chapel service. Mary was skeptical, but agreed to go.
“They began this church service telling me about a God by the name of Jesus who would accept me for who I was. I remember looking at her and telling her, ‘Lady, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m too dirty for your God. I’m too full of sin. There’s no way your God will accept me.’ She looked right back at me and she said, ‘You don’t know our Jesus!’ So when I got back to my cell, all I could think about was the words the lady was telling me at the church service. I remember thinking, ‘I want to believe what she said so bad.’ I said, ‘Okay, Jesus. If You really do exist, come on in and save me.’ And He did. The only thing that I can tell you to describe what happened next is that every little tiny cell was filled with such a presence of the Lord. All I could do was just drop to my knees, and I just started crying and crying and crying. I heard the audible voice of the Lord and what He told me as He was holding me was, ‘I don’t care what your sin was. All I care is that you came to Me.’
“Then you couldn’t keep me away from those church services. They saw the change in me immediately. They were like, ‘Wow! What happened to her?’ And I’m like, ‘I’ve got the Lord. I’ve got to tell you all. He’s alive! He’s real! I’ve got to tell you what happened to me.’”
But that was just the beginning of the changes to come.
“I was looking at violations of probation and all these charges. I was looking at a year and a day, which would have been women’s prison. He took that year and a day and gave me 40 days to do it!”
Then, five months later Mary received a phone call from Child Services. It was a miracle she never thought possible.
“The woman says, ‘We don’t know why we’re doing this. It goes against our recommendations and the judges recommendations. We’re going to court order your children back home.’ I lost it. I cried and cried like a baby and just got on my knees. I was just thanking the Lord, because I knew there was no way my children were coming back home for any other reason other than the Lord intervened.”
With God’s help, Mary immediately quit drugs and alcohol and began to rebuild her life. She’s been clean for 10 years.
“That void, that hole I felt inside of me all that time, growing up and feeling rejected, abandoned, unloved and unwanted... All of that was filled the moment that I came to know the Lord Jesus and received Him as my Savior. It was just like I was complete then. He’s an awesome God!”
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