Thoughts of Throwing Away God’s Gift

For as long as I can remember, whenever life gets tough I start to seriously consider the temptation to throw away God’s gift. And more often than not, I buy into the lie that the devil is selling. I can still remember times, when I struggled early on in school, that I’d tell my mom, “I wish I had never been born”. Then later on in life when things just seemed to be too hard, my thoughts turned to how I could end it all, to be free of pain, sorrow, loneliness, and despair that seemed to plague my life. To say it plainly, for the majority of my life I’ve struggled with thoughts of suicide. And I don’t think I’m the only one. It breaks my heart every time I read about someone taking their own life, and not even that I almost cry when I read of someone who cuts themselves to dull the pain of their life. I know that God loves them and if only they could understand that, they wouldn’t have to hurt themselves to find peace.

Now I’m not writting this to tell you how I overcame suicide through my own strength or through my own force of will. Because as I stated earlier I bought into the satan’s lie, I believed whole heartedly that I was worthless, that the world would be a much better place without me. But rather how God has repeatedly saved my life, from myself. All glory and honor be to the one who created me, the one who loves me even though at times I haven’t loved myself, the one who had a plan for my life even before I was in my mother’s womb, all the praise belongs to God for taking me beyond the lies and into his heart of truth and love. I’m being transparent here, honest as I can be, not holding anything back (and trust me putting something like this out there isn’t easy) because I believe God has asked me to write about my journey and battling thoughts of suicide has been part of it (an ugly part of it). 

One of the reasons I believe this has been a constant struggle in my life, is because every time I wish I was dead, or fantasied about killing myself, the devil was throwing the miracle of my life back in God’s face. If you haven’t read my testimony, then you should know that God preserved my life at a time when I was defenseless, a time when my mother’s decisions meant life or death for me, a time when babies all over the world were being slaughtered simply to make a mother’s life a little more easy (click here if you’d like to read a more detailed account). So if the devil had ever been able to get me to follow through with what I was thinking that would have been a major victory for him, but he seems perfectly fine with a minor victory and insulting God. Thankfully God is not one to let Satan win lasting victories.

Another reason I believe that I was readily open to this attack of the enemy, is that as a human being I love doing things the easy way, or doing the easy things in life. Looking back now, non of the things that made me wish I was dead were really that hard. Math, spelling, heartbreak, loneliness, fear, and failure were all temporary and all things that eventually I worked through (obviously since I’m writing this ;-)). But the lies of the enemy made mole hills turn into mountains. Had I taken these things to God rather than working them out through my own limited human abilities, they would not have seemed so difficult. But I chose to trust in myself rather than the one who made me.

But the root cause of all of this is something I mentioned above, fear. Fear, is brought to us by a spirit of intimidation. This is a spirit I’m very familiar with, I’ve lived under it for so long, I’ve been bound by it’s chains, set free only be the awesome power of Jesus Christ! One of fear’s most used tools is a feeling of hopelessness. For the longest time I had no hope for ever finding a life long friend, I had no hope that I would ever find the woman that God had out there for me (and yes that’s how warped my mind was I acknowledged that God had selected a woman for me but yet didn’t have hope that he would lead me to her, how whacked is that?), I had no hope that I would ever find joy and happiness, and I had no hope that I would ever find understanding. So anytime life would get rough, this spirit would remind me of my hopelessness and I would buy into it. The logical conclusion being that if there is no hope for my life, why live it? As John Bevere talks about in his book “Breaking Intimidation“, fear makes us focus on ourselves. The thoughts constantly running through my head focused almost entirely on me and my current condition. I focused on how sad I was that my “girlfriend” left me, and focusing on something like that long enough I would start to think about how I’d never be able to find someone. This train of thought is something Pastor Michelle would call a death spiral. My other fears were similiar in that my focus was me, and my problems. The opposite of fear, is love. Love forces us to put our focus on others and breaks us free from the death spiral that fear has us trapped in.

I could talk more about the spirit of intimidation’s other tools like a false sense of control or the constant need to blame others, but if you want to know more about breaking this spirit’s control over your life I recommend John Bevere’s book Breaking Intimidation. I could also talk about the things God used in my life to encourage me, to give me hope and how he used my friends Brad and Jen, my Mom and Dad, and my love Arielle to show me how much he loves and cares for me, he used them to save my life in ways they will probably never understand, but if you want to hear more about that you’ll have to ask me someday or God will put it on my heart to write it here. Instead what I’d like to leave you with is this, as I’ve said before, the devil is a liar. Look at what I was so worried about above; finding the right woman for me, finding friendship and understanding. God has provided all those things and then some. I just want to encourage you to stop focusing on yourself and focus on God and he will provide all your needs. I’m a walking example of his love and his provision and I hope that my testimony will be used by God in your life to draw you closer to him.

My Journey pt 5: A Virtual World vs A Real World

Of all the posts I’ve put on this blog, this one has been the hardest to write. But I have to finish the story, because the ending is full of grace, and even though this part is dark the next part is full of light and God’s glory. But most of all I have to be obedient.

A few months before I moved out of my parents house and became Brad’s roommate, I bought a new laptop with my hard earned money. It is a good Dell, that I’d recommend to anyone looking to buy one. Along with the laptop I bought a game, that I had been dying to get, World of Warcarft. WoW had been a huge hit with the gaming nerds like myself and I was dying to get it. Prior to this I had heard a lot about MMPORG’s, but I had never played one. I had played a few RPG’s (KOTOR, FableJade Empire, and Mass Effect) and really liked the genre, so I couldn’t wait to play with millions of others. But the cost of the game + the monthly fee + the cost of Internet + a crummy computer + poor college student with fraternity dues meant that I would have to wait. So when I got out into the real world with a real job and money to burn (not literally) and quite a bit of free time on my hands there was no stopping me. My first few weeks and months playing the game, were spent learning about the world, learning the terminology, learning how to play, and making friends that, while I would never meet most of them, I spent more time talking to them then I did some of my real world friends and sadly to say some of my family. While my guild was never the most successful one in all of the gaming world, we did pretty well, and I’m proud of all that we accomplished in that virtual world. And yes there was pinch of sarcasm included in that last sentence. I invested two years of my life into this game, and it wasn’t cause the game was all that. It was cause I had friends there, I was accepted. In that virtual world I could be a leader, when in the real world I was lost, and I could be the hero, when in the real world I felt like a zero. For a year I was also involved in a long distance relationship with a girl that played the game too. Every night I would be on-line raiding, farming, pvping, questing, leveling, or just hanging out. Most weekends I’d be on-line 10-12 hours straight doing the same thing. I’m sorry if you feel like all of this is too much information, but I’m trying to get convey how wrapped up in this game I had become. And how likely it would be that I’d still be wrapped up in this game, if my world had not been turned upside down by God.

In summer of that year, my dad stepped down from ministry to deal with some issues that he had been struggling with and was unable to get victory in without devoting his full attention to them. By stepping down he was able to admit before the entire congregation his problem and finally be free to get some help. I can still remember talking to him before that meeting, he asked me to read the letter he had written and offer any advice I could give. I wish at that time I could have comforted him, but I wasn’t able to come up with anything profound to say. Thankfully where I lacked, God provided. You see he was worried about the congregation’s reaction, to what many would call a minor sin. He was worried they would think less of him, but when the time came and he stood up before them in true humility. They rewarded his 20+ years of service and hard work by standing with him in his time of need. Their response was a witness to work my dad had done, the character of every single person there, and the grace of God. So for a season my Dad stepped down from the bee-ma, he started getting the counseling he needed and started working for Terminex. And for a brief moment it seemed that this season of my dad’s life would be just that something temporary, something that we would eventually look back on as a living lesson, but that season didn’t go the way any of us thought it would go.

It was during this time period that I turned twenty-four years old (my birthday is in January btw). I don’t remember what we did for my twenty-fourth birthday, but what I do remember is noticing that my Dad was wheezing with every breath. At that time they weren’t sure why he was wheezing, but doctors thought he might have pneumonia. Just to be on the safe side the doctors were going to run a few tests. One of the first tests my dad took was a chest x-ray, and the results showed a mass on his lung. The first time the doctors went in to take a biopsy they found the mass to be tightly wrapped around a major blood vessel, so after a second try the test results showed the growth to be cancerous. When I first heard the news I was in shock, and a feeling that would be come all too familiar swept over me. For the longest time it felt like I was living in a dream world. Sure I had heard of friend’s relatives dying of cancer, and even my own Grandmother had passed way due to lung cancer. But cancer was something older people got, not someone as young and alive as my dad. It wasn’t long till he started chemo, you could see him growing weaker, as the poison designed to kill the cancerous cells, killed the healthy cells as well. I cut back my WoW playing making sure that I visited my mom and dad as many weekends as possible, but looking back now I wish I would have stopped playing altogether. At first it seemed as though the chemo was doing its job, and there was talk about my dad being reinstated as the Rabbi of Brit Hadasha. Almost a year to the day, my dad having been faithful, even while doing chemo, to complete his counseling sessions he was brought back to his rightful place of leadership. It was a happy time. However it didn’t stay that way, my dad continued to get sicker, the doctors tried new chemo combinations but they didn’t seem to work. (I’m sorry, I know I’m leaving stuff out, and maybe getting events out of order.) Towards the end of October, I was flying out to see the girl I met while WoW, whom I wasn’t “seeing” anymore, for her birthday. Since I lived a good hour from the airport and had a very early flight my mom offered to let me sleep at home and take me to the airport in the morning. What I hadn’t realized up to that point was how rough of a time my dad was having at night. I won’t go into it here, but even now the memory brings tears. How my family got through those months was a miracle in itself. My return flight on Monday got me in sometime in the early afternoon, so I stopped by to see how my dad was doing before I returned home. We had a great talk, probably one of our best since the trip to Virginia Beach. I still feel bad that I didn’t take more time to talk with him, but I “had” to get back so that I could wash my clothes and do all the other things that seemed so important at the time. Looking back though those things couldn’t have been more trivial. On Thursday while I was at work, I got a call from my mom that my dad was in the hospital, and I should come down asap. 

When I got to the hospital, he was already on quite a few drugs, and they had to incubate him. So he couldn’t talk. The doctors explained that the cancer had in my understanding eaten a hole into his tracea causing blood to fill the lower part of his lungs. For the time being the patch the doctor had put down there, plus the tube was keeping more blood from coming in but any sudden movement or violent cough could rupture it. In order prevent that from happening they gave him some milky white looking drug, that caused him to sleep. The doctors wanted to give his tracea a chance to heal and for a scab to form. So many people showed up, pretty much all of Brit and quite a few people that we hadn’t seen in years. Through 20 years of ministry my dad touched so many lives. On Saturday the doctors decided to try and take out the ventilator tube and allow him to breathe on his own. They slowly weened him off the milky drug that was keeping him unconscience and eventuallly they turned off the ventilator. My brothers Sam and Matt were out in the waiting room as my mom and I watched my dad slowly wake up. … He was only awake for a few seconds before the doctors realized there was a problem. Thankfully my mom was smart enough to get us both out of the room while the nurses started to work on him. It was then that we had to make a really difficult decision, Do we tell the doctor to patch the hole again and re-ventilate him? Or should the doctor just make him as comfortable as he can? It was a decision that neither of us wanted to make, but in the end we decided that putting him back through that torture would just be too much. My dad passed away early the next morning, with his wife, sons, and brit family by his side.

My Journey Pt 4 : Transitions

The transition from high-school to college was one of fear and excitement. You start college not knowing anything (about college I mean). You worry about how to get from class to class, about the kind of professors you’ll get, how hard the work will be, what you’ll do for fun, and how you’ll survive on your own. But by your senior year, you will have the system down pat, you know what professors to get, none of your classes start before ten, you begin to like learning new things, and you like the freedom college offers you. Basically you have become comfortable. It’s usually about this time that you graduate and begin a new chapter in your life. And that’s where we pick up my story.

I graduated in December of 2004 a full semester early. Considering that most people told me to expect a fifth year of college, that’s a fact I’m proud of. I don’t remember much from the ceremony itself, it was typical bland almost boring, I don’t know what I expected maybe trumpets blaring or something else spectacular. But that’s not how the real world operates I guess. What I do remember is how proud my parents were, how much I appreciated them being there, and how happy I was to celebrate with my friends. The ceremony wasn’t the only disappointment about graduation, the other was waking up the next morning. Again I don’t know what I expected, maybe that I would wake up more mature, maybe I’d wake up the wise college graduate. But none of those things happened I woke up the next morning the same as the day before, feeling insecure about my future, feeling like I was eighteen again, young and not mature enough to handle myself in a bigger pond. In a word I was afraid, but I hid it, covered it up like I think a lot of high school and college graduates do. And maybe that is the essence of being a worldly person, covering up your own fear and insecurities in anyway possible.

After graduation I moved back to my parents house, for what would normally have just been winter break. Of course many people congratulated me, and then would follow that up with the dreaded question of the hour, “So what are your plans now?”. Plans?!?! I had no plan. My plan was to enjoy my Christmas break the way I always had. My parents let me slide a little bit, they let me enjoy the Christmas season, and thankfully after that was over they got on my case about finding a job. At the time I wasn’t so happy they were constantly bugging/nagging me to get a resume’ together, and go out to apply for jobs. Yep I graduated college and hadn’t really focused on putting my resume’ together. At first I almost resented their constant “So what have you done today to find a job?” interrogations, but they only had the best in mind for me. They wanted to see me grow and spread my wings, they probably knew better than me that if they merely allowed me to continue on hiding from the world, I would not become the man I was supposed to be.

So I started working on it, I put together a resume’ and posted it on every job website known to man. And then I waited. And waited. I got a few nibbles. A few phone interviews, but nothing serious. One company asked me to take a test, but they never called back after I took it. So to say the least I became discouraged. It was about that time, my dad, who I know was constantly praying about my situation, stepped in and started making a few phone calls. He set up a few meetings with friends of his, but before those could bear fruit. On of my friends from school sent me an IM saying that one of my old professors was trying to get in touch with me. It turns out that he had heard of a job posting and had sent a letter of recommendation for me. I got in touch with the company emailing them my resume’, and thanks to God they called me back to set up a time to interview. My Mom and Dad were more excited than I was, I think, this was my first real face to face job interview. My mom took me out to buy a suit, and my dad brought out his shoe shine kit (something rarely seen except for the High Holidays). So early in the morning I got up, drove out Ripley, TN to interview at Marvin Windows and Doors of Tennessee. To make a long story short, after about four or so interviews, during which I was insanely nervous, and jabbered on like an idiot at times; I returned home to wait for the phone call. I waited and waited during that time I put in an app to be a dock worker at the Memphis airport. And then one morning, I got a phone call, Marvin wanted to hire me on as an Associate Programmer/Analyst for $35,000 a year. Wow! For a kid just out of college that was a lot of money. On March the twenty-first I started my first real job.

The commute for this job was an hour and half, both ways! I remember waking up at 5:30 (now that was a real change from college) getting dressed and grabbing a banana on my way out the door. The drive wasn’t horrible, for the most part I was going the opposite way that the traffic was going, plus it was so stinking early in the morning that I rarely had problems getting to work. But the drive did start to wear me out. I made quick friends with another young fella who worked in the IT department, Brad. Brad had started three months or so before I had, so we were both somewhat new to the job and even though he was a few years older than I was were both new to the IT world. I could write a whole post on my experiences working for Marvin, but first they would mostly be technical in nature (and that’s not my desire for this blog) and second it would probably be boring to most of you.

One of my fondest memories of working at Marvin, was the time my dad got to visit the plant. I had been there a year or so when my dad was going to visit someone near Ripley, so he arranged it so that he would be in town around lunch time. For lunch we went to the local steak house (I think the sight of the Chinese restaurant scared him 🙂 ). It was awesome sitting there taking a lunch break with my dad. It’s one of the few times I actually felt like a grown up. We talked for a little bit and then I got to take him back to Marvin and show him around the plant a little bit. He was so impressed and so proud of me. I don’t think he ever understood what it was that I did, he had a general idea don’t get me wrong, but how I did it wasn’t something that was easy to explain or understand. But he was proud of his son, and that made me so happy.

It wasn’t too much longer after that, that I moved out of the house, and started sharing a place with my good friend Brad. I moved out of the house in March of 2006 and began a whole new adventure.

My Journey Pt 3 : School Days

I started kindergarden while we were still living in Virgina Beach, VA. I have a lot of fond memories there, we played a game called 7Up and quite a few times my dad would pick me up in the mail van (he worked in the mail room, while he was in school). Its amazing how vivid my memory of that van is even to today. My dad graduated, and became the Rabbi at congregation Brit Hadasha in Memphis, TN that October. That spring I started at a new private school. My memories of that first semester are not quite as bright. The most I can remmeber is a math robot and darkness. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad place, just wasn’t as fun as the place i had come from. The rest of my years there were better, my teachers were truly dedicated my and my classmate’s educations and futures. With that said these were the hardest years of my education.  I struggled with spelling, reading, and math. I can remember hours upon hours of me and my mom studying spelling after school. I would get fustrated and start crying, she would get fustrated, but in the end we fought through it. After three hard years I got tested for dyslexia, they found I had a mild case of it. I struggled in class copying down information down from the board, but after finding this information out, my teachers really started pitching in and put forth a lot of extra effort to help me learn. After fifth grade my mom decided to homeschool me and my brother. I left private school behind in my reading, grammer, and math skills.

My mom homeschooled me from sixth grade to ninth grade. She invested so much extra time in teaching us. I remember waking up one morning to find a tray on the counter filled with dirt, she had made a fake archeological dig for us. She got us involved with a group of other homeschoolers, together we put on plays, took field trips, achievement tests, and quite a few other extra circular activities. All the while this was going on my mom was constantly trying out new techniques to help me learn. I remember spending several afternoons standing in the living spelling out words in the air. The idea was that tying the motion and the spelling toghether would imprint the information on my mind. It sounds silly, but it proved out to be very effective. I maintained the practice well into college through writting out again and again information from class in order to memorize it. During this time I over compensated for my reading deficency by reading every book I could get my hands on, this too was something that has carried through with me to today.

My sophmore year, something changed. Matt and I went back to private school (Sam remained homeschooled). The main reason for the change was that my mom really didn’t feel adaquate teaching us the higher level stuff. I worked very hard my first year back in private school, and I was very stressed. At times I wasn’t even able to eat dinner with my parents. The hard work payed of though, the next two years in comparison were so very easy. Overall my highschool experience academically was in stark constrast to my elementary school work. My skills in math grew by leaps and bounds, to the point of almost being easy. My reading and writting skills had caught up if not surpassed my classmates, and my love for history even won me a few awards. One of my favorite things about highschool was football. It was out on the practice field that I learned a lot about myself. I didn’t get to see a lot of playing time, but I did enjoy the times I got to get in there. The star of the show was my brother Matt, he was crazy out there, and I was so proud of his athletic accomplishments. There was way too much that went on in highschool for me to write out here, but it was definetly a positive experience.

My academic success continued on into college, where I majored in Computer Science, with a minor in Math. Its hard for me to say that without a smirk on my face. Recognizing all the hard work it was built upon. Lots of sweat equity was built into the foundation of that degree. My college years were a dark time in my walk with God. For the most part I was a Christian in name only. Sadly so were many of my friends. Its not that there were new areas of sin opened up in my life during this time, just that many of them just ran unchecked. I started drinking a few weeks before graduated high school, and it really bloomed in the fraternity lifestyle. There are nights that I can’t remember, many nights that I spent puking, or just in general making a fool of myself. At the time I viewed alcohol as a means to let myself go, as a way to put aside all my concerns and just focus on having a good time. But what I didn’t see were the chains that were binding me and blinding me to the truth, that my life was empty, hollow, void of any meaning aside from seeking self pleasure. My alcohol abuse hit its peak when my dad died, and I literally tried to use alcohol to soften the pain. Glory be to God that He woke me out of the stupor before alcohol consumed my life. It was also during this time (back to my college days) that pornography took an even deeper foothold in my life. Recognizing my shallow existance, I became suicidal. I never made any attempts, but I enjoyed thought. And on more than one occasion came very close to going through with it. Who am I to take away the gift God has given me? Who am I to undo my biological mother’s courageous decision? In the depths of my despair I couldn’t see the simple truth, that I was not alone. Even though I’m a wretched sinner amazingly God still loved me, and He wanted me to be restored to Him. Unfortunetly it took my dad dying for me to realize this. But I know that today, right now, he is rejoicing in heaven, as a whole man, a restored man! Again this was something that started before college, but so many nights bored nights with just me and my computer it became almost a way of life. This grew into sinful relationships with women. It wasn’t until I gave up this lifestyle that I found a true relationship with a Godly woman. Sadly one of the consequences of my sins will always be the lingering regret. But through God, I’ve been forgiven and my sins washed clean. Through God’s grace none of these things hindered my school work (unlike many of my friends who either dropped out or flunked out), and through Jesus’ blood I’ve been set free from the bondage that bound me.

My Journey Pt 2 : Family

It’s funny how life changes. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my future family. I proposed to a wonderful woman, who is truly a gift from God. (She said yes, by the way.) Now I worry about how I’ll provide for my future bride and our children. I worry about how I’ll be able to raise Godly children, the same way I was raised. Will I raise my children in such a way that after I’m gone my children will find their strength in God and carry on in a Godly manner? I can only put my trust in God and know that His will, will be done. To find guidance and a path forward I look to my earthly family as well as my heavenly father. As I told you before, at only a few weeks old I was adopted into a family overflowing with love.

My father was a man who loved everyone he came into contact with; good or bad, he loved them just the same. There wasn’t a person he didn’t visit in the hospital or jail. There wasn’t a wedding he didn’t celebrate at or baby dedication he didn’t do. When I was young, my dad’s attention to the things going on in others’ lives was something that I resented. My head knew he was doing the right thing, but a lot of the time my heart wasn’t in sync. As I grew up, our relationship changed from one of just father and son to one more like friends. My best memories are from times when just he and I would do things together, whether it was sporting events, trips around the country, or congregational events. Every year I looked forward to the Passover season because it was a time when my dad would get invited out to churches around the city, and more often then not he would take me or one of my brothers along with him. At these Seders my dad would give his testimony and bring out the strong Messianic message hidden in the story of the exodus. The message was always the same, but it never got old to me. Every once and awhile my dad and I would take trips together. When I was young we went down to Orlando for a conference. It was just he and I in a car for hours. Years later we went to another conference together over in Virginia. This time around I did most of the driving and it was great to do that service for my father. It was during these trips that we had some of our best one-on-one conversations where I learned a lot about who my dad was and hopefully he learned about me. Many of the things I love (Israel, football, God, etc.) were imprinted on me from birth as gifts from my earthly father.

My dad passed away over seven months ago. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. In some ways it could have only happened yesterday. At first his passing didn’t seem real, like it was something happening in a movie, but over the course of time life without my dad has become my reality. I’m so happy that now my dad is whole again, he’s no longer in pain or suffering, but he’s rejoicing with God and my grandma. Trust me when I say that this realization didn’t come easy; God has done an amazing work to finally bring my head and heart into sync on this. When dad passed, a major force in my life was taken out of my life, an amazing amount of regret was left behind, things left unsaid and feelings unexpressed. We had a good relationship, but as with anything in this world it could have been so much better, it could have been so much deeper.

My mother was a woman always in the process of taking care of others, usually me and my brothers. When we were sick she was there, when we were celebrating she was there, when we were crying she was there, and when we were misbehaving she was there to chase us around the house with a large wooden spoon. I can think of thousands of meals we’ve eaten in her kitchen, and I can’t imagine the number of hours she spent working over a hot stove. While our house wasn’t huge, three young boys sure do make a mess, and some how she always managed to keep it clean. I can remember her staying up all night working on one project for school or another. And then for middle school she homeschooled us, and based on our college grades she did a wonderful job. I think between the three boys she’s learned more about football than she ever thought possible. You’d be so surprised or scared sitting next to her at one of our games. She is definitely one of our biggest cheerleaders. On my weekends home from college Mom would always fuss over me, feed me, and send me back with a bag of food. Nothing can make you feel worse than when you go to leave your mom gives you all the money she has in her purse. And she felt bad that it wasn’t more! I cried on quite a few trips back to school. She didn’t need to do that, but she loved me and wanted to bless me. My mom has taught me so many things, how to iron, how to sew, wash dishes, and how to was my clothes. All things my future wife will be pleased to find out. If my father lived out the love of Jesus for us then my mother lives out faithfulness.

I am a blessed man. This truth is worth repeating over and over again, because God has truly blessed me, and it is a theme that you will see through out my life. I’m blessed because I had a Godly Mother and Father to teach me and to raise me up. I could have been adopted by anyone, I could have been adopted into a life of abuse or neglect, but God blessed me with two loving parents, and two brothers who are as unique and diverse as possible. My family had a huge impact on my life and helped me to become the man I am today. I don’t know how to say thank you enough. I love you.

In retrospect, I don’t need to worry about these things. Throughout my life we have always been dependant on God to provide, and I never gone without something that I needed. And if I can follow the example of my earthly parents, I’m sure that my children will be raised to follow God. Don’t get me wrong, my folks were not perfect; my dad would be the first to tell you that. But where they failed, where they stumbled, God intervened, God covered them in His grace and it worked out for His glory. My hope, my faith, and my trust are in Him and through Him I can do all things!

My Journey Pt 1

I was born to two people who loved each other very much, and planned on getting married one day. But at the time both were still in college, and weren’t ready for the added responsibility of a child. At least that is the story my Mom always tells me about my biological parents, and since I know nothing else about them I accept it as fact.

My Mom and Dad had been struggling for years to have kids, they had gone to all kinds of doctors, and tried various kinds of treatment. For all that work, the doctors still had no idea why they were not able to have kids. Not knowing what else to do, they decided to adopt.

Looking back we can see God’s hand at work, His master plan already unfolding in the life of a very young man.

My biological mother had a lot of options, Roe v Wade had been decided ten years earlier. She could have viewed me as a cancer growing insider of her, something almost parasitic in nature, or as merely an inconvenience, something standing in the way of the life she wanted. Both of these paths lead to one thing, the death of a living human being.

Instead she made a courageous decision, my biological mother went to a Christian Adoption agency and put me up for adoption. She willingly endured  nine months of pregnancy, and painful child birth. I’m sure she was encouraged during those tough months just to take the easy way out. To think of herself and the life she could have been living, if it weren’t for that little inconvenience growing inside of her. Instead she gave me away knowing that, she would never know who I grew up to be. I couldn’t be more thankful for the great sacrifice that she made, and I believe in my heart that God blessed her greatly for her obedience. I love a woman that I’ve never met, simply because she made a tough decision that saved my life.

Since 1973 there have been 48,589,993 (2007) abortions in the United States. I could have been part of that statistic, really what is the difference between 48,589,993 and 48,589,994. Who am I that I was chosen to live? What could I have possibly done in the womb that made me worth saving more than one of my other brothers or sisters who perished? How can I live a life that speaks for so many?

I was giving the gift of life, it is a precious gift from God, throughout my life God has continued to pour out undeserved gifts. And there is nothing I can do to earn them, they are a result of God’s love for me and there is nothing I can do to earn that either. He gives every good thing freely.

As the song we sing at Passover time goes, had God done nothing else for me saving my life would have been enough. But no God provided an amazingly loving family that adopted me.