Mrs. Misch: Step of Faith
By Samantha Weiler
Lisa Misch didn’t like talking that much—especially in front of people. “I used to be really, really quiet,” she said, “and really, really shy.” It was easier for her to put words down on paper than to speak them aloud.
Now she’s written three children’s books: Ruby’s Rainbow, Feathers for Fred, and Dream Dragon, which are yet to be published. But Misch knows there is another story she needs to tell. It’s a difficult, painful story, but it has the ability to change lives.
The story begins with pancakes and it ends with hope. It is the story of her son Matthew, a recovering drug addict.
Misch remembers the moment when she looked at her son and realized that all his innocence was gone. It started in middle school, with marijuana—the “gateway drug.” But marijuana led to an $80-a-day heroin habit, multiple arrests, two overdoses and three divine interventions. For the whole Misch family, living with an addict is like “walking on eggshells.”
In the midst of the hurt and loss and confusion, Misch said it was Psalm 59:16 that really got her through. “I would just whisper it to myself, over and over: ‘But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.’”
Misch is the mom of a recovering drug addict. And in a way, she’s a mother to all the students at VCA. Who greets you first thing every day, standing in the doorway with a gentle, “Good morning?” Who gives you medicine when you have a headache? A cough drop when your throat is sore? Who’s there when you just need a helping hand? Someone to listen?
Misch is far more than just the Secretary at VCA. For Samuel Brown, a senior who spends a study hall in the office every day, Misch “really is my school mom. She’s the perfect person when I need someone to hug. I love her and I’d do anything for her. She’s so sweet and gentle, and she’s the first person I ever opened up to, with my testimony. It won’t be the same once she’s gone.”
Derek Chirch, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at VCA, spends most of his day in the office as well. He says Misch “is willing to spend time with people and actually cares about what is happening in their lives. In a busy, hurried culture, that is rare. She always looks for opportunities to serve others. I will miss how she always has a kind word for everyone.”
Lydia Addison, the Technology Manager at VCA, said Misch’s testimony is the most moving thing about her. “It’s a different perspective. You usually hear from experts and recovered addicts, but for me, as a mother, I appreciate hearing another mother’s testimony.”
“If I can offer any advice to parents of drug addicts,” Misch said, “I would say to remember that we are all ugly in our sin, so love your children unconditionally and remember Philippians 4:13: we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.”
In addition to writing her book, Misch will be working at Frontline Foundations Inc., a drug prevention and rehabilitation program in Porter County, and launching Eye of the Storm Ministry, which she calls, “a ministry of hope and peace.”
“I’m going off into this unknown territory,” Misch said, “and I believe the Lord’s going to open up doors so I can get this message out to lots and lots of kids, not just at churches and private schools, but kids at public schools, too. And I will not be toning down Jesus.”
Misch has come a long way from being uncomfortable speaking in front of people. She said her message is so important to her, “Because I don’t want to see another kid lost.” She cares so much for her son, and for every kid she’s met at VCA.
“What I’ll miss most is the kids—that’s why I’ll come and have lunch with you guys,” she promised.
Be sure to stop by the office during this, Misch’s final week, before she embarks on this new adventure. Give her a hug, whisper encouragement, and keep her in your prayers.
Addison said, “Beyond her story, I wonder, ‘How many of us are willing to do that? To step out in faith, to follow God’s voice?’ When I think about this leap of faith she’s taking, I realize how much I’m going to really, really miss her.”