The Lies of the Enemy

The week has been overwhelming as we lay our daughter to rest.  The prayers offered up on our behalf, the texts, the phone calls, and the food have all been a blessing — to know we are loved — to know that Andrea was loved and touched so many lives.

Thank you to all of you who have reached out to us.

I’ll admit that when we heard the news of our daughters death, while a shock, it was not a surprise.  For years I have gone to bed with my cell phone turned on next to it.  I wanted to be there for her even in the middle of the night.  She knew that I was only a phone call away if she needed me and at times either she used the lifeline that we extended or others called on her behalf.

As a parent of a challenging child it is easy to go down the path of the shoulda, woulda, couldas — the lies of the enemy.  If only I had done this or said that, things might have been different.

It is easy to play the blame game — remembering those who said something, did something, or didn’t extend the love that we thought they should extend.

But here’s the deal, we aren’t God.  God has a plan with each of our children’s lives.  After all, He created them — challenges and all.

He is the one who is weaving the testimony of our children.  

We don’t have to like it.

We can try to do everything within our power to change it.

But we have to let God be God.

We have to remember that he uses everything, EVERYTHING, for His glory.

As people came to pay their respects to our family on Wednesday evening, I heard lots of coulda, woulda, shouldas from friends and family members.  It is easy to feel the weight of guilt when we see our own sins in light of eternity.  Trust me, I’ve gone down that path too during this trial.  As a parent looking hindsight, there are so many things that I’ve pondered wondering if a different decision, a different word, a different response could have changed the tide that brought us to this moment.

My prayer is that you will seize this opportunity to allow God to change you as a result of our daughter’s death.  Ponder the inner turmoil you are feeling and give response to God in how her life changed you for the better. 

As my boys are grieving the loss of their sister, they’ve brought many things to the surface on choices my husband and I made as parents.  While I’ll admit some of those have a sting to them, I am thankful that they are choosing to voice their questions.  As we remind them that we too did our best parenting before we had kids, the healing process has begun.  We’re the first to admit that we aren’t perfect parents.

But here’s the thing — we don’t know what we don’t know as parents.  Our kids didn’t come with an instruction manual.  And our family is living proof that God doesn’t create all our kids the same.

While my daughter’s death has made me painfully aware of choices I could have made differently as a parent, I am thankful that God allowed me to recognize that relationship begins with me.  It was through the difficulties with my daughter that God has given me opportunity to speak truth to many parents.  The things I’ve learned in the last 10 years in trying a forge a respectful relationship with my daughter in the midst of her struggle have grown me in ways I never dreamed possible.

It is through my struggles as a parent that With All Due Respect was written.  It is the process that transformed me as a mom.  It helped me realize that I only have the ability  to change me and by changing me, I can impact my children in a positive way.  The struggles with my daughter taught me that the way to survive was to have God as my lifeline.

Even through the struggles and Andrea’s untimely death, I am grateful for the gift she gave me.  Because of her I see the world through a whole different lens.  I’ve been given opportunity to touch other parents’ lives who so much want a better life and relationship with their difficult child.  

But the biggest gift of all that she gave me were words she actually spoke to my husband a few months ago, “My mom is my best friend.”  

As moms, isn’t that one of our parenting goals?  My heart rejoices in that at the end, she saw me as her best friend.

While my grieving process began over a decade ago when she chose to move our of our house,  I still need to remind myself in the midst of the last two weeks to…

“Let go…and Let God”,



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9 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    What a beautiful testimony of your faith standing firm through trials. God will be glorified through this and he will use it for good. Praying for your family.

    • Debbie
      Debbie says:

      Laura, thank you for the prayers. Learning to let God be in control is a battle I’ve fought for years. It is easy for the enemy to hijack our thoughts and our emotions thinking we are the ones who could have controlled an outcome. It has taken me years to “Let go…and Let God” and with each day I have to continue the process. It is only in His strength and choosing to live out my faith in the midst of the turmoil. At times my flesh is so weak. My prayer is that God will be glorified in the mist of our pain. I’m feeling blessed by your thoughtful words and prayers.

  2. Sarah Brubaker
    Sarah Brubaker says:

    You are in our thoughts and prayers. I don’t think I have ever been so struck by the message of Hope you have given in the middle of such pain. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debbie
      Debbie says:

      Sarah, I appreciate so much all the prayers. I’m learning that if our faith is truly based on the Hope we have in Him, I have to choose every minute to live for His glory. I’ll admit that it is tough right now and the pain can be overwhelming at times. But I am choosing to stand on the promise that He works all things together for our good. The tears may flow and I may question why He has chosen to do things the way He has done, but I need to leave Him on the throne of my life and not waiver. Praying for you and your family. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. ML
    ML says:

    You are so right. He uses everything for His glory. You’ve helped me so much and I’ve gone on to share what I’ve learned from you with others. And I’m so glad you are able to know that you became her best friend. Hugs and prayers for you, friend and sister in Christ.

  4. The Scarlet Cord
    The Scarlet Cord says:

    “It is easy for the enemy to hijack our thoughts and our emotions thinking we are the ones who could have controlled an outcome.”…Oh my….that’s it. That is how the enemy has held me captive for years. How did I not get this? Wow. Debbie, I’m reading With All Due Respect and it’s helped me come through trials with my own daughter. We too are now becoming firends. Not best friends yet lol but very good friends. This is a beautiful testimony in the midst of such pain. Will keep you in my prayers as you travel this next part of your journey.

    • Debbie
      Debbie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing how my blog commented created an awareness for you personally. Trust me when I say it is all Him. This week has been an overwhelming process of grief that has forced me to take my thoughts captive minute by minute. The enemy does seek to devour us–especially when we are already hurting.

      I’m so glad that you’ve found With All Due Respect helpful with your daughter. That book was bathed in tears as I sought to understand how to better connect with my own daughter. The process was life-changing for me as I struggled to look at my approach to parenting and figure out how to connect in a way that she could understand. Thank you for the prayers.

  5. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    Thank you Debbie and my heart aches for you. I have a difficult child and everytime the text goes off or the phone rings, my heart jumps because I am afraid of what i will hear on the other end. Please know that you are an encouragement to moms like me who struggle with their child. I pray God will give you peace like no other and may He be your guide, not only now but in the years to come. I pray every day that I will never have to experience your pain but as you said, God has a purpose in everything, and I trust my son wholly to God.

    • Debbie
      Debbie says:

      Tammy, I’m so sorry for what you are going through with your son. My heart is breaking for you and my prayers are going up on your behalf. Turning our kids over to God is a process that is so hard and we need to keep reminding ourselves daily that they are His. He IS weaving their testimony and ours as we are being refined by the fire.

      I hope you have a group of women supporting you during this season of life. If not, you can contact me through email at and we’ll arrange a time to talk. I’m here to pray with you whenever you need someone who knows your pain. Blessings and prayers, dear sister.


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