For the final chapter, I thought I’d try something different. How about a chapter centering on a specific theme and giving thanks to certain individuals? If you’ve ever spent time on my blog site, then you will know that I am fond of saying “You can’t do it alone!” and “You are not alone.”
I did not write this book in a vacuum. Each chapter is based on something that happened to me and I did not experience it alone. At some point I had help in overcoming the various challenges described in this book. Hopefully you have already met some of these people in the preceding chapters.
For one, I have to give thanks to God the Father for His great help. I am thankful to Jesus for drawing me into the depth of Scripture and approaching me in a dream.
What dream am I talking about? As a child, I had an unexpected visitor in a dream. It was unexpected as the scene took place on a spaceship.
In my dreams, I was anyone but me. As a fan of superhero comics and science fiction, I would dream of being powerful, smart or exploring space. Sounds harmless? There is one problem; I was running away from me.
There is one dream that I can roughly recall from those days. I was in my spaceship and I had an unexpected visitor.
I recall Jesus saying, “You don’t need to pretend to be someone else. You already have those qualities that you longed for.” I was actually surprised by this conversation and I was not afraid. In the morning, I would realize the identity of my visitor. It was Jesus. For me, Jesus was a true friend and help before I knew of Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
It doesn’t stop there. For God has a wonderful habit of working through people. As one may expect, I am thankful for my family. My mother did say that I had a gift for writing. It took some years before I actually believed it. My father deserves some thanks too. He did try to help in his own fashion. My brother Brian is a help, too.
For a child with disabilities, public school is not an easy task. Thankfully I had some wonderful teachers who were quite helpful.
Was it easy for those teachers? I am certain they found it to be quite challenging. It’s not like they teach you this in college. They truly deserve a lot of credit for teaching me.
I could try naming the many teachers, however it would take a while. So I’ll start with a certain family, the Cannon family. I did not know at first that many women teachers came from that one large family. Some years ago, I learned that an old classmate has followed the family tradition of teaching.
There is another person I will include and that is Mr.Ollie Lokerson. He came in as a Special Ed teacher. He was a good friend, teacher and wrestling coach. In high school I had the pleasure of other great teachers. I’m recalling them more for their character rather than the content of the class.
One never knows what can happen when we reach out. I went to Stockton State College in a world of pain. At Stockton I had the opportunity to live in a college dorm that had something called “The Academic Floor.” The guys proved to be a great help in talking about the painful ordeal that I went through. I also recall the fun times as well.
Did you think that I was going to mention my old role playing group first? No, they were not part of the healing process; however, they were helpful in other areas.
I will share this tidbit. They were the ones who pointed out “You don’t need this group. You already have what you’re seeking.” Where did I hear that before?
They were right. In time, God would do a work of healing in my heart. In time, I would clearly see that they were right.
I had spent too much time in isolation. I could not see the obvious. I was not really alone. Though I did have problems, Stockton State College proved to be a good starting point for many of my future healings.
Do you recall my mother’s comment that I had a potential for being a good writer? She was right. At college, I had taken some classes that helped my writing skills. Plus, I had an opportunity to see my writing potential. It’s also where I made my first attempt at a fictional novel. As the story was very dark, I never pursued it. I am thankful for the opportunities these classes provided me.
Good writing skills are not developed in a vacuum. You need honest feedback and encouragement. Stockton is not the only place where I’d have a chance to see my potential. I have to give thanks to Trevor, the original editor of OS/2 Ezine. I was looking for a potential magazine to write for. Trevor gave me a chance and the rest is history.
Where did I get the idea to share my personal story? I don’t recall the exact sequence; however, I can credit some friends at First Institutional Baptist Church in downtown Phoenix, AZ. In ’92, I had moved out to Phoenix and my goal was to build a new life. In ’97, I began attending Pastor Warren Stewart’s church.
The people at FIBC were a great help and that’s where I got the idea of writing my personal story. Later, I would begin the process of creating a web site and I’d post my stories to my web site. Along the way, I had received encouragement about this endeavor. By now, I trust that you get the point.
I needed to believe that I could write something worth reading. At first I had a great deal of difficulty in believing that. For this reason, I needed a whole lot of prayers and support. What am I going to write about? I never imagined it would be on the topic of overcoming.
Before I could pursue such a writing task, a whole lot of healing was needed. For this reason, I am thankful for people at my home church, Shore Vineyard. The help didn’t come in the form of a program; rather it came in the form of people. It didn’t stop at my home church though.
A couple of years ago, my mother suffered a brain aneurysm that resulted in a stroke. The stroke affected her brain and weakened her left side. Thankfully, she is improving these days. At first, everything was an emotional rollercoaster and I desperately needed a source of clean humor.
At the time I was struggling to learn the basics of creating quality content for my blog. I was in need of someone who could lead by example. Between this need and my need for good comedy, I came across some unlikely personalities on YouTube. I’ve already introduced you to Paul Soares, Jr.
I am also thankful for a pair of guys whose job is to entertain their audience through comedic role playing. They were not just playing a video game. I’d give their names; however, I don’t think they’d want to be clearly identified. It is a shame as they have great hearts and they were a great help to me.
Their style of humor is a mixture of “Three Stooges” and Mafia. “A Lesser Human” is actually inspired from a joke that one told. Yes, there are You-Tubers dishing out quality videos that are not loaded with garbage.
I am also thankful for some friends at Riverside Church in Michigan. Though they really don’t know me, this family has provided great help over the years. Certain members of this family have provided much encouragement and help during the past few years.
Out of respect for their privacy I won’t mention their names. I’m also grateful for the timely messages of this church’s lead pastor. How can I know of the pastor’s messages? Have you ever heard of the Internet? YouTube is not the only place for videos.
What is my point in mentioning these people? For many years I felt alone and isolated in my personal pains. It was hard to accept the reality that I am not alone. Over time, God has brought many fascinating people into my life. In time, they proved quite helpful in the healing process and I came to know the truth of Hebrews 13:5.
The author of Hebrews reiterates God’s promise to “Never leave us or abandon us.” I may walk away from God; however, my Father will not walk away from me. The same thing can be true for you. I’d invite you to ask Jesus into your life.
I can say the above for only one reason. It is not because I’ve arrived; however, I shall press on towards the goal of knowing Christ. I was going to need help on my journey so my Father provided the gift of people who could help in different ways. In some cases it was in the form of books.
How did I finally overcome the lies of loneliness? Because some people acted to help and as a result, it became easier to rebuke the lies. Yes, I do have a choice in the matter; however it is a lot easier when you have help. You’re not alone. God is quite capable of helping you, if you let Him.
You are not alone!