Hi Brothers and Sisters,
Fresh from Men’s Ministry Retreat Weekend here I am ready to share. I first have to tell you all what a wonderful experience I had this past weekend. Being in the presence of 500+ men of God is AMAZING! You should have heard the singing…500 Men Praising God!! All that came to mind all weekend was “Surely the presence of the LORD is in this place!”
The Communion/Anointing Service was life changing and exactly what I needed to keep me on fire for the Lord! One of the brothers there said that trying to explain the weekend would be like trying to explain your favorite ice cream flavor to someone who has never tasted ice cream before….Impossible…you had to be there. I was blessed to have my 12 year old son with me and let me tell you that was a blessing on top of a blessing. March 8-10, 2013 will be the 20th anniversary retreat at Camp Kulaqua so lock the date in from now and get ready for a great experience.
Ok…So you all have waited long enough…Let’s get in to it.
When my oldest son was born, IMMEDIATELY after making sure he had 10 fingers and 10 toes and that his Mother was ok, I called my father. As soon as he picked up the phone I did not even say hello, I said “Dad, I am sorry for everything I ever put you through and any I had no idea what you have done for me” You see I did not realize in my life what it meant to be a parent – All I knew is that they didn’t let you do what you wanted to and they were a pain!
But God has a sense of humor! He makes us grow up and have kids of our own! In that instant when my son was born, my whole life flashed in front of me and I realized what an A** I had been and what my Dad did for me. (Further more what I would have to do for this child).
That alone should have set me straight, but me being the hard head that I was, I still tried to do what I had to do (so I thought) and do what I wanted to do. It wasn’t long after my son was born that I realized how much my life would have to change and that I could not entertain every opportunity to hang out. This was a culture shock to me and I wasn’t really sure how to deal with it. At 25, I thought I knew everything, that I was grown, that I still deserved what ever I wanted, and blamed other people for things and could not look at myself for the source of my issues.
Honestly looking back I was not a good man to my son’s mother. She is a really good woman and I hate to admit that I put her through more than she deserved. It took me 17 years to truly apologize to her for the man I was and she accepted my apology. (When I get to my conversion I will explain that.) We tried to live together but do to my lack of maturity, it didn’t work out. I was off on my own again trying to still do my thing. Engaging in meaningless hookups and relationships. Things happened to me like getting robbed at gunpoint and getting hit in the head with a 9MM while trying to hang out. And I still wouldn’t slow down.
It wasn’t too long after that through a friend I met the woman I would eventually marry. We were friends for a couple of years and after things didn’t work out with my son’s mom, we started to date and eventually moved in together and integrated our families. We got along great and for the most part I was faithful, but there were a few times during the course of our time together that I used the excuse of us not being married yet to justify random hookups. I would say to myself “it’s not Adultery, we’re not married”)
After we married I slowed down and we had a son and we enjoyed some good years. Life was good but many times not easy. Marriage, the family, extended family, bills, taxes all started to chip away at the paradise we once shared. Because I did not have God in my life, I chose to deal with my issues with drugs and alcohol. I started hanging out with my boys more and even when I was at home, they would come over and I would be in the driveway hanging out, and by the time I came in the house I was worthless. My wife would just look at me…Of course, at this point I am older, a little more responsible but still immature. So as home life wasn’t as fun anymore, I played the role as best I could, but I started taking on the ways of men that were not honorable. You know the saying, “if you lie with dogs you get fleas” well I was bitten many a time. See, I used to be the guy where when the wives would say “Oh your going out with Dwayne?, it’s OK!” I used to be the good guy.
It all changed when I was at work one day and noticed this young lady in the cafeteria. We would always see each other there at the same time. One day one of us said “hi” then that went on for a while. The “hi’s” became conversations, the conversations became lunches, the lunches turned in to invitations to hang out…and so on and so on. I had always told my wife stories of people on the job, but I never mentioned this woman – from the beginning. I think inside I wanted an affair because I knew others that had one and they looked like they were having fun and it was good. I had issues going on at home and I really didn’t look forward to going home at times.
I had no idea what a train wreck that affair would be. It got out of control. I found myself lying about having to work, sneaking on the phone, trying to remember lies when I smoked so much I couldn’t remember things straight. (I guess I was trying to forget that I broke God’s Commandments) I was making a big mess of my life and I had no clue of the future damage I was creating.
This all lasted over a two year period. I was living a double life. I was one man when I was at work and another man when I was at home. I was always stressed out, my wife was unhappy because she couldn’t understand why I would be angry or start an argument (So I could get out the house), the girlfriend was unhappy (she would want me to see her and I would not be there), I was unhappy, life was a mess. The kids were becoming a handful, and my wife would deal with it all by herself (and not knowing I was having an affair) and still try to be a wife and I was gone. With all the secrets I had inside I had no peace. I think no one had any peace.
Winter set in and the storms were bad 2002-2003. My wife said “I don’t know if you are coming with me or not but I’m moving to Florida!” Little did we now a couple months later that would actually happen! The Lord made a way for us to move to Florida…
I’ll go into that in My Story Part 5 (The Prodigal Returns).
Until later…I’m just tryingtobeamanofgod.