LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Sort of Like Responsibility…Part V

http://www.steliasorthodoxchurch.org/

There are few things in life that split people as quickly as talking about religion. Everyone has an idea, a thought, and/or a conviction. And rare is the individual who will listen to views, other than their own, without certain walls going up. So what I am going to ask may border on the impossible…or at least in the very difficult zone. Yes this post is going to be about what I think about God. But is only my thoughts. I am not writing to sway anyone’s opinion. I’m writing this post with the same intention I have written the prior four posts on responsibility (there is only one more), to share what has happened in my life and to prove to others who have issues, situations, or circumstances in their life that there is hope. Real honest to God, life changing hope.

So, as I usually do, let me start with a story…

The year is 1998 and I have already made significant changes to my life. Although those changes started only four years earlier, I am a completely different person. Not that there weren’t matters that needed attention (and still do). But I was no longer spending every night in a bar, chasing every skirt who happened by, or indulging my considerable desire to steal everything that wasn’t locked down and stowed away. The drug use was history and I had quit drinking. Both were considered minor miracles by those who knew me, because I had been doing a gram of cocaine a day (no worry about pesky nasal hair) and drinking a case of beer and a bottle of cognac (nice mix, huh?) a day.

No coincidence, Susie and I had been married for four years as well. Her presence in  my life had opened the eyes that were blind, the ears that were shut, and the heart that was to hard to care. It was like being born again…literally. I was experiencing emotions I didn’t know existed. I would watch the McDonald’s commercial where the little ducklings followed their mother in the rain, and tears would roll down my cheeks. I could talk to people about Susie and choke up ( actually this one still happens). I suddenly found myself loving small children, something that had NEVER happened before.

Susie had introduced me to church, which I thought was about as strange as anything I had ever witnessed, and I had witnessed MANY strange things. I liked it, but it just felt weird. I had never attended church in my life and I was extremely uncomfortable. It was like a secret society. The people were nice enough, but they had there own way of talking. A language I was completely unsure of. It was English all right, but in the world I came from being “washed in the blood,” meant you were probably dead of a gun shot wound or had been bludgeoned to death. Even the individual words were used in a different context. “God” was no longer connected to damn it and “Jesus Christ” now referred to a person/deity as opposed to being an expression of surprise. I also noticed no one used the F word, this was extremely strange, and VERY difficult to get use to. Occasionally I would slip and I was aware this was not a good thing. Susie promised to help me.

In 1998 I met this man……I’m not quite sure why he is holding that sign, but just ignore it. His name is Fr. Stevan Bauman and he is without a doubt the greatest person I have ever met in my life, which is something he would definitely not acknowledge. Knowing him has changed my life from our very first encounter over lunch at a downtown Indianapolis restaurant. I came home and told Susie things were going to change. This was a fairly large statement considering the evidence I have just presented. Over the years Fr. Stevan and I have grown quite close. When I was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church he became my godfather. His presence has been like having my own flesh and blood incarnation of God, another statement he wouldn’t be able to disown fast enough.  He is kind and gentle, compassionate and loving, holy and pure, patient and humble. I don’t believe he knows what anger or frustration are.

So what is this post all about?…certainly not just a window into a side of me that I rarely talk about. Well yes and no…I do want you to know about this side of me, I think it will help you understand me and my writing better, but no I’m not trying to convert you or anything remotely like it. I’m not trying to convince you of the presence of God…or of the Truth of Creation.

So what is it?…it’s about being honest, being open, being vulnerable, being authentic, and being real. It is about telling the Truth. My journey through this life has been exciting and painful, thrilling and suicidal, adventurous and paranoid. At one time my living expenses were $33,000 a month and my income far exceeded my expenses. Other times I stood in front of a Coke machine and cried because I didn’t have enough money…and this was when they were only cost 35 cents. I have run across America and stood in front of thousands telling about it and I’ve slept in a dark alley next to a dumpster because I had nowhere else to go. I have known personal pain so severe I didn’t know if I could draw my next breath and happiness so complete I didn’t have words to express it.

I have been delivered…I have been set free…I am alive…and anyone and everyone can do it…no matter where you are at, or what you have done, or what has been done to you…so please…be encouraged!

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22 thoughts on “Sort of Like Responsibility…Part V

  1. OneHotMess on said:

    I love it when you write about yourself–love it. This is my favorite post of all, I think. Maybe because I fully understand what it means to be delivered, and I thank God for that every day. You got me a little weepy here 😉

    • We think you are so awesome…I know we border on becoming a mutual admiration society, but Susie and I are so proud of how you stand up…we think you are beautiful…so thanks for all these gracious words…as I mentioned it is sometimes decisive to write about how you believe in God…but not to do so would leave out a big (major) part of who I am and why I write…also I didn’t do all of this in a vacuum…I had some SERIOUS help…be encouraged!

      • OneHotMess on said:

        Lord knows I did not do it in a vacuum, either. Serious help and a whole lot of love and support, time after time–and a few whacks upside the head 😉 I know that discussions on religion can turn bad, but I cannot NOT talk about God, because were it not for Him, I would have been long gone. Again, thank you so much to you and Susie! Xoxoxo

      • I understand the head whacking protocol…still find it necessary for myself…be encouraged!

  2. I think this is an awesome post about….. your soul. I relate to so much of your journey and admire what you and Susie have accomplished. You ARE encouraging! Keep on going.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! This touched my heart in a big way. And the journey continues for us all, doesn’t it? We haven’t
    arrived but are definitely being taken along the scenic route. 🙂

  4. Life sure can be a crazy hotch potch of experiences. I am really enjoying your posts. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading….
    I will say, however; it takes a lot of willingness to do as you have done. No one ‘gets through’ easily and without a good deal of courage and inner strength; regardless of the people and situations life places in our path to assist us… It still ultimately is ‘our choice’ to accept the gifts or not…. I’m sure glad that you accepted…! And, I love your decision to write about your journey with such grace and candor… Thank You….

    • I believe it is important to be open and vulnerable, yet have boundaries…I can describe situations and experiences without getting into the seriously ugly graphic details and I think those who read still get the point…I believe our readership is intelligent and enjoy being treated as adults…and I’m glad you want to keep on reading…thank you ever so much…be encouraged!

  5. It often seems like those who have been to hell and back are the most inspirational people. I’m always moved when you tell your personal story of transformation because you are so honest and humble.
    My personal view is that it doesn’t seem to matter if we create our own hell or someone or something creates it for us. When we have the courage to take responsibility for our part of life AND let God take care of everything including the messes we have made, my experience is that miracles show up.
    Susie certainly sounds like your biggest miracle, but it’s nice to meet Father Stevan too. Thank you for all your posts, but particularly for the ones where you share your heart!
    Many continued blessings to you and Susie! Karen

    • Thanks Karen, Susie and I appreciate all your lovely words of encouragement and support.

      I haven’t written about Fr. Stevan before, because he has taken a vow of Purity, Poverty, Humility, Obedience, and Service. So to honor his decision I don’t put him in a place where others might give him tremendous praise. He has asked, and I have respectfully agreed, not to tout his accomplishments. He believes, as do I, that his reward will come from our Father in Heaven.

      One of biggest lessons in life was when I realized “I” had the power to create a better life…in fact, it still amazes me…lol.

      Thanks again Karen, not only for this comment, but for all of them…you have been so gracious and loving…be encouraged!

  6. Powerful.. I am most definitely encouraged 🙂

  7. Honest, Open and Beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing a little peace of you! Stay Encouraged. 🙂

  8. livvy1234 on said:

    Hi Steven and Susie,
    My story is quiet different, but there are many similar characteristics. I have repeatedly started writing my psychobiography on WordPress, and then proceed to erase it out of shame. I know that shame is being brought on by my ego, so that is a sharp awareness. I will write a ton of posts and then destroy them…trash them. I started again this morning on a site I have. I will see if I can do it this time, for there is this fear of devulging one’s innermost angst, that the audience will sneer. I have so much to write, but never wanted to write a book…everything always comes down to “What’s the point.” This certain deadness exists within. I went after brutal honesty, and was abandoned by family, maybe – just maybe – they are not ready to engage in a circle of sharing emotional honesty.

    Here is my new start:
    http://thisoldshed.net/

    • I’m responding before I click over to the address you provided…but let me me say how proud we are of you, because you haven’t given up…I know a lot of the phrases we use to “cheer” each other up are cliched, but they still work for me…and I’m hoping they still work for you…so here is one…”You just have to get up one more time than you fall down.”…simple I know, but believe it or not, it has always worked for me…be encouraged!

      PS – I’m to your site now.

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