If you know me, you know that I’ve had my share of misfortune. I’ve had plenty of bad things happen to me as I was growing up. I certainly understand that plenty of others have had a much rougher life than I have. I only mention mine to show what God has brought me through. I have had a few major things happen to me, but for the most part, the bad things I’ve experienced were small and spread out over time. There are a few things that I’ve been through that I had absolutely no control over, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize that many of the bad things I’ve experienced, I brought on myself.
I’ve also realized that there is a lesson to be learned from anything that happens in life. Sometimes the lesson is to “never do that again.” Other times the lesson can have a much deeper impact, and can even change the course of our lives forever.
The stories I want to share with you in this post were not life altering events. These were some of the more insignificant incidents but I did learn some important lessons from all of them. As you may have noticed from the title. all these events have a common theme. If you have been following my blog, or read my book, then you know that a lot of stuff happened to me when I was twelve years old. That’s where I want to start with this post.
On his last visit, my dad had a slingshot he had made from a forked tree limb shaped like the letter Y. He had used a piece of leather, and a couple of strips of rubber from an old inner tube and some nylon fishing string to hold it all together. I wanted to make one of my own so I gathered up all the parts, including a nice Y-shaped limb I cut from a tree in our yard.
My grandmother and my sisters had walked to the store just up the road. I didn’t want to go because I wanted to finish making my slingshot. I wanted it to look nice and smooth so I needed to cut off a knot that was near the center to make both sides look the same. That’s when it happened. After a tough few seconds of cutting, the knife sliced through the rest of the knot. That’s not all it sliced through though. It kept going and cut right into my index finger and blood began to pour.
As many times as I had seen my own blood, you would think I would have been calm about it, but no. It was bad. I panicked. All I could think to do was run to my grandmother for help, but wait! She wasn’t there. The next thing I remember, I was running up the road toward the store as fast as I could go. They had just started back home when I got to the store. My grandmother put some kind of a rag on my finger, maybe one of her handkerchiefs, I don’t remember exactly what it was but she calmed me down and we went back home. She cleaned my hand and got the bleeding stopped and bandaged it up. It healed in no time, but I still have the scar to remind me of that experience. The lesson I learned that day is, Always cut away from yourself, never toward you, and that my grandmother was an awesome woman with a head full of knowledge, and a heart full of love.
I was probably just a few years older when I got my next major cut. I’m certainly not proud of it at all, but I used to hit the wall or throw things when I was angry. This was one of those days, but instead of hitting the wall, I hit the door. That’s when I realized that I had punched through a frosted glass window which much thicker than regular glass. It cut about a four-inch groove in my arm taking the skin completely off. I was in pain for quite awhile.
Then a few years after that, I was angry again and went to slap a glass off the sink. It was an empty peanut butter jar and those things were thick. It hit some other dishes before it left my hand and I was cut again. It was bad this time. It sliced a hole about an inch wide and an inch deep and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. I tried everything. My grandmother did all she knew to do but it was no use. About an hour had passed, and what looked like a gallon of blood lay on the front porch before I finally decided I may need a doctor. My grandmother sent my sister to get our mother. When we got to the hospital I had been bleeding for almost two hours.
When the nurse removed the rag I had wrapped around my hand, a huge amount of blood poured out into a puddle on the floor. She took me back to a room and told me to hold pressure on the cut until the doctor could see me. When he came in he told me to let go so he could get a look at it. The second he took my hand, a stream of blood shot out and sprayed all the way up to the ceiling. I was focused on my hand and the stream of blood, so I didn’t see the doctor’s face, but I can imagine what it looked like as he quickly stepped back and said something that scared me to death. I’ll never forget that tone of shock and urgency in the words he said. With surprise and concern in his voice, he said, “Woah! We’ve cut a main artery.”
It’s funny thinking about his reaction today, but it wasn’t funny then at all. I could have died. I lost a lot of blood and I had a terrible time getting that cut to heal. I kept it bandaged up and it couldn’t dry. It swelled up from internal bleeding, and all the stitches pulled loose. When it did finally heal, it left an awful scar that produced an excruciating pain every time it was bumped. That lasted more than twenty years, and believe it or not, it’s still tender to this day. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that experience.
Although it took several more years and a few more incidents, I learned not to throw and hit things when I’m angry. I also learned that the kind of anger I was experiencing was not normal nor healthy. I had some things I had to work through. I thank God and my wonderful family for loving me and supporting me through it all.
A close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ will work miracles in a person’s life. I know I sometimes sound like a broken record, but that kind of relationship only comes through prayer and Bible study, and having a close, personal relationship with Jesus is the only way we will ever make it to heaven. So, If you haven’t been born again, ask him to save you today. If you have been born again, ask him to draw you closer and stay in constant communication with him through prayer and Bible study. That’s the key.
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