There’s a saying I’ve learned; “nothing, absolutely nothing happens in Gods world by accident.” For years I fought and questioned everything that had happened to me. Starting with my parents’ divorce, then my father’s death when I was twelve-years old, He was only thirty-two-year-old. My father robbed of so much of life’s pleasure. The camping and fishing he loved so much he was passionately passing on to me. The joy of watching me grow up and getting married. The joy of having grandchildren, and the joy of being a father. For myself, I felt I was being robbed of the joy and happiness of having my father. A father to sit with me and talk with me. The joy of a father’s support, the joy of learning about life from a father who loved, enjoyed and appreciated life. Just the joy of having a loving father in my life.
I questioned why God would put a stepfather in my life who would emotionally, physically, spiritually, and sexually abuse me. I questioned God why he would guide us to church, becoming devout Christians, yet my mother, a choir member and my stepfather a deacon of the church, would continue abusing me. In fact, the more involved with the church we were, the worse the abuse got. Our pastor at the time even condoned the abuse in an indirect way by telling me in my stepfathers’ presence that the abuse, including sexual abuse, was “just part of growing up and I would not be gay.” Well, abuse of any kind, especially sexual, is not a normal part of growing up. For the next two to three years all forms of abuse got worse.
One thing I never did question God about was the motorcycle accident I was in on Saturday November 18, 1972. That day I had my death experience. I was fifteen years old, all of 140 pounds soaking wet, and riding a motorcycle that was too big for me. After hitting a ditch, I laid on the ground in excruciating pain. The next thing I remembered; I was descending upward. Seeing myself laying on the ground, my motorcycle lying in the ditch, and the boulder my head had hit. Thank God I had was wearing a helmet. Then, I was surrounded by an intensely bright white light which I could not look into, and a peace and serenity beyond comprehension. My pain was completely gone, all of it. As suddenly as all this happened, it was over. I heard Gods soft voice telling me to “fight for my life and never quit fighting.” He told me he would never leave me that he would always be by my side. I just had to keep fighting and fight I have done.
When I arrived at the hospital, they put me in ICU right away. After eight-hours of lying in pain, not knowing where all the internal bleeding was coming from, they wheeled me into surgery. Before doing so, they called our pastor, my mother, and stepfather over to have them give me my last-rights and say their goodbyes as the doctors told them I likely would not make it out of surgery. By a miraculous miracle I survived the accident, trauma, and surgery. The doctors said it was miracle that only God could have performed. My right kidney had been completely smashed like an egg and none of my other internal organs had been touched. It truly was a miracle.
Remember I said I never questioned God about the accident? Well, that is not completely true. In 1986, three years into my marriage with Cathy, we were walking and conversing. I was in one of my victim pity party moods. I turned to Cathy and said, “why didn’t God just take me in 1972 when I was lying dead on the ground?” Before I could finish what I was saying, I heard that same voice I heard that Saturday in 1972 tell me “because you are going to break the chain of abuse in your family and others.” That was almost fifty years ago. What I didn’t know was that I still had another twenty- years’ worth of other things I needed to experience and learn before this revelation would come to pass.
Fast forward to February 1, 2006. I was getting ready for a trip and drinking my Jack Daniels. Once again, I heard the voice of God whispering to me. He softly whispered in my ear; “Randy your get out of jail free cards are all used up. You need help and you need to get it now.” I listened to that voice and five days later my thirty-eight-year pity party, drinking and drugging career came to an end. With the help of some loving and caring mentors and therapist I was able to reconnect with God in a way I never knew to be possible. As I grew in my faith, my recovery also grew. Somewhere along the line God reminded me of what he told me that day while conversing with my wife in 1986. My journey into the healing fields began. What unequivocally answered all the questions I was asking God was found written in a book in a Christian bookstore. The author had signed the book quoting Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” It has been seven years since I read that scripture and it is permanently etched in my mind, heart, and soul. It was all starting to make sense.
Skipping ahead to today, fifteen-years into my sobriety and sixteen years into my recovery, a lot has been revealed and brought into the light. Honestly, often times the feelings of peace and serenity I experience seem surreal. I am literally seeing things through a new pair of glasses. The bible tells me in Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The keyword in this scripture is renewing, which is an action word. This is where God has revealed to me that we must take action to renew our mind, it doesn’t just happen. Honestly, this in and of itself is a subject for another blog. I firmly believe the action I have taken over the last sixteen-years to renew my mind is why I have been transformed into a new man. I firmly believe that I have found the Randy that God intended me to be, yet there is still so much more to be revealed. I am in no way the man I was all those ears ago. Just ask my wife and kids.
I decided to write this blog because lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with a strong sense of gratitude for all that I have taken for granted, for far too long. Number one being the love of my beautiful wife. Not as of late, but for the first twenty-one years of our marriage, I didn’t know what it was like to really love my wife and family. With all that I had done to her, the way I acted in those first twenty-one years of our marriage; I am lucky that she is still in my life. God truly did give me an Angel to spend the rest of my life with.
The simplicity of sitting and watching the hummingbirds in my backyard, spending time with my grandchildren as I watch the miracle of life unfold in the innocence of their childhood. Spending the day in high country chasing antlers with my son, or fishing for catfish all night or all day in the one hundred plus degree weather. Just simply playing with my fur babies gives me so much joy. Most importantly, how when I read the bible it actually speaks out too me, which in turn draws me closer to God.
Like I said in the beginning, I’m just going to write. No specific goal, no specific ending in mind. I am just going to let it be what it is without any judgement. I hope you can do the same. The reality is, I can’t really put into words the way I feel. I wish I could. I wish there was a pill I could give you that would cause you to feel the freedom and happiness I feel. Then, just maybe, you’d be willing to do the work I have done to achieve this feeling. Being real, all days are not always glorious. I still have days that I struggle, my wife and I still have our quarrels. The only difference is, we know what we have to do to resolve them quickly. Oh, as far as my wife, I honestly never really knew that loving her could feel so good, so right. Thirty-seven years of marriage and I fall more in love with her every day, and it’s only because we have God the father, God Yahweh at the center of our marriage and lives. Finally, It All Makes Sense.