My son Breean always managed to be out of town on New Year's Eve and unable to attend services with his father and me, but not this time. He had been promising to come with us for years, and finally, on December 31, 2001, he did.
When Breean embraced me to tell me Happy New Year, I hugged him and spoke prophetically into his ear. "This will be your year," I said.
"You are beginning a brand-new phase in your life, and it commences this year. You realize that you are chosen of God, chosen to transform the atmosphere all around you."
Little did I know that 10 days later, Breean would be back in that same church, and his father and I would be preaching his eulogy. Our son was killed in an attempted drug transaction that turned into a robbery and murder.
My 27-year-old son fell dead several hundred yards from my front door. It appeared that all his dreams had died with him and that God's purposes for his life had been tragically aborted. But "the devil is a liar," and the promises of God are true.
For 10 years I had fervently prayed for Breean's salvation and for God to deliver him from the lifestyle of a drug dealer. He had surrendered his heart to Jesus, but he had not submitted his life and was still involved in drug trafficking.
He would come to me often and confess: "Mama, I want to get out of this. I'm tired of this life." But he didn't stop.
When his business ventures failed, he became miserable and depressed. I prayed for God to deliver him, and He did. However, it was not in the way that I would have chosen.
In the midst of my interceding for Breean's deliverance, I developed a more intimate relationship with Jesus. His love sustained me during a time I felt I'd be overwhelmed by my grief.
God promised He would heal me if I allowed Him to. He told me to relinquish the pain, and He promised He would take the millions of tiny fragments of my broken heart and put them back together.
God has honored His word. The pain has been gut-wrenching, but God has been faithful. He sustained me when the enemy of my soul told me that I would never get over this, that it would always hurt as badly as it did then. I remembered that "earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot mend."
At Breean's funeral, 50 young people gave their hearts to God. My husband and I are now pastors of a church that is filled with young believers, many of whom were Breean's friends. Today they are ministers, deacons and leaders.
My son's legacy lives on in the form of youth outreaches, a bereavement ministry and a ministry specifically targeting those families who have been affected by the drug culture. God is sovereign. And I believe He delivered my baby--straight into glory!