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Did I Do/Say That?
How we change as we mature
Everyone who knows me, knows I have perhaps, the worlds worst memory. But just how bad it is, sometimes shocks even me. Like everyone else in this world, my personal beliefs, ideas and opinions have changed as I have matured. I have always been confident that what I knew...was right. I remember as a 21 year old, being told that they (the people I had been talking to) thought I was much older, because I knew so much. The fact is, I didn't really know all that much...it was just because I spoke as if I did. As I said, I believed what I knew was right. Looking back, and seeing all the changes in my beliefs and opinions, I can clearly see that they were not...if they had been I would not have changed them. Now...some things I believe in have not changed, even so much as an iota. These are my unshakable truths.
These are things like does GOD exist? Is CHRIST the divine Son of GOD? Is the bible true? But the things that have changed, these are my understandings of life and people...and GOD. I guess to explain better, I should go back and tell a bit about myself, this will help you understand why I believe the way I do, and why certain beliefs have changed over time.
To begin with, when my mother was pregnant with me, one day, on impulse, she gave me to GOD. At this point, she knew about GOD, but wasn't exactly a practicing CHRISTian. This act seems to have put my life in danger, because Satan went to war with me. Mom and I both nearly died when she gave birth to me. My sister, who was roughly 2 and a 1/2 years older than I, slammed my head into a rock. This same sister fed me a bottle of aspirin when I was three years old. That time, I did die. That is when I met CHRIST. HE met me, took me up into HIS lap, and told me it was not my time yet, I had to go back. HE showed me an opossum and sat me upon a white horse. I have my own beliefs at what those two acts meant. When I was roughly six, one Sunday, our neighbor stopped by on his way to church. At this point we did not attend church, we weren't actively taught about GOD or CHRIST. On this particular Sunday, mom and dad were not at home, just me and my sisters. I was playing outside when he stopped. When he asked me, I knew I should say no until I could ask mom, but suddenly I had an overwhelming desire to go, so I said yes and got in. That became my formal education about GOD/CHRIST.
That church was a charismatic church, the type people label as holy rollers. It had just been established. But shortly after mom and dad and my sisters began attending, we left it and my youngest sister and I began attending the local Baptist church with our neighbor, who also left the other church. Shortly after that, I got baptized. Most folks would say I was to young to know what that meant, what I was doing, but this is not the case for me. I did know. Some time in my seventh year, (it was summertime), on a particularly hot day, mom took us kids to the lake for the day. Back then I was a very shy kid. I usually played with my youngest sister or by myself. On this day, I had been playing by myself when I saw a group of kids playing under a permanent raft. I was so curious that I finally plucked up the courage to go and ask one of them what they were doing. Right here is a huge difference between how a child's mind thinks and how an adult's mind thinks. The kids were playing a sort of dare game. Under the raft was a shallow tunnel like of air between the bottom of the raft and the surface of the water. this allowed them to go to the center and still breathe air. Once at the center, they had to duck under the water to go under a cross beam, then they came up on the other side. Well, once they tired of the game and left for other amusements, I went to see if I could do it. The first time I did it correctly. The second time, I came up crooked and bumped my head on the bottom of the raft. I did not panic, but just started swimming to the edge of the raft with the intention of swimming out from under it. However, just as I got to the edge of the raft, quite unexpectedly, I sucked in a lungful of water. I then exhaled it and sucked some more in. I inhaled and exhaled three times, exhaling upon breaking the surface of the water. I coughed and spluttered and made my way to the raft, where I climbed up and lay in the sun, regaining my breath. As I lay there, I did not even consider that I almost died...the thought never even crossed my mind. No, what I thought about is that I had done it right once...I just knew I could do it right again. So, I went back under and attempted it again. It was like Deja Vu. I did it right the first time and came up crooked the second time. Once again I breathed water, exhaling upon breaking the surface. Once again I climbed onto the raft to regain my breath. Once again, the thought did not cross my mind that I almost died (in fact, I never knew it was not possible to breathe water until I was in my twenties). However, I felt a strong foreboding of trying it again, so I didn't.
Sometime in my ninth year, my youngest sister and I had our two best friends over for a sleep over. We were all sleeping in the living room. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up to a feeling of the presence of extreme evil in the room with us. I knew in my heart it was Satan (the same way you recognize someone in a dream yet cannot see them clearly). I knew my sister and friends were in terrible danger. We had been taught the power of CHRIST's name, so I invoked it, commanding the evil presence to leave...and it did. That taught me a lot about the power of CHRIST's name over evil. I never forgot it.
As a young adult I became aware that my life, compared to my sisters lives, was rather sheltered. It isn't that bad things did not happen to me, but more like I had a different understanding of what bad things meant. When we were young, before mom came to CHRIST (that happened in her older years) she was under a lot of stress. She loved her children and wanted what was best for us, but what she wanted and what happened was two very different things. To understand her state of mind one must go back to her own childhood. As much as I love my grandparents, they had their faults. Mom suffered abuse for most of her growing up years. Then, her first husband (my real father) was very abusive and controlling. Shortly after she divorced him, he blackmailed her (he had their second child, my older sister with him and would not return her unless mom had sex with him) and that is when she got pregnant with me. Mom married two more times, with each husband being too weak, and she divorced them. Then she met the man she is still married to. Much of their early life together was filled with fighting. Mom also suffered from physical pain, and in fact lost her job because she was told if she hurt so much she had to take pain medication, she should not work. Mom did her best for us, but she had quite a temper, which we got the brunt of. Her new husband also had problems, which she did not fully understand until their later years together. He himself had been abused by his father, terrible abuse, like being hit in the head with pipe wrenches and such. This step dad had an issue with me, and I was always his target for verbal abuse. After I had been revived from the aspirin over dose and came out of the resultant six week coma, the doctors thought I would have water on the brain or severe brain damage and possible epilepsy. While I did not have water on the brain OR brain damage, I did have a bad memory and epilepsy. This epilepsy was one thing my current step dad used against me, making fun of me for it. One day (we had several dogs) one of the dogs attacked our nanny goat. No one was home, but us kids found her tangled in barbed wire, her throat torn open, barely alive. We had just got home from school and had to get our neighbor to come kill her. When mom and dad got home and discovered what had happened, dad went ballistic. He swore it was one of my dogs, even though we all (but him) were pretty sure it was his German Shepherd. So, he got out his rifle and he had me hold each of my dogs as he shot them. The last one he just clipped and it broke off its leash and ran under the house and I had to call it back out knowing it was going to die. The dog trusted me and came out. Today this memory is like someone else's, not mine
I have always been sensitive to animals and the emotions of others. It wasn't until I was an adult that I heard the term empath. But when I did, I understood what I was, and that actually helped me...before that I could not understand where some of my emotions (like feeling anger with no cause while talking to an angry person) were coming from, and this helped me to control those emotions. I believe that one reason I seem to have such shallow emotions today is that I learned to control my emotions too well, now it is hard for me to feel some things, unless they are overwhelming. I still understand what other people feel though, even if I do not feel that to the same extent they do.
When I was roughly 18, my mom and I were in Colorado, camping, not to far from Sliverton. One day we got into a fight, and I decided to leave. My oldest sister was pregnant and nearing her time, and I had been thinking about her a lot...more and more, so I decided I would hitch hike to where she lived in South Dakota and spend some time with her, maybe help her if I could. What I did not know then, but later learned...that was GOD leading me to go to my sister. How do I know this? Because many times after that, the feeling would come to me it was time to move on, and whoever I was to go to would become increasingly thought of until I would have a overwhelming desire to go to them. I learned the hard way that if I did not go when I was told, I would end up burning bridges behind me. The last two moves really brought that home to me. The time before the last, I was staying with my cousin and his wife and daughter (now ex wife). I began to think heavily on my mother. I immediately recognized that GOD was telling me to go to her. So I spoke with my cousin and his wife, letting them know I would be leaving them soon. They did not want me to go and offered my a trailer they had, I would only have to pay lot rent (75$). This was very tempting, as I had never had a home of my own. I thought to myself, maybe it wouldn't hurt me to stay a bit longer...and that thought nearly broke up the relationship I had with my cousins. The first notion I got that I had made a mistake was my cousins wife offering the same home to her parents. This made me feel resentful. I realized then I had made a mistake. I did not have money for such a trip, so I went to an old woman, whom I had met through my cousins wife. I went to her because I knew she believed in GOD and she had money. I explained that I was being led to go to my mom, but I needed some money to get there. She willingly and without hesitation, gave me a hundred dollar bill. When my cousins wife learned about the money, she demanded it back, claiming I had taken advantage of an old woman. I wasn't going to fight with her, so I gave her the money, but I told her I was still leaving. She asked me how I thought I was going to do that without money. I asked her if she thought GOD was not capable of getting me to the place HE was telling me to go. My gas gauge did not work in the car I had at that time, so I figured I would be safe filling up roughly every two hundred miles. A local church filled my tank the first time. after that, I would stop at truck stops and ask truckers for enough money to fill my tank. Every trucker I asked willingly gave me what I needed. It was rare for a fill up to cost me more than 6 to 10 dollars. I didn't eat anything, and I wasn't hungry. My dog had plenty of dog food so I wasn't concerned about her. At the last truck stop I stopped at, the trucker filled my tank and I thanked him profusely. I then got back on the road, and I saw his truck leaving in my rear view mirror. Soon he had caught up to me and I thought I should let him pass me, so I pulled over a little so he could pass. However, just seconds after passing me, he put on the brakes and began to pull over. I thought to myself, he helped me, I should see if I can help him, so I pulled over behind him. He jumped down from his truck and trotted back to me. I asked him if something was wrong. He in turn asked me if what he gave me (I think he had given me a twenty) would be enough to get me the rest of the way home. I expected to be at mom's place by that night, so I told him I thought it was. He then took out a roll of money and handed it to me, and told me to get something to eat for me and my dog. I had tears in my eyes as I thanked him, and I asked GOD to bless him triple what he blessed me with. All told, it took me three days to get to mom's, and I had started out with no money and ended the trip with 18 dollars left over. When I called my cousins to let them know I had arrived at my destination safely, they were shocked that I made it so quickly and had money even. My cousins wife then apologized for trying to stop me, that she now understood I had been telling the truth when I said GOD was telling me to go.
A couple of years later, I was staying with my youngest sister, and I again began to get the urge to go to mom. I must have closed my mind to it, because things began to go south. I had a great job working in the Deli dept of Safeway. I loved my job and the people I worked with. I made better money than any job before that. The beginning of the end for me there started with our apartment catching on fire. Then my sister and I had a falling out. I went and stayed with my best friend, and it was there I began to realize what was happening. Thoughts of mom were more and more heavily on my mind. I started talking to her on the phone almost every day and even sometimes two and three times a day. I began to realize that this time, I was being told to go to mom, not for mom, but for me, for my own spiritual growth. By this time mom had come to CHRIST ten or more years prior to this day. SO, I told me friend I would be leaving. I went to my boss and explained why I felt I needed to leave (He was a CHRISTian). my immediate supervisor did not want me to leave, so she went to our boss and got permission to offer me a raise if I would stay. It was only a little tempting as by this time I could barely contain my need to be gone. My sister did not want me to go, and she did not believe GOD was telling me to go. I had to call my cousin and ask them to talk with her and maybe help convince her that GOD was really telling me to go. She did not believe still for many years after.
I made it to mom's without incident, and there I began a new phase in my spiritual walk. My mother had a friend, who was post master of the local post office. She offered me a job, which I was happy to accept. However, after I had gone through the screening and background security check and been interviewed at headquarters, and was just waiting to see if I got accepted, I had an eye opener. Like most other CHRISTians, I believed the Sabbath was on Sunday. Well, I was reading a book, which I cannot remember what it was called. In it, it explained not only how GOD's true Sabbath was on Saturday, but it also explained why it was important to keep GOD's Sabbath of mans. It made a great deal of sense, and I accepted it without question, which I have since learned means GOD was teaching me. (I must say here that when GOD teaches me a thing, HE makes me at peace and accepting of it, no matter how much I might have been against it before). Now that I understood this, I was put to the test to see who I would obey. You see, the job I would soon have meant that I would be working on Saturday. I went to the post master and asked her if I could not work one of her week days and she work Saturday. She said no, that was why I was being hired, so I would work on Saturdays and that gave her two days off in a row. I made my decision and told her I would not be able to take the job. I explained why. She believed in GOD, but she did not believe what I was telling her. She thought I was playing games with her and she became angry. It was a few months before she would talk to mom or I again. But when one sets out to obey GOD over man, GOD has a way of making enemies be at peace with you and even become friends. GOD also taught me about celebrating things like Christmas and Easter. My mother first told me we should not celebrate Christmas. but i loved Christmas and all the warm happy memories that went with it. I loved signing Christmas songs and watching Christmas shows. But I have always wanted GOD's will above my own, so I asked HIM to teach me if what mom said was true. Then just before the next Christmas, I came across a site called "A Voice In The Wilderness". They not only explained why we should not celebrate Christmas and Easter, but what it means if we choose to even after we know better. GOD gave HIS people the times they were to celebrate, if we choose to celebrate a holiday not of GODs making, but rather mans, then we are doing the same as choosing man over GOD, same if we choose to keep mans Sabbath over GODs Sabbath. The difference this time is that when I read it, I suddenly had no desire anymore to celebrate either of those holidays. GOD gave me peace and acceptance...and it was like flipping off a light switch it was so sudden that I went from one belief to the other. That more than anything convinced me it was from GOD and not my own understanding.
Shortly after this, I was diagnosed as having severe Fibromyalgia, and this added to my epilepsy and a few other issues, put me on disability. I suppose I could have fallen into a self pity rut...but that has never been my way. I have so much to be thankful for in my life, it is hard to feel sorry for myself, even now. And I understand that such trials work to not only make me stronger, make my faith stronger...but it also works to bring me closer to my GOD. I could be addicted to drugs, tobacco or alcohol. There is a long line of alcoholism in both sides of my family. Each of my sisters have struggled with it. I spent much of my young adult years socially drinking. But I decided with my first drink that I would never allow myself to get drunk. And I didn't. I also spent from around 15 years old to my mid thirties socially smoking. After I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and other parts of my health began slipping, I had an asthma attack, and have been prone to asthma ever since. But the first time it happened and I realized what was going on, I decided then and there not to smoke anymore, for my lungs sake. As for drugs, I was a teen the first time I tried a joint...and then I did not believe it was one. My uncle was smoking one, and offered me a drag. I did not believe him, even though I did realize it stunk worse than mom's cigarettes ever did. I took a drag, but though it tasted different from normal tobacco, there was no odd effects. later in my twenties, my older sister was pretty heavy into drugs. one night I was watching Lord Of The Dance with Michael Flately. She came in and saw what I was watching and told me she wanted me to try it after smoking some pot with her. I was curious, so the next day we put it on and she got out her pipe. She told me to inhale a deep lungful and then hold it in as long as i could before exhaling it. I followed her instructions, but thought I was doing it wrong because when I was exhaling, no smoke came out. I kept trying to take deeper lungfuls of the stuff, but still no smoke would come out. Finally she told me I was doing it right, that my lungs were absorbing all the smoke. I smoked more than she did, but felt no different. She was getting a bit loopy but I wasn't even dizzy. She was so amazed she made me promise to repeat it when her husband came home. I did, and ended up out smoking them both...still no effect. I realized then that drugs were a waste of my time if they didn't effect me.
With the back pay from my disability, i bought a 1996 Ford F-150. The first pickup truck I ever drove, and I fell in love with it. I just realized today that in 2 years that truck will be 20 years old. The engine on that truck still runs smoothly. The driver side door does not open anymore and the reverse no longer works. The tie rod ends are getting close to needing replacements and the back tank rarely works. Inspite of the fact that here on the reservation, vehicles do good to last two to three years, this truck has lasted us roughly 8-9 years, and its not running right now only because the battery quit taking a charge. This will soon be remedied as a friend is trying to get a new battery for us.
I have learned much over the years. I titled this hub as I did because mom will often tell me something I said that shocks the heck out of me. I have no memory of saying such a thing and cannot believe I would ever say such a thing. This really brings home how our beliefs and opinions change as we mature and learn more. I hope you, the reader, does not find this account of my life and walk with GOD to be boring, but more than that, I pray that my life lessons might also be lessons for those who read it.