Tag Archives: Anger

Its Time to Man Up, Boys!

I got excited about writing a blog a year or so ago. Then, my life took a nosedive and I put it off, again.  Over the last week and a half I didn’t feel much inspiration and I injured my back blah blah blah, therefore, I haven’t written much at all.  Upon starting this adventure I always had something to say or had a particular thought or idea about this or that, but not so much lately.  Things are going well in my life, life is getting on track.  My family and I are doing well.  I JUST NEED A STINKING JOB! I simply couldn’t find inspiration, and I enjoy doing this.  What’s the problem?  I also realize that this tool (writing) has been a major healing for me.  Maybe, that’s why I didn’t feel inspiration,  was I searching to hard?  Maybe the Evil One knows I need this and he try’s to keep me away from it?  Or maybe I just didn’t have a thing to say.  Here I am, pecking away at the keyboard and all these thoughts and emotions come to mind….I”M BACK!

I troll Facebook and Twitter religiously, I enjoy reading news articles, things relative to my favorite bands or music, quotes and just random stuff.  I enjoy seeing my friends and families posts about their lives….All is good.  However, one observation that is compelling me today, is the assault that is on families and men.  Understand this, I am no exception.  I have failed my family, but I am no longer that same man and I am working on repairing everything that I destroyed.  We are facing a deluge of ideas, thoughts, and lies that we face and fall victim to everyday.  Things are popping up in our lives that we never thought we would be foolish enough to fall victim too.  Think about these things, money, pornography, extramarital affairs, career, arguments, bitterness, suicide(what man in his right mind thinks about suicide….it happens, I was convinced it was right for me) and the list could go on and on.  Are these the things that should keep us from being in love with our wives and families?  No, but it’s happening to good people everyday.  I have already  written about what I thought being a man was, but I’m still not so sure that we as a society knows what a man is.  Our churches are filled with women that stand in the gap for their husbands while he just attends with her rarely just so she will stop nagging him.  Shouldn’t we be the spiritual leaders!?  Everywhere we turn there is something there ready to entice us and take us from the very things we love and cherish the most.   Drugs and alcohol, of which I fell victim to, is wreaking havoc on our lives.  They make us so blind to the truth, so blind to the fact that we are losing the battle.  We walk out on our families because this drug is so superior to everything else in our lives.  Then we listen to the lies it tells us….You are no good!  This isn’t going to hurt you!  I can stop any time I want too!  They do not want you!  They are better off without you!  Bullcrap!  The truth is, these substances are way bigger than you are, they will only take you places you do not want to go.  You can not and will not beat drug addiction or alcoholism on your own.  Ask for help, there is no shame in asking for help.

Having a great career and making money is a beautiful thing.  As a matter of fact, it is very honorable.  Providing for your family and your self is the right thing to do.   However, when that job or career rules your life, it is a problem.  Remember that old saying, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Well, it’s true.  Nothing should come in between your relationship with God and then your family.  Many times we don’t even realize this being a problem til it is brought up by the spouse.  Can’t you ever take a day off?  Can’t you work a normal 8 hour day, just once a week?  Have you ever heard those things.  I know, some of you are saying, “Well, this clown doesn’t even have a job, easy for him to say.”  Frankly, I have much regret and despair over that fact.  I made mistakes, huge stinking mistakes and I and my family are paying for it.  But God is my source now, he will not see us begging for bread.  My point here is this, if you are more consumed with your work than your God (no matter what you believe; you do not have to believe like I do) then you are creating a problem for yourself and your family.  Keeping up with the Jones’s is not what it’s cracked up to be.  Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.  Work, but don’t let the dollar rule you.

Hmmm?, let us talk about pornography.  This is a very serious issue.  As a matter of fact, I did not realize it was as serious as it is.  I am not addicted to pornography, let me clear that up from the start here.  However, I have fallen victim to the lure from time to time throughout my life.  Pornography has to be the most seductive lie that has ever been told.  It will steal your very soul.  It will entice you til you are so entangled that it seems impossible to escape its grasp.  Here is my question about pornography, is this something I would look at if my wife or my kids are around?  Will I clear the history or quickly X out of this screen if someone walks in?  I am quiet sure that this is one of the most hidden things among us men.  According to author Laurie Hall, studies show that 40 to 50% of christian men are involved in pornography.  Now, I know that some of us men are not ever going to tell the truth, so what are the real numbers?  Dr. Mary Ann Layden says that studies show that pornography is more addictive than cocaine.  Drugs are tough to break, breaking the addiction of pornography is tough.  Ask for help, It is ok.  If someone points their crooked little finger remind them that they have 3 pointing back at them and find you someone you can trust.  MEN!, ASK FOR HELP!  It is ok.  Pornography has been proven to cause sexual dysfunction, sexual anorexia (which is the unwillingness or the inability to engage in sexual intercourse with your spouse).  This all sounds too gnarley or sounds like something that could never happen to me.  Men, it happens.  Another thing that pornography has proven, is its ability to take your “natural affection” away.  Now, I am not here to argue homosexuality etc., I am warning us men that these things happen.  If we do not guard ourselves we will fall victim.  Remember, the evil one roams around seeking whom he may devour, I don’t want to be caught with my pants down.  No pun intended!  Further studies have shown that porn causes abuse.  A recent study of 1700 jr. high students found that 65% of boys and 57% of girls believe it’s OK for a male to force a female to have sex if they have been dating for six months.  That does not make me happy as the parent of a daughter and a son.  I found that so disturbing.  There is help for this, but you have to ask.  There is no shame in asking someone you trust.  Please ask for help if you find yourself in this situation.  God can take this away from you, if you believe!

Over the last couple of years, my wife and I had become bitter toward one another.  We never had a fist fight, we just had become very isolated from each other.  Although we were in the same house and the same room we just didn’t connect for some strange reason.  My addiction had become a problem and she had so much loss in her life we just became angry and bitter toward each other.  I no longer wanted to be married to her and I left.  Little did I know, what the next 7 months (From Nov 2013 until present) were going to do to me.  I can’t speak for her but anger, bitterness and resentment just became all I could see.  I was PISSED at her.  Just for, well, it didn’t matter.  Our 22 years together became a crutch and we took for granted our relationship.  I guess we always thought things would be good between us.  It didn’t seem that way at the time.  After I left, I really became more and more angry and I wanted a divorce and she wasn’t gonna stop me.  I was using again and nothing really mattered.  We spiralled from a long secure marriage to a broken relationship that only God could fix.  Needless to say, Kim went to “work” on herself after I left.  She began to seek God for herself and when she felt comfortable with herself, she started praying for me.  At first, our communication was limited but eventually I started noticing a change in her.  I didn’t need to change, HaHa, joke was on me.  After a couple of months, I started to feel God wooing me back.  I resisted.  Ultimately, Kim became the girl I married and she was in love with God and my heart began to change towards him, her and everything in my life.  God restored our marriage and made things brand new.  Do not Give Up, Men.  God has a plan and you may have no idea what he has in store.  I love her more than ever and we are good again, only this time God is first in my life and she is second!  It Works, trust me!

Lastly, suicide seems to be another lie that is making itself known to us.  Daily I see FB posts or twitter feed about someone committing suicide.  Lots of time, it is a wounded warrior that has returned home from war.  Sometimes,  it is John Doe, the average everyday man trying to live his life the best he knows how.  Back in November, November was a Gnarley month, I was so close to purchasing a gun and ending my life.  I was minutes away from it, thank God I chose not to do that.  Gander Mountain was in my sights and Fortunately for me it was getting late and time didn’t allow me to go through the process of purchasing a gun.  Other times, I was just gonna drive into a tree and end it.  Again, thank God, I chose not to do it.  My family and my kids needed me.  My relationship with my parents and siblings was not good and I would have ended it with a very bad ending with them as well.  I thank God daily for giving me the wisdom and courage to live out what he had planned long ago,  I just took a detour.   Please Men, know that suicide and depression are nothing to be ashamed of.  Depression made me such a miserable man.  I was ashamed and I thought that I was no more a man, than anything.  I should be strong.  Depression is real and if you do not guard yourself it will show up and destroy your life.  Again, talk to someone, please!

These are just some of the issues we face, there are many more.  Point is, if we do not become aware to these things we could fall victim to them, quickly.  I hope to share more as time goes on.  There is a war for us.  Pick you a team and go fight or lay down and fall prey to something that ultimately will steal your happiness.  It has taken me 40 years to figure out some things and I am still working and learning.  As long as I work it and learn, I am good.  I have to do things daily to ensure my safety…..I try and put positive things in my brain, I try to think before I speak, and I love God, first.  It has changed my life.  Thank God for grace and redemption.  Rise up Men! Love your wife and family, but be on guard because life has a way of kicking you in the teeth and the way we respond can determine the outcome of life.  Fight!

Going Forward in Reverse,

Tim

 

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Mirror, Mirror on th………….

I never once in my life claimed to be an Adonis, you know, the God of Beauty and Desire.  Here lately, I feel like Buddha, the guy with the big fat belly.  Truth is, the mirror doesn’t lie.  It will give you an accurate view of the person you have become.  It will show you things only YOU want to see.  Which is a good thing because most folks wouldn’t want to see that anyway.  However, there is another mirror that isn’t physical but is all too real.  It’s the mirror you look into that shows you what you look like on the inside.  No, it’s not an x-ray machine.  It is that soul, that conscience or that moral thermometer that displays all the good and bad that makes you who you are.  Alcohol Anonymous calls it a moral inventory.   Oh, it can show the ugly side of me.  I hate looking into it and wow, how that person inside of me has changed since I was old enough to acknowledge that it was there.

As a youth/teen the person inside me was certainly not who I am today.  I was good and kind kid.  I spent most of my time as a kid, playing in the dirt or playing in the neighborhood with friends.  A pretty good kid.  I went to church when church was in service.  I feel like I never gave my parents too much trouble, just a pure delight.  HaHa!  As a child that grew up in church all the basic things that came along with learning about God, well, I possessed those traits.  I was loving, respectful, acknowledged God in my life, caring and sensitive.  Later, as I grew into a man, that sensitive side is the side I despised the most, it was weak, so I thought.  Things were good as a kid, life was fun and easy, never had any major disagreements with my mom and/or dad, and developed into a normal teenage boy who kept those similar qualities.  I was a good guy.  In my teen years, not much changed.  Of course, I didn’t play in the dirt anymore but I did have friends and we hung out on the weekends and went to church on Sundays, all was well.  The mirror back then showed me much of the same traits it did as a kid.  Let me add, it was in those first 10 or 15 years that I knew God had a plan for my life and I was ok with that.  I wouldn’t start running from God until I was in my mid 20″s.  The mirror wasn’t mean to me when I was young.

I joined the Marine Corps at 18 and that is when some of those traits started to fade a little, they didn’t go away, but they did fade.  I suppressed them.  However,those years in the military taught me some more great traits, like honor, commitment, courage, tenacity, faithfulness (Semper Fidelis), integrity and esprit de corps.  It was also during this time that I started to party.  I mean, we were Marines!  General Douglas MacArthur said, “I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world.”  So, what better way to honor such a great fighting force, we honored it by partying.  We did it big, too.  It was just what we did, it’s what most Marines did on the weekends. Remember, I grew up going to church and now that I was over seas and legally I could buy beer at 18 on the Marine Corps base, church became the farthest from my mind.  I had forgotten my First Love, Jesus Christ.

Those  great traits remained with me throughout my life, until about 7 years ago.  Let me note that those traits remain with me today, I have just had to dig a little deeper to bring them back to the forefront of my life.  As I look at my life over the last seven years many things come to mind.  I remember going through that event/trauma that caused me to slip.  It was after I left ministry that I used my first pill in a way that wasn’t safe, I started abusing them.  I remember taking that pill and as I look back on it now, that was the beginning of a ride that I wasn’t ready to take.  I should not have taken that ride!  I regret that day in my life, that day that I added “drug addict” to my resume.  I took those drugs to take away the hurt and pain of  losing  something that I loved and was dear to me.  I didn’t want to be a failure in the eyes of God.  It was then that I started harboring hate, resentment and unforgiveness toward God’s people.  I didn’t want anything to do with those folks and I sure didn’t believe anything that I had learned about God as a kid was true, anymore.  So, now that mirror was showing me hurt, anger, resentment and unbelief in a God that I had grown up believing in.  Little did I know that this is would be only the beginning.

As the next 7 years went on, I became an angry, bitter man.  I became a liar.  I became so much of a person that I didn’t even like.  Shame and guilt became my crutches.  Self-pity was a great friend of mine.  Needless to say, the mirror was not my friend, both mirrors, the one that showed myself and the one that showed me what was inside of me.  I became a disgrace in my eyes and there was nothing anybody could do or say to make me different.  I lost trust in people and I always loved people and was outgoing, never met a stranger.  Drugs are never an answer to anything.  I regret taking that first pill.

So, here we are today, life has changed for me, I no longer am angry or resentful.  Things happened to me for a reason,  although  I am not sure the reason yet.  If only it was to bring me back into the arms of a loving God, it worked.  I have been very careful with this soul searching process.  I wanted to make sure that I was sincere  and serious about it.  This was no joke for me, it was life and death.  All the negative crap had to come out or I would be right back down that road again.  I had to take it serious.  Like I have said, I put in 100% in living outside the realm of God, I am determined to give God 100% as well.  I have to say, this decision saved my life, give it a sincere try, it may work for you.

Now that life is going well for me, I look at what is going on and I want to make sure that I am legit.  In making sure I am legit, I have dug up things that I didn’t realize was even in there.  One, being a Christian means to be like Christ, I can’t be like Christ if I don’t love.  Love starts here with me, if I can’t love me or forgive me then how can I expect to give that to other people.  It is not possible.  Forgiveness, how can I forgive if I can’t forgive me.  I don’t want to hold bitterness and anger inside me.  That is not the way Christ lived.  I had to learn to forgive me.  I am no longer that man, for I am a new creature.  I now treat people the way I want to be treated, I feel the love of God inside me  and it is a great feeling.

Smile, for it may be the only sunshine someone may see that day.  It works, try it.  If I don’t smile and I am a ‘bitter’ Christian, nobody is going to be interested in what I have to offer.  It doesn’t work!  I have learned that it is so much better to give than it is to receive.  No, I don’t have a job yet, but I can give something far more valuable than money.  I can love and respect another person now.  Again, I might be the only love they may see today.  It starts right here at home.  I have to love my family and treat them well.  It is not fair to treat others you barely know better than you treat your own family.  I see it all to often,  I refuse to live like that, if I fail, I will get up and try it again, til I get it right.

Throughout these adventures many things about my life have come to face me.  Today, I do have to say I am a better man than I have ever been.  I am closer to God than I have ever been.  I am not saying I am where I need to be, I still have much work to do.  But I am certainly better than I was.  I no longer crave drugs, God took that desire away from me.   I may crave tonight, but I have a friend that I can call on when I need him, his name is Jesus. When shame and guilt raise its head in front of me, I remember that I am flawless.  I have some relationships that are a little damaged, maybe broken, but I trust God will rebuild those for me.  He is faithful.  I am determined to live my life and share my story because I see hurting people all around me.  People need encouragement, love and a listening ear.  I will be that ear for people.  Thank God for redemption as it is so sweet.

 

Going Forward in Reverse!

Tim

 

 

 

 

Crying Out, Nobody Heard Me! I Thought?!

Some days I didn’t want to move,didn’t want to get up out of bed. Other days I wanted to die. Sleep was my only friend as the depression consumed my soul. Thanksgiving was here, I wasn’t thankful for anything, I was angry because I was alive. Alone, I walked out to a field, very secluded area and fell down on my knees, begging for relief, something, somebody, please take this hurt. Please take the shame and guilt from me. I wasn’t worthy to even cry out to God, I wasn’t even sure there was a God. If there was a God he didn’t show up that day, but believe me, the Darkness was close by. I wept for what seemed like an eternity. I was ringing my hands that day, picking my scabs, that day I was lost. Thanksgiving 2013 was a dark day. There were many a dark day ahead, I just didn’t know.

The battle for my soul led me down a dirty road. A road that I am not proud of. I have heard that God isn’t this or he isn’t that, or there is no God and that is ok that one believes that. Reality is, there is a battle going on, a battle for my very life. You see, I knew God, I have to look in the mirror everyday and see a Fallen Down Man of God, that’s not easy. Not too mention, a disgrace of a husband, a father that walked out of his families life,  I am a brother that didn’t cling to his siblings, I am a son that was estranged from  his mother and father.  I was an employee that took advantage of one of the greatest opportunities and the greatest man that God had ever put into my life.  I blew it!  I was a friend that didn’t stick closer than a brother.  You see I was a drug addict and then I started drinking because I couldn’t get drugs when I needed them.  There is a battle going on for my soul!  I was suicidal because I let darkness in. I had begun to cut ties with my family, eventually I was gonna kill myself.  I listened to the lies of the evil one that told me I was all those things. Let me say this, not one time as a follower of Christ did I ever feel those ways or do any of those things.  Even if he isn’t real, the goodness of life is worth the change.  Scientifically, he is the great physicist, there is no explaining with our simple minds.  Sure, I could rationalize this, but there is no need for rationalization when I can smile today!  It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t smile.

In April of 2007, I decided in my mind that I was no longer gonna listen to, believe in a God that allowed me to feel hurt like I felt.  I did not want anything to do with him or his people.  They had hurt me and my family.  Why would I wanna associate with something like that?  My kids are almost grown now, well, one is right on the precipice of being grown and one is still a little short of it, though she thinks she is grown.  They both are very hesitant of God and his workings, but they will get there.  It was that month, in 2007, that my life would never be the same. At 33 years old I took my first hydrocodone, in a way that was not proper, or Dr prescribed.  My life and use rocketed from there. I couldn’t control it, but it took my hurt away.  That’s all I wanted it to do.  I had failed at something I felt was my destiny, my calling, my ministry and those little pills became my mistress.  They became my life, as I would go to whatever length or pit I had to do to get em.  They were my God.  Now, at this point in my life I was not an atheist, because I believed there was some kind of spiritual being out there, but that he was no longer interested in me because I SUCKED!  He was for other people, why would he want me back?  Maybe I had become agnostic, but again, I do not think so because I believed in a Higher Power (God), he just wasn’t for me.  I guess I was indifferent,  or I thought claiming to be agnostic was a cop out and I certainly am not a “coward”, I gotta believe in something.   I was to afraid to call Satan, my God, because I was terrified of that whole scenario.  I have seen the Exorcist. I was a speck of dust just searching for something.  Everywhere I turned led me to more darkness.  I just think that we as human beings should believe in something.  Heck, I even thought about Buddhism at one point, great idea there, some of it!

Christianity, today, seemed so unstable, it involves so many different aspects of belief (religion). We have Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Evangelicals, Holiness, etc etc.  You understand what I am saying.  Let me clear this up, I am not bashing any of those.  I grew up Pentecostal (Church of God), I say do your thing.  I just wasn’t sure the whole religious identity was for me.  I didn’t get it anymore.  There should be a Christian organization called Hypocriticals, I believe they would be the largest group involved with religion, if they would admit it and form it, just kidding, don’t get your briefs in a wad, that was a joke.  Seriously, I felt like Gandhi when he said, “…..I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  That is were I was, DONE!

Back to 2013, my life had spiralled out of control.  My marriage was failing, at this point I had left the house, I was addicted to pain killers, I was burning a couple trees, I was pretty good at drinking beer, I was depressed beyond anything I have ever felt before, I had lost my job (which is a story in itself; how the greatness of God had even given me that job), I was picked up by police and put in a hospital because I literally felt like I was losing my mind, suicidal. I felt alone, I felt my kids hated me, I felt my wife hated me, I felt everybody hated me.  I didn’t have any hope, but there were days I remembered what Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redemption, “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” I clung to that occasionally.  I certainly had blocked out all the love that ever existed, full of anger and hate, regret, shame, guilt and Alone.  While in the hospital, I even blocked calls from my wife, I didn’t want to hear her voice, after all, “She put me in there”.  I laugh now, at the time it was far from funny.  I put me in there!

My wife was dealing with issues of her own.  I will let her fill you in on that if she so desires.  However, I will tell you, I went to rehab on November of 2007 and again in May of 2008, her father passed away in 2009 and her mother passed in 2010 (May they both RIP in Heaven).  She had a hysterectomy in 2010.  She had a lot on her.  After I left, in November of 2013, she did a whole lot of soul searching and a bunch of work to get herself mentally where she felt she could function.  Let me tell you, she went to work, her and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Throughout November and December and into January, I wanted nothing to do with her.  I didn’t want to talk to her, see her or even think about her.  However, she and God had other plans.  Don’t get me wrong, we have loved one another since we were kids at church, teenagers really.  She was the one I saw and I knew that God had plans for us and I would always love her but the marriage was over, as far as I was concerned. There were days she would text me the kindest words, loving words, words that started to penetrate my heart.  I was a stone though.  I was not gonna let her back in, after all she was the reason I was hospitalized.  HaHa!  Joke was on me!  After a while, and occasionally those few months we would talk and I could tell she was no longer the same person that she was when I left.  She was so kind and loving toward me, so caring and even supportive of me, not the choices or the life I was making and living, but my heart and soul.  She was supporting the man that I was and I never wanted to be again.  She was loving towards me, even after all I have done and said to her.  She loved me and believed in me when I felt no one should. She saved my life.  She will tell you that it wasn’t her and I know it wasn’t her, but she was a willing vessel that was being used by God.  I could never thank her enough.  Today, she is better than the girl that I married 22 years ago. She is the most beautiful person I know.

Today, I write this with a new heart.  Today, I am home, our marriage is reconciled. But, early this morning (30 April 2014) at 0130  I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I believe it was a divine awakening. I felt a baseball sized lump in my throat and I knew what I had to do.  I talked to God. Sobbing, I told him what I thought and he listened.  I asked for forgiveness for all I have done and I asked Jesus Christ into my heart and to be the lover of my soul.  He graciously welcomed me back.  I know how the prodigal son must have felt, because, I was him.  Today, my slate is clean.  I am a new man with a new heart.  Why is this such a big deal for me?  Because, I said I would never do it again after he failed me.  He didn’t fail me, I failed him.  But, Thank God for second chances, third chances or even fourth chances.