Journey to Repentance was written at a time when I came to the end of myself and had to face some real truths. My life could no longer be about me and my dreams. It is a story of many journeys; my walk with God and His desire to help me grow and be more like Him, my struggles with those who opposed a single male adopting, my life parenting many foster/adoptive children over an 11 year span, coming to terms with my childhood and how it affected parenting my boys, learning about racism in our society, struggling with a welfare system that did not have mine our my familyís needs as even a very small part of their concern, realizing that the best interest of the child doesnít mean that at all to a all powerful welfare agency, coming to grips with a secret held for 42 years, and what to do with my life once all my dreams and my friends/church were gone.
God has a purpose and plan for our life. Set out long before we were born. He has shown me how all these journeys, though they seemed chaotic and out of control to me; all worked together for my good in the end. I fought Him hard to achieve my dream. I fought everyone; including the welfare system and the District Attorneyís Office. It was me against the world; I thought! It was really me against God. When I finally realized that, the blessings he bestowed and the relationship I gained in Him, changed my life forever! The battles have already been won; by Him.
This book could not have been written without the help of a very few select people who read my book, counseled me, gave me their criticisms, and encouraged me relentlessly. I can name them all because they were very few. The nature of my sin, my final disclosure of it, and all the investigations/accusations made against me sent most friends, family, and finally my church packing. I understand the problems that I endured and the nature of my sin made it hard for these to stick by me. With all that is happening around children today and the focus on them; it is understandable. I do not hold any hard feelings in my heart. I have learned to forgive as my Father in Heaven has forgiven me.
After all, that is the whole message in this book; forgiveness. Despite what I have done, despite the choices I have made, and despite the cock crowing in my direction more than Peter ever dreamed of hearing, God forgave me. He not only forgave me, but relentlessly pursued me to have a personal relationship with me that in no way could I ever deserve. I am the thief! I was deserving of everything I was getting. He gave me a pardon. What I hope you gain from this book is just that; no matter what you have done, no matter what awful choices you have made, and no matter how horrible your sin might seem to the world, as mine was, he has a pardon ready for you. All it takes is your confession of sin and your repentance. It may seem like you are giving up everything. It did to me! But in the end, what He has in store for you is much greater than any mind could ever conceive. His Glories He holds for you; on this Earth and in Paradise. All you have to do is BELIEVE!
I Still Believe
I will never give up.
I will never give in.
I will never lay down.
I still believe in Him.
So many voices.
Telling me to leave.
So many choices.
Tempting me to grieve.
Though the world,
Still wants me to fall.
I still serve a risen savior.
He will rise up whenever I call.
I refuse to believe their lies.
I refuse to wear a disguise.
I know whose I am.
I know the Lamb not from man.
Iím not running on empty.
He fills me every day.
Though all the pains remain,
My hope is still the same.
I will never give up.
I will never give in.
I will never lay down.
I will still believeÖ. In Him!
A very special thanks go to my long time pastor; I wonít tell them just how long.
Pastor Terry Tolbert- Your counsel during the most difficult period in
my life, was invaluable. You encouraged me, you
allowed me to use my God given talents to serve
Him, and made sure I was accurate biblically. Your
wise counsel was truly Heaven sent. At some points,
you were the only one I could talk to. This journey
God has taken me on, would not have been made
without your willingness to be used of God and, I
have found, a much more of a caring heart than
you will ever let anyone know about. Thank You!
This narrative is for you Bro. Terry. I know you understand the title, but I will explain it to the readers later. I donít want to explain it right now. I wrote the book; I get to decide. Actually, I just want them to think about it for a while.
(for bro. terry)
You are Godís chosen instrument.
Sent to us to preach the good news of Christ.
Not boasting, but compelled by god to do it.
With a great sense of obligation,
You have made yourself a prisoner of Christ.
An example of his incredible wealth and favor.
For something happened one day.
It pleased god in his kindness to choose you
And call you before your were even born.
Then he revealed his son to you .
So, that you could proclaim his good news.
He considered you trustworthy
And appointed you to serve him.
Tho surely you felt unworthy.
You never the less obeyed.
O how kind and gracious he was.
He filled you completely with faith and love.
He showed you his plan for you.
You feared the lord and followed his ways.
You will surely enjoy the fruit of your labor.
How happy and rich your life will be
Because you show others the goodness of him who sent you.
You bring the good news to the poor
And comfort the broken hearted.
You speak as tho god is speaking thru you.
A servant is not greater than his master.
The master you serve is the greatest indeed.
For it is written;
How can they believe if they have not heard.
How can they hear unless someone tells them,
And how will anyone go without being sent.
You were sent,
They surely do hear,
And some believe.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.
We are very thankful you submitted yourself to god.
Although you wonít take any of the credit
And we believe all power and glory goes to god.
But, we thank God the call you came to receive.
Because you agonize for us.
Wanting us to have full confidence in our God above.
To help us find his treasures that lay hidden in him.
For this is what a pastor does.
He equips Godís people to do his work.
He builds up the church; the body of Christ,
That we will mature and be full grown in the Lord,
So we will no longer be like children,
So we will become more and more like Christ,
So we will hold to the truth in love.
Not depending on our own understanding.
You preach his word in truth.
Youíre like a voice shouting in the wilderness,
Depending on Christís mighty power that works in you.
Though all glory goes to God the Father.
We are thankful you gave yourself up as a slave to Jesus Christ.
For I believe that I know how you felt.
How terrible for you if you didnít do it.
You are not doing it of your own free will.
You were chosen by God and given this sacred trust.
Therefore you have no choice!
And we are thankful.
We benefit from his masterpiece.
I also want to thank my church family; and you are still my church family even though God led away from you as my journey was not yet complete. Read the book and you find out what I mean by that. To all the members of Trinity Baptist Church, I also give a special thanks. A special thanks go out to those of you who were a lot closer to my journey than others and were invaluable in my journey to repentance. You know who you are and wonít embarrass you in my book. In the book, you will find a couple of poems dedicated to you guys. God is doing a wonderful work in you. The way you ministered to me and helped me along on my journey is testament to your faithfulness to Him and your willingness to forgive as He has forgiven. You truly are the mirror image of Christ. May God continue to bless you and use you to minister to everyone as you did to me; a poor lost sinner who needed Godís love shown him and you did! Thanks to you all.
I have one more to thank and she may be the most important one of all, so I save her for last. I donít need to name her; she knows her name. She learned her name twelve years ago and comes whenever I call her. She has seen me through every step of this journey. She has never once complained or had any unkind word to say. The love she has shown me has been such that I believe only God could love me more than she does. God sent her to me, I believe, because He knew exactly what I would need and sent me the one who could give me exactly that. I could not publish this book without giving her the thanks she deserves and thanking my Lord in Heaven for sending you to me at a time when I needed you the most. I wrote this poem especially for you describing the day we first met. You are my true love; there is no other!
My Sweet liíl Girl
(to my Lady Bug; only God could love me more)
I rescued you one day.
They said death was on the way.
You laid a present at my feet,
Then jumped in my lap and looked up at me.
You licked my face
And my worries were erased.
Laying your head on my chest,
I knew you had found rest.
As you slept in my arms,
I knew you found peace from all the harm.
I carried you home that way.
No longer could they call you a stray.
In the dark of night were you found.
Scared and alone you were wondering around.
In shock you had been
When they brought you to this pen.
It amazes me how comfortable you were that day
Entering our home in the most unusual way.
Like an old familiar song.
You seemed to know that you belonged.
You pranced through the door,
Like you had done it many times before.
You looked back as if to say;
Come on, weíve always done it this way.
I followed you in,
Like I would an old friend.
I came to one day see
That God knew that I would need
The way only you could love me
So very unconditionally.
You seem to know what I know,
To feel what I feel,
And to please only me
Whatever I will.
Youíre my sweet liíl girl.
Loving me for only me.
Youíre my sweet liíl girl.
Following me wherever I lead.
Youíre my sweet liíl girl.
Trusting me in everything.
Though no longer can you look into my eyes,
And father time has left us only wise.
Your still that same sweet liíl girl.
More precious to me than anything I can see.
I. My Adoption
II. Why I Ran Away
III. You Taught Me How
IV. A Disease Called ďTeenagerĒ
V. Edgar Changes My Life
VI. Finding True Love; Or Did I
VII. First Attempt at My Dream; Clint Eastwood Would Be Proud
VIII. The Journey Begins; Again
IX. I Searched For You Once; I Searched For You Twice
X. New Jersey After 9-11
XI. Chasing Another Rabbit
XII. Just a Pinch Between Your Cheek and Gum
XIII. Origin Vs. Destination
XIV. Sammy; What a Treasure
XV. My First Gift is Found; Again
XVI. My Second Greatest Gift is Given
XVII. My Journey Ends; A New Journey Begins
My Journey to Repentance doesnít start for a while. So you can understand my journey better, I felt that I needed to start at age 5. It was that event, my adoption, that started the whole problem. Yes! I said, problem. Donít get me wrong; my adoption was a great blessing straight from God. I have seen it that way all of my life. What a great word; adoption. I tell you more about that word later.
First; my adoption and why I needed to be adopted. Letís just say that I had a bit of a rough start in life. My parents were alcoholics; at least that is what I am told. According to mythology and the early tablet writings of the Greeks during theirÖ.. come on; youíre not quite that important! No; actually The Department of Human Services of Oklahoma (we will get to know them very well in this book) told my parents that my biological parents, those parents who thought it was a good idea to bring me into this world, but not to take care of me, were alcoholics and that myself along with my 5 brothers and sisters were taken away from them three times during the first year of my life. My adoptive parents were told I was extremely malnourished, failure to thrive, and required surgery to repair a problem with a leg or foot. We are not sure what that problem was. They were told that ďhe walks fine nowĒ. I never went to court to open my records, so I have never known what that disability was or my family medical history or anything. I remain a mystery to everyone; especially DHS (Department of Human Services).
I evidently spent most of the first year of my life in an orphanage in or near my home town. All orphanages were closed and turned into state schools to house unwanted, deprived, neglected, or abused children the following year. I was then placed into foster care. I had good foster parents. My foster dad was a Southern Baptist preacher. I donít have a wealth of memories of this period, but I do have a few. I know that I remember an older foster brother who was very nice to me; especially when I wet the bed. He would let me crawl in bed with him because he knew I would be in trouble. When I wet the bed, I was grounded to my bed for the day. Times were different then. But I do have very fond memories of my foster brother. He went on to be Director of The Baptist Childrenís Home division in the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Foundation. I donít know what he is doing now. I never contacted them or my biological parents. I have no idea where my siblings are. Evidently all of us were adopted out separately. That was a time as well when foster parents could not adopt their foster kids. That
is not the case now.
I really donít have too many meaningful memories of that time. A well meaning Pastor of mine and my well meaning mother cooked up an idea once at a Baptist Church camp to surprise me with meeting my foster father while I was there at camp one summer. My former foster dad was then head of security at the camp and I was told when they introduced me to him that he had been watching me all week and was impressed. I donít know how I should have reacted and sometimes I wish that I had reacted differently. I might have gotten to know them better and as I look back on things now, that might have been pretty cool.
This is how I reacted. I flipped out! I was very angry that no one had even thought to ask me if this is what I wanted and the thought that this man, who I did not know, had been watching me. I went off on them big time and stormed off very upset! I was 13 yrs. old and of course I knew everything by then! I could not believe how stupid adults became once their teenage years were over. What happens to people when they get to become adults; why do they get stupid. Thirteen year olds are so smart; they know it all. I couldnít understand what happened. Really; I donít know why I reacted that way to this day. I donít know if I just got embarrassed or whether the surprise of it just freaked me out, or if I was actually right; they should have considered my feelings. If they had asked me, I probably would have been more okay with it and said yes. But I do understand they had no idea they were doing the wrong thing. They surprised me and I guess I kind of surprised them. So, I guess were even! I never saw him again; never tried.
I do remember the day I was adopted though very well; I will never forget it. It was terrifying, confusing, exciting, scary, wonderful, and surreal. That is a lot of emotions: too many for a 5 year boy. The night before I was adopted they (DHS) had some guy, who does transporting kids for DHS, pick me up at my foster home and told me we were going for a ride and it would be overnight. No one told me what was going on, why I was leaving my foster home (I didnít know what foster home meant anyway, but I know I felt safe there), or that I would not be coming back. I did know that I did not feel safe with this stranger, but no one again asked me. He took me to a place they said was called Oklahoma City. I had never been there and never had heard of such a place. This stranger dropped me off at a womanís house who had a son my age. He told me she was a foster parent and that he would be back in the morning to pick me up; again, he didnít say to pick me up to go where.
I tried not to show it, but I was scared beyond belief. And this kid; he tormented me horribly. She made me take a bath with him. He put soap in my eyes and made me cry and told me they were going to do something horrible thing to me called ďadoptionĒ. He said ďyou will never see your parents againĒ. Well, that was alright with me, I had never seen them that I could remember anyway. I was so happy to see that stranger the next morning. I told him what that kid did to me and what he told me about the horrible things they were going to do to me today. He told me not to worry; that adoption was a wonderful thing and not to listen to that kid. He said it was a time when I would get to choose my new parents and that they had already chosen me. I donít know if really understood what that meant, but I remember thinking that sounded really good to me. All of a sudden, I kind of liked this stranger. I felt safe with him.
I remember pulling up to a large building they later told me was the Muir building of Oklahoma bombing fame. You know, Timothy McVey, thousands dead, and the biggest tragedy in Oklahoma history. It was a state building and housed the State Department of Human Services Division of Oklahoma. Well, he took me up an elevator; oh yea, I forgot to tell you that I am terrified of elevators, even to this day. I will ride one; but I donít like it. That stranger had to carry me to get me on it and my soon to be dad had to carry me anytime we ever went on one. I have no idea why I donít like them. I just know it will fall to the bottom as soon as I get on it!
Anyway, he took me into a room and stayed with me until some lady came in and asked me if it would be alright to go with her. She told me there was a man and woman that wanted to meet me. I said yes and followed her into another room. We entered and I pranced in on my toes as I always did. My mother said when I was young that I walked only on my toes. I do remember doing this. I donít know why and donít remember when I stopped. My mother said she thought it was cute and liked it very much. She asked me to sit in her lap and I did. I donít remember thinking anything or feeling anything. My mother says we talked about adoption and did I think I might want to go home with them and be their son. I donít remember this at all. Evidently I said yes; otherwise I would have had a different mother and I would be telling you quite a different story now wouldnít I. I guess somebody else would be telling me the story; orÖ God! Stop! They tell me I ramble sometimes. Iíve heard some very famous writers have made very little money with their ramblings. I try hard not to do it too much. If I do, just let me know and I will stop!
Well, I did go home with them and I very vividly remember the, what I was later told was a, hundred mile trip south to my new home. I sat in my motherís lap the whole way home and I particularly remember thinking; I kind of like this! But I also remember being very scared. I had no idea where I was going or what kind of people these two were. She seemed nice. He didnít say much, but he did carry me on the elevator which I greatly appreciated. He also bought me a hamburger and French fries on the way home. That was already two very good things in his favor. He also stopped and bought me a replica of their blue station wagon; I donít remember what kind it was. Mostly, I just remember being very scared about where I was going and whether they would be good to me. I remember pulling into the driveway and seeing two old people walking towards us. My mother told me it was my grandparents. My memory fades at this point. I donít really remember much after that. I always felt like that meant it was a good thing; that if I had been overly scared, uncomfortable, or it turned out badly; I would have remembered it and would be writing about it now; or later; or not at all; heck, who knows.
The first time I wrote a poem actually was when I was 13 yrs. old. After I started writing, I became interested in a framed poem that had always been in my parentís bedroom entitled ďMom and DadĒ. It had no author signature and I was interested in where it came from. I asked my mother about it and she told me this story. When I was thirteen, I wrote this poem and took it down to the printer to have them print it up for me. She then said I put it in a frame and gave it to them on Christmas. I had forgotten all about this until she told me this story. She told me that I had expressed to them my feelings then because they had adopted me at age five and I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated what they did for me, and the feelings I had about this momentous event in my life. It made me cry to remember these things that I had forgotten so long ago.
She also reminded me that I wrote in a journal a lot up to around this age, but stopped when everyone, especially my friends, told me only girls do that. My mother also showed me notes, homemade birthday cards, and special gifts I had given her while very young still. I was impressed by how good they were for a very young child. I then remember throwing the journal away soon after that poem because I was embarrassed and was afraid someone would read it and find out what I was thinking. What I wouldnít give to have that journal now!
The feelings of being adopted; being scared, unsure of my future, and not knowing what kind of people these two were that were giving me a home. I am fifty-three yrs. old now. They had been my parents for forty-eight years and that had become my life. I had not thought about these events and feelings for a very long time. It also showed some signs of possible talent even at that early age. I say ďpossible talentĒ because no one has bought even one book yet. One can only think what would have been if I had been open to God having a different will for my life instead of the one I was determined to pursue; what could he have done through me. Here is that poem; placed here in honor of my Mom and Dad who God chose for me, who also chose me, and who I chose. Pretty cool word; this word ďAdoptionĒ.
This was the problem with my being adopted that I mentioned very early on. My mother tells me that from the beginning after I was adopted, I began telling her that I was going to adopt kids as well. My parents were very honest with me in telling me about my adoption, my birth parents, and what it all meant. As I began to understand more what that word meant, I knew that was what I would do. There were a couple of problems with that though. I donít think Iíll tell you what they are right now. My adoption was truly a gift and a blessing, but it was also a big problem; at least the part where ďI decidedĒ that this would be my dream in life. As I grew up, it became even more important with what I would go through and experience. I canít tell you now. If I did, you would have no reason to read the book.
Websterís Dictionary definition for ďAdoptionĒ says: to take a child of other parentís as oneís own child; to take up and practice as oneís own. Wow, my first chance to ramble. Iíll try to keep it short. The gift of adoption is of biblical origin. In biblical times, masters of large and wealthy households would adopt the children of their slaves or workers so that they would have an heir to their land and wealth. Sound familiar! That is exactly what God does for us. Even though we donít belong, nor deserve, the inheritance to His kingdom; He offers it to us anyway. We are children from other parents; born into sin and unable to inherit His riches. We are children of Adam; born of sin. Because of His love for us, He sent His son to die for us and therefore give us the opportunity to become sonís of God. Not the Son of God, but nevertheless sonís of God and all the inheritance that goes along with it.
Why did He do that? It was love. It was His desire to have a relationship with us and I learned during my journey just how far reaching and everlasting that love is. It never ends. It doesnít leave. It doesnít stop just because you have other plans or things you think are more important. To practice as oneís own. He not only adopts us into His kingdom, but we likewise adopt His way of thinking; loving one another as He loved us. When He adopts us, we adopt His values; His priorities become ours; His wants become our wants; and we then start to become like Him; the image of Christ. How do you like my first ramblings? No comments! Alright, I keep on going. My poem; here it is.
Mom and Dad
I came into your life one day
Not knowing what Iíd find.
But there I found a precious gift,
So loving and so kind.
You gave me life and gave me love,
Of your life I became a part.
My love for you dear Mom and Dad,
Grew strong within my heart.
I could search the world over,
And never could I find.
A Mom and Dad as good as you,
There for me all the time.
Your love, your care, and selflessness,
Is more than I deserve.
But that is why dear Mom and Dad,
My love for you is greater all the time.
My mother tells me that the first couple of years were difficult sometimes. She says I would call for her eight to ten times a night just to see if she was still there. When She asked me why I call her so much, she said I told her I was afraid that they would leave me or that I would ask if anyone was going to come and get me to take me somewhere else. My mother says it took two years of this till I slept all night without calling her. She also said I would hoard food in my room afraid they wouldnít feed me; and that at every meal I would have to save some of my food to take to my room for later. My mother says I did this for a couple of years as well. I donít remember any of this! I guess I trust her. I should; shouldnít I. Really; I do. She also says they tried to spank me one time and I went nuts on them; crying and screaming, scared out of my mind. She says they decided never to spank me again after that. Maybe that is what is wrong with me now! It is all their fault. I knew DHS was wrong; see, itís not my fault.
According to my Mother, everything normalized after the first couple of years. She said they didnít know whether I was right handed or left handed for a long time because I would switch hands at will. I was good at sports and started school. I was put into a gifted class in second grade. I had a pretty normal childhood as much as I could remember. I was not a problem child. My mother describes me as wanting to please and did everything she asked. Neither my mother nor I could think of anything abnormal or extraordinary. I loved sports and was pretty good at it. Donít remember much about my dad during my grade school years. I could probably guess why from my older childhood memories. Iíll get to that! I didnít have any problems in school. I remember having the Chicken Pox in 6th grade and missing a week of school.
As I got into Junior High School; things started to change at home. I think probably because I was becoming a teenager and becoming much more aware of things and relationships. I began to question why things were the way they were. Particularly, why my dad was the way he was. And my mom; I began to see her quite differently.
My dad was a fine man and a good provider. But, he was very distant and not able to show affection. He also was a perfectionist, unable to accept anything, but perfection. He was a woodworker; self-taught. He was a horse trader, a jack of all trades, and a man that could teach himself to do anything. He wanted to know why things work; not just how they work. He was very good with his hands. He was very charismatic and never met a stranger. There is nothing my dad wouldnít do for anyone. He was always doing something for someone. Everyone loved my dad. I hated him.
I am as much too blame as he is. We both wanted what we wanted. So, bear with me. I will get to where I am to blame in a minute, but first back to my dad. Did I mention that I love sports? Yes, I guess I did. That is all I wanted to do as a child. My dad wanted me out in the workshop working with him. I tried that for a while. He would always get frustrated when I would not do it right or when I was just totally disinterested and wanted to be out playing basketball. He would always end up doing it himself with me watching. We soon went our own separate ways; I to my sports and he to his workshop.
I didnít give my dad much of a chance. I used the situation to get what I wanted; to play ball or to get out of doing something. Hereís how it would usually go. I would have a science project to do. We would start out doing it together. That usually didnít last long. The next day it would be laying on my bed completed perfectly with great attention to detail and worth every excellent ribbon I ever received. The only problem was that I had nothing to do with it. There were all those Royal Ambassador 1st place and best looking pinewood derby cars that he made; not me. It became easier for me and my dad to play this game instead of figuring out how to live with each other; or show our love to each other. I could use the excuse that I was just a kid and he was the adult. But I canít hang on to that one forever. After all, I did eventually grow up didnít I?
I only know me and my dad didnít get along. My dad always had a project going. Some new idea or deal going. He was the kind of guy who always had a lot of money in his pocket and was flat broke. He was not good with money. I guess that is where I get it from. He was only focused on how to fund the next project. My dad had great ideas and was an extremely talented man. He had one of the most beautiful deep baritone voices that would fill any auditorium. He never used a microphone. He didnít need one. When he was in the audience, for whatever reason, you could hear him over everyone. He was an expert wood worker/cabinet maker, an electrician, a welder, a mechanic, built his own computer, put together his ham radios, and anything else he wanted to figure out.
Oh how I wish I had learned his ability to learn and digest information. There was nothing my dad could not study and figure out how to do. I could have learned so much from him if I had only put away my pride long enough see him in a different light. It is funny how you can spend your life trying not to be like your dad and somehow end up exactly like him; only in a different way that you do not recognize as being the same. There will be more on that when I get back to me. My dad, to say the least, was a man God gave immeasurable talent and many gifts to. Pride and self-absorbtion plagued him. Sounds familiar doesnít it. Like father, like son, they say. Here is the thing about my dad that haunts me.
It is what bothers me the most to this day. Because, even with all my determination not to be just like him; I did! My dad never showed affection; at least not to me. I donít remember him ever telling me he loved me. I never remember anytime that he came up to me and hugged me. I was brave enough a couple of times to walk up to him and tell him I loved him and give him a hug. He hugged me, but he could not bring himself to tell me that he loved me. I waited for this to happen my whole life; even up until the end of his life. Even on the night he died lying in his death bed, I waited for him to tell me something like ďIím sorry son we could never become close, but know I always loved youĒ. My expectations; they cause me problems.
It never happened. And when he died, I wept bitterly. My family thought that I was grieving my loving father. I wasnít grieving. I was feeling extreme guilt for how I was feeling and the thoughts that had been going through my twisted head for a very long time. I told you earlier; I hated my dad. The guilt I was feeling overcame me. It came flooding into my soul like a tidal wave. I had wished that he was dead for a very long time. The guilt of actually feeling that way towards him and now he was gone. It was more than I could take. I loved my dad. I didnít like the way he treated my mother. I didnít like the way he treated me. But I did love him.
My hurt came to define my relationship with him. He hurt me. He wasnít there for me; when I was hurting, at one of my ballgames, or I needed some advice. If I asked for advice; most often I got made fun of. I had boy tits; I did a little bit, but I didnít need that from him. I was already too self-conscious of my body. I didnít have thick skin. He thought I should. I was like my mother. So, I learned not to go to him for advice. If I had a girl problem; it was a joke. If I had any problem, it was always a joke. I let it hurt me. I expected him to be different. I didnít realize it at the time, but he had expectations of me as well. Mainly to like what he liked doing; woodwork, electronics, and working with your hands. I did not. I always felt that I let him down. His expectations of me I thought were unfair. I wasnít thinking too much at the time that my expectations of him were doing the same thing to him. Expectations; Iíve learned to hate that word! Just like my dad did with me, I went on to have my own expectations of my boys. Of course, it caused problems as you will see. I learned from him very well!
My mom was the most amazing person Iíve ever known. She is the most unselfish person that I have ever met. The sacrifices she made for me are endless. From stealing from my dad to make sure there was enough for my band trips or sports equipment. She was the one who held everything together. She made sure the bills were paid, the house was in order, and that all my needs were taken care of. She was at every ballgame, every awards banquet, every play, and anything else I might get involved with. She was also my best friend. Hours we would lay on her bed and talk about God, politics, girls, and even the birds and bees. That was really funny! You should have been there. Sex was not talked about then. She and my dad decided at age 13 that I needed a talk. It was better than any sitcom I ever saw. Donít feel bad mom; my boys laughed at me as well.
Alright, back to my mom who was my example of what being a child of God looks like. The unconditional love, the sacrifice, the support, and all the encouragement a son would ever need. She told me there was nothing I could not do. My dad, he told me I would never amount to anything. As long as all I did was play sports, I would never amount to anything.
My mother continues to be my inspiration, my example, my first love, and my unfailing supporter. She still believes there is nothing that I cannot do. There is one thing I could not do momma. I couldnít be any better father to my boys than my dad was. I spent my whole life determined to do things differently. I failed! I was just as self-absorbed and frustrated as he was. My expectations of them to give me what I never had with my dad became too much for them. They were too important to me; much more important to me than my God. That had to change.
Thank God he desired a relationship with me so much he was patient with me and constantly pursuing me to return to him. My mother also never gave up on me. She always believed in me and never gave up on me. Her unfailing and unconditional love for me never waivered. She also is my prayer warrior; praying me through many ordeals. I could always feel your prayers momma. I always knew they were there and I am convinced God heard her prayers and protected me because she was on her knees pleading my case; youíll see this in a poem I believe somewhere. Oh yes! My blessing I read at my oldest sonís wedding; I remember it now. I steal a lot of material from my mother. She wonít sue me for copyright infringement; at least I donít think she will. Here is a poem I wrote my mother early on. I love you mom!
How My Mother Was Made
With shoulders strong enough,
To carry me day after day.
A heart big enough to love me,
No matter the choices I made.
Eyes sharp enough to see through
The walls I put up in the way.
Arms gentle enough to hold me
When I was afraid.
Hands well coordinated enough
To heal the wounds I sustained.
A mind with enough wisdom
To solve any problem I faced.
A listening ear to hear,
Even on your worst day.
Strong legs to stand up for me
When judgment finally came.
Feet agile enough to walk with me
Along lifeís narrow way.
A backbone to discipline me
When I ever went astray.
Soft lips to kiss me with,
In that very special way.
With a very thick skin,
When harsh words I gave.
A constant voice to teach me
About Godís mercy and grace.
Loving me no matter
What choices that I made.
God made you oh so perfectly.
Just for me were you made.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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