Thy Will Be Done

When I opened my computer today, this is what Erica had changed the background to. Oh, the irony in this photo. This is how I’ve felt the last 11 months. It’s how all the teenagers I know have felt, it’s how some parents involved have felt, and it is how many in addiction prevention have felt I guess. We have been barely hanging on to reality. I am barely hanging on. I also took my spirituality test on Sunday, the gift of “apostleship, exhortation, and mercy” is what I scored highest on. Imagine that. God smiled, I am sure. Last year on Thanksgiving, I wasn’t aware that I would spend many, MANY future nights begging God to send me a message that a boy was in heaven. That message came from his mother. I wasn’t aware of the brewing storm on the horizon. What I have also failed to share lately is that I have spent a majority of my days and nights in a very deep, almost spiritual depression since last December, I suppose. I cry in the shower with grief. I cry in the car with thankfulness I have my kids, and then I cry because of guilt again. I cry on the way from the grocery. I cry at work. I cry all the time. Ugly crying. I was blaming myself. I was blaming our society. I was blaming the drug company and the crumbling education system and pressure on children and parents. But mostly, I have been trying to carry the burden. It was my fault. I missed signs. I missed something along the way. I wasn’t a good enough mother. God must be punishing me. Very few understand the burden some of us are carrying. Even fewer, truly care. This week, I finally gave it to God. He took it in His hands, He took it right away from me in the most loving way he could, and it was because I asked Him to. Last week, at a very heated meeting in community drug prevention, I felt like God sent a messenger to instruct me to read a passage. Someone in our meeting kept repeating the importance of Acts 10:38, only when I got to that scripture, it didn’t say what he thought it said. Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” I didn’t understand the importance of this. I don’t think recovery and treatment will stick without a connection with God. Then on Sunday, a voice, in my head. “Thy will be done”.Then it was cemented when the song kept repeating on my station. Thy will be done. They will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will and free will. The two crossed paths in my heart, mind, and soul. Over and over again.There isn’t anything any of us could have done to change the outcome. Not one of us could have prevented the will of God. Before you get enraged and scream at me, “But Tiffany! God WILLED Alex to die? What kind of God would do that!” The first sin gave us free will. God’s will was to live without sin. We created sin. Free will leads us to sin, not God’s will. God’s will leads us out of sin and into a life of righteousness. God’s will is what comforts us when something so profoundly human happens and crushes us, we could not have prevented His will, nor can we prevent the free will of another human. We can only seek comfort and grace, and we can only offer comfort and grace into another persons situation. Alex is one of God’s many lambs. I believe that. If you do too, then live like that. I will thank God every day for Alex bringing me to Christ, and also, my family. Because we are better than we were before. I am opening up my heart to more. I am trying to see, more. I tell you this because to understand salvation is to understand that even the worst of tragedy can cause us to be so angry with God. Or blame ourselves,our children, or our spouses. But it isn’t our responsibility to foretell sin or travesty and prevent it, it is to lead people to God, before God’s will plays out. It is to love people so fiercely that they know God through your heart. I should love people and when they ask me how I do it, then I tell Alex’s story. Even through your human moments, they know you are Gods love and mercy. It lies in forgiveness and mercy on your own heart, because that is what God gives us. Just the way I give mercy to my own children. When God speaks of the proverbial rod, he isn’t saying punish your child, he is saying discipline your child in and with love. Show your child mercy and grace, don’t ever stop loving your child. Never. Because if God can forgive you, he will forgive them. For all those who cry out to him will receive his reign of grace. It isn’t up to you to determine someone else’s worth. To be honest I don’t know that I am capable of working in prevention at all. Not knowing what God has now shown me. Not knowing the truth, that the only true way to live free is truly through the heart of Jesus, I can’t prevent anything from happening. I can only love those through it and wait for the day that I am standing in heaven with those who are waiting for us. But I can start a ministry, I don’t know how, but I believe that no one can stay sober without God. I believe that conviction is what leads to a safe, happy, and loving life. I believe that we have robbed many of our children of conviction so that we may continue living the life we want, as opposed to the life God wants us to lead. It’s self harm at the deepest level.Some of you, (you “kids”, our “kids”, you know who you are) are blaming yourself. You are just wallowing in grief. I want you to know that I truly mean it when I say I love you all. I know how painful it is. A couple of you have been chosen by God to walk a path that may be difficult, but in the end, rewarding. *cough,cough, JD, *cough. You can stay sober with God. People cannot keep you sober. Medication cannot keep you sober. Nothing we did could have changed the outcome. God doesn’t want you to feel that way anymore. That place of guilt doesn’t come from God. Oh how He loves us, even as His will is done. Give thanks. Love people. #livelove

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