My life is a miracle. As far as statistics go I should have been a drug addict, an alcoholic, a shoplifter or worse, but for some reason I am not and never was. Growing up in a single parent home in the mid to late 60’s I was surrounded by all of the vices which could have taken me down the slippery path to these deadly sins and more, but for some reason there was an Invisible Hand that stopped me every time.
My mother was hospitalized with nervous breakdowns leaving us at times to fend for ourselves, but her and my dad’s family often came to our rescue and took us in as they were nudged by that Invisible Hand to do the right thing. In my high school years I sang in a rock and roll band that performed in some of the darkest and dingiest places where booze and drugs abounded, but I never engaged in any of that activity. It was as if a Mighty Hand was holding me back and protecting me all along the way.
The most trouble my twin brother and I could have gotten into as 13 year olds was when, while our mom was sleeping, we took her car keys and went on a joy ride in her 55 Ford Sedan, driving it back the road a couple of miles to visit some of our teenage buddies. We returned safely, guided by the Invisible Hand and she never knew it until we told her about it twenty years later!
Mom would periodically take us to church and also to Boy Scouts but with her working multiple jobs it was very sporadic and was certainly not something that influenced us morally. So what was it? What kept the forces of evil from destroying our lives when our circumstances were so ripe for catastrophe?
The ONLY thing I can put my finger on was the foundation of the Word of God which my grandmother Margaret Anspach (Grandma, A Pearl of Great Price ) laid into my mom’s life and in which she trusted. Also the prayers that surrounded us as our extended family and friends knew it was a herculean task for her to raise six little boys all by herself into the upstanding men we would eventually become. She always taught us manners, made sure we prayed at meals and bed time, would not stand for any kind of profanity, kept us from the tobacco habit and dressed us as neat as she could possibly afford.
She couldn’t help but forsake us at times because of her mental illness, but I later learned that the Bible says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10) It was then that the hands of our Heavenly Father cradled us as the popular “Footsteps In the Sand” poem so wonderfully illustrates. The one set of footsteps in my life weren’t mine they were HIS because he was carrying me.
I would later give my life to Him as I trusted Jesus as my Savior in a little cabin in the mountains of upstate Pennsylvania. (see Bud’s Decision & Destiny for the full story) It was like coming home, for I realized He was there all the time. His Invisible Hands had protected, nudged, guided, and then welcomed me into His eternal family.
I tell this story not to exalt or lift myself up in any way as I am a sinner saved by grace. It was TOTALLY by the Grace of God with no merit of my own that my life was protected and transformed by His great love and mercy!
To see the full story chapter by chapter it starts here: Bud’s Beginning
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