A Place Where Justice, Law and Truth meet Mercy, Grace, and Hope

A month ago, I was working with a family that had their children removed by CPS because of drug involvement. Unfortunately in today's world this is becoming a very common thing. Because of the opiate epidemic that is sweeping across our nation and starting at such a young age, more and more teens are having children.  These teens are then stuck in a place of little hope because of the societal norms that have been established around them.  Many of them who were already dabbling with gateway drugs, now begin to turn to much harsher chemicals to drown the fear, hopelessness and pain.

As we were beginning with this young couple who truly were heartbroken over losing their kids and truly wanted them back and were seeking all options possible to give them a chance, it kept being mentioned that they should request to be transferred to "family drug court", which is the 442nd Denton County District court where Judge Tiffany Haertling presides.

I started asking the question, what is  Family Drug Court? I was given a brief explanation of a court room where the judge was working with professionals and organizations in the area to establish a place where these families where given a fighting chance.  A place were the judge and her team, set goals and then encouraged the parents to meet those goals.  My interest was piqued.

The sweet family I was working with got transferred into this court and I attended the first session with them and man, was I blown away!!!  I was hooked.

What I saw was a Judge who was not only justice, law and truth but also mercy, grace, hope and love.   I was overwhelmed at the picture.  She not only explained what was wrong about the situation they were in and enforced the law, but she went above and beyond her job by establishing a supportive community of providers that exist to give these families mercy, grace, and hope for a different future.  She gives these families true choice!  Instead of just condemning and passing judgement, she gives them a glimpse of a different future, the opportunities to choose a different path. She ultimately gives them hope.  Now it's up to each parent to choose the path they want to take but at least they have a choice!



Instead of punishing the parents and throwing them back into the world that they came from and the destructiveness, she does what a loving parent would do by showing them another way.

Judge Haertling has taken the authority she has been given and decided to make a difference, to look at an overwhelmingly destructive issue and to ask the question....Can it be done differently? Can we do something to change the norm?  And then the best thing about it, is that she did it!  She reached out to professionals in drug rehabilitation that are working in these areas, she reached out to CPS, she reached out to lawyers, she reached out to churches, she reached out to the the community and she reached out to other non profits and said, let's do this!

Her courtroom is a place that change is happening, it's a place where learning and collaboration is at it's finest.  It is a place of hope and change.  It is also a place of law and justice and protection of the most innocent, our children.  It is a place where instead of throwing the broken and hurting aside, she is embracing, teaching, and leading them towards a different life.

It gives me HOPE that CHANGE can happen.  What if we took this model and used it in other courts were drugs might not be the reason the parents are in a destructive situation, maybe it's poverty, maybe it's being a single parent, maybe it's illness or disabilities?  What if we not only imposed justice, law and truth but gave mercy, grace and hope?

I am inviting each and every one of you to attend a session of Family Drug Court with me.  They meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month.  I am inviting to come and learn how and where our law and political system is meeting the people where they are and giving them a fighting chance.

I hope that you will be as blown away as I am!  I hope that you will be encouraged to get involved, to make a difference, to help make changes!

In the meantime, you will find me sitting in Family Drug Court every opportunity I get because it gives me HOPE in what I do with Grace Like Rain!  It gives me hope in our legal system. It gives me hope in our world and the brokenness!  It gives me hope in humanity!

Also, if you want to assist in a tangible way immediately.....I know that they are in need of bus passes to assist with transportation or gift cards or coupons for rewards for the parents accomplishing their goals. These could be $10 to $25 towards McDonald's, Chick Fil A, Starbuck's, really anything that would be a fun family treat.  These can be sent to our PO Box 213, Argyle, TX 76226 and please note for Family Drug Court and I will personally deliver them.



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