Coming Full Circle
Recently I have had to take time and reflect on things in life. Following God is something I do when I am not busy doing my own thing. Which is normally running away from him. It is a part of my being and a big part of my life story. It has been an awesome experience. Taking everything I do to God is almost second nature. It took me a long time to learn to sit and wait if God didn’t move me. However, last fall I came to a situation and I wanted to move, only God was saying sit. I wanted things to happen and they weren’t happening.
It is not that I am not willing to sit and wait till I hear God in a situation. The day before Thanksgiving in 1993 I got laid off with no warning. I decided I was not moving till I was sure God was in it. The Friday after Thanksgiving I was offered a job but was not sure God was in it. I sat at home on unemployment till April and was getting a little nervous and thinking maybe I missed God in the matter. When the job did come it was the same one, from the same person, but this time the Lord bought him to me. I told the guy okay, but also told him if I felt moved by God to go elsewhere, I was gone. It went fine for six months and the door was opened to me having my own truck and traveling all of the United States and Canada. At least till God slammed that door ten years later, which is a big part of my testimony.
It is clear to me now that the reason my barn was not moving along was not because I was building it. It was one of the first projects in my life that I had the cash in hand upfront. The problem was the why I was building it. I was trying to go back to doing something God had opened the door to and then ten years later closed. The two links are basically a testimony of some of my experiences with God. The fact I am here today is another having had the big one and been bought back.
God has opened doors and given me everything I ever wanted in life and it has been a full life, thirteen years in the Army, ten years of it as a skydiving instructor and a tour on the Seventh Army Parachute Team where we did exhibition jumps all over Europe. Ten years of living overseas seven years in Germany, two years in Panama and a year in Vietnam. Twenty years of seeing America in a truck. Ten of those years were in my own truck and getting to witness out on the road.
That part of my life was behind me and it was all a Blessing but God had closed that door for whatever reason. I was trying to reopen it. My goal was to get in my van and go back out on the road. My plan was to travel sharing my testimony getting stories to write for my blog. The problem was I had not bought that part of the plan to the Lord.
Since October I have been very ill four times and three of those times I did not really know if I was going to see the other side but I did by His Grace. A couple of days ago I was reading a couple of friends blog post and the light came on. I don’t have to be out on the road to share my testimony. I met these girls at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It had been my privilege to go three years in a row. This year I missed it.
In 2013 at the Conference I met the person who had come the farthest to the Conference. He was a pastor from Japan. We started talking in the coffee shop and I shared with him that I had a friend that I had lost contact with over the years and that she was Japanese. She was the wife of my best friend who died in a plane crash which killed fourteen members of the Army Parachute Team the Golden Knights. Well he wanted all the details I could give him. I told him I had tried for several years with no luck in finding them. He said no problem. Anyhow the next morning at breakfast he gave me a piece of paper with her name, address and many details about her. I called and sure enough it was her. That fall I was reunited with my friend and former teammate’s son at Ft. Bragg, NC. He is very involved in good works and has turned out to be a very awesome person. Another circle in life had been completed.
The Lord has given me an awesome life. I can live it again and again in memories. I have seen the world, but now I need to become involved. It is time to reach out and help where he has placed me.
It is possible to share all that he has done for me without leaving here. My blog is doing very well. I am sure he called me to it. He opened all the doors, especially my time working as a journalist my last year in the Army. Time spent writing for the Southern Command News in Panama, The voice of America in the Canal Zone.
So it is time to reel it in Richard. It is time to reflect on all the neat little circles in life. To see God in them like the one that just closed. The 29th of May my wife and I went to the graduation of our youngest daughters, youngest son’s graduation. His Mom went home to be with the Lord a few days before her 33rd birthday in August of 2010. She fought a seven year battle with a brain tumor. It is only in looking back that I realize my heart attack had a purpose as I was allowed to take her to therapy and radiation. Our bond became very strong and she was ready to go when the time came. She passed with all her sons and family with her. The testimonies that were given at her memorial service made me see how awesome of a woman she was.
The day or so before the graduation my wife and I had these little things happening. I took one of my grandsons out for a birthday lunch in Evansville. On the way back we stopped at a pond where Glenda loved to go and sit. It had sunflower fields by it. While it is early for sunflowers it was still beautiful. When I pulled in I had been on a country station. When I started the car to leave the radio had changed to a Gospel music station. I started crying.
Later that evening as we entered the graduation a lady caught our attention. She was wearing a hat, holding a lady’s arm and shuffling along. She looked very much like our daughter did in her last days. I looked at my wife and we were both already in tears. Glenda was giving us signs, just as she had done when she passed. We would sit on the front porch and butterflies would keep landing on us. It kind of freaked us out and yet it gave us peace.
Once we got inside the auditorium we found a good seat and had been there only a little while before our daughter’s best friend, who she lived with for awhile during her illness came in and sat with us. They were there for the graduation of their son’s girlfriend. So Glenda gave us plenty of signs to know it will all work out.
Friday night I took my niece to an Amish auction near our house. It is actually ten auctions in one as most of them are going on simultaneously. In the course of the evening I started talking to a guy, mainly because of my Vietnam hat. He started telling jump stories and then he said he was a skydiver. I probably physically rolled my eyes. I have had that happen so many times only to find out they had not in fact skydived it was getting old.
Then I asked him where he jumped at. He said Ft. Stewart, GA and started naming names of people who trained him and jumped with him. We had started at the same place and within six months of each other and knew all the same people. We agreed to get together some time and talk. It was kind of ironic to meet each other at an auction. We only live about 50 miles apart. While our lives followed many similar paths and crossed often it was our first meeting.
So maybe the circles of life are coming to a close. The Good Lord has definitely given me a good ride and I have really enjoyed it. My only hope is I can become a good stay at home Christian. John 3:8 has not changed and still applies, but maybe the winds are just becoming softer
In closing I just want to say to those who do read my posts regularly I truly appreciate every one of you, even if I have never met you. I pray the Lord touches all your lives in a positive way. I apologize for the long break between posts but my health has been an issue. I will try to make up for it by making the remaining posts I make, better posts. I would also like to thank another BRMCWC member for encouraging me and for being a good friend. I wish her all the success she could ever hope for. Her book, Running from a Crazy Man, is about when God does not make sense. It is in a guest post on my blog and is written in short stories format on how we can deal with the issues we face in everyday life as a Christian and is endorsed by Jerry Jenkins of the Left Behind Series fame, which might say how good it is. And awesome a testimony to her writing skills.