Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

What a Waste

Every time I see a Whitney Houston movie or hear one of her songs, I always think, “What a waste.” Hear me out before you attack. I’m not calling her a waste. On the contrary, that woman was phenomenal. If you really listen to her voice, the passion, the depth, the incandescent beauty of her range, it will bring you to tears. On the outside looking in, she was beautifully flawless. It’s no wonder she was nicknamed “The Voice”. She had one problem. She was human. There’s not a single one of us that doesn’t suffer from the same thing. We all have our stuff. Being human comes with a price.

Whitney had an extraordinary gift and the world ravishes those who take center stage like she did. Everybody wanted a piece of her. She did the work, and those closet to her, rode the wave of her success, not caring one iota of how it affected her. Greed knows no bounds.

I don’t know how true the latest movie made of her life is, but if you haven’t watched, ”I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, I highly recommend it. I cried. I sighed, “What a waste”. What I mean by that is, what a tragic loss. Yet, it’s so much more encompassing than that.

All the money, fame, awards, accolades, fandom, and things this world has to offer, wasn’t enough. Or maybe it was too much. Her way of escaping the reality of it all…drugs. I wonder if her dealer ever felt any kind of remorse over his choice to provide something he knew at any time could kill her? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, choices matter.

Portrayed in the movie on the night of her death, Whitney was working on her comeback. She had gone through an intense rehab program, and was doing seemingly ok. But, no one really knows what’s going on deep in the places no one can see. For whatever reason, Whitney chose to get high that fateful night. There’s no way she could’ve known that decision, would be one of her last. If she had, would she choose death?

Addiction has no boundaries. It knows your weakness and its satisfaction is your destruction. It’s appetite is insatiable. No one sets out to be an addict. It happens. Everyone who becomes an addict has a story. Like you and me, they are a living, breathing, person. Someone’s child, sister, brother, family member, and friend. Have you ever heard a child say, “I wanna be an addict when I grow up”? Probably not.

If you’ve never been addicted to anything, I daresay callousness will keep you from ever understanding or having compassion for those who suffer from it. Be careful looking at others through disdained colored eyes though, addiction comes in many forms besides drugs and alcohol.

Your addiction may not look like those who suffer from the ill effects of drugs and alcohol, but it’s still just as detrimental to your soul. Don’t get me started on porn and sexual immorality, and the far reaching, gut wrenching, dastardly, heinous, and vile paths of destruction they leave in their wake. Like I said, be careful throwing stones from inside glass houses. Haughty eyes looking down on others doesn’t lessen your own sin.

Escaping addiction is not a simple choice. Contrary to what so many think, you can’t wish it away. It takes intentionality. It means looking hard at yourself and realizing you’re worth so much more than what you’re doing. Sometimes, it’s seeing your loved one dead on the floor and that image burned in your brain to keep you from returning to its evil clutches.

More than that, it’s a surrender. I’ve heard stories where God removes the want of a particular addiction from a person immediately. I’ve heard other stories where family members pray for years for their loved one. But, we can’t change people. That job belongs to God. Understanding His ways, also not our job. I guess my point in all this is compassion reaches so much farther than contempt and arrogance.

The night I planned to take my own life, I hit my knees in full surrender to God. My life didn’t change overnight and I for sure didn’t know what I was doing. The mess I’d made of my life through my bad choices had to change. Surrender was my only option. Bit by bit, step by step, from glory to glory God restores what the enemy stole.

There are days I still wonder what the point is, what does it matter, and who cares, but because God gives me another day, I press on. Lord, use me. Help me, help others. Who needs to hear from you? I don’t do this perfectly, but God doesn’t expect perfect. That alone gives me space to breathe and be the clay He wants to mold.

I don’t necessarily know who you are, but if you’re reading this, you’re not your addiction. You’re so much more interesting than that lie. You have a story. You have purpose. You have things to do that were planned for you long ago by the Creator of the universe. It’s never too late to begin again as long as there’s breath in you.

At the beginning of this story, I said I always think, “What a waste,” when it comes to hearing or seeing something about Whitney. Again, not because she’s that, but because of the tragedy of it all. But even after death, God is still able to use her life as a testimony, beyond the grave. Friends, God is a God of abundance, not waste.

Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is always working. He uses it all.

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV ~ caps emphasis added)

Whitney’s life was not a waste. It was a beautiful and tragic reminder of the good and evil in this world. If we’re honest, isn’t that what being human is all about? Isn’t that why the Apostle Paul tells us to:

…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” ~ Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV)

Stand your ground my friend! You’re part of a grander plan in place to defeat the darkness in this world. No, you are not a waste, you are more than a conqueror. And no matter where you are in this moment, God is still working, and He still loves you. Emphasis on still. It means He never stopped. Now it’s up to you. Choose wisely.

Much love and grace to you!


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