My story (I apologize for the length of this but I felt that I needed to put it out here so others would see my life before and after Jesus came into it)
Over fifty years ago my world was turned upside down. The lady who was keeping me while my mom went to school was having an affair with my Dad. I didn’t know it at the time and wouldn’t recognize it for what it was if I did, I was only four years old. But…I can distinctly remember my Dad coming over while I was there and I saw them kissing on the couch. My child’s mind didn’t think much of it at the time and I promptly forgot about it for a while but the memory of it came back crystal clear later.
After my parent’s divorce, my Dad had our trailer brought to Mississippi and parked it near my grandparent’s home in Coxburg.
Life from that point on would never feel quite right. I went to school for a while without a care in the world, like you do when you are in elementary school. But by the time I had reached my teens, I suppose the idea that we weren’t wanted by my father had begun to fester inside me and I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t know who to turn to. We went to church on some Sunday’s but sometimes we just watched it on the TV. There wasn’t much talk about religion or Jesus in our house for some reason and I never asked why.
Although, every time a Billy Graham crusade came on TV we watched it, and we even went to the stadium in Jackson in 1975 (I think) when their was a crusade in Jackson, MS. Ethel Waters sang “His eye is on the sparrow” that day. I went down with lots of other people and got the literature that was given our, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I got a Bible at home and tried to read it but it was hard to understand, I was thirteen at the time. I prayed that Jesus would save me but I didn’t know from what and I didn’t understand why.
From that point on, I was confused about life, about my father and mother being divorced and the more confused I felt the angrier I became. I kept it inside mostly but I began drinking with some friends at school. I had at least one wreck between that time and my graduation from high school and it was a good one. I suppose I passed out on the way home from a football game on a Friday night. I hadn’t gone there to watch the game, I went there to get drunk and I did. I only remember bits and pieces of it but I do know that I went into a ditch, jumped my mother’s car over a driveway and the car flipped over when it came down on the other side, breaking every window in the car. This was in the fall of 1977, just over 1.5 years from my graduation from Central Holmes Academy.
Suffice to say my teenage years were mostly going through the motions, doing what some of my “friends” did and not caring about the future or whether I would survive to have one. I wasn’t in a very good place emotionally or spiritually. I was depressed and angry, at what I’m not sure that I knew exactly. Sometimes I would lash out at someone for no reason, usually at my Mom or my grandparents. Life during this period of time was not a memory that I want to experience again. Especially the feelings and the anger and frustration which I found out many years later was directly tied to my parent’s divorce when I was five.
So much of my life from over forty years ago was really “messed up” and I didn’t know at the time, nor did I care, if there was a way to fix it because I didn’t think that anyone, including God, cared enough to work with me through it.
Fast-forward a couple of decades and I was beginning to understand who I was and why I was here. But, I’m not going to go into all the “gory details” of my later life. God used the deaths of my grandparents and my mother to bring me to the point of knowing that I truly needed Him in my heart and on the throne of my life. After I graduated from college and became a Dad to a wonderful red-headed boy, I knew that I needed to get my life turned toward God in a big way. Especially if I was supposed to be a real Dad to my son. I knew that I couldn’t be a real Dad if I didn’t know how to be one, so I began reading the Bible during the down times while I worked in the lab at a couple of hospitals. I would listen to the Bible on CD on the way to work and on the way home. God’s Word is amazing because even when you aren’t sure about what you are reading or even what it means, God’s Holy Spirit can reveal it to you in more ways than you can imagine.
Is it hard to be a Christian? Yes and no. Yes, because Satan doesn’t quit hitting you when you accept Jesus, he just turns the heat up. No it isn’t hard to become a Christian because it is as easy as saying, “Lord, come into my heart and change me into the person that you want me to be for You. I’ve messed it up for a long time but I know that you can fix all of my broken pieces. So, in Jesus’ mighty name please make me like You. Amen” The problem that most people have is that after they say this prayer and even after they get baptized many times they aren’t taught how to go through each day with Jesus. It is a process. I mean you are saved if you meant what you said in your prayer and repented of your “old life”, but now you have to learn more about your Savior. If you don’t you won’t know how to try to live your life walking in His footsteps.
The only way to learn more about Him and His Father is to read and study the Bible…daily. Today, that is fairly easy because you have the Bible on CD and on an app for your phone. You can listen to it read chapters of the Bible while you drive or while you are at home or wherever you can listen to it with your headphones. God loves each of us and cares for us and He has cared for us since before creation. I pray that everyone who reads this blog will seek Him out as your Savior…soon. Time is running shorter each day.