Looking for Home: Chapter 10-18

                                    Chapter 10  

Writing about this period in our lives is very difficult. The emotions that flood back into my mind, the hurt, the mistrust the anger, is a bit scary. Remembering what the ex-pastor had done is troublesome enough, but the way we were treated after the business meeting, was just plain hateful. Now I have since forgiven those who hurt and offended us, but thinking back on these things, I still have some amount of pain. Our family was viewed very differently after “that” business meeting. We felt the stares, heard the whispers, felt the cold shoulders. We also started worrying how our children would be treated in their Sunday school classes, and told them to tell us if they had any problems. Heaven forbid if you mistreat my children(remember this).

Anyway, it wasn’t long before attendance and membership was dropping, even staff members were leaving! Our interim pastor was a good preacher, but it was taking over a year to find a pastor. And all the back-biting, jockeying for power, fussing and fighting were starting to take its toll on the church body. Finally, after about a year and a half, we hired a new pastor. He was a bit older than the previous one and seemed to be that “take charge” type, which is what the church needed.

I set up a meeting with him after few weeks, to introduce myself and to get his perspective on what had been going on here and how we could move the church forward. And he talked a pretty good game. We talked about how this church had a very sordid history from the  beginning. The sexual sins affiliated with this particular church were incredible. And how as a church body, was only able to move forward to a point and then crash into a brick wall. Things would go well for a while and crisis would occur again. This pattern repeated itself over and over again. The missing piece, in my observation, was the lack of repentance from the leadership. We needed the Deacon body, lead by the chairman, the pastor, the previous chairmen, Sunday school teachers and well….I would say staff, but they were all gone, to stand before the church congregation and say something like this: “I personally and we collectively, have sinned against God and you His body. And we pray that God would forgive us, and allow us to move forward in the mission of His church, which He has placed here. And we ask that you, our brothers and sisters would forgive us and continue forward with us in God’s service.”Well, the pastor thought it might be a good idea to do something like that, and that he would present it to the deacon body.

I must back up about 6-8 months, when our youth minister resigned. He left shortly after  the pastor did. That meant there was no staff, or teaching adult to lead the youth services on Wednesday night. Now I know God had not called me to youth ministry, but I did feel a responsibility to “step up” when this need presented itself. And because there was no one else who stepped up. I couldn’t let these kid’s down, or let God down.

As the Deacons mulled over the proposal, the new church year had rolled around and the deacon elections had taken place. To my amazement, I had been elected. Now, I’m not 100% positive but I would guess that there were others who were voted ahead of me that declined to serve. Anyway, I was ordained a Deacon of a Southern Baptist Church in August 27, 2000. I felt God had called me to this, to lead, to make changes if necessary and to be the one to spear-head the repentance of the leadership (myself included), and dedicate our service to the people of God and not the politics of the church.

Well, the Deacon body didn’t altogether discard what was suggested to them, they just watered it down to the point of making it a “Meet your Deacon” service. The chairman would introduce us all, and when he finished, he addressed the congregation,”We’ve made some mistakes in the past, but myself and the rest of the Deacon body, promise to serve God and serve you to the best of our abilities.” Well, it may have been better than nothing, but it still wasn’t repentance!

                                    Chapter 11

Now at the time, I couldn’t understand why all these things were happening. That’s not to say the reason they happened was to move me along in my spiritual growth, but it is what God used first in my life to start seeking answers to tough questions. At this point , it was the Hierarchy of the church; Who is in charge? Yes, I know that Jesus is the Head of the church, but Jesus wasn’t running the show here. The mere fact they the church body voted to retain the membership of two of it’s members who were committing adultery, is the sign I point to, saying that God was not in charge here. This body of believers disregarded the scriptures, and the inmates were indeed running the asylum.

For the next couple of years, we just did what we could. Deanna and I had talked about leaving this church, but we didn’t sense God really leading us to. I felt that there was something else He had for me to do, be it in the Deacon body, my Sunday school class, the praise band, whatever it was, it just wasn’t His timing. Conversely, when I was ready to throw in the towel, it would be Deanna who would sense it wasn’t the right time.

During this time, at work, I had been promoted to Pricing/Scanning Manager, a position in which I had week-ends off ,which was nice(and rare in retail). After doing that for about a year and a half, I was promoted to Produce Manager. Deanna had started working part time in the restaurant business, and waited tables, to make ends meet. She would work evenings and I worked days, so it was only a couple of times a week, that we would see or even talk (except for what the kids would need, eat, bathe and so-forth).

The kids were starting to get older(by now the oldest was 6-7 years old) and I noticed my anger was starting to show more. I was not mad at them of course, but I was lashing out at myself and at what a failure I was; As a man, husband, father, provider, teacher, it didn’t matter what area of life I looked at, I was a failure at them all. Of course, the kids didn’t understand it, hell, I didn’t even understand it (until years later). They just thought I was mean, and probably thought I didn’t love them. I hope I haven’t scarred them for the rest of their lives. I’ve been able to talk to my oldest, my daughter, now, about all the anger in my past, and she seems to understand( as much as a thirteen year old can understand the lunacy of an adult!). And I’m glad to report that I am very much in control of my temper now, but is something that, if left unattended, can and has come back on me as “second nature.” So it will be a life long process, hand in hand with my relationship to my Lord and Savior Jesus and my willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to have control of my life. Praise be to God!

                                        Chapter 12  

I spent a total of 3 1/2 years as Produce Manager with about a 1 year stint as an Assistant Store Manager. My pay was topped out and I was stuck.  I just couldn’t get it out of my mind; I was in a dead-end job, barely getting by, Deanna had started home schooling the kids, because the particular county/city school system we are apart of STINKS! And we wanted better for them. And we certainly couldn’t afford private school! So, after much prayer and seeking God on the home schooling matter, we felt it was His will that we do so. Again, it was something that was trying us financially, it’s pretty expensive to home school. We couldn’t afford one curriculum for each child, so Deanna had to improvise, mix-n-match, beg, borrow and buy what we could, for three different grade levels. That had to be a great source of frustration for her. And the children cooperating with her was another.

And then there was me. I was gung-ho about home schooling, too. I wanted to teach the kids about the Bible and how to play the guitar, and I did it a little, but something was happening to me. I was losing myself. I was sinking into a deep, deep depression. I was losing hope.

My life was far from what I thought it would be. I was confined to a place with people who looked for me to fulfill my responsibilities (of which I thought I was doing a lousy job) and my expectations for myself were unrealistic. I started cracking under the pressure. I looked at my circumstances and I felt hopeless. I knew God was faithful, I knew He loved me, I knew He had and would continue to provide for us and meet our needs. But it went further than that, deeper into the realm of depression I went, the despair and hopelessness grew. It was a vicious cycle, year after year. I wanted to be content, but I wasn’t, I couldn’t be , I tried! It wasn’t just the financial situation. It was our marriage, my relationship with God. It was our children and their well being (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. I broke down. I snapped!

The cycle went something like this; Deanna and I would get along well, for about two months out of the year. After which we would hardly talk at all. My depression had gotten so deep and so dark that when I would come home from work, I would eat dinner and go straight to bed. Sometimes crying, praying God would take this pain from me. The family would be better off without me. I had begun to hate life and despair was taking control.

One morning, as I was getting ready for work, something happened. It was so vivid, I thought it was real! I was in the bathroom, blow drying my hair, when suddenly, I opened the lid of the toilet bowl, stuck my foot into it, and threw the running blow dryer into the bowl. Then, there was a loud POP!

I was still facing the mirror, with the dryer in my hand, I had flipped the switch to the off position. I just stood there, staring at myself. I was now officially scared! I told Deanna about the episode, and she knew I had needed help. She had suggested a visit to her doctor, a few weeks earlier. I went, and told her that I was feeling depressed, and we talked for awhile and she prescribed Paxil, to help me see things a little clearer. And it worked for awhile, but it wasn’t long before my “suicidal thought” came upon me. I was really freaked out!

I remember one night, I was in bed, lying in the dark, not asleep yet. Deanna walks in and sits on the end of the bed. “Tim, we need to get you some help. Would you mind if I do that?” I said,”No, I don’t mind.” She sat there a minute, stood and then walked out of the bedroom. I laid there thinking, “this is the nicest thing she could have done for me.”

As I look back on that time, through her own hurt, her own pain and despair and her own emotional instability, she reached beyond herself and loved me enough to get help for me. I will always remember how much like Jesus she was in that moment, enduring her own pain, to offer me healing.

Thank you, Deanna. I love you and I thank God for you.

                                        Chapter 13  

Well, we made the arrangements and I checked into a psychiatric hospital for about a week. I was already taking Paxil and Depakote and the doctor there just upped the dosage. I went through group therapy sessions, designed to help us develop our “coping skills”, and also individual sessions to help us figure out where our anxiety was coming from.

I remember one group session where the doctor asked,” If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?” My answer was, The Long Journey Home. Looking back, even then I didn’t feel “at home” anywhere (physically, or spiritually).

And in another way, checking into this hospital, just confirmed to me what a loser I was. Now, not only was I a lousy husband, father and person, I was now a mental case! And what did this convey about my faith? What did it say about my relationship with God? How much lower could I sink!?

 But in the week I was there, something was being revealed to me. First, I noticed how(a lot of) the other people there, were in a lot worse shape than I was. I do not mean this in a judgemental way, or as an insult to them. They had real problems and real mental health issues. And, I was aware that I was in a similar situation with them, but for the first time (maybe ever) I realized how blessed I was. With my beautiful, wonderful wife and those three adorable children. The few friends I had, they were true blue, and hung in there with me at this time in my life (two of which, were in the “Tuesday Morning Bible Study” which we had up until this past summer, 2006, for the past eight years. One moved to Georgia, the other organized another study with his church).

That week was filled with a lot of soul-searching, thinking about and re-evaluating my life. I read a lot there, just the Bible, and mostly Ecclesiastes. I know that sounds like it would be a downer, but it was part of the re-evaluating process.

I left there a better person, than when I had walked in. It wasn’t because of the medicines or the therapy( although I’m sure that didn’t hurt) but I looked at others in a different way, with more compassion. I was far from being healed, and yet, this was the first positive step toward it. This experience was making a significant change in me. God was keeping His promises. He would never leave me or forsake me and all things work for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose( Rom. 8:28).

                                              Chapter 14 

I arrived back home on a Friday afternoon, and had the week-end with the family, before going back to work. I’ve talked about my family life and my church life but really haven’t talked much about my life at work…..until now.

Work had gone fairly well, up until about two years before my hospital stay. Within thoes two years, the company had been going through a “transition”. Restructuring, downsizing, new supervisors hired right off the street (seemingly) not knowing much in the way of people skills. Which would result in these supervisors coming into our department and telling us how wrong we were doing things and that from now on there was going to be a new way to do things.

No problem with that, except that their “new way” changed weekly. And according to “which” supervisor visited you. It was a complete joke! The company went from being a leading supermarket in the southeast, to a laughing-stock in a six month period. I can handle change, but I am very routine oriented. As change happens, I have to adjust my routine. I have to get back into the flow or the rhythym of a routine.These changes were not letting me adjust and I was getting frustrated and starting to get very angry. It wasn’t the changes, it was the people who were implementing the changes and then weren’t allowing enough time for the implementation!

There was also a big gap in their “perception” of store opperations and the “reality”. There is something about thoes in upper management, that seems like they lose touch with basic day to day operations. Sitting behind a desk, drawing up picture perfect displays, down to the minute schedules, the “10 case rule”, cutting our bonus checks, changing our inventory day and time. Things that may have needed changing, or tweaking but all I’m saying is; have a plan and stick with it and treat other people with respect.

As I’m writing this, It sounds like I was being a jerk, and I’ll admit I made some bad choices. With all this going on in my work life and with all that I had going on at home, at church, and in my head, was it any wonder I had a breakdown?

Only a few people at work knew, that I had gone into the hospital. So when I returned to work, I tried using those coping skills I’d learned, to minimize my anger and frustration. A few weeks went by with me doing fairly well and then, it happened!

The vice-president of the region came in one Sunday around noon, to grade (inspect) our store. He came in with a man from the human resources department (from our warehouse) and was training him how to grade the store. So the VP, and the HR, along with my store manager, came over to my department. I continued doing what it was that I was doing, when my manager called me over to where they all were standing. As I walked up, the HR person stuck his hand out, introduced himself and I did likewise (thinking WOW finally, a higher-up who knows how to treat people). The VP who was digging through the cilantro, held his hand up and said,”I’d shake your hand too, but it’s really dirty.” To which I replied,”Why would you shake my hand today? You never have before. Trying to impress your friend here?”

They turned and walked away and so did I. A few seconds later, the store manager came up to me and said,”Tim, do you want to keep your job!?” I said,” What kind of stupid-a_ _ question is that? Of course I want my job! Who the he_ _ does this guy think he’s fooling? ‘ I’d shake your hand too,’ bull-_ _ _ _! There going to push somebody to the edge one day and somebody’s gonna go postal on their a_ _!” 

                                     Chapter 15  

Well, needless to say, after this little outburst, an investigation ensued. That means that security was called in, to investigate whether I was a danger to people in the company, or to the company itself. In a day and age where school shootings and postal attacks are common place, I really should have exercised better judgement.

The security director for the company, in our region, was called in to interview, my co-workers, supervisors and my work crew. And last, but not least, me. I do not know what the others said, but I was questioned as to whether I was developing some sort of master plan to “get even” with the company, or those in authority over me. The following day, I was suspended from work (which ended up being a week) pending the outcome of the investigation. I was fortunate (and very thankful) that my brother-in-law was able to put me to work in his own construction company during this time.

The following week, a meeting was set up for me, the security director and the district manager. At the conclusion of the 30 minute meeting, it was determined that I would be “let go”, but this “incident” wouldn’t appear on my record. So I left there jobless and insurance-less, with no prospects for another job. I had bills to pay, mouths to feed and I also had medicine to buy that was supposed to make me better.

I didn’t find work right away, which led to a bit more depression. I ended up going to the state clinic, to see if I qualified for assistance, which I did not, but it was a bit cheaper than a private counselor. I was able to receive my medication, from an employee there, who could give out sample packs and that lasted me for a couple of weeks at a time. After a few months, I just stopped going. The counseling was OK I guess, but I didn’t have a big “break through”. I was starting to wrestle with my thoughts though, in a good way. I was starting to realize that I needed to start dealing with my issues, than just trying to bury them, deeper and deeper. I just didn’t know how to, or even how to get started. And of course, I didn’t have enough money to continue that pursuit through therapy.

I did finally go to work for another supermarket chain, in the late fall of 2003. As I stated in Chapter 1 of “Looking for Home”, this was a very pivotal time in my life and the life of my family. Not only in the physical sense but especially our spiritual lives.

                                     Chapter 16

Sometime around the first of the year in 2004, Deanna (my wife) told me that she wanted to be a volunteer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center here in town, and she had to go through this Bible study before she could start. I said,”O.K., whatever you want to do.”So she starts doing her thing, and I’m trying to get myself straightened out.

As I mentioned earlier in the story, Deanna and I had aborted our first child before we were married. So Deanna was starting on the path of dealing with her past and being healed from it. She would share certian things to me, to help me (and her both) to recognize bad or dangerous patterns that were so much a part of our lives at this time. There is an old saying; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. And that is exactly where we found ourselves, and these things had to change.

I can remember Deanna being different in some way, like she had this sense of peace in her life. And even though we were Christians, we had (or at least I had) never experienced peace.

One day she gave me this book, it was a Bible study called “Healing a Fathers Heart”. She asked me if I’d take a look at it and I told her I would, and I did. I just kind of thumbed through it, read a few parts here and there. It was set aside, and kind of left hanging there. Deanna asked me a few days later, if I had looked at it. I said,”Yea, I looked at it.” To which she replied,” What do you think?” with this strange look on her face. I said, “I really just glanced at it. Did you want me to actually do the study?” She said, “Well yes, that’s why I gave you the book.” I said,” I thought you just wanted me to look at it. If I did the study, it’s the kind of study that I would need to do with someone. I couldn’t do it alone. I’d need someone to lead me through it.” Deanna said,” I know. My friend has someone in mind to do that, but if he’s not available, she could lead you. If that’s O.K.?” Wanting the peace and healing in my life, that she had received, and sensing she wanted it for me, I said, “Yes.”

2004 was turning out to be a year of change for us, in so many ways. And this was just the beginning!

CHAPTER 17

There are at this particular time in the story, three different story lines developing.  The first I mentioned in the last chapter, the healing and closure process of the abortion of our first child.  The second was the crisis that was developing again in our church with a sunday school teacher and deacon, who happened to teach my oldest daughters class.  The third was as a result of my own personal and group Bible studies and research for teaching a Sunday School class I was starting to question the Southern Baptist denomination in its teaching, in its ideals and in its lack of authority to instruct its members.

Coupled  with the first incident, where the pastor resigned and the lack of strong church leadership among the deacons, we have in this scenario – a pastor who refuses to confront a teacher/deacon for the teachers lack of good judgement among a mixed class of 5th and 6th grade boys and girls.  The lesson was on purity, the story of Joseph and Potifer’s wife was the text. 

Deanna and I always made a point of asking our children, “How was sunday school?  What did you learn?  What did you talk about?”  When my oldest daughter told me about the lesson and the story I thought that was cool.  Then she proceeded to tell me that the teacher started talking about homosexuality and beastiality!  I could not believe my ears!

The teacher of a 5th and 6th grade class of boys and girls was telling the class what homosexuality and beastiality is!  I was about to hit the roof!  This was not just a “casual” mention of these topics, but when he mentioned the issues of homosexuality and beastiality the kids were not familiar with what EXACTLY those things were and this teacher had no problem with explaining it to them.  This  was not a class full of rough street-wise kids who were already very informed about such things but rather a class full of, for the most part, kids who had been pretty sheltered all of their lives.  Most of these kids at that time were still not allowed to see PG13 movies!

Deanna and I had our daughter write down everything she could remember about what was said and done in her class that day.  We called a couple of other parents with children in that class to see if their kids had said anything to them about it and if not, if they would ask them what had happened.

Deanna called the co-teacher to see if this kind of stuff was in the teaching material itself or just from this man’s head.  We learned that the lady who was the co-teacher of the class had not been there that day.  We obtained a copy of the teaching material from the Sunday School director who was almost as shocked as we were about the topics that had been covered that day.   The teaching lesson itself was a good lesson in preparing young people to stand by their conviction on purity in the midst of an impure world.  But in the teachers guide before it even started on the lesson itself,  there was a suggestion that the teach call the parents of the children in their class to inform them of the subject matter and an outline of the lesson.  Needless to say this wasn’t done.  The closest he came to following that wise suggestion was the Sunday before when, as the kids were leaving class, he announced that they shouldn’t miss next week because “we’ll be talking about sex”.

If it seems we over-reacted a bit it was for two reasons.  One being that this particular individual had raised some very dark and ugly suspicions in the minds of several parents regarding his behavior with these young girls.  No accusations were ever made and no misconduct was ever brought to light but we were not the only parents who were very watchful and suspicious.  The second reason being – this involved my daughter.  As her parents it was up to our discretion to decide the appropriate age, time and context in which to educate our daughter about sexual relationships and we certainly would not have felt this the appropriate age, time or context in which to “educate” her about such topics as homosexuality and beastiality!  So not only did he do something totally inappropriate in robbing these children of a certain aspect of their own purity by planting such images in their minds, he also undermined my authority within my own family.  God had placed this family in my care and protection and this man had violated that as well.  His behavior was inexcusable.

We presented all of the facts to the pastor and after much insistence finally agreed to talk to this teacher.  However, he seemed to be of the opinion that since the lesson was on purity then that made all discussions of a sexual nature fair game.  The pastor called us several days later after his discussion with this teacher and informed us that he was well within the boundaries of the teaching material and there really wasn’t anything he could do.  He said his hands were tied, he could not ask this man to step down from teaching just because we didn’t like the topics discussed.

So I went to the man after our Wednesday night service.  I was so angry, I went off by myself first to pray.  I prayed that the Lord would not let my anger speak for me but that HE would and that I would exhibit self control and state plainly the offense and that we would find resolution.  After all, he was a fellow brother in Christ, right??

Well, after I talked with him stating my case and the offense, particularly the inappropriateness and the usurping of my authority, his only response was, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”  Read into that statement what you will but as I faced this man, looking him in the eyes there was an arrogance and a defiance in his tone and his spirit.

I went back to the pastor again after this and asked him point blank if he intended to do anything?  He said there was nothing he could do.

But there was something I could do!

EDIT – DEANNA’S COMMENT

Since Tim doesn’t have access to a computer where he can post this right now he’s asked me to post it.  I know he hates when I rearrange his words to something that I think sounds better so I’ve tried not to do that …..too much. 
I did want to just add my thoughts right here though.  I had no idea this would stir up so much in me in reading/typing and reliving this particular incident.  I remember this time very clearly because it followed so closely on the heels of some extraordinary things God was doing in my own heart but also in our family.  I felt like I’d been slammed into a brick wall and the worst part of those feelings was that I felt betrayed and rejected by so many of the people I felt closest to – the people in my own church.  We were not the only ones concerned about this incident nor were we the only one concerned about so many other incidents.  Yet no one else ever stepped up and raised a question.  I could handle that but when this incident happened I honestly believed that if we’d do the right thing, which was primarily to take a stand for our daughter and our family but ultimately for the other children in the class and also for the church, I believed that others within our “church family” would come along beside us and stand with us.  That did not happen.  I never have understood why, even though other parents spoke of their concerns to me, they would not take a stand in this situation. 

The world robs our children of their purity early and often enough!  Even when there is no outright sexual contact or misconduct, inappropriate behavior and conversations of a sexual nature between an adult and a child ARE in fact forms of sexual misconduct because it robs a child of their purity – those images planted in their  heads are not something that can easily be wiped away.  Unfortunately it is often not just the world that robs our children of their purity. 

I felt we were taking a stand not only for our authority as parents to guard and protect our daughters purity but also for the other children in that class as well.  Personally I felt betrayed but more than that I felt a saddness that other parents and other adults were either willfully blind or too fearful to speak for their own children.

                        Chapter 18

The other storyline going on here, had been developing since the late 1998 early 1999 time frame. I had mentioned very little about the bible study group I was apart of, which lasted about 9 years.

As I mentioned in a previous chapter, this bible study was started by the pastor (who resigned) and was attended by various other people at one time or another, but after the pastors resignation, it ended up being just us. Me and 2 other guys.

I can’t express what these guys meant to me on this part of my journey. They still mean alot to me today. One of the guys is a graduate from a seminary in New Orleans, and will one day make a fine pastor/teacher. He has a great love for Christ and the truths of scripture. The other guy was a really good friend and encouraged me through some of my toughest times. These guys not only were great bible study partners and friends, but also great musicians. I loved to play music with these guys. We had some great worship experiences in our studies as well as making music.

Through the 9 years, we covered a wide range of subjects. Our first study, after the pastor left, was a report on our favorite person from scripture. I chose Samson (Jud. 13-16) the scholar chose Barnabas (Acts 4:36) and B.dude chose King Solomon. From there, we went through the book of Acts, determined to revive the spirit of the 1st century church. Then, in no particular order, we studied; Genesis, Exodus, Mark, Romans, I Corinthians, Philippians, Hebrews, James, I Peter and Revelation.

Our study of Revelation really changed my life, at least, my life as far as studying scripture. The scholar had challenged us to study the book with our own preconcived ideas set aside. Through the lens of history and not with the futurist view. I had applied this approach to my studies in the other books of the bible, but not this one. The only reason I can figure that I omitted this one was, I never heard it taught that way. This was the study that started me on my journey into church history (having no idea where it would lead).

Since this time span was so long, these guys experienced my many sides of moodiness, aggravations and irratations. I held nothing back, and put it all on the table. From the things we were experiencing at church, to personal struggles and everything in between.

Within this time, the scholar had left this church as a member, to serve on staff at another church. He had served at another before he and his family moved to Georgia in 2006. B.dude had left the church, shortly after the pastor resigned, but returned about a year later. Both these men experienced my conversion into the Catholic faith and were supportive, but still a little baffeled. As my mother would say to me,” You’ve studied the bible to much, to become Catholic.”

Our last meeting was in the summer of 2006. We were studying I Corinthians chapters 10 and 11 combining Paul’s teachings on the Eucharist or the Lord’s supper. Asking the question,”Is it really the body and blood of Christ that we partake in, or is it merely a symbol or reflection?” It was a great way to end our study together. B.dude and I finished the I Corinthians study on our own. I will always have the feeling that I’m missing something, when Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am roll around. Thanks for your friendship.

12 Responses

  1. Hi, Tim …

    Is it just me and my computer, or does this entry not make it past Chapter 11? I want to read the rest, but it ends with “my willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to have control of my life. Praise be to God!”

    ~Debi

  2. Debi, no it’s not you or your computer. It’s my brain.
    I was intending to add chapter numbers as I added chapters, up to 19 and ended up putting 19 as the number anyway.
    It was very confusing and I apologize. I’m about to add chapter 12 so I’ll change it.
    Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for visiting. 🙂

  3. THAT IS IT TIM!! That is, at least in part, what has stuck with me and almost haunted me about this video that I posted the other day http://jipmeister.wordpress.com/2006/11/29/i-give-up-here-it-is/

    There is so much in that song that describes us, as individuals and as a couple. As you’ve written “our story” here and I’ve read it I’ve also relived it in my mind in so many ways and then I think this song just pricks those memories in a deeper way. It parallels so much of our life and my life in one way or another and it would yours too if the song didn’t end where it does…

    oooo that’s just very interesting…at the risk of Dolan calling me names again 🙂 I may just have to go back to that in my next post!!

    and I love you too

  4. Thank you for sharing this honest and personal account of your life, Tim ~ I am touched and humbled.

    May God bless you and Deanna very much xx

    Thanks Autumnrose. I’m hoping others find encouragement in our story.
    Thanks for your blessing.

  5. You are as I have said before ” a man amongst men, and am proud to call you son.
    Dad

    Thank you, Dad. I had a great teacher.
    Tim

  6. Thanks, Deanna, for taking time to help Tim get more of this story up on the blog. I appreciate your comments, as well. Tell Tim “hi” and that he’s missed by his WordPress friends. 🙂

    ~Debi

  7. First off, I must celebrate Deanna once again. You have a wonderful wife.

    I don’t know how many hits you have received on this blog, but it is one of the best.

    Politics in the Church can drive a man to the toilet incident alone.

    Tim, I like your style. You are upfront, honest, do not play Holier-than-thou. Able to admit to tribulation in your life and times where you were ‘wrong’ only makes you more admirable. What people can not admit about themselves makes them vulnerable to the acts of Satan.

    I haven’t gotten to the next chapter and have to go slowly because it is so much to sink in, so I am wondering if the meds are gone. I hope so. In time, I have to recollect what happened to me with those horrible medications, when it was simply an under treated disease and the Devil playing with me because I was a perfect target.

    BTW, I love what you did to that stupid VP. I laughed. That takes guts, and yeah, some times you really can’t do that for the sake of family, but hey, it was classic.

  8. Harlequin, thanks for all the encouragement! I bet you’re a great PR person!
    Deanna is certianly one of a kind and I love her very much.
    My meds are gone, shortly after the VP incident.
    “What people can not admit about themselves makes them vulnerable to the acts of Satan” is as true a statement as I’ve ever heard. And is exactly what we were going through, not being honest with each other, our family and friends.
    Thanks again!

  9. I am glad about the medications. So glad.

    Give me time to get some medical probs under control, again, and then I will start with what I can remember. Not as nifty as your story, which I have to slowly delve into, because of the intensity and honesty.

    PR is more my wonderful sister, very vibrant. Me, eh…good listener.

  10. Harlequin, at least you are on the other side of it! Praise God! I will keep you in our prayers. May God bless and continue to heal you.
    Tim

  11. Tim-
    Somehow I missed these chapters of your story. But I’m glad I read them now. I appreciate your honesty. I’d covet yours and Deanna’s prayers. The Lord is working on Scott and me a lot as Scott focuses on healing from stuff from his past. As you can imagine that process impacts the whole family dynamic. Don’t know why I clicked on these chapters but I’m glad I did. Your story encouraged me today. Thanks again for your transparency.
    Amy

  12. Thank you Amy. This was hard to write, it was like I was reliving it as I wrote it. But I knew that God wanted me to share this and I knew He would use it when and with whom He saw fit. We will keep you in our prayers, and Scott as well, as you say, it effects the whole family.

    God bless you, I’m glad God could encourage you through my story.

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