A Time to Weep



One man’s heartbreaking story shows just how much each of us need God.

A man holding his head in sadness.
Source: clipart.com

Ecclesiastes:3:1-8 says that there is a time for everything. I have experienced my share of “a time to weep” in my life. My hope is you will learn from my experiences and not make the same mistakes.

At the ripe old age of 19, I thought I knew the difference between right and wrong. If I actually did, I wasn't pursuing what was right. I was fresh out of the U.S. Army and sexually involved with a woman two years younger than myself.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs:22:6).

Growing up, I was never given the proper tools to live as God intended. Being raised a Catholic, I had attended Sunday school Bible classes, received my first holy communion and, as a youth, had been confirmed a Catholic. But I still did not know God, and it felt like He did not know me.

I'm pretty sure we had a Bible lying around the house, but it was never opened by anyone in the family.  If you were living under my father's roof, you went to church every Sunday morning. You saw a priest (who sat behind a screen) almost every week in order to confess your sins, even if you were fairly certain that you committed no sins that week.

Repentance was generally in the form of rote prayers: “a hail Mary” or “our Father”. The bigger the sin, the more repetitions of each were required.  The “mortal” sins supposedly carried greater consequences than the small ones in Catholicism.  But once your prayers are said, you have supposedly "wiped your slate clean".

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality”

(1 Thessalonians:4:3).

All I knew was that as a teenager my hormones were raging and I could not tell you what was love and what was lust. I am almost positive that my sins with that young lady were lustful. I liked her as a person, but I do not think that I was in love with her. I met her through a cousin and we hit it off and began dating. We talked for hours over the phone. She introduced me to fine music such as Frank Sinatra, Claude Debussy and June Christy. I introduced her to sex. I never stopped to think of what harm it could bring.

After dating this girl for about a month, I was visiting my home state while planning on going back out west a few days later. My girlfriend became pregnant and said that she wanted to give the baby a name. Ignorant as I was, I told her to name it anything she wanted. I did not realize that she was asking me to marry her so the baby would be legitimate. When I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, a few days later, my parents had already heard the news. They said that the right thing to do was to marry her. I told them I didn't love her. They told me it didn't matter; that I would learn to love her in time.

So she flew out to Arizona and we were married by a Justice of the Peace. The following spring, she miscarried and we lost the baby. We had been talking about getting an annulment before it happened, but she was so devastated by the loss that I told her I would try to make the marriage work. We decided to stick it out, but the love did not come.

My wife did eventually get pregnant again, and we had our first daughter. We named her Kim. She was followed by another daughter, Kathleen, and a son, Scott.  I was working two jobs to make ends meet. Six years passed and my wife got pregnant again with another son we named Ryan.

“You shall not commit adultery”(Exodus:20:14). 

All during this time, I was having affairs. Some were one night stands, but there was one that lasted for over six months. This woman wanted me to run off with her, but I told her that I would never leave my wife and children.

We tried religion, going to a local church a few times. Our obstacles were that my wife was an atheist and I was an agnostic. We thought that if you tried to be a good person and lived by the “Golden Rule,” it would be enough.

After we had been married nine years my wife decided to go to work. I was left to watch our son Ryan, feeding him and changing his diaper, etc. One morning, my wife informed me that she didn't love me any longer and that she was taking the children and was going to stay with her sister who lived across town. I couldn't say I blamed her. I was drinking and had been mentally and physically abusive a couple of times. It really hurt when I came home that evening and found the house bare and empty. I suddenly felt very lonely and soon moved to a smaller home.  I divorced my wife and have since remarried, but my ex-wife and I have remained friends and I make visits to the Washington area to visit my children as often as I can. (I had a vasectomy done prior to getting separated, so I could no longer father children).

“…time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes:9:11).

A month later, I was at a drive-in theater managed by a friend of mine, when I heard my name being paged over the public address system to come to the concession stand. My friend was waiting for me there. He told me that Scott, my five-year-old, had fallen into the canal waters that ran behind my sister-in-law’s house. He told me the rescue people had restarted his heart, but he wasn't breathing on his own and he was hooked up to a respirator at the hospital.

My friend drove me to the hospital because I was too upset. I chain smoked while trying to comprehend it all. My wife and girls were standing in the corridor when I arrived and we all held each other, crying. Scott was non-responsive; the machine was breathing for him. It broke my heart.       

I stopped at a church on my way home to pray to God to spare my boy. I told Him I would dedicate my life to Him if only He made my son well again. I told Him I was sorry for being such a bad father and for all the wrongs of the past years.

Things did not change with my son. The doctors did a tracheotomy to help him breathe easier, but I did not detect any change afterward. They said that Scott was brain dead and that, even if he lived, he would be a vegetable. At the end of 10 days, during which time no positive change came, the doctors suggested that we take him off the respirator and "let him go”. We did.

“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce” (Malachi:2:16).      

The funeral remains a blur for me except for the memory of constant tears and asking my wife about getting back together for the sake of the children. She let me know that Scott’s death changed nothing for her. I was completely destroyed. In the following two years, I managed to survive despite much drinking and partying in order to numb myself. We tried to get back together once, but it just didn't click.

It has taken me many years to come to know God and for me to recognize that He knows me, but it happened. My path to Him was long and full of obstacles. Hosea:4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Today I realize just how uninformed I was about God and His Word. With the hope of the resurrection, I look forward to my day of death, knowing that we will all be raised to judgment. I can only hope the Lord finds me worthy of acceptance into His Kingdom.

It is not easy to be a child of God. The world holds so many temptations. We must practice faith, pray daily and stay strong in our efforts to become as holy as He is. Knowing that there are others following His path with me makes the journey less stressful.

My son’s death was a turning point. I could not accept the fact that he was dead; he was but a child, a little youth of five. To this day I can't picture him as anything but alive! I had told God that I would gladly turn around, if only He would not let my young son die. But alas, one cannot always bargain with the Lord, no matter how loudly one moans and cries.

He’s gone away to that distant land of death, and my life continues on while I wail and weep.  But I know I'll see him at the second resurrection. I have faith in the coming resurrections and God’s plan of salvation. My son will be resurrected, just as I fondly remember him, and I will walk with him on that sweet day and, unlike my early life, “train him up in the way he should go.”

I came to discover real biblical  truth when watching a television ministry.  I then realized what a shambles I had made of my life.  I was baptized when I remarried and have remained in the truth, attending services and reading the Bible on a daily basis since that time. I quit smoking, drinking to excess and curbed my anger. I have tried to adhere to the Ten Commandments and the will of God. My life has changed now that I have embraced God's Word.

If you’re struggling with difficult circumstances, read the Bible study aid Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion .


Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I'm sure reliving such tragedies was not easy, but your story offers hope and encouragement for others.




Sherrie G

Sherrie G's picture

Your story is very moving and I am sure a much needed comfort to those who are still hurting and still searching in their own lives. Thank you for having the courage to tell your story.




macnana

macnana's picture

Life is full of so many things. God will soon intervene human affairs and we got to believe it. Let always pray for wisdom, faith, and things that are important in life. Am really moved by your story and i will be careful the way i live my life not before men but "Jehovah" God.




KARS

KARS's picture

Thank you Mr. Lessard,

It is very helpful to find someone that has had similar experiences in their life. Not only is it a negative story of trail and error but positive triump in the end.

We each have our own stories of mistakes, trails and experiences to share one day.

I am glad God the Father choose you to come out of this world to help others in their time of need.

Keep up the good work.
Sincerely,
K.




Romans2verse4

Romans2verse4's picture

"He who has been forgiven much, loves much, Luke:7:47". "Thank you for the love you have for others in sharing your personal testimony. "They overcame by the blood of the lamb and the power of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death, Revelation:12:11". HalleluYah!




terrihoop

terrihoop's picture

I had a son who died on 04-13-2013. He was my only son and only child. we were extremely close. I called him a gift from God cause God gave me a sign when I asked him to let me know if i was pregnant cause i could not afford the test if i was not. I believed since he was my gift from God nothing would ever happen to him since God knew how much i loved him and I could not go on without him. He was truly of God everyone who knew him trusted him, respected him, looked up to him etc. However, he made a wrong choice and he died from it (he was 29 years old). You know I have never once blamed God cannot see how people would. But you know I have come closer to God because of this tragedy. God did not take my son but Satan stole him from me. Maybe cause he wanted me to blame God and hate him for it. I could never do that. I also lost my dad when i was 10 and my brother when i was 24 and at no point have I ever blame God. We all have free will and bad things that happen are not from God. He can make good come of bad as he did when my son died. If not for God I do not think I would be here today. Still really hard, I miss him so much.




linda effenberger

linda effenberger's picture

Thank you for your openness. It is not easy to confess our sins in the open. We all would rather hide what we have done wrong and keep it secret. Why? Because we do not want to admit that we have done wrong or our pride and willfulness does not let us think that we are like filthy rags before God. We abhor sin when we admit the sins we have committed.

True repentance begins when we confess that we are sinners. The process of repentance (Acts:19:18) begins at baptism and is a continual part of our daily lives. We are told in James:5:16 to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. Only when we admit a wrong, can a healing process begin to take place. Our human nature that is naturally enmity toward God and His Way will not be changed overnight. It is a lifetime and constant effort to let the Spirit work in us and help us to understand the difference between good and evil-what is holy and not holy, as we search to know God and to do His Will through prayer and study. It is up to us to decide (every time!) to follow God's way and not our own. It is up to us to let Jesus Christ rule in our hearts and show us the way that leads to eternal life.




Deanne

Deanne's picture

David,

Many thanks for sharing your story and the valuable lessons learned. It is not easy to do and many are unable or unwilling to share out of fear or pride. I commend you because you are doing the very thing God asks us to do. Now it is very unlikely we will ever meet but I am greatly encouraged by your words. What I have come to learn recently is that we all must let God direct us; it would be so so easy not to submit your article but you did and God's will was done. God is using your gift of writing to fellowship with others whom you could not ordinarily fellowship with.

I grew up a catholic also so can relate to that way of life. Your article has reinforced scripture to me from 1 Thessalonians:5:11 and Hebrews:10:24 and Galatians:6:2.

If ever you visit Australa for a FOT you are very welcome to share a Sabbath with us.




dziwczyna

dziwczyna's picture

Isn't it true that many people in the church have stories like this. Thankfully God can call us when we are at our weakest and help us turn around, otherwise what hope would we have? Thankfully He takes us in while we are still sinners, and offers us the help we need to repent.

I don't know that it's just enough to know God's commandments to stay away from sin. For some sins, like sexual ones, I think one has to also have understanding of why sex outside of marriage doesn't work. Without that understanding it will be difficult to stay away from those temptations, regardless if one is young or old. Like the author said sex outside of marriage is lust--especially for men who are physical. Women on the other hand are more emotional and would probably equate the experience with love. Sex outside of marriage does not equal commitment, as the author pointed out as well. It does not guarantee that someone loves you or wants to marry you. It is best to wait until marriage, when that covenant has been made. That is true love!




Helen - Gramy

Helen - Gramy's picture

David, Thank you for your life's story.. yes, it is so hard to ''see'' what we have done wrong as humans, and so hard to really admit it also. God sure does take care of us, no matter what our story is, when we lean on God's shoulder, that peace and the unblinding comes to us. God knows when and why He has called us to be a part of His family. Again, thank you! Our family has just gone thru a loss, our little Joey age two. We all loved him so very much, and he is missed more than I can say! We also attend in the northern Arizona church area. A Wonderful spiritual family!



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