“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
“It may be hard to believe, but you will find that God will be more glorified in Jordan’s death than when he was alive.”
When our counselor (a godly man and dear friend) first said this to me & my wife, Michelle, we could not receive it. Only a few months removed from our son’s death, we could barely speak of the event, much less receive a statement like that. Certainly, somewhere, in the far reaches of my mind, I knew the truth that God is faithful. But, this was truth to be digested far too soon, making it almost impossible for us to believe something good could ever be associated with the death of our son.
Some 500 mornings have since passed since that day Michelle and I sat on that sofa in the counselor’s office. This coming May 13th will mark two years since our son stepped into Paradise, whole and depression-free. And, now – 20 months removed from that darkest of days – the words of our dear counselor friend are coming to pass!
1. After Jordan’s death, I began writing (blogging) for one reason: therapy. Writing seemed to help me process the suffocating grief. Then, as time passed, I noticed something serendipitous. God was using my family’s hurt, and subsequent healing, to connect with others who were hurting so very deeply. This caught me off guard. “God, could you actually be using the darkness of Jordan’s death to bring light to the pain of others?”, I thought. I was speechless when, after receiving an “End of Year Summary” from WordPress, I read that, during 2014, this blog had been accessed over 18,000 times. Quite frankly, I’m still speechless.
2. Next month, another article of mine will appear in Lubbock’s Metro-Leader Newspaper. The first one appeared last summer titled, “How I Survived the Worst Day of My Life.“ Next month’s article is based on a blog I wrote this past December titled, “Atheism Failed Me.” It is no coincidence that both of these articles contain biblical truths describing how Christ has, in the midst of unspeakable pain, given us hope, and is continuing to restore to us real joy. The number one argument against the existence of God is “the problem of pain in the world” i.e. “How could a good God allow evil?” I must confess I was forced to face, head-on, that question after finding my son dead from suicide that day. And what I discovered was – well,….you’ll need to read the article. 🙂
3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is, as one author describes, “the epicenter of Christianity.” Paul wrote emphatically, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) This semester, pursuant of a Masters Degree in Apologetics from HBU, I have the privilege to study under Dr. Mike Licona, one of the foremost authorities and apologists where the resurrection is concerned. One particular text for this class is actually written by Dr. Licona. Entitled, “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach“, it’s 700 pages. I can’t wait to consume it. Why? Because the resurrection of Christ is the single reason my son is alive today! And being better equipped to discuss the resurrection of Jesus, I will be better equipped to minister to the hurting, the searching, and the curious, passing along to them the very hope that has saved the Watts family.
4. This week, I will speak to High School Student Councils from all over our region on the topic of depression i.e. what it is, how to identify it, how getting help is critical, where to find that help, etc. (My son’s suicide was prompted by his suffering from clinical depression.) Perhaps, by addressing these students this week, God is allowing me to prevent some families from going through what we went through. And, on the topic of speaking, the Lord continues to present opportunities to speak and/or preach. In two months I have the joy of returning to First Baptist Church, Canton, TX, to preach the gospel and, more specifically, how, in the midst of our worst pain, God is still good, and He is still trustworthy.
5. Lastly, I have finally begun writing a book. I am praying that when it’s finished it will bring comfort and hope to many. It’s entitled simply, “I’ve Got This.”
As I write this blog, I cannot help but think back to my counselor/friend’s statement: “It may be hard to believe, but you will find that God will be more glorified in Jordan’s death than when he was alive.” And I think to myself, “God, You’re doing it!”
There’s so much more I could share. But, let me simply say this: regardless of what we may encounter in this life, our God is an Unstoppable Force. As Solomon wrote in the scripture cited at the beginning of this blog, “it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” And Satan, hell, pain, sorrow, evil, and even death can’t do a single thing to stop Him. To God, alone, be glory, power, honor, and praise!
Soli Deo Gloria! Nick