Heart On My Sleeve

My wife asked me a couple of days ago why I tell so much about myself on my blog. My answer is simple.

There are people in this world who have, are and will be going through things in life that can follow the spectrum of experiences from daily menial tasks to life changing events.

I know I’ve repeated myself in posts over time of one or more of my experiences. I do it in hopes of someone, somewhere will see it and identify with it in a way that only they will know. It may be they are experiencing something in life that I share that will let them know they aren’t the only one in this realm that has to go through something.

Some things that dramatically changed my life was being:

  1. Drafted into the U.S. Army at age 19. This two years transformed me from a teenage farm boy into a young adult man that understood responsibility and whatever I did had consequences good or bad.
  2. I got married at age 21. It took 37 years to realize I was perhaps a bit hasty in that decision. I was never in love nor was she. I tried. God knows I tried. We went through a lot together. We had two sons that I proudly call mine. It ended in divorce.
  3. Divorce. One of the toughest, grueling times in my life. I went into severe depression and encounter the debilitating effects of anxiety attacks. It scared me so bad I had my cardiologist say I’d had a heart attack, but after tests the heart specialist said my problem laid with anxiety. Really, I believe God healed me in more ways than one.
  4. Backing up to my late 20’s I finally made a commitment to follow after God. I experienced things that my Baptist past couldn’t fathom. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Life became a new realm. The Bible opened to me like a mystery solved every time I opened it and it still does.
  5. After nightmares of selling my first house, we sold it and moved when I was around 31 to a new town with two small boys simply to attend a church so I could pursue the ministry.
  6. After a failed business God placed me in another man’s business. That man sent me through hell for five years, but I learned retail and how to manage wholesale business as well. That and a few short lived jobs and I got a call from the U.S. Navy about a Civil Service job under the Veteran’s Readjustment Act. I stuck with that job for 28 years and retired.
  7. After my first wife and I parted ways I lived with the woman I learned to feel God had meant for me for the rest of my natural life and likely beyond. She was and is a gift from God to save me from myself.
  8. I’m more sane today than I’ve ever been at any time in my life. My journey with God has continued after a falling away. He has saved me from myself. I’ve never felt more knowledgeable of my place in Him than the last few months, especially. In February of 2019 I was ordained by my church and the state of NC as a minister. My wife is also pursuing ordination as an Apprentice in school for ministry. Even as I write this she is working on a paper she has due shortly.
  9. God spoke to me this evening about a shift in the spiritual winds in my life. I have not had a relationship with my two sons that I can say is good. One hasn’t really spoken to me in the last ten years. That changes this week. I’m flying out to the west coast to see him and his family. Part of that weekend will be just him and me. It’s God ordered to be this way.
  10. My pastor spoke to me this past Sunday that the leadership has decided to appoint me to the Visitation Ministry, which means I’ll be actively interacting with people who are likely in crisis. I was a Care Pastor in one of my previous churches. I’ve never sought leadership. It pursues me. The churches in between the Care Pastor time asked me to be on the Board of Directors and the one prior asked me to be a Deacon.
  11. Backing down to my first church in the late 70’s I was approached to be a Board member, which I staunchly refused, but they said I would be whether I wanted it or not till the next election. As a Care Pastor I was ordained as a Deacon and was in several ministerial positions including music, IT, printing materials and teaching classes as well as preaching.
  12. I started Civil Service as a Medical Records Technician in the base hospital, eventually retiring as the command’s Personnel Security Manager.
  13. I was also groomed to be a supervisor with DuPont when I worked there in my 20’s. I didn’t ask for that either. I later waylaid that by taking a voluntary layoff after I had moved 75 miles from there.
  14. One thing I’ll say here. I never thought of how things would intermingle during my lifetime to cause later things to happen. I worked for an insurance company for a year selling life, accident, health and annuities. That parlayed me a position in the hospital billing office as the Contact Representative for Medical Liabilities and the fact that I was a legal clerk in the Army played in that as well, because I had to deal with attorneys and insurance companies to procure payment for services rendered due to accident and product liabilities.
  15. My foray into business on my own netted me a job as a retail store manager and then a wholesale warehouse manager.
  16. My love for music and teaching myself to play drums put me into a praise and worship band for some 25 years. I never planned on it, because I had pretty much put those thoughts away until I was offered the possibility. I never took a music lesson and I’m still attempting to learn to play saxophone.

I’ve had many things happen that may help someone. I’ve had health issues arise that are most disconcerting, yet I’ve dealt with them. Blood pressure, diabetes. About the diabetes. I went on a diet and lost fifty pounds three years ago and I’m no longer diabetic. That and my BP now runs too low so far as I’m concerned.

With all this said in some form of disarray as you’ve read is my life in a nutshell. I’m here with an ear to bend or a message to read. I will not turn away someone with a need to unload. I don’t condemn for any issue in life. God had taken away condemnation in the law of grace. Not only has that been taken away, but also our shortcomings have been forgiven and forgotten. I’ve found that last “f” word is the hardest for mankind to do. People can muddle through forgiveness and succeed in many cases, but to forget the past I would say is the hardest thing to do. Since 2009 I’ve slowly watched the past before then slowly fade into nothingness. My life before then can be remembered in some fashion, but the effects of it have no hold over me anymore. I don’t hate or even dislike my ex-wife. I don’t hold grudges. Life’s too short for that. I hope for her to find someone who loves her as much as my wife now loves me. That is without conditions. I know I’m short-tempered sometimes, but it still comes out of frustration with the little things God and I are still working on to overcome. I will succeed. I will overcome.

My attitude is to stay positive. Don’t look back. You can’t walk forward from looking at what you did. You have to look forward at the possibilities still in front of you no matter how daunting the future tasks look. You can do it. Stand. And when all else fails. Stand.

About Jim

I'm a 72 yr old guy, who had worked in Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune for 28 yrs and now retired as of 31 Dec 16. I've worked in medical records, Health Benefits Department, Billing, the IT department and retired as the Personnel Security Manager for the hospital. I'm a musician and Corvette enthusiast. Yes, I have had two. I traded my second Corvette for a Harley Davidson Fat Boy mid-summer 2019. I've already ridden about seven thousand miles. I'm also searching for a fresh new outlook on life with new spiritual insight among other things. I was ordained a minister on 20190202. I've become certified with the American Chaplaincy Association through Aidan University in June '21. I've found that with the unconditional love of my companion, Libby Rowe life is complete through God. She's a beautiful, vibrant, giving woman who gives her all in everything she puts her mind to do. She and I married on 24 July 2015. She was ordained in February 2022. She has a blog too called Under a Carolina Moon. Give it a visit.
This entry was posted in Abundant life, Christian, Christian Music, church, Divorce, Family, God's Calling, Health, Love, Memories, Mental Health, Music, Patience, Ponderings, Possibilities, Priorities, Salvation, Sobering Thoughts, Soulmate, Spiritual, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Investment. Bookmark the permalink.

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