My Story Part 6 – North Carolina

 

Hi Friends,

Thanks for being patient and for coming back to read my story…

So finances were tight and I had no choice (so I thought) than to go to North Carolina to seek employment. Looking back now, I know that if I knew and trusted God like I do now, I would have waited on him to provide a job for me, to keep the lights on, etc. But the man I was could only see the dollars I would make.  Deep down I also felt that this may be my last opportunity to “have fun”.

As the time came closer for me to go to NC, I would talk to my buddies and they would say things like “you’re going to NC? without your family? How did you pull that off!?” I would hear “you’re the man!” and I got gassed and I thought I was doing big things.

What I fool I was for thinking that.  You see My wife and I discussed me leaving the family and wondering if it was the right decision, but my mind was already made up that I was going.  The family took a road trip to see what North Carolina was like and it looked as if it would be a good situation. Again looking back, if I had put God first in all things and prayed on that decision I believe the outcome would have been different.

So the time finally came for me to fufill my 6 month contract in North Carolina, make this consulting money, and return and life would be good. Goodbye’s were said, tears were shed, and I made the 10 hour drive up to NC.

At the beginning of the contract I was staying at a hotel until I could look for an apartment.  A friend of my wife had family in North Carolina and one of her friends relatives was going to help me find an apartment.

The relative that helped me find the apartment was  a nice (and attractive) young woman and I was very thankful for her help.  I told my wife  that I wanted to take her to lunch or something to say thanks. My wife suggested I send flowers or something, but I took her to eat instead.  We had a good time and I said maybe I would kept in touch.

So there I was up in North Carolina by myself.  It took a minute to settle in.  It was a big change to get off work and not have a family to go home to.  Most the people I worked with were married and some were contracting too.  So after work most were rushing home to their families and on the weekends most of the contractors were going home to their families.  I was covering my own work expenses and the home expenses so at first I would go home every other weekend, then every couple weeks, then once a month, and so on.

It wasn’t too bad at first, I would call every night and my free time would be spent making music or exploring what was around.  A couple weeks into the project there was a delay because they could not find a project manager for the project. After several weeks of the project not making any movement they finally asked me to be the Project Manager so that the project could continue to move on.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but my wife was behind me and encouraged me to step and take the job.

Let me step back for a second, in that time the project was in limbo, the chef in the cafeteria at the job and I became good friends as he told me he was a rapper and I told him I made beats.  He came over one night and I let him hear some beats and he asked if it was okay if he “smoked something” before I recorded him.  That was all I needed, I was back to my old ways.

Me and Chef hung out a little bit, we would go to the bars, he knew I was married with a family so we kept it cool.  As I started to hang out and learn the area I found myself going out without Chef and one night became two, then three.  I would go to the apartment after work, make my phone calls home then put on my jewels, take off my ring, and see what I could get in to.

As I look back at how ignorant I was, I think of the places I went, the people I hung out with (that I really didn’t know) and I think of what could have happened.  I could have been on The First 48 for all I know.

Spoiler Alert! Let me just say from now that I did not cheat on my wife in North Carolina.  But I may as well have with all the things I doing. I was meeting women at socials and clubs, trying to get numbers but thank God that nothing ever panned out.

So after many unsuccessful situations I started to wonder what was wrong with me? Had I lost it? I still thought I was the man… Obviously not.

Once in a while I would reach out to the relative that helped me find the apartment and say hi and I would try to get her to hang out but she wouldn’t.

So about 6 months passed and the money I made seemed like it wasn’t enough any more and I was starting to feel the pressure of the Project Manager position.  I was asking Chef to come around so we could smoke something, and drink something….I was getting out of control. My wife was wondering what was going on and I was just living single.  I was so burnt out I could not deal with everything going on and keep my stories and finances straight.

One day I  was really tired and I said to myself that I was going home and doing nothing…I didn’t want to hang out or anything.  As soon as I got home my phone rang-it was the relative! She wanted to know if she could bring her  PC over for me to look at it.

In the course of that visit we had a few beers and things were having a good time when my wife called.  I wasn’t as smooth as I thought and my wife new something was up.

Long story short, I told my wife after a good interrogation that I was not home alone when she called and that situation made its way back to the affair that I had in New York and I finally had to tell my wife (after eight years of keeping my secret) the truth about what happened in the affair and that I slept with her.  She was devastated.

From that point on everything for me in North Carolina stopped.  I liked going to work because it kept my mind off of everything else in my life.  I dreaded seeing 5 O’clock, because that meant it was time to go home and talk to my wife and read the many emails we had going back and forth.

For all the “Fun” I had for all those years It was time to pay for it.  I couldn’t sleep, constant headaches, and dread of “talking”.  It was at this time I felt that I needed to go to church.  I was overwhelmed and I finally realized the damage I had done.

It really hurt me to see what I had done to my wife.  How I was having and had had a good time at her expense.

I want to stop here and say to a man out there that may be caught up in any stage of this situation, STOP! If I could help one man out there not go down this road, and spare a woman what my wife went through, then I would be so happy and feel that me telling my story served it’s purpose.

You see in all this, I blame no one but me for what I did, but the sad part is that I didn’t hurt just me, there were several people involved (my wife ,the women, the children). So many times without thinking, we do not realize the ripple effects of our actions and I feel that is what causes the most damage.

What I think people don’t understand about God’s commandment “Thou Shalt not commit adultery” is that God did not make that commandment so that you could not have “fun”, He made it because He wanted to spare all parties involved from that pain of adultery and everything that goes with it.

So getting back to the story, I looked for an Adventist church in the area and started to go to church on Sabbath. One week I really felt moved from the service and I repented to God for my sins.  Again, looking back, I realize that when I “repented” that it was not with deep conviction and with the true repentance and remorse that I know now.  But it was a start.

So as my days would go by and the long evenings came on, many times I started to get annoyed with my wife when we would have our “talks”.  I remember in one conversation I was being arrogant and said “I repented!” What do you want me to do!?” I was an idiot to get mad at the woman who trusted me, that I betrayed, because she had feelings about what I did 8 years ago, that I just told her about!

At least I started to go to church which was a start and I started to read the Bible, although it was not with a clean heart….yet.  The days and nights ran into each other and every day they were just more of the same, a lot of pain, a lot of talking, a lot of emails…before I knew it, the project was done and it was time to go home…North Carolina was done, but the story continues…

Until later…I’m just tryingtobeamanofgod.

Blessings,

Dwayne

 

 

 

 

Do not worry about tomorrow…

Hi Friends,

It has been a few days but before I post the next part of My Story…I have been thinking about this all day and I wanted to share this with you…

I’ve said it before that if you pray don’t worry, and if you worry, don’t pray.

Worry literally is a waste of time. It robs you of your current time by having you think about something that might happen and, in most cases, never does.  How many times have you played the “what if..?” game and that “what if?” never happened?

Jesus says in Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  in verse 27 He says “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Worry serves no purpose.  If you cast all your burdens on Him and trust that He will take care of you that is all you need in life. Believe me you will still have struggles and you will still be tested, but it is all in the way you choose to deal with these situations.  Especially situations that are not under your control.  You need to let go and let God!  It is not easy to do at first but the more you do it the easier it gets.

Jesus says “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:33,34 NLT

Brothers and Sisters, I am here to tell you first hand…Do not worry about  today, tomorrow, or anything!

Proverbs 3:5,6 says Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Until Later….I’m just tryingtobeamanofgod…

Blessings,

Dwayne

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

 

Hello Friends,

My Earthly Father,  Fitzgerald Godfrey Peterkin  would have been 83 Years old today (Read Obituary here).

He always said “I set the standard, It is up to you to follow it”.

When my Father was in the hospital last year, I remember the morning my sister, my niece, and my mother were leaving the hotel they were staying at to go to the hospital.  As is customary in our family, we started to pray before leaving the house.  As we bowed our heads, I was waiting for my mom or my sister to pray, it was silent.

It was at that very moment I felt like the torch was handed to me and that I was now the Godly man of the house.  That is part of the reason I have this sincere passion and desire to follow the Lord, because my Father (Earthly and Heavenly) set the standard.

Turning back is not an option to me and seeing how young 82 is, I am determined to use this time God has given me on this earth to continue to “set the standard”.

I love you Dad…Thank you for the Man that you were!  Thank you for setting the standard!  I am so proud to be your son!

Until Later… i’m just tryingtobeamanofgod….

My Story Part 5 – The Prodigal Returns

 

 

Welcome Back Friends!  Let’s get to it.

Winter 2002-2003 in New York saw huge snow storms every 36 hours.  I remember coming home from work, getting off the train and not even coming inside the house.  I would grab the shovel that I left outside and would just start shoveling snow.  My son would  hear the shovel, look out the window and say “Daddy’s Home!”

So after my wife joked about moving to Florida, for the rest of that winter we would go on the internet and look at houses for sale and fantasize about buying this one or that one.  We would think of having a pool, acres of land, etc.

God is good because he knows the desires of your heart.  One day in the late spring I was outside planting some lilac trees in the front yard and a car pulled up in our driveway.  I was thinking to my “Oh Lord, the kid’s teacher is coming to my house for a conference!”  I told my stepson to go see who it was and he came over and said to me “Dwayne, the lady says she wants to buy the house!” I was like “What?!”

It was true, the woman explained that she represented a buyer who was looking to purchase some investment properties and our home was on the street he wanted to have his rentals.  My wife and I thought it was too good to be true, so as the true New Yorkers we were, we were skeptical about listing our home.  We agreed that we would give this lady a week to see if she was for real.  We listed the home and we thought about what we would do when our house sold in 6 months.  We sold the house in 2 weeks!

One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was to move amd leave my oldest son in New Jersey, but I figured that I would actually spend more time with him if he would be coming to Florida for the summers, as opposed to the “every other weekend” scenario I was experiencing at the time.

So I was so thankful I would be leaving New York (notice I did not say that I thanked God I was leaving…I still wasn’t there yet) so that I could get out of the situation I was in and people I was around.  I thought that if I left New York all my problems would go away and I would never have to reveal the truths of what I was doing and how I was living…..Little did I know how wrong I was!

I flew to Florida to look for a home and after a very long weekend and several miles I found a house. Not that I planned it, but it so worked out that the house we purchased was a mile from my parents house.

Two weeks later we were in Florida. I got the family settled in and I had to go back to New York to work and make the transition to work from home for the next 6 months.  I had it all planned out, although everything did not go as planned.  2 months into my 6 month agreement my Job ended my arrangement and I had to start looking for work.  It took longer to get a job than anticipated and things were starting to get tight.  I finally found a job  but it was 100 miles away.  I started to stress about the employment situation and I turned to smoking and drinking to help deal with my situations again.

Having my parents close by again after all these years meant the church pressure was going to start again.  My mom would always invite us to church and sometime I would give in.  I went to church but my heart wasn’t in it and I again found myself going to church against my will.  My wife didn’t go and the kids had to go when I went because I said so.  I struggled for a long time because I knew I was only going to make my Mom and Dad happy.

For the next few years things were quiet and I tried to live the best I could, keeping my secrets and staying out of trouble. I remained faithful to my wife more out of lack of opportunity than by choice.  Traveling long distances for work continued and started to take its toll.  Finally I quit my long distance job to take a consulting  job closer to home.  That turned out to be a bad move because my six month position was eliminated in four months and I was back on the block again.  Bills were starting to pile up and things were getting tight.

The only offer for work I had was a contract in North Carolina…

Here’s where it all goes down….

Until later…I’m just tryingtobeamanofgod….

Blessings,

Dwayne

We are getting near the end here friends….Stay tuned for My Story Part 6…North Carolina

The Crucible and the Sword

A crucible is defined as a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures:

It is also defined as a situation of severe trial.

I am no stranger to struggles, and no stranger to disappointment.  It seems for most of my adult life I have been juggling like crazy. I’m used to the juggling, but lately, my prayer has been for God to keep the balls I’m juggling in the air!  It could be that I’m trying to meet a deadline, trying to stretch a dollar, or maybe I’m putting out a fire.

I don’t ask God not to have the struggles, because I believe that they are the things that make us stronger. I just pray that I see that the challenges or disappointments are the strengthening.

My Father told me that my faith walk would not be easy.  He said “Dwayne once you decide to follow God you will have a target on your back.”  Satan hates people who chose to put God first in their life and he will test them.  In Jamaica My Father was a foundry worker for some time working with molten steel and he spoke to me of  the refining process and the huge crucibals holding that hot molten steel.

In that conversation we talked about how a sword is made, how the  steel is heated, hammered, cooled then heated, hammered, cooled and repeated until that steel gets so strong!

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

That is the faith walk Brothers and Sisters, the trials, the challenges, the faith, the prayer, the victory –  the strengthening of the relationship with God.  We need to have Hope.

Friends, do not get discouraged, but be happy when the trials come. Know that the Lord is giving you an opportunity to grow and be strengthened.  Just like that sword, you may get heated, feel like your being hammered, but when you cool down you will be stronger.  And when God is finished polishing you and shining you up, you will be beautiful… a sight to behold.

Whatever is going on in your life right now know that Jesus is our crucible, he is holding that molten steel and is going to refine us into something beautiful if we put him first in ALL things.

Be Blessed!

Until later, I’m just tryingtobeamanofgod.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14