Hello, I'm Leah Grey.
Closet-writer, turned blogger and founder of Grey Ministries.
I didn't intend to start a ministry. I wish I could tell you what compelled me to start blogging but the simple answer is, it was God. I have always loved to write. Truth be told, before I had even started a blog, I impulsively spent five hundred dollars on a blogging course.
"Going... to... do... something. Have... to... change... my... life!"
I thought as I determinedly punched in my credit card numbers.
My story began like so many romance movies do; Small-town girl meets big-city boy. They fall in love. They have a whirlwind romance.
As a young girl, I sat in my lavender coloured bedroom cutting out fashion ads from magazines while wishing on stars twinkling outside my bedroom window for God to take me on the adventure of a lifetime. I believed that I belonged in New York. A belief that was only reinforced when I visited it for the first time on my nineteenth birthday as a gift from my parents. "I'm home!" I thought, glimpses of the skyline rose as the tour bus approached the city.
I didn't believe that God would actually send this small-town dreamer to New York City. That is, until I met my husband on my first New Year's Eve outing in five years as a young, single mother. Tall, dark and handsome he was from none other than the illustrious New York City.
It had to be fate.
I had no doubts about him and within eight months, we were married.
But before long, New York would break my heart. Not in the way a boyfriend does, it was so much more disappointing.
I should have been wise enough to adjust my expectations when my son and I moved into a bachelor-size Jersey City Heights apartment, with the kitchen to match. Nothing against New Jersey, of course, but it wasn't the fashion-forward Manhattan neighbourhood I had initially dreamed of. Coming from rural, Ontario, Canada, I told myself that all five flights of stairs we had to climb with our groceries from the Latin supermarket were a life-long, lavender bedroom wishing dream come true.
In retrospect, I can see the many mistakes I made but isn't that how life goes? As Joyce Meyer says, "We live life forward but we understand it backwards". Naive as I was and swept up in the adventure, I didn't realize my husband was struggling with an addiction. It wasn't until he entered treatment that I was forced to face what had been in front of me all the while.
The man I loved had a very real problem.
Being fairly new to the city and having had made only two friends, I didn't want to tell anyone what was going on. I was too overwhelmed to fathom what was happening, let alone put it into words. My family was emotionally involved and talking to them seemed to do more damage than keeping quiet. Al-Anon wasn't an option because I didn't have (and couldn't afford) a babysitter for a night out (what a night out anyway, going to a meeting!).
I cannot begin to say how alone I felt.
Desperate for support, I eventually reached out to pastors and therapists in my community. I received conflicting advice (does this sound familiar: "Why haven't you left yet?" "You need to have more faith" "He's hopeless until he hits rock bottom" or my favourite, "You deserve better"). Meanwhile, my husband's battle continued and as time went on, I began to see how deep the root of addiction could go.
In a city full of strangers, I didn't know where to turn.
As things progressed, being an intimidated "immigrant" (feels so weird to say that!), I knew I would be unable to support my children and myself living in the USA. So I picked up my childhood dreams and drove through heaping sobs and waterfalls of tears back to the Mennonite, farm country I grew up in to move back in with (oh no! Oh yes!) my parents.
With shattered dreams and my heart in pieces, I swore I would NEVER move back to New York.
From my beautiful but lonely apartment outside of New York City all the way back to my parent's basement in Southern Ontario, I realized it was just me and God. Though I had lost all faith in my husband's ability to be the husband I desired, I decided with an intense determination that I would entrust my marriage to God. Through that experience, God gave me renewed hope for my life as I desperately clung to His promises.
"The Lord will fight for you; You need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
I was not going to give up on my husband.
Our addiction journey has been the most challenging thing I have ever walked through and though my story is not over, I can already see how God has used this pain for His glory. I am not a pastor, a med school grad or drug counsellor or even a super, tough, independent woman (though, I try).
I am a normal girl who chose to trust an extraordinary God.
For those of you who love a happy ending, my husband is currently in recovery, we are very much in love and I am incredibly proud of him. Like any good adventure, there are inevitable bumps ahead but I know now that whatever we may face, God has our lives in His loving hands.
If you're here now, I know how confusing addiction can be. I understand the burden, overwhelm and intense sadness. I have felt how hard every day can be when your everyday is a nightmare.
Grey Ministries exists to let you know you're not alone; God wants to fight this battle for you. He wants to lift your heavy burden off your shoulders, wipe your tears and gently lead you to your own happy ending.
Everything is going to be okay. You will make it through this. But even more amazing, you can be happy- in the middle of it.
In an intimate relationship with God, there is freedom for you from addiction. And as an added bonus- your loved one may follow.
Come, stay awhile, I'll show you the way.
"...And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10 (ESV)
P.S. God did bring me back to New York! "Say, what?!" Stay tuned to read all the details of my story in my upcoming book, "No One Brings You a Casserole When Your Husband Goes to Rehab" (it was kinda the Grand Prize Winner for the Word Guild's In the Beginning Contest...!).
Grey Ministries launched in March, 2016 as "LeahGrey.com". It began as a blog created to encourage Christian women with loved ones struggling with addiction but has since turned into a global community and teaching ministry that challenges popular mindsets about addiction.
Don't be surprised if you read something that contradicts what the world says about addiction! In fact, you can bank on it.
Grey Ministries is comprised of Christian women from the trenches of addiction. Seasoned hope-givers offering daily support to respond to a loved one's addiction with grace, mercy and strength. We teach and encourage women to make personal changes (that change their lives!) without ever losing focus on what really matters- Jesus, family and our identity in Christ.
"...we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
-Romans 5:3-5 (CSB)
How Can We Help You?
For the dreamer who has lost hope-
When disaster strikes, the first thing we do is say, "I don't know what to do!". The Be Still Series is a twelve-week Bible study created to address the confusion and overwhelm that comes from the chaos of addiction. Over twelve weeks, you'll learn from lessons like, "The Mountain is Only as Big as You Make it" and "Jesus Wants to be Your Boyfriend". Click here to learn more.
BONUS: Sign up for our newsletter to save over 15% off on your purchase.
For the woman who feels alone-
Join the, 'Colour Me Happy' Facebook Community and be supported on the greyest of days. A private women's community to share experiences, ask questions, vent, pray, request physical needs, share devotionals and use your testimony to help someone else- we also love to share laughs! Don't have Facebook? I'm working on it! Watch for a Grey Ministries app in 2018/2019.
Join the community below- we can't wait to see you there!