Before I begin – “ Thank You “ to those of you that left kind words – thoughtfulness – and comforting condolences for Dwayne. Words cannot describe how much your extended love is appreciated.
This winter has been a pain in the ass for Dwayne and I. It's been a mess here, with the weather... the mud... ice... snow... you name it. And that's since the period of time we endured while Dwayne was sick for almost a whole month in December.
Very difficult when it’s just 2 people. But no matter how many people want us to fail – that is just not gonna happen. We will succeed without them.
However - this past week was the ultimate.
We were in the middle of preparing for an expected and dangerous ice storm that decided to come in - right in the middle of our search for a source to buy 100 square bales of hay - when Dwayne received a phone call from Texas.
Dwayne's father passed away last Wednesday. Friday afternoon came - before the shock took a breath. Dwayne – finally – let the dam break.
You never know when that moment chooses to arrive. Seems like it always shows up at the strangest of times.
We were putting on coats and waders to go out and take care of evening feeding. I won’t go into details with exactly what was said.
But I will say this. He spoke his first words regarding how the death of his father was churning feelings inside his heart.
Dwayne and his father were estranged. Dwayne always had issues with his father’s choice of avoiding being present in his life – despite even moments as he stood only inches from him in the same room.
Dwayne was owed an apology from a choice his father made – regarding the last family situation that occurred in their circle - which absolutely destroyed Dwayne’s heart.
It never came.
He did not go to the funeral. So far – he is attempting to go back to work without taking any bereavement time. I am doing everything possible to help him keep putting one foot in front of the other.
And the one thing I will put all my energy into – even if it is my very last breath – is making sure he understands that there is – absolutely – NO REASON for HIM to feel any guilt.
Dwayne gave his all to making every effort to be the best child and son any man is blessed to have in his life.
So many of us grow up going to Sunday School and being taught about this version of Hell being, “ way down below the ground – in the middle of the earth – where there’s nothing but fire. “ And if we’re not good – we’ll “ burn in Hell. “
Artists tend to stretch their imagination with paint – giving so many variations that can lend to a room full of people – each coming up with their own interpretation. And I believe that version of Hell may have been one of the easiest that became so common.
But I see a completely different version to what I consider as Hell.
I – very much – believe in Spiritual Warfare. And yes – there is the good and the bad. There is the dark side of the spiritual world. And then there is The Light – the spiritual world where our Heavenly Father exists – with all those having simple hearts not existing in human form on earth.
I believe we all pass away and go over to the other side – into the world where our Heavenly Father exists.
That is - unless we have made a clear choice to allow ourselves to enter the dark world of Satan. And there are some people that do make that very choice.
“ But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. ”
The one thing I never forget about God is this. Nothing and nobody else exists – period – capable of loving anywhere near as unconditionally as God.
And that can only mean it is absolutely impossible for God to handle any of us with even the least amount of malice – for any reason.
But God is our Father. He is our Father before anyone else is our father. We are His child – FIRST and ALWAYS - before we are anyone else’s child – before and after any generation within any family on earth.
Before anything else in our lives - Whether we are Father – Mother – Son or Daughter to each other - on earth - makes absolutely NO difference to one single solid Fact…
Each and every single one of us is accountable for our own actions – for which each and every single one of us will have to answer to God – when we pass away from earth and go over to the other side.
When you have lived on earth making clear choices of being mean and hateful to people – seeking revenge - whomever they may be – you are only given your time on earth after that – as a chance to correct your mistakes – make your apologies – make genuine amends.
You are to live out the rest of your life with a kind and loving heart that never – deliberately - sets out to manipulate - hurt - or - harm those you have afflicted – or any others - ever again.
Just because someone is – ‘ family ‘ on earth – NEVER gives you any right to take those persons for granted – take advantage of them – and mistreat them in any way – shape or form.
And when you have a family member that makes clear and deliberate choices to be mean – malicious – ugly – cruel – manipulative, etc….
God does not expect you to put up with that – nor accept that cruelty. Not even from them.
God says to love good – hate evil – period.
Romans 12: 9-21
(9) Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; (10) love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (11) Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. (12) Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (13) Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (15) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (16) Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. (17) Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. (18) If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (19) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, " Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. " (20) No, " if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. " (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When I’ve reached my line drawn in the sand – where I’m finished with the arrows coming at me and my household…
I don’t go around spreading lies about that person to others that are great candidates for betting that they won’t bother going to get the other side of the story.
I don’t go out in the middle of the night to cut the tires on their vehicles – or – damage any of their property – period.
I don’t go after them with weapons to kill them – or – beat them – either.
I go into Spiritual Warfare. I anoint our house. I pray the entire time I am going to each and every window and door of our home – leaving a cross drawn with blessed Anointing Oil on each one. Through my faith – I am given the right by God – to cast Satan out. And when I demand in the name of Jesus Christ – Satan is required by God to remove himself and his demons from all areas of my life that I request. I hand over all that is in my life into the hands of God – which is what God requests – before He will step in and take hold.
And once it has been put into His hands – God takes over and handles everything with his Fatherly Discipline – Grace – and Love.
Every morning – I let God know – I’m watching. And God knows – I give HIM all the credit for whatever happens that day. I keep my eyes and ears open. Whatever happens – whatever appears to be good or bad - I always know I am seeing God at work.
Bad things will happen. I will not understand why. But I know that God is working. He has His reasons for everything. He always gets the last word – and His Will is always – only for what is right and good.
I know that I can always depend on walking through fire - carrying my faith in Him. And for doing just that – He will get me through that fire to the other side – where blessings that even I could never even imagine - will be waiting for me.
God always leaves incredible gifts in return for carrying faith in Him.
A whole week had not even gone by after anointing our home – before Dwayne’s father passed away.
And he died without fixing mistakes and apologizing to Dwayne.
That was his father's choice. He was given the time he had left - on earth – to fix all that. He chose not to do so.
And now he’s over on the other side – where some other state cannot divide the two of them. He cannot hang up the phone when he doesn’t want to hear truth. And he cannot argue one more twist into the situation.
And THIS is where I believe Hell comes in.
Now Dwayne’s father is trapped. He may as well be tied to a chair inside a closet – forced to view nothing but all the things he did in his life – as if they were all recorded on a CD – put into a CD player set to loop.
He has no choice now. He can only sit there and look at all that – over and over again – never being able to go back and do any of it over again. Totally unable to go back and fix any of it.
We cross over to the other side with only a good heart. Heaven is a place of nothing but love and everything good. Understand this.
And because of that - we become capable of feeling all the deliberate pain and hurt that we caused others on earth – when we die and go over to the other side. And from that point on – there is absolutely NO chance of getting to come back and get a ‘ Do Over. ‘
I am so grateful to God for putting Dwayne and I together – to share our lives together. We share so much in common.
Both of us are two human beings that only choose the want to live life right and good – just living life right – according to God’s Will. Neither of us has a mean bone in our body. Both of us have taken a LOT of meanness from others.
But together both of us have become strong enough to hold on to understanding that we DO NOT have to accept the malice and meanness from others – no matter whom they may be on earth - father - mother - stepfather - stepmother - sibling - half sibling - even grown children.
We know just exactly how we are able to put those individuals in the hands of God – and let our Heavenly Father be THEIR Father.
That is exactly all we can do. That is exactly all we have done.
That is exactly what we have chosen to continue doing.