Whose will is superior, God's or ours? For the Christian, this should be a retorical question.
This is what my pastor said as I was on the phone with him on my way to the police station after I got that dreaded call from the police that my friend had "passed."
I met Rose back in January. After going out with her for a few weeks, she admitted to a problem I suspected. Drug abuse!
For awhile, Rose conned me about why she needed to meet people in cars. She always had an answer, which she said with a straight face. Adding to my suspicion was that she needed to borrow money to buy a phone her landlady was getting for her. It was a lie! I had asked her before if she was on drugs, and she said "no." After confronting her about the lie, Rose admitted she was using. She said she was afraid I would walk away from her if I knew.
Months later, after Rose got clean, she told me that she had needed to tell someone she trusted who would help her. I told Rose I did not condemn her but want her to let me help her get straight. She agreed. I told her that drug addiction is not who you are but what you do. Big difference.
On one occasion, Rose broke down and frantically, literally cried on my shoulder, saying things like "I keep messing up my life" and "I can't act responsibly"!
I got her into a methadone clinic, which took some time.
I took Rose to Celebrate Recovery, where, as a first timer, Rose had a one-on-one meeting with one of the female leaders, who asked her about her faith. All the way home, Rose asked me honest questions, such as "how do you know Jesus is real?" and "how can you know Jesus is in you?"
At a subsequent CR meeting, Rose told me she didn't understand, I believe, the first step in the 12 steps - about denial. Not long after, at a later CR meeting, Rose exclaimed "Jeff, I got it!" Months later, she also understood how she can know Jesus in her heart and that He is real. In the past, when she could have died from her habit, God spared her.
My promise to Rose was that I would stand by her if she doesn't use. Early on, she slipped up once. My pastor at the time told me to cut her some slack, as long as it doesn't become habitual. But sometime later, Rose started using regularly. It was a vicious cycle: she'd use, get in a fight with me over nothing, run off, and would call me and I'd take her to the clinic the next day and take her back. After she continued to do this, I decided this would stop. Rose literally ran off from me, after tricking me to take her to Burger King. We were supposed to go to CR. I was heartbroken. I called her and said what she did was terrible. Rose texted me to leave her alone. So that's what I did. I texted "don't expect me to pick you up tomorrow."
So Rose went out in the wilderness, so to speak. It was winter and cold. She got kicked out of Code Blue for drugs and was arrested and released once out on the street later. Some "friends" she knows from the homeless meals picked her up and started making fun of her. One guy remarked "I'm getting Jeff's leftovers." One night she slept in an abandoned car and almost got frost bite and hyperthermia. She burnt her good coat with her cigarette. (she later quit smoking). Rose ran out of money, as she had spent it on drugs. Hungry, one day she sucked ketchup at the Burger King. Before she got broke, Rose had the money and opportunity to do drugs. She heard two voices: One said to use, one said not to. Rose chose not to. I told her it was God who was telling her not to use.
She called me and asked for forgiveness. Rose said she had time to think about what she should do. I picked her up at a McDonalds. She looked really beat, and if I didn't know she was going to be there, I may not have even recognized her. Like the father of the Prodigal Son, I raced to her and embraced her.
Once home, Rose consistently stayed away from the drugs, and eventually even quit smoking. For months she had clean urines at the clinic, and became the poster girl (in her words) at the clinic. But it's believed that she had fentynal in her system, and sometimes made her go cuckoo, mostly at night. I kept an eye on her. Rose stopped when I woke her up. A doctor told her that it's a concern if Rose goes out of the apartment. She didn't, although one night Rose went to the door and told me she wanted to go to the library (which was closed that late) and then asked me if I wanted to go with her. Rose went back to bed.
Although clean for months, Rose had medical problems. She went home on Independence Day (now independent from the world). She had a doctor's appointment scheduled the next day. I found her notes today:
*Legs - feet hurt burn and feel tight
*Stomach - Feels very big and have a lot of gas
*Wheezing, coughing phelm green, brown
The cause of Rose's death is under investigation.
The timing is when God had already planned when to take her home.
I miss Rose terribly and have a hole in my heart. For me, I thought there would be more than just bringing her to Christ and getting her clean (Rose said it was God who was the only one who finally got her clean after decades of drug abuse). I am lonely and thought some day in the future we'd get married. Well, God had other plans.
"We may make our plans, but God has the last word." Proverbs 16:1
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