A Surprising Gift From an Untimely Death

I called my friend Nikki anticipating her lively voice and was shaken to hear sobbing. “Debbie, we just found out our son died.”

I’d called in response to an earlier text. That was not why she’d texted me. But God had timed my call perfectly. Even though I couldn’t take away my friend’s pain, I could share in those initial moments of shock and grief.

Nikki felt the need to contact Justin’s birth mother. The woman was devastated. She’d never be able to meet her son on earth. She wanted to fly across the country for the service. With Nikki’s permission I share what she wrote about their meeting.

“For the first time ever, we met on Thursday. Both of us felt extreme emotions about this meeting, but together we walked and together our hearts connected in ways only God could have worked. We saw each other, our hug was 33 years long, our embrace was extreme in love, joy and compassion for each other. This Holy moment that God ordained since the beginning of time, was fragrant and beautiful, pure and Holy. Nothing could ever surpass the delight that came from our hearts in those first moments.”

Justin’s memorial service was Saturday. Nikki shared how 33 years ago, after her hysterectomy, God completed their family with Justin— “just in time.”

Pastor Chuck recalled funny and poignant stories of Justin’s escapades. Then he shared the hope those who know Jesus have of heaven. He invited all who didn’t know Jesus to receive Him as their Lord and Savior. At the closing he asked those who’d invited Jesus into their hearts to stand.

The Gift

“I’ll count to three,” he smiled. “One, two, three.”

One person stood—Justin’s birth mother.

Overcome, Pastor Chuck covered his face and turned aside. Because of Justin’s untimely death, the woman who’d chosen life for the son she could not keep will enjoy him for eternity.

Texts to Nikki and her husband reveal two internet attenders also stood and gave their lives to Jesus—including a ninety-year-old cherished friend!

So much in our world is broken. Untimely death, pain, and loss have marked 2020 for many. We need to remember, this is not our home. And as Pastor Chuck proclaimed after he’d recovered his composure, “If it ain’t good, it ain’t over.”

“If it ain’t good, it ain’t over.” ~ Pastor Chuck Thompson #hope, #grief Share on X

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephes. 3:20-21 NIV).

Because of Justin's untimely #death, the woman who’d chosen life for the son she could not keep will enjoy him for eternity. #EternalLife Share on X

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  1. Melissa Henderson

    Tears are flowing from my eyes. We truly never know when someone will accept Christ in their life. Never give up and always be ready to share the love of Christ.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I know! Or what God will use. Thank you, Melissa.

  2. Michele Morin

    The sovereignty of our great God.
    He does all things well.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen!! Thanks, Michele.

  3. J.D. Wininger

    I take it that Justin was saved, which means he was able to join in the celebration as his birth mother sealed her meeting him again, with faith. My heart was moved to both sadness and elation in the midst of this post Ms. Debbie. What a vivid reminder that while we cannot know what plans God has for our lives, He can and will use all things for good if we’ll only let Him. Please shake Pastor Chuck’s hand for me when you see him next. Too few pastors offer an opportunity to seek salvation at a time with folks need it the most. God’s blessings folks.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Nikki told of his conversion and changed heart. He stumbled, but like Samson, he trusted Jesus.

  4. Pam Ecrement

    What a powerful story and gift! Thanks so much for sharing that today. I needed to hear of a story like this today as our dear daughter-in-law needed to leave our son after Round 5 of chemo yesterday to fly to FL where her dad had a hemorrhagic stroke at the brain stem, is intubated and not seeming to humanly have good options.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Pam, I’m so sorry. Your family has really had a tough year. I pray the Lord Jesus will shine for you in this darkness too.

  5. Ann J Musico

    Poignant, powerful and touching.

    • Debbie Wilson

      What a Savior! Thanks, Ann.

  6. Barb Fox

    So like God. To redeem brokeness and use this tragedy as part of a story of restoration. He is so good.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes He is! Thanks, Barb.

  7. Nancy E. Head

    What a beautiful story of love. Adoption, truly the loving option. So wonderful!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Nancy.

  8. Wemi Omotosho

    Oh wow, so poignant and moving. Our God the amazing Redeemer – even in the bleakest of times.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Wemi, He is amazing, even in the bleakest of times. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

  9. Beth

    Out of tragedy God brings new life! He is, after all, the Great Redeemer! I’m sorry that his birth mother never got to meet him before he died but, now, one day they can meet! And what a glorious homecoming that will be! Is that picture in the middle of the two women the birth mom and adopted mom, Debbie? Just curious! 😉 I’ll be pinning and tweeting this for sure!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Beth. Nikki is on the left and the birth mother on the right. What a gift for these grieving mothers to have each other at this time. Only God.

  10. Lucille

    Such a beautiful story! We have an unmarried granddaughter who is pregnant. Because she wouldn’t abort the baby her boyfriend “dumped” her. She is planning to keep & raise this baby on her own. She has our family’s full support.
    Thank you for sharing this precious story of eternal salvation.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lucille, that is a hard journey, but good for her for choosing to protect her child. Blessings on your family.

  11. Kathy

    What an amazing story! God worked a wonderful miracle!

    • Debbie Wilson

      You certainly did, Kathy. Amazing grace!

  12. Katherine Pasour

    What an amazing story of love! The two mothers have an eternal bond now. Justin’s birth mother gave him life and his death gives her eternal life. What a celebration there will be in Heaven when both mothers are united with son.

    • Debbie Wilson

      It sounds like a Hallmark story, doesn’t it. Thanks, Katherine.

  13. Marielle

    If it ain’t good, it ain’t over. l love that assurance. Thank you for sharing the joy in the tragedy. Visiting today from the Recharge Wednesday link up. Have a beautiful day.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I do too, Marielle. Blessings to you.

  14. Jed Jurchenko

    Such a beautiful and hopeful story. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Jed.

  15. Jeanne Doyon

    What a story! Thank you for sharing this. What a precious gift to both Justin and his birth mom…eternity together.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amazing, isn’t it? Thanks, Jeanne.

  16. Stephanie

    What a story. God is always working and we just have no idea of his amazing plan.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Stephanie, won’t it be wonderful to see the whole picture when we get to heaven!

  17. Joanna Eccles

    Thank you for sharing. I love how God brings good from even the worst situations. His birth mother may have never heard the gospel any other way. God used her son’s death to help her have an eternity in heaven. God certainly doesn’t waste our pain.

    • Debbie Wilson

      A severe mercy and amazing grace at the same time. Thanks, Joanna.

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