I was going to college in Boston, living a life of mediocrity and rebellion, when I received the call that my mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer. The Lord took her home just 3 months later.
Our family was shattered. My once firm spiritual foundation was shaky at best and instead of trusting God's plan, I felt the loving Father of my youth had abandoned me. I would spend the next 13 years battling alcohol and opiates. I dipped in and out of rehabs, jails, and relationships. I lived in a perpetual state of selfishness, shame, and fear; fueled by anger and denial.
In January 2016, after years of faithful prayer, my dad was prompted by the Holy Spirit to drag me out of Florida (where I had escaped to 5 years earlier and was slowly dying). I agreed to come to U-turn for Christ and surrendered my life to the Lord. Just 10 months later (through a series of radical miracles), my three-year-old daughter Olivia was restored to me.
The Lord is showing me that by trusting in His plan, I don't have to do life on my own strength (even though I still try to). His promises allow my soul to breathe a big sigh of relief (especially as a parent) and supply a peace that completely satisfies. Regardless of the circumstances of each day, the Lord lovingly shows himself faithful with total consistency. I want to teach Olivia that there is strength in surrender and that Jesus wants to sits on the throne of her heart. I pray that her identity and purpose will always be found in Him. Ironically, these are the same truths that the Lord is simultaneously teaching me, as I choose to fight flesh with the power of the Holy Spirit and trust that my obedience will produce the fruit needed to point hurting people to Jesus.