Heels to Tractor Wheels

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Game Changer

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." -Proverbs 3:5,6

When Robert and I were going to pre-marital counseling we were asked to pick a verse that spoke to us as a couple. A verse that would lead our marriage and ultimately our family.  A verse that would become our family motto. It wasn't something we took lightly. We prayed over it and discussed different verses and what they meant to us and how it would lead us as a couple and as a family. We've seen so many marriages fail and families broken that we discussed what we saw in those particular families that led to those failed marriages. We discussed it in depth and the steps we would need to take in order to avoid making the same mistakes they did. We knew in order to go the distance we would need to put GOD first in everything, in every aspect of our lives. To be in HIS word daily and always in prayer. Robert would ultimately be responsible to GOD for our family and how he leads us, I would be responsible for my relationship with GOD, being a help mate to my husband and eventually a mother to our kids. We developed the below hierarchy for our family for which we would follow.

1.GOD First
2.Our Marriage
3.Our Kids

We knew we wanted to put GOD first, before each other, before family and our kids. Second we would concentrate on us, our marriage and each other. To remember to never take each other for granted, to have date nights, keep the romance alive, to be there to lift each other up and help. Third would be our kids, our family and the quality time spent together. We've seen to many couples who put their kids first and their marriage falls by the wayside. They become to involved with the kids making their kids lives their whole world and forgetting the time with the Lord and with their spouse. Soon all they have in common is the kids and when the kids move out they realize they've grown apart instead of together. Kids are an extension of our love as Husband and Wife and without the time to nurture that spousal love it reflects in the family dynamics.  With all that in mind we chose Proverbs 3:5-6 as our verse our family motto, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."  Who knew how vital this verse would become in our lives, our marriage, our family. Years into our marriage it became a mantra reverberating in our heads.

July 2014, a beautiful and already hot and humid Wednesday morning found Robert, the boys and I on our way to Life University in Georgia http://www.life.edu/. We were so excited to get to spend the day with Robert at his school. We'd visit him in between his classes and the boys and I would explore the school grounds and surrounding area while he was in class. Since starting school at Life University to obtain his Doctorates in Chiropractic and Bachelors in Science Biology we hardly had any time together. He went to school 5 days a week and then spent the weekend catching up on farm work. So any chance we had to spend time together we jumped at it. Car rides are great for 20 questions and in depth conversations. 😉
Robert was telling me how he had turned into Jekyll & Hyde when he little brother was born. He wanted all the attention and didn't like having to share the spotlight with his new baby brother Travis. His mother confirmed this to be true. So hard to imagine Robert as a little boy especially as a Jekyll & Hyde little boy...lol.😁Our son William who was 2 at the time had completely done a 360 with his attitude. One day he was our sweet angel, nicest little boy full of love, laughter and smiles and literally the next day the total opposite. 😲 He began throwing temper tantrums, throwing toys at his baby brother Wyatt who was soon to be 3 months old. William would try and poke his eyes out and at times completely ignore his brother. It was so bad I literally could not leave them alone together for fear of what William might do. We came to the conclusion that not only was he jealous of his baby brother but he had inherited his Dad's Jekyll & Hyde tendencies. 😜 In the middle of this discussion Robert received a call that would drastically change our lives.
 
 Robert was listening and rapidly firing questions to the person on the other end of the phone all while turning the car around and heading back home. I knew something had to have gone wrong at the chicken houses as it had to be Gene on the other end of the phone. Gene manages our chicken houses and reports when there is any major issues. I was thinking a water line burst or something but never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed what Robert proceeded to tell me after getting off the phone. From what he could gather from the conversation a Feed truck was on fire with the driver inside. Gene was unable to reach him to pull him out! We were in shock, wondering what had happened. We drove home as fast as we could as we were in Chattsworth, Georgia at the time. When we arrived home it was chaos. Fire trucks, police, ambulance, Forensics, Koch Foods and even the Utility Company were all there parked by the chicken house and in our driveway. It was a scene out of a movie except this was real life and happening on our property. We were in utter schock, disbelief and in horror at what we arrived home to. I quickly took the boys into the house and Robert headed down to the chicken houses and into the midst of chaos to see what was going on. Frantic with worry I prayed and prayed. With a toddler and a baby there wasn't much I could do but pray. I had no idea what was going on until Robert came inside hours later. It seems that a Feed truck (A semi that delivers feed to the bins located beside the chicken houses for the chickens) had somehow backed down the driveway (which I've never seen anyone do before as they normally pull forward) and when the driver got out to swing the boom around to blow feed into the bins (silos) it somehow connected with the power lines overhead which caused an explosion and the truck burst into flames killing the driver. The horror of it it unimaginable especially knowing someone's loved one died on our property. All I kept thinking was praise the Lord we were not there when it happened as Robert is usually down at the chicken houses and he converses with the drivers when they come in. He could have been in the explosion had he been here and just to think of that possibility sends shivers down my spine. I cannot imagine life without him, especially trying to take care of a farm and 2 kids on my own. I cannot even imagine what this Man's family would soon be going through, the agony, the disbelief, shock, the horror of what happened. It was unimaginable, I didn't even want to try or I'd break down. I prayed for them, we all did. We prayed this Man knew God as his personal Lord and Savior and that he resided with HIM now. We prayed for his family if he had one to be with them, comfort them, guide them and give them strength to find their way through this. It was a horrible tragedy that changed lives, that changed our life. (News Story & Pictures -http://www.dailypostathenian.com/news/article_55f3fddf-a6b8-5f54-ba57-0291ee5a3dc7.html)

Shortly thereafter Koch Foods hit us with upgrades to the chicken houses and until upgrades are completed our houses would not be stocked with birds. Our main income was taken away. We now had to come up with money without an income coming in to pay for upgrades to get chickens back in the houses to obtain an income again. How were we going to do that? We had loans due not to mention household bills and everything else. How were we going to pay for upgrades, pay our loans, pay our household bills and keep food on the table??? To make matters worse months later we received notification that we were being sued for $2.5 Million by the family of the gentleman who tragically died on our property. That same year we also lost the lease on 2 pieces of property we had that held our sheep and hay. Last year we lost the last piece of property we had which was adjacent with ours, due to losing that we finally had to sell off our herd of sheep and everything that went with the sheep. We are now down to just our 5 acres which is now in jeopardy of being foreclosed on.

The above is what led me to the Department of Human Services November 2015, to literally beg for Food Stamps/EBT. I'd been trying for months to get food assistance and each time I tried I was denied for making to much money in 2014. I tried to get them to base their review off the current year and at my wits end I went in and spoke with a supervisor, crying and begging him to accept the red notebook we keep of all farm transactions for the year in and he would see we barely made anything. He told me he would look it over and get back with me. I've never been so mortified, so ashamed, so angry and having to beg as I was that day. All I kept thinking was why me, why us? How did we get to this point in our lives where I literally had to beg to get on a government assisted food program?

I remember someone telling Robert, "You must have done something to fall out of grace with the Lord." Thinking back we had others say something to us along the same lines as well. Had we fallen out of grace with the Lord? Had we done something or not done something we should have?

Is it your opinion that when something bad befalls someone and they have what some may call continuous bad luck they have fallen out of grace with the Lord? Curious as to your thoughts on this.

Stay tuned for the next installment (which should be a whole lot sooner than this last one as the holidays are over and my crazy chaotic life is settling down a bit)...




2 comments:

  1. Erica, my heart breaks to learn of all you've been through! I wish there were something tangible I could do to help you, but you can be assured that I'll be praying! No, I do NOT believe that God "punishes" people and that their "bad luck" is the result of some egregious disobedience to Him! Things happen, and the important thing is for us not to lose our faith and to learn from our experiences. I've made lots of mistakes, and I've found that God is always merciful and gracious to give us more chances...not just one more chance! Hang in there, my dear! As gold and silver are refined by fire, so you and your precious family are being refined, and you'll come out shiny and fresh once the process is over! I love you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Glenda,how you warm my heart! Prayers are all I/My family needs. Prayers are powerful and can change the world so I most definitely appreciate your prayers over anything tangible. Prayers change circumstances, people and so much more. So, thank you my friend for all your prayers, you've helped more than you know!!!! Our GOD is merciful and gracious and I'm so very thankful for that, for HIM!! I believe we are being refined by fire and when it's all over I pray we shine for HIS glory. Thank you for your love and prayers, you are my angel.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, ideas & your own experiences. Perhaps we can all learn from each other and lift each other up.

I'll make every effort to reply back to you in a timely manner, however I do have 3 kids all under the age of 5 so bare with me. ;)