Lately I’ve been grieving a friend of mine that took her life.
I feel kinda weird calling her a friend when I didn’t know the names of her kids, didn’t know her favorite color, didn’t know every fact about her life. But what I did know is that we shared a similar struggle and addiction.
Her and I both struggled with alcohol and at the time we met, we were both going through legal troubles over (you probably guessed it), a DUI.
Me talking about this out loud is wild, but I just want to talk about her since she’s been heavy on my brain.
These heavy things lead to heavy questions:
Why am I still here?
Why didn’t You stop her, God?
What about her family and kids?
Why was she so low? What happened that day? Why didn’t she call someone?
I’m so frustrated. I’m so heartbroken.
It’s been many times where I’ve been guilty of drinking and driving. I think, “I’m good. I can drive.” And off I’d go risking someone else’s life and mine. I guess finally God said, “Enough is enough.” I got pulled over one night and spent two nights in jail. I was so ashamed and so embarrassed. I felt like I was the only one experiencing this struggle, this shame.
But God saw fit to introduce me to someone in the unlikeliest way (while serving somewhere) and I never in a million years would have thought God cared as much, that I’d meet her.
I have no clue what even led to us talking about this or how I let a complete stranger in on my business when I wanted to keep it secret. In an unspoken way, we said we’d continue to support each other in our sobriety journeys and keep each other posted on the outcome of our legal stuff. And we did keep in touch for the most part. We didn’t talk every single day, but we reached out. We kept each other encouraged.
Then one day, I’m just texting her and I get no response. Weeks go by, I text again. Still nothing. I let it go cuz you know, life be lifin’ sometimes and I get that.
I texted some other friends of mine that we both knew from serving and they hadn’t heard from her either.
We kind of let it go.
We found out later, she was gone.
What?! I’m so confused. How? When? Why?
I don’t know every single detail. I don’t think God would ever want me to know cuz just knowing she ain’t here hurts enough.
I just can’t believe it though.
My heart hurts over her passing, but even in this pain, I see a blessing.
She was proof in the flesh that God cared. He didn’t want me to feel alone. You can call it a happenstance, a coincidence, or whatever you want to.
I call it a miracle. She was a miracle.
Us meeting helped in my faith. It’s like meeting her dropped some gas in my faith tank.
If you get time, go to John 9 and read. It’s a super interesting story and Jesus be going in on the religious leaders of the time and it’s amusing. But I want you to pay attention to the story of His healing of a blind man. Basically, this guy had been blind since birth. Jesus makes a mud mixture, touches the man’s eyes, then BAM. Blind man healed.
I just love the story’s ending though:
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
The man answered, “Who is he, sir?
I want to believe in him.”
“You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.”
-John 9:35-38 NLT
Yes, Lord. I believe.
Man, yes, Lord…I believe.
I believe I’m still here for a reason, for a purpose that You will push me to fulfill.
I believe You could’ve allowed my life to be wiped out every time I got behind that wheel intoxicated, but You wouldn’t let me go.
I believe jail was Your mercy.
I believe You care.
I believe that my friend’s life and passing will not be in vain.
Y’all, Jesus is real. He’s as real as the breath you breathe. He’s as real as the joy you feel when a prayer of yours is answered. He’s as real as you and me.
I read this prayer from a devotional I follow and I’d love for us to pray it together. Will you join me in praying? Let’s go.
“Jesus, often my faith is so weak. Please strengthen it! I have heard so many times about miracles, now I ask You to let me experience my miracle! Yes, I want to believe! Amen.
You are a miracle!”
-Prayer from Deborah Rosenkranz, “This is your day”