From Tragedy to Triumph

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Perspective is defined as – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something, a point of view. One of the things that others say they admire about me the most is how I can deal with so many of the personal challenges that I have faced in my life with a positive outlook. I do not take full credit for that; however, it is truly only by the grace of God. In Romans 8:28, the scripture says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. This scripture has encouraged me through some of the hardest times in my life. One of those times was after the death of my seventeen-year-old son Dominque.
Dominique was my second oldest son. Since the day he was born, he was a character. Dominique had a very charming and charismatic attitude. He loved music, art, dance, and poetry. These were things that we had in common as these are some of the very things that I hold near and dear to my heart. He also was quite the comedian and loved playing practical jokes on both me and his brothers. He had a way of lighting up the entire room with his presence. His love for life and light-hearted spirit would be tested as the trials of life rolled around. One such trial was when my children were taken from my custody.
For two years, I lost custody of my children and they were placed in the foster care system. This was truly my worst nightmare because I too had been grown up in the foster care system. I knew about the horrors that I had faced in the system. I was working two and sometimes three jobs to try to support my children. I spent more time at work than I did with them. Eventually, they became part of the court system and I was charged with custodial neglect. At first, I was so angry. I felt so betrayed. I’d been trying to support my children but was being charged with being neglectful towards them. It all seemed so unfair and ridiculous to me. There was absolutely no way that I was going to allow my children to stay in the system as I did. I attended parenting classes, budgeting classes, and all sorts of training to meet the requirements and get my boys back. Although I did not realize it at the time, all these training and classes were a blessing to me. I learned valuable information on how to be a better parent to my children. I was a great provider for them, but I was not a great parent. When the boys returned home, there was a period of adjustment that had to take place. They felt resentment and hurt from being separated. It took a lot of prayer and patience to get our relationships back on track.
I had given my life to Christ which changed my life as well as the way I parented. The boys loved church and started their relationships with Christ. However, Dominique was having a really difficult time with the new rules of the household and eventually went to live with his father in Michigan. I wanted the best for Dominique and prayed constantly for God to help our relationship. Dominique was living with his father for two weeks before I heard from him. Dominque called me. We stayed on the phone for over an hour discussing our hopes and expectations for our relationship. Dominique had professed his faith in Christ and given his life to God. He spoke about all the positive changes that he was making in his life and expressed his desire to leave a legacy behind on earth. What a profound conversation we had. It was also our last conversation. Two days later, I got a call from his father stating that Dominique had gotten shot in the head while doing laundry at a friend’s house.
The world seemed to stop at that moment. I cried out to God and asked Him to help me make sense of it all. How could this be? What was I going to do? I felt like I had lost all my strength. However, 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”.
Ultimately, it was the power of God that rested upon me. I was able to sit with my four boys and tell them about the loss of their brother. It was by the power of God that I was able to prepare for son’s funeral. God’s power brought my children together and into agreement about donating Dominique’s organs. It allowed us to heal as a family and learn the value of life. It taught us the power of forgiveness because we had to forgive and pray for the young man that took Dominique’s life. The power of God is what got us through it all.
We were able to move from a place of tragedy to a place of triumph because we trusted in the power of God. Dominique said he wanted to leave a legacy in this world, and that is just what he did. His organ donations saved five families. I never got to meet the families but we did exchange letters. One of them was from a man who was a Christian. He and his wife had both been diagnosed with cancer. His daughter began to lose her faith in God due to what was happening with her parents. Eventually, her faith was restored because her father received Dominique’s liver and lived. I remember the letter that I wrote to the donor who got Dominique’s heart. I told him not to be surprised if he woke up one-morning singing. If he heard a song and just began to dance, it was alright. If suddenly, he began to think poetically and look at the world around him through a colorful lens, I would know why. He had received the heart of a champion. His heart was from someone who knew how to turn tragedy into triumph.

Published by rachaelveronica

I am the proud mother of five sons ranging in ages from 30-13. I am very active in ministry and I have a passion for spreading the Good News of the gospel in my calling as a minister. I am currently a student at the University of North Texas at Dallas where I am obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I will then pursue my Masters degree in Counseling. I have been employed with the Dallas Community College District for the past eight years. I also serve in leadership roles with the Dare to Dream Children’s Foundation, World Impact Ministries and I am on the Board of Directors for Interfaith Family Services. My ambitions for my life are to continue to grow in ministry and use my God - given gifts and talents to uplift and inspire others.

6 thoughts on “From Tragedy to Triumph

    1. Thank you so much Kathy! I am very grateful to God for blessing me with the gift of writing to share my testimonies to help inspire others. God has done and is continuing to do amazing things in my life. God bless you and your family as well. Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you so much Remtique… As I was writing and remembering this(it happened 11 years ago) I was flooded with so much emotion. I am always so grateful that God uses some of our most difficult moments to help bless and heal others. That is what my biggest goal is in sharing my stories. Thank you so much for reading it and sharing your thoughts❤️

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  2. RACHAEL THATS BEAUTIFUL SIS. You are a very strong woman ,very inspirational and sooo sweet. It has been a blessing to have you in my life and my nephews. Even tho I don’t see y’all like we all want, still yet the love is still so real.. I LOVE YOU ALL AND KEEP ON TRUSTING IN GOD.. HE IS REAL❤️

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  3. Rachel,

    It’s certainly God’s plan that I’m reading this on Thanksgiving. Your friendship has been a continuous gift in my life.

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