Genesis 37:18-20 NASB
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold to Egypt. 5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to save lives.
Genesis 45:1-5 NASB
I destroyed my first marriage and a possible career in the Navy with behavior that was to be diagnosed with PTSD (back in 1975, this was yet to be recognized). My life seemed to be spiraling downward in some ways but going well in others. Leaving the Navy and a budding career, I chose to pursue a passion I found as an EMT and entered UNC to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. There again, my symptoms occasionally would erupt without warning (or seeming reason); trying to maintain friendships, not to mention my first marriage, was a lost cause, it seemed. Early success seemed to point to a brighter future, but again, my wanting fame and fortune led me to decisions that brought me to Central Prison in Raleigh, NC in February 1988. As I got out of the car that transported me that cold, sleeting night, I remember looking up at the outer facade of that place and remember thinking, “This is where I belong.”
To this day, I cannot recall what Chaplain Eugene Wigelsworth taught or any of the music used during the service; when the Chaplain said at the end that anyone recognizing their need for a Savior to come forward, I remember feeling like it was now or never. Standing in front of Chaplain Wigelsworth, I began to sob uncontrollably. He spoke to me briefly, telling me to come to his office after the service concluded. That started a journey that continues to this day. Unfortunately, no steady climb upward, but a rise and fall that were charted out would not seem to have any rhyme or purpose.
As with this past year, life continues not always in a way that seems to be leading to something good, but always with a recognition that God is with me. The same lessons God has taught me through the years I have had to relearn (over and over?), but Immanuel speaks to me through His servants and His Word. I have accepted that having a career is over; being almost 70, I am definitely nearer the end than the beginning. I am okay with that; since Kathy retired, we have more time to spend together, and the cats are there to provide some comfort. There is purpose in guiding folks to a parking space at Crosswinds Church and preparing healthy meals for Kathy and me.
The journey continues…