“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Okay, so of all the devious things I had done in my youth, one thing stayed pretty ingrained into my thinking; Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery! Oh, how many youth pastors did I hear talking about that, how many hell-fire sermons were barked at us during church camp. Keep yourself pure, that if you have sex before marriage, you become one with that person, and on and on and on. Well, they had me convinced, don’t think like that, so while most of my regular friends were trying ‘adult’ things, I would avoid the situations all together. For I had decided that if there was one thing I would preserve, it would be that sacred bond between a man and a woman, until I was in love, until I was married.
After having my face kicked in at 17, I kind of figured maybe mom and dad were correct about a few things. I would move back in, try to right some wrongs, get another job, you know start over. I finally got a driver’s license, purchased my first crappy car a 1977 Toyota Corolla, Mustard Yellow. $300, a complete brake overhaul and a rigged up headlight switch was all it needed, that and of course it had to be hot wired as there was no ignition switch. That car landed me a job working at an Kwik-Kar oil lube center, so life was improving. My parents then handed me down a 1987 Isuzu Trooper and I sold the Corolla to a co-worker. Anyway, the Isuzu was a nice ride for a drop-out, nice enough that when I met my first real girl-friend, she would be impressed with my ride and my style. I was impressed with her too a 15-year-old drop out, talk about a match made in heaven. Well, when heaven makes a match, people like me tend to strike it and watch it burn. It wasn’t long and that commandment that once meant so much, meant a little less and less each day, to which it would eventually be broken. Plus, when you’re 17 and in love with a 15-year-old, you don’t need to use protection, because you are safe in each others arms! A few days of morning sickness, a trip to planned parenthood and it was confirmed I was going to be a father-woohoo!!! Three months into that pregnancy the relationship took a hiatus, I was left crying in the rain as they say and well things in life just don’t always bring the happiness we expect. Maybe, I should have listened to those pesky youth ministers.
Austin, Texas is a wonderful town to clear your head for a month, especially when you are 17 and have the world figured out. I tried it, then returned home again, the Isuzu broke down and I ended up buying a motorcycle. The motorcycle was the path to get my girl and baby back. Late one evening I would be hit by a drunk driver on it, break my right foot and find the quality care that our local Hugely hospital has to provide. The ex-girl friend received the call, felt sorry for me, came to see me at my parents house. A little more pre-marital sex and the relationship was healed-Hallelujah! July of 1995 I was married, I was 18 years old, she was now 16, our son Nathan was born September 1st, but hey at least he wasn’t born out-of-wedlock!
This was honestly one of the toughest years of my life! Having a child at a young age, well you can see the miracle of birth, but there was no miracle in the rest of that time frame. I now had full understanding of what it was to have a heart that was crushed, and a co-dependency/insecurity issue large enough to go back to the source of that heartache! Regardless, I was now a man, in a mans world and I had a child in a world that demanded money, little of which I had. I also had a wife though, not a lot of 18 year-old men, get to run home to a 16-year-old wife everyday, but lucky me, lucky me!!!!
So many things happened in this time frame, it would take a month to explain them all. This was the big one though, the beginning of the story of my adulthood, the invocation to my life story, the warm-up before the race. I was about to see the world in ways that many others have seen it, but in ways that no one ever should. I was entering a rat race and I would spend the next decade surrounded by cats ready to devour me.
There were spiritual highs on the horizon, so don’t give up on me yet. Just hang in there until my next memory I’m sure it will be a great one. If not, just sit back and laugh it off, I can handle that too!

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Mitchell Lewis

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“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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