Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Sort of Like Responsibility…Part II

Let’s begin by thanking everyone who took the time to read, like, comment, and follow…I am deeply appreciative for all of you. The comments you left where witty, insightful, and best of all, at least for me, made me think. It made me even more grateful for our blogging community.

But I really can’t take all the credit for this post. I was inspired by a lady who writes with such gut-wrenching honesty that at times she has literally taken my breath away with her posts. Her blog is called Herstory in Pieces and can be found at Be warned her words are strong and she doesn’t sweeten it up, but she has a voice that comes at you with urgency, honesty, and sheer power.

Now if you’ve got the time I would like to tell you a story.

Many years ago there was a young man who didn’t think much. Actually that isn’t completely true. He thought a lot, he just didn’t think to deeply. He once heard a preacher talk about people who were a mile wide, but only an inch deep. He thought that summed him up pretty well. He had lived long and hard enough to know he wasn’t an intellectual. The scars on his body were enough evidence that he believed in the power of might over the power of the mind. His motto was, “If you didn’t believe the way he did,…well he just hadn’t hit you hard enough yet.”

But he was getting older and it was beginning to dawn on him that possibly you couldn’t live this way the rest of your life. Yet he was still full of himself, as his Momma like to say. So while there was a part of him that was beginning to understand there would have to be some foundational changes sooner rather than later, still he was stubborn, headstrong, and projected the image of knowing it all.

He was in control, let there be no doubt about that, and in his line of work that was a good image to have. He was a drug dealer. He had started off small, scraping here and there, maneuvering back and forth, always playing the angles. He wasn’t a pool shark, but he understood angles. He knew how to put the right spin on a situation to create a favorable outcome. So when the woman who had caught his eye began complaining about how inconsiderate her husband was, he knew what approach to take. He had done it so many times he could practically do it in his sleep…no not practically…he could do it in his sleep.

So he told her exactly what she wanted to hear, and slowly…ever so slowly…she began to see things his way. The husband didn’t love her…how could he and act the way he did. Of course, the young man understood her pain…remarkably it was a lot like the pain he felt. She just needed someone to love her, the true her. She didn’t need to conform to anyone else’s idea of what she should be. She should be free. Free to do whatever she wanted, with whomever she wanted. Besides marriage is such a pain…just a concept of man to enslave women…and surely she was beyond all that.

Over time the words worked, just like he knew they would. She started staying over at his home. He gave her money from time to time, paid off a few of her bills, and she liked that. She hadn’t even asked. He simply saw them in her purse, pulled them out, totaled them up, and given her the money…plus a couple of grand more so she could buy some new clothes.

The husband meanwhile came to his senses…or at least what he thought was his senses. Faced with losing his wife he lost it. He started coming over to her apartment (which was paid for by the young man) and begging her to give him one more chance. At first she refused, but the words, and the tears, and the begging began to wear on her…she wavered. But the young man had seen it all before. He knew how to handle this.

It escalated, like these things always do. Finally one day the woman broke down in front of the young man and said, “I don’t know what to do. He says he’ll kill himself if I don’t  come back.”

In the young man’s mind he smirked. He thought the husband was better than that, at least more inventive. The I-can’t-live-without-you, was probably the oldest trick in the book and the most lame. People made that claim then sneaked off somewhere to lick their wounds…they were amateurs…nothing more. He had won and he knew it. It was going to be a hollow win, because he didn’t really care for the woman. She was just a part of his game…nothing more.

The last time he saw the woman is engraved in his memory for all eternity…

“You said he wouldn’t do it!” she shrieked with tears running down her face.

The young man is older now…and hell of a lot wiser. He is cautious and he no longer plays games with people’s souls. He worries, in a responsible way, about the effect his words have on people. He has dedicated his life, his breath, his energy, and his prayers to helping others understand they can change. That there is nothing they have done in life that is so terrible, or so awful, or so degrading, that they cannot be redeemed. No one is beyond help.

I know…I am the young man.

Be encouraged!

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38 thoughts on “Sort of Like Responsibility…Part II

  1. OneHotMess on said:

    Amazing. Wonderful.

  2. A gripping life on said:

    Only tears. Stephen I wish I could give you a big hug. You’re like the prodigal son. Better to have used this life to learn and grow and love than to have to take those lessons with you. That’s what this life is for. The point is not to live a placid life. You’ve turned it around and are using your spiritual knowledge for good.
    I know that Heavenly Father loves you dearly, that you are one especial in His sight. I know He’s pleased with you and is smiling down on his beloved son.
    Oh my gosh. Seriously. Your humility and sweet spirit shines through.
    I love you, Stephen.
    Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad I’m not wearing mascara! 🙂

    • Amazing!…yet another thing we have in common…I wasn’t wearing any mascara when I wrote it.

      But seriously, it was very difficult to write…immediately after I hit publish I shut down my computer…I honestly didn’t know if I had done the right thing or not…I deeply believe in boundaries and was unsure if I had crossed one or not. I didn’t sleep well and found myself fretting over whether I had done the right thing.

      Finally this morning around 5:45 I could stand the suspense no longer and turned on my computer…I can’t tell you how happy/excited/pleased/blessed I’ve been all day as I’ve read the likes and comments.

      With Susie’s full knowledge I write these words…I love you too, Lisa. Thank you, more than you’ll ever know for your grace.

      Be encouraged!

      • A gripping life on said:

        I’ve made enormous mistakes in my life and acted like a foolish arrogant idiot. It’s part of growing up, for many of us. I know it’s for these reasons exactly that we have the Atonement. What a blessing.

      • Who are you trying to fool?…we all know you are perfect…and have never made a mistake…but you are right about the Atonement…a blessing far greater than we will ever comprehend until that day when we find ourselves face to Face…be encouraged!

  3. Wow. I can’t even come up with words, other than wow, wow, wow. What an amazing story, and what a testimony to what our Heavenly Father can do. God bless you as you share your story and continue to change lives.

    • Thank you Lynne for your gracious words…I wish I could say I stepped out in faith…but actually it was more like fear, tears, and trembling…I am so grateful for the response I have received…thank you, thank you, thank you…be encouraged!

  4. Powerful post! What a blessing you are to all who read your very personal story. Very big of you to share your experience, your lessons, and your heart with the world. May God continue to bless you on your journey to help others by simply sharing.

    • You are so gracious…and I am so grateful…but actually I wasn’t very big in sharing…I cried, I worried, I fretted, I whimpered, I couldn’t sleep, it wasn’t pretty, or brave, or big…but God honored my tiny mustard seed…be encouraged!

  5. Youth helps people do unthinkable things, especially to others. I well remember that feeling of being invincible, of being in charge, and of doing what ever motivated me at the time. I grew up too. Welcome to the world of caring adulthood.

    • I am glad to hear you made the leap to adulthood…I have a fearful, but tenacious grasp of it…I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”…and I couldn’t agree more…thanks for taking the time to comment…much appreciated…be encouraged!

  6. I’m happy and grateful to God that you are here now and that you saw your chance to redeem yourself and took it to heart 🙂 btw, you once wrote that you weren’t good at writing, this was beautifully done, thank you for sharing!! Read you soon, Alexandra

    • Thank you for all those gracious thoughts…redemption is an odd cat…elusive and difficult to hold onto…but I’m trying…although still not convinced about the writing aspect…but maybe that is a good thing, because it keeps me struggling…be encouraged!

  7. Wow, great story. You write well new friend, enjoyed.

  8. yogawithmaheshwari on said:

    Amazing story! So glad you found your way and share with us.

  9. Good for you sharing this with us, and good for you for making the changes you have, and good for you that you knew you needed God to bring them into reality! As we all do. Blessings to you!

  10. What a story, how brave of you to write and share. You are always the supportive one when life deals a bad blow to one in your wordpress family, now words escape me. God’s blessings to you. And, in your own words, be encouraged…

    • Thank you ever so much…I try to be supportive, encouraging and compassionate, because I have been there. I have sat in my car and cried my eyes out because I didn’t have a clue as to what to do, whee to go, what to think, how to act, find an answer, or have any hope…all I knew was to keep breathing…but God is gracious…listen to Amazing Grace sometime…that is my story.

      I love you…thanks for all your gracious words…be encouraged!

  11. God has given you a gift to write. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

    • I don’t know why you believe He has…but I can assure youif he has…it is all Him…thank you so much for being so gracious…you will never know what it means to me to receive these words of kindness and grace from everyone…I never thought I would live to hear such words or feel such love…blessings to you…be encouraged!

  12. Finally, Stephen, something from YOU. Reblogging is nice but what about YOU? Finally….

    • Well thank you…but the Truth is I am balancing two businesses, still writing the book, and losing traction…but still trying…thanks again, and I’ll try to write a little bit more…be encouraged!

  13. This story leaves me breathless – with humility and appreciation for your willingness to share so selflessly. This story leaves me with tears – for the personal history it reveals and for the promise that it holds for your tomorrows. You are remarkable Stephen – as a new follower – I thank you.

    • First, thank you for all those gracious words…maybe you should wait until you get to know me…and see all my faults…but I am very grateful.

      Also big thanks for following…I hope you will find ideas, concepts, and thoughts that make you want to go out and make the world a better place. My wife warns me that I shouldn’t talk about world domination, because there are elements that will get the humor…but I would love to see the world dominated by love, compassion, and kindness.

      Thanks again…and be encouraged!

  14. livvy1234 on said:

    No one was responsible for the suicide of the husband.

    He made his own choice.

    • I’m not so sure…yes he made his own choice…and yes he was unhinged long before I entered the picture…and yes he may have done it even without my callous intrusion into his life…but I am left with the gnawing, gut feeling that I contributed…that I influenced…maybe not totally…but I believe I added fuel to the fire.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment…hopefully you know I value your opinion and ALWAYS look forward to your comments…you are greatly appreciated.

      Be encouraged!

      • livvy1234 on said:

        I value your thoughts, too. There are things in my past that I feel guilty about, but now use the word “regret” when these thoughts arise. I feel badly about many things I said and did. We are all the same. If what I knew now, I knew each decade of my life, I would not have made certain decisions. So, I think your post brings to mind the difference between regret and guilt. When I start to feel guilty for past actions, I also have to balance my checklist with the good I have done. I have also done plenty of good.

        It is very important to spend time doing self-forgiveness work. If we do not forgive ourselves then we are never going to move forward because we are going to be an emotional prisoner to the past. When we refuse to forgive ourselves then it is like we are reliving the past moment over and over again.

      • You are a wonderful woman and I thank you again for taking the time to talk…that self-forgiveness thing has always been the most difficult for me…partly because I know my self so well and partly because I am so driven…I have relived the past probably millions of times, but I have also come along way in knowing I am no longer the same person I was in those days…be encouraged!

  15. livvy1234 on said:

    Well, I came back to this second part tonight to see what I wrote. And my issue with self forgiveness came up again. It never seems to go away. I do not think I have forgiven myself yet for being so dumb. I have repeatedly tried to erase my errors with 10 years of heavy zen studies and meditation. The only way I find real relief is to re-orient myself to the present tense moment…if you know what I mean.

    This moment…where I am sitting or standing or whatever I am doing…when I focus on the present moment, I find emotional relief. 12 step reading helps, as codpendent reading material. Also I find I cannot scatter myself in many tasks, need quality vs quantity in all things. When I can have one deep conversation, I am filled up…no need to gather honey from many flowers…I find it exhausting and empty. So, this is interesting what came up the second time when I read this article you wrote again tonight. Nothing stays the same…and that is my difficulty with perceiving the countless angles there are to everything. What is real? Only my fingers tapping on the keyboard this moment or what I can sense with my six senses…the rest is memory arising.

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