I knew my son was going to die.
Like the time when I was on a flight to California, and I knew he was in danger. I envisioned him in a car with a tractor-trailer barreling down on him. I thought my anxiety and panic were PTSD—related to the recent loss of my mom. Nevertheless, I prayed that God would save his life. When I landed, I got in line to book a return flight home. I retrieved my messages and learned that he had gotten in a car and driven to a game because he was tired of waiting for his ride. I was happy he was alive.
Upon my return, he said, “When I was driving down the hill, there was a big truck behind me, and I was scared it was going to hit me.”
Six years later, my son went out for his birthday. I gave him my usual blessing: “I love you. Be safe. Have fun.” I added, “Come home tonight.”
He stayed out and then came the call, “Um, something happened. Khaleel got hurt.”
At some point, I finally accepted the fact that I know things. As a child, I knew things, but the religion I was raised in said it was demonic. As an adult, I learned about the gifts of the spirit. I’ve had several instances of knowing things about people. I began to send emails to myself or write notes on my phone because I wanted to make sure the things I knew were facts. They were.
On November 21, I sat down on a friend’s sofa and cried as I waited for my son to take me to the airport. When asked what was wrong, I replied, “I don’t know why I feel like this is the last time I am going to see my son.” I held him super tight and told him I loved him. I cried on the flight home.
Just over a month later, I spent Christmas Eve on the floor of my prayer room in tears. I cried out to God to save my son. I begged and I bargained; I asked for more years of his life. I pleaded that he would live long enough to see his three children as adults. I reminded God that his two older children had already lost their mother. I told God that He knew best and then made a simple request: “God, IF he has to go, don’t let him be alone and don’t let him suffer. Please let us have his whole body intact.”
On Monday, December 27, I woke with anxiety. As I panicked and questioned the source of the anxiety, I blurted aloud, “It’s Khaleel. But I’ve already placed him in God’s hands, so he will be okay.” Later that day as I was walking on the beach, I talked to one of my closest friends, my place of peace. “I don’t know why, but I feel like I want my daughter and the kids to come,” I said.
I will never forget her reply, “I just got CHILLS when you said that. I don’t know why, but the next time you see your daughter, she is going to NEED a hug from you.”
I called my daughter. I asked if she and the boys would come spend the holiday break with me; she said she was thinking about calling me and letting me know that she was coming. We made plans for her to come that Wednesday. We talked some more and spoke about my son. “Khaleel just watched one of my reels!” she said. Three hours later, my daughter called me, “Mom, Khaleel’s been shot.”
Everyone started making calls to hospitals to find out where he was. As we all tried to gather details with thousands of miles between my son’s and our locations, we had family members on the phone with us. I spoke quietly, resolutely, and with certainty. “Perhaps we can’t find him at the hospital because he is already gone. He died at the scene.” Because I knew.
Everyone tried to keep the faith, saying, “Ma, don’t say that—he’s going to be okay.” We later learned that the time of death was when my daughter and I were walking on the beach, praying and speaking over Khaleel’s life. Although the killer has been arrested, convicted, and sentenced, we may never know why he fired a single bullet into the back of my son that traveled to his heart and killed him.
I knew my son was going to die, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Although I will forever mourn and grieve this loss—and it pains me that I knew—there is some comfort because even though I couldn’t change the events of that day, God still showed up as God.
For my son’s memorial service, I chose the CeCe Winans’ rendition of “Goodness of God.” Despite the senselessness of his murder, I can’t help but focus on the goodness of God. Even in the midst of tragedy, God answered my prayer.
He didn’t suffer.
He wasn’t alone.
His body was intact.
How could I not focus on the goodness of God?
Dawn Steward says
My heart cries for you and the loss of your son. I too have a son who I’m constantly praying for. There has been at least 3 times where someone tried to take his life BUT GOD. You’re testimony allowed me to feel that unconditional love you have for son Kahleel. Thank you for sharing . May God’s hand be on your life & the lives of those you love.
Thanks so much. I will keep you and your son in prayer. These are challenging times for us all. Without the goodness of God, I’d surely go insane.
Thank you for sharing your story. It confirms my walk and to be open to the feelings I receive. ❤️❤️❤️
Thanks for reading! A book that helped me tremendously is “The Voice of God” by Cindy Jacobs. Praying God’s continued grace over your walk. You got this!
This was a beautiful moving story knowing that our heavenly Father is always there in the good as well as the bad 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
Yes, God is never too far – even if we step away. Blessings to you!
Joyce Turner says
I can only say Wowwwww and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m praying for you and know that you gift(s) are truly truly “gifts”. Be proud of them and know that God’s got you.
Thanks! It doesn’t always feel like a “gift” to be honest. But focusing on the goodness of God and trusting in his word that he will never leave or forsake me and that he has a future planned for me helps!!
Cheryl Evans says
You are Always on God’s heart an In God’s hands.
Janice Grisham says
I totally understand. I get great anxiety knowing their is an approaching storm…and there is no stopping it. That feeling is indescribable. Things we know but don’t want to know. Praying and begging can’t stop what God already knows.
That’s so true. It’s helpful to know that people like Moses, David, Jonah and others struggled with anxiety as well. Praying you succumb to the peace of God when anxiety creeps up. Therapy and meds are helping to deal with my anxiety these days.
It is 12/14/22, and I had been singing the song ‘Goodness of God’ mentioned all morning, even before reading this….
“Because all my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so, so good, with every breath that I am able, I sing of the goodness of God..”
Thank you Holy Spirit!
Amen! That song keeps me going! Nothing like the goodness of God. And that includes reminders and confirmations. A great song to start the day!
Ms. Kevan Moragne says
Our Dear God, Lord and Heavenly Father,
Is always there for us, as the late Andrae Crouch sang, “Through It All”. May God’s divine peace, comfort, goodness and mercy always bring you through this great loss, in Jesus name.
Always there, indeed!
Deb Glover says
My condolences in the loss of your son. This is such a powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for reading snd sharing your kind words! 🙏🏽
Natalie E. says
This is soul-wrenchingly beautiful. This reminds me of “the peace that surpasses understanding”. When you know that God is still in control, even when the outcome is painful. I do believe God heard you and He is still listening today. May the continue to keep you and your family and bring beauty out of your ashes.
Yes. That peace. Thanks so much!
Joyce Straiter says
Suncera, so beautifully written. God has graced you with many talents, and I’m always encouraged and inspired when hearing you speak. I’m touched by your article and the divine strength God has bestowed upon you in your time of need of the loss of your son and to share and help so many others! 😍🙏 ”
Thanks so much Joyce, for your continued encouragement!
MY GOD….He Is Always listening and hearing. May He continue to Bless you with the power of discernment 🙏🏿✌🏾💜
Thanks so much! 🙏🏽
Valerie Dionne Parker says
As always, thank you Suncera for your transparency. For giving words to grief, the journey of spiritual intuitiveness. Just thank you for the hand of God that holds you and allows your gifts to spread out and mist those of us fortunate to know you, whether it’s up close or virtually. Just, thank you.
As always, it is my honor.
ReGina Davis says
That was so POWERFUL!
Beatrice Thompson says
My sister lived with an L-Vad heart monitor–they didn’t expect her to live for long on a device that was only supposed to be a bridge until they found a heart for her– she lived for seven years on it…..
This past February, my daughter said, “mom, let’s go to Disney to get you away for a while…..”
While we were there on the second day, she looked at me and said, “Ma, aunt Jo is not going to make it thru this time…..she will be gone when we get back home, I feel it.” I didn’t want to acknowledge what she was saying— but I felt something too– a sense of dread that I wasn’t there with her……. but I also felt that she waited until I was gone to cross……when we were little girls, I had always told my mom I would watch out for ” Jo Mae, my baby sister”– but I could not help her…I was not there when she crossed…but I know my mama, daddy and our baby brother who crossed two months earlier would be there to help her… I am an old grown woman of 68— I miss my baby sister more than I can say….
I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story. Your daughter is incredibly blessed because far too many parents demonize or downplay those feelings in them. Continued blessings to you both. 🙏🏽
Chelli Maxie says
WOW! Just WOW! I absolutely LOVE the content you post daily. In this season for me, I am so thankful for your transparency. I am in awe of how you articulate your feelings in ways that hit home for me. As we all navigate through this thing called life, we all need a healing word! Keep delivering Queen!
You are welcome. Thanks so much for reading, fellow Queen. We are indeed living in challenging times.
Glynis Sanders says
Such a profound reminder of the goodness of God in the midst of it all.
I’m positive that we all, can deep down, relate to this topic in someway. I thank God for your strength to share.
God bless you
Thanks so much my friend!! Continued blessings to you.
I will keep you in our prayers. Somethings he shows us for sure are not beautiful but tragic. I’m praying for myself because this story makes me even the more nervous about what I see about our baby boy yet I’m hopeful to his will being done. Remember our sons James & Joshua Pass in your prayers. Thanks
Thanks so much. I will keep you, James and Joshua in my prayers. God is good – even when life feels hard. You are not alone. Hugs and love to you.
Katrina Stubbs says
Thank was a beautiful story. I, too, have those feelings of events happening quite often and when I tell people, they laughed. However, when the event takes place, they say how did you know that. Awesome testimony of God’s love where he will not put more on you than you can bare.
Thanks – I’ve found it helpful to make notes to myself. It increases my faith and helps me combat self doubt. And I have a few close, trusted friends that I can share with!
My God! God gave you a peace that the world can not understand. God bless you and thanks for sharing your story.
Thanks so much. Yes, even in tragedy.
God answered your prayers
Yes. As difficult as losing my only son is, especially to murder, I choose to focus on the answered prayer. I prayed that God would save his life. But then I surrendered. And it’s bittersweet knowing that – but God still showed up as God.
Wow to read this today. I have been having thoughts the last couple of days that someone was going to pass away and I got a call yesterday that my grandfather had passed away. I struggle with this “gift” that I call a “curse”.
Whew. It is a difficult gift to have and often feels like a burden to me. Since there’s nothing I can do stop it or make it go away, I continue to learn to live with is. Check out the book “The Voice of God” by Cindy Jacobs. It helped me tremendously. Praying for your heart and condolences on your loss. 🙏🏽
Cathy Lucas says
This is my my my. God will still show up and show in the darkest of any situation
Indeed, he will.
Ada Johnson says
God is faithful in His promises to us. Alwayhas been and always will be. God gave you the gift of discernment. Some see it as a gidt, others a burden. Continue to let your gift guide you. May God keep you close and may your gift give you comfort.
Honestly, it is a difficult “gift” to balance and can feel like a burden. God’s grace, mercy and favor keep me!
LaQuetta Glaze says
My many thanks to the author of this article. Her transparency and authenticity during dark times inspires us all to trust God and to see God in all things. Beautifully written and articulated from the heart.
Suncera Johnson says
It is my honor. Thanks for reading!
Ms Dp says
So very sorry for your loss, but grateful to you for sharing.
You have a very unique yet direct way of conveying your gift and possibly helping others to recognize and be comfortable with theirs. God bless.
Thank you so much for you kind words. I knew that I couldn’t be the only person to experience loss in this manner but I also know it’s not easy to discuss.
Oh my! Praise God for your testimony from the storm. Christ continue to grant you peace.
Thanks so much! 🙏🏽
Gail Gertrude says
May. THE GOD of ALL COMFORT flood your heart with HIS peace, presence and love, Beloved.
Thank you. Blessings to you.
Pham Bowens says
The gifts of God are amazing. That gift of prophecy can bring forth visions that are to prepare or protect us. May the peace that surpasses all understanding comfort you always as you carry life of your beloved son with you.
Thanks so much! 🙏🏽
Sandi Adams says
And God gave you notice. Not an easy one to receive, but He only gives His friends advance notice.
Not an easy one at all. 🙏🏽
Praise God for your testimony about the “Goodness of God” I also love that song and it puts me into a state of Worshipping, Praising and Honoring God our soon coming King. Praying for you during this Season. May the Joy of the Lord be your peace and strength 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Thanks – it’s such an amazing song!
Whew. Suncera. Your faithfulness never ceases to amaze me. As someone who also carries the gift of “knowing”, I understand how powerful this is. Thanking God for your acceptance, your peace and your faithfulness. The way you continue to love and glorify GOD and being comfort and inspiration to others in the midst of your grief is supernatural and divine strength and talent. May Gos someone to keep and use you for his purpose. Blessings and peace my Bali- bonding, Writer, beach loving, soul- sister.
Thanks so much, Sis. (Bali was life-changing!) Love you for life. ❤️🙏🏽
Chanda Burks says
Thank you so much for this reminder! I need this so much right now with the holidays! My son was killed on Sept.15,2012 and I truly share what you wrote because it was quick, he didn’t suffer, I was with him shortly after and His body was in tact! As traumatic of an experience, I knew God was there!!! This blessed me💜🙌🏾🙏🏾
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Murder changes you – it’s incomprehensible, especially when it’s your child. I pray that God continues to reveal his goodness to you.
Glenda Warburton says
Thank you for your implacable faith in our God, and may He be the comfort and mainstay for you and your grandchildren. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for your kind words. Blessings to you.