Johnny and I Had a Secret

When my forever 19-year-old son, Johnny, was a young boy, he and I had a “secret” that we kept to ourselves. I told him God told me when he was born he was going to do something really important in this world. We just didn’t know what that was yet, and we would discover his mission together. Every time Johnny went to summer camp to learn a new programming language, flew to Stanford to create a new operating system he called “Phoenix,” or volunteered in a new capacity, he would ask me, “Do you think this is it, mom?” We whispered about our “secret” repeatedly for many years, even days before he passed.

At the same time, I’d been speaking and writing for 28+ years and was blessed with a fair level of influence with my platform as The Productivity Pro®. I’d always prayed the Lord show me how I could use my talents to advance the work of His Kingdom. I always thought it would be something related to women or mothers of preschoolers.

When Johnny died by suicide a few months ago, I felt compelled of God to share what happened to him on Facebook, so that other teens and parents would know about the dangers of high-THC pot. I was very honest in my posts about how the delusion and paranoia from the cannabis-induced psychosis had ultimately drove him to kill himself. The posts were shared fairly well, and I wondered if this was what God had in mind. But I told God that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, thank you very much, and he would need to do something really, really obvious, because I just didn’t understand why Johnny had to be with Him. The next day, I wrote a Facebook post, which asked people if they knew what “dabbing” was, and the post got 20,000 shares. Okay, I thought that was pretty obvious. I hadn’t been able to do that in all my years in business with my own material, trying really hard. I’d never seen anything like it. God clearly told me, “Here is Johnny’s very important mission in this world, and you are going to help him achieve what you talked about.”

Well, I’m the stubborn type. This couldn’t be what Johnny and I talked about. How could Johnny have impact in this world, when he isn’t here? No. I don’t want to; I’m too sad. I told Elizabeth Jeffries, my prayer warrior, what happened with the post, and she told me to be obedient. So I told her, “Fine. I will go with the flow and do what He lays before me.” Well, that was all God needed. Never has anything been so easy. Next, 9News reached out and interviewed us and ran a segment on teen suicide and marijuana (yes, in Colorado!). I visited Dianna Booher in Texas, who talked to me about a Foundation she served on and encouraged me to turn Johnny’s Ambassadors, a group of nearly 600 loved ones and supporters, into a non-profit Foundation. She was my first board member, soon followed by Robin Thompson and Mellanie True Hills, experts in the nonprofit space! A Facebook reader hooked me up for a TEDx talk next spring, and several opportunities appeared to speak to college students, government rallies, and high school counselors. Then a good friend introduced me to his book agent, who is going to sell Johnny’s story, as he believes the world needs to hear what happened.

I thought, “How in the world am I going to find time to do this with two other businesses to run!” Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and all my business canceled. So, here I am with no work and a lot of time on my hands. Robin Thompson told me these are all “God winks,” and that nothing is a coincidence. She suggested maybe I should just stop resisting and do what I know how to do. So, I have finally accepted the path God has laid before me. Educating teens/parents on the dangers of dabbing and raising awareness on teen mental health and preventing suicide is my God-ordained mission. I guess Johnny is doing something really important in this world after all.

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