Nowhere But Up – Justin Bieber’s Mom

Patricia “Pattie” Mallette was born on April 2, 1975, in Stratford Ontario.  She was the daughter of a French Canadian couple who had recently moved to southern Ontario from the northern province town of Timmons.   Pattie’s father was an alcoholic who physically abused his wife while she was carrying Pattie. Shortly after the little girl’s birth, the dad abandoned the family.  The mom remarried but the step-father had little meaningful interchange with his step-daughter.  Pattie’s life soon became one of being continually sexually abused as a child, followed by teen years of drugs, alcohol, theft, and sex.  She was raped at age twelve, suspended from school at age fourteen, and assaulted at age sixteen.  When Pattie turned seventeen, she decided to end her life by running out in front of a truck.  Fortunately the driver was able to swerve and miss her.  This incident resulted in the youth being incarcerated for two weeks in the psychiatric ward at the Stratford General Hospital.  It was here that the combination of  a visit from a youth-centre pastor and a Bible in the bed-side drawer led to Pattie being saved.  But her spiritual high was soon brought low when Pattie found out she was pregnant.  The father was her off-and-on boyfriend, Jeremy Bieber.  The pressure for Pattie to have an abortion was intense.  This was especially true when her mother informed the daughter that if she had the child she was no longer welcome at home and was out on her own.  But Pattie would not end the pregnancy.  She temporarily took up residence at the Bethsada Centre in London, a Salvation Army Home for unwed mothers.  It was there on March 1, 1994, that little Justin came into the world.  Pattie attempted to make a family for her son by being willing to marry the father, but Jeremy Bieber was a chronic drug, sex, and alcohol addict, with whom she finally ended the relationship when he threw her against a wall.  So it was back to Stratford where the young unwed mother found a low-rent, rundown, apartment and a low-wage job at Zellers.  But through government assistance, food banks, and church kindness, mom and son survived.  Very early, the child showed a proclivity for musical performance (passed down from his mother who had done some work as a child actress at the Stratford Shakespeare Theatres).  Justin then developed his talent as part of a worship team at the church they attended.  He also did music busking (performing in a public place while soliciting money) during the summer as the tourists entered and exited the theatres.  Then one day young Bieber entered a local singing contest and asked his mother if his performance could be put on YouTube so his grandmother out west could see it.  Mom did the video taping, posted it, and as they say, the rest is history.  A major American music producer saw the video online, signed the youth to a contract, and now Justin Bieber is one of the most recognized names in the world.  There are numerous spiritual lessons in the story, but two that stand out most to me are – trust in God to honour faithful giving and thanks to many for  kindnesses shown.  Miss Mallette writes that through all the hard times she never failed to give 10% of her meager salary to the church.  Last year, Justin Bieber’s income was $55,000,000 (fifty-five million dollars).  In return, mother and son have liberally given back to all those who assisted them when they were absolute nobodies.  Mom is still praying  that one day her son will use his God-given talents to be a church minister of music, but in the meantime Justin’s mother is having her own public ministry – a message of amazing grace.