Today I have a guest blog from Debbie Nelis who lost her son to suicide at the age of 17 in August 2009. Her life and ministry shows how God can bring joy in the midst of tragedy and use our most tragic life events to bring Him glory. Four years later. Debbie continues to speak out and reach out bringing good out of her heartache.
For those in the Tampa Bay area, if you have a loved one struggling with drug addiction, depression, or thoughts of suicide, Debbie invites you to hear her tell “Nick’s Story” at Shiloh’s Place, 8249-46th Avenue N, St Petersburg on Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 10:30am.
At this time of year Debbie especially wants to encourage all those who are going through grief at Christmastime because of the loss of a loved one. Others of you have grief and loss over other issues, and what she writes and says can apply to your losses as well.
Merry Christmas, Nick
Yesterday was Nick’s 18th birthday–December 12, 2009. We were invited to “Reign Fest” by Pastor Ronnie Alicea in Clearwater. What a blessing to talk about Shiloh’s Place and share Nick’s story… “The loss of a son” the birthing of a ministry–”In the Nick of Time”. We met Pastor Bill, from Pathways Community Church. He too is reaching out to hurting teens struggling with drugs addiction, abuse and thoughts of suicide.
The young people were very touched by Nick’s story. I talked about Nick being sexually abused by his father and how he had completely abandoned Nick. I shared all the things that led up to his addiction. How from the time he told me of the sexual abuse he began to say “I am just going to kill myself”. I spoke of my dreams for Nick’s future, how sure I was that he would heal. How I believed he would be in ministry. I could not stop the tears as I shared the pain of empty arms on this, Nick’s 18th birthday. It should have been him up here today telling his story of pain, abuse, struggle and then triumph! I am certain that is the plan God had for Nick. What Nick did was awful; it was selfish and so completely wrong. But our God is merciful, faithful, loving and so good. He would not allow Nick’s story to be wasted, “what Satan meant for evil, God has turned for good! God himself knows the pain of seeing a Son die, he understands the tears that fill my eyes. His Son died to save mankind from sin so Father God could welcome all of us into His eternal family. God feels my great loss of Nick in this life and gives me the hope of eternal life with Him.
Many of the young people came up to talk to me and asked for prayer. Mothers were weeping and thanking me as they hugged their children close. Jody and Timmy hugged my neck and cried on me as they shared Timmy’s story of sexual abuse and thoughts of suicide. It was a wonderful day! When God gives us an opportunity to take the weapon that Satan has tried to destroy us, and beat the devil’s head off with it, that is a very good day indeed! My sister Anita, my brother Brian and I went to the grave to release 18 gold and white balloons into the sky for Nick. I miss him so, but the Lord says, it seems like a long time here but in eternity it is only a breath, you will see him again–in a minute. This Christmas slow down, take time to talk with your loved ones, cherish the sound of their voices, hug them tightly and tell them who much you love them. Don’t wait until Christmas day. Do it now. Do it every day.
Merry Christmas, Nick
Love you more than you can know
Here is a verse that has helped to sustain Debbie in her grief.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You…” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
And here is a song that has uplifted Debbie through her valley of grief.
“Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone” by Chris Tomlin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbe7OruLk8I
How about you? Will you let God comfort you and show you how to move on and bring good out of your grief and loss?
Listen to my interview with Debbie Nelis on my Hearts Set Free with Elaine radio show on Sunday, December 8th at 9:00am EST. Go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live” or listen later from the archives. To learn more about Debbie’s ministry go to www.inthenickoftime.org