I’m a preacher’s kid. Desperate to find out what it was like to be a man, at 18 I enlisted in the military. Church and religion hadn’t done it for me.
At 29 I got married and had three beautiful children along with a very successful career. I was living the “American Dream” but God was in the back seat, far removed from my life. Career success and money were my idols. I thought they would take care of any problems I would face.
Fast forward to age 50. Having lost a number of jobs in Cincinnati, I found myself commuting to Lexington. I could sense the foundation of the life I had built for myself starting to slide away. One morning on my drive, I found myself listening to a pastor on the radio. He said, “If you’re having troubles in your life, write them down and turn them over to God.” I sensed a need. Although I’d accepted Christ at a very young age, I knew I wasn’t following Him. After hearing the pastor’s message, I said, “Lord I’m going to sit over here on the passenger side. From now on, you be the driver of my life. I’ve been king and lord of my own life for 50 years. I made a big mistake. You be King and Lord. I give up.” I’ve never looked back.
After that, God began to tear down the foundation I had built for my life. My wife left me for another man and I lost the job in Lexington. As I walked out of the courthouse following the divorce proceedings, I gazed at my wife walking in the opposite direction. I knew I needed to forgive her. I did. Since then I’ve prayed for God to bless her. He has. In spades.
Over the past 26 years God has provided countless blessings and many miracles. Just recently, I visited the dermatologist who had been taking care of me when I was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer. After examining me, he shook his head in disbelief, saying, “No more cancer?!” My new wife Christina and I have been married for over 22 years. All five of our children are married and we have 10 grandchildren.
At my 75th birthday party there were over 100 people in attendance including my ex-in-laws and friends from my previous life. God can take all the broken pieces and put them back together again.
I recently heard the same pastor I heard 26 years ago for only the second time. He said, “In our past, without God, we made decisions from which we suffered and were responsible for the consequences of those decisions. Whereas today, in knowing Christ, listening and acting in obedience to Him, we’re no longer responsible for the consequences of the decisions we make in response to Him. He is.” How freeing that is! No matter what that looks like.