Such a Good Year, 2015
Feeling sorry for myself I once asked Dad“Why can’t I have a miracle?”
Without hesitation he fired back, “You did have a miracle Steve… you lived.”
I was embarrassed. But what I had gone through at that point in time, living didn’t feel like a miracle, and it sure didn’t feel great to be alive.
I had to endure many more years of being alive before I was shown such wonderful peace and joy in 2015. And I can guarantee you it wasn’t through drugs or alcohol that enabled my serene attitude or spirit.
Dad’s words haunted me because I felt so small and pitiful at the time. The remainder of the ride home was quiet. I was so busy, as I’m sure Dad was also, trying to think of something to say. Though, words were no longer adequate.
I knew I should be happy to be alive; none will listen or care that inside I wanted to die. Oh, I didn’t want to die from the pain of the accident for I never thought of that as painful and I enjoyed working hard at the different therapies just to be able to stand, utter a word, or roll a ball to its target – I never missed one session.
Those days of happiness came to an end when I received a phone call at the stationary phone (remember those) up the hall from my shared room at the nursing home.
“Steve, you have a phone call,” the night-shift nurse said.
Right away I asked, “Who is it?” As if they would know.
“I don’t know…it’s a female.”
The phone was in the empty room across from the crowded and hazy, smoker’s lounge, “Hello,” I said.
“Steve…I saw an attorney today.” Those words coming from a wife could only mean one thing for us cripples.
I slammed the phone down wheeled around and began slapping my wheels all the way back to my room where I raised myself up and hurled my limp body onto the bed. There I stayed, wanting to squeeze or hit something. I started to get the crawls and I couldn’t do anything to release the anger.
Then one evening a few days later some Christians came to the nursing home where I was & asked if I knew Jesus Christ, I got angry.
I said, “Yeah, but I don’t believe in Him anymore! Don’t talk to me! I mean look at me – I’m a freak! My wife took my kids and left. I am useless I can’t even walk! My right side’s paralyzed. What will I do? You can have your God!”
Yes, I was cloaked in self pity. He really did it to me…in a crash that nearly ended my life, and in a nursing home at age 34 what else could possibly happen? I was soon to find out.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” somebody once said and truer words have never been spoken.
A few weeks earlier I had given her guardianship over me. Everything had been taken that, together, had been accumulated over the last sixteen years. At the time, I was all – you know – “How could she do that to me?”
But now after raising a child myself, I condemn myself for my out of control gambling. I had gambled away most of our savings. I was behind on the house payment. I apologize to you, Nancy, for letting you down.
I contemplated what I could do to earn some money because even my first, paltry check from SSDI had been conned from me, by Nancy. Those things happened from 1989 through the early 90’s mainly. Then I had a period of growth both with my daughter’s who had been taken from me and financially as my small dabbling in the stock market was beginning to show real gains.
In ’92 I began seeing my girls again. Then my eldest needed a place to live…she needed a whole new beginning on life. We got her a job as a cashier at a local gas/convenience store. I let her live with me rent free for six months.
Seven months down the road and I could not support us anymore. I used up all the monies earned in the stock market. Broke again and with nothing. I found her a place renting the newly remodeled basement of my friend’s house. That proved to be one of the worst mistakes of my life.
But God hadn’t finished shaping me into who, or what I was created to be. Close friends began calling me – Job – because of the bad & evil things complicating my already disrupted life.
You know what I found out? God gives out many blessings and miracles daily. I know God exists because He gives so freely. And He is a loving God – an AWESOME, loving God.
An example: in September of 2002 I stopped smoking after 37 years of at least a pack a day. I was in the Philippines where they could be purchased for .25 a pack so it wasn’t the money. It was my time to quit and God knew that. I could never have done it on my own.
I prayed to Him the night before quitting and made a vow. I promised to never smoke again, but asked Him to please take away the desire. I never said “If” you take away… This was not a game that I was playing. I woke in the morning with no urge. He has made it so easy for me…patch humph! I have been smoke free since that day in September all those years ago and I don’t dare break that vow nor do I have a desire to.
New Living Translation (NLT)… Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 When you make a promise to God don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 5 It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.
2016 I believe, will be a year of jubilee for me! I made a decision to move to the great, “Show Me State,” with my daughter Stephanie and good things began happening once the move was made.
Nixa won out over Charleston, South Carolina and Tucson, Arizona. The main reason was because of Nixa’s wonderful school system.
Stephanie melded into the new school district with seemingly little effort and is an “A”student and is also on the, “Honors English” program. She loves the fact that most kids in the area are Christian.
I was asked this question by my daughter (as one of her first homework assignments) “Are you a Creationist or an evolutionist?”
“That’s a no-brainer,” I said, “A creationist.”
She gave our (hers was the same as mine) reply to the teacher, “We are Creationists.”
Stephanie’s remark to me at home later in the day is what we found so miraculous – “26 out of 29 kids answered the same as us, Dad. “
“Those numbers would be flip-flopped in liberal Minnesota,” I said. Stephanie has many more friends here because of her Christian beliefs and not in spite of those beliefs.
My sister once warned me not to move where we had no family, but hey, we have a solid church family at Riverdale so our family is here – a definite blessing.
“This was a great Christmas,” Stephanie said “Because of the friends that visited. And the delicious dinner they brought over, and the gifts”
Carroll has been a blessing to Stephanie and I for introducing us to Riverdale and to Mel & Joyce and for her friendship.
Things to be grateful for this 2015
- A Bible believing church
- A life free of government interference
- A life with no admonishment for speaking conservative ideology
- A life free from political correctness
- A life nearly free of freezing temps here in Nixa and a warm population.
- Great friends
God melted the hubris from my soul and molded this once sure person into a humble, soft, peace-loving man and it is with great anticipation we will embrace 2016…