I believe all children of all ages need HOPE every day. I pray that Bob telling his story to your children will give them HOPE as they face Father’s Day regardless of what their dad is doing. Don’t give up on dad or on your husband. I found out God’s ways and plans were much bigger than mine! – Charlyne
Hey kids! Since Sunday is Father’s Day I have some things I want to tell you about. They probably happened before you were even born.
They happened in the 1980’s. Yes, we had cars and electricity back then, but we did not have cell phones or the Internet or texting. Can you imagine only talking to your friends in person or by telephone? When I was about your age we sure spent a lot of time on the phone. (I told you I am just about an antique!)
Charlyne was my wife. We had three children. Tim was the oldest. He was about to get his driver’s license when this all happened. Our daughter Lori was 12 years old. Tom was starting first grade. Our family went to church and everything, but we fought a lot. I made the bad mistake of thinking I would be happier if I did not live with my family.
Have you ever seen someone wearing a blindfold so they could not see? Well, the devil had a blindfold over my eyes so that I could not see what was happening. If you close your eyes, you can imagine anything. Since I could not see, I imagined how happy I could be living with another person and her kids.
Pretty goofy for me to imagine that, but since the devil had me blindfolded, I imagined living somewhere else. Charlyne and I had fights all the time and our kids would run into their rooms and slam the doors crying.
Finally, one day I loaded up all my stuff and moved to a hotel. Know what? I missed my family from the very first day! But I would close my eyes and imagine how happy I was going to be some day after the hurt from missing my family went away. The hurt never went away.
Before long, I was trying to be the daddy to some other kids. It all seemed so perfect. There were a lot of problems and my hurts were still hurting. My kids at home hurt even more because their daddy was gone. Charlyne tried to make them feel better, but they did not have enough money either.
For a couple of years, I tried to make my new life work out. Maybe to others it looked like it did, but deep in my heart I was hurting very badly. When Charlyne and I got married, God made us to be one flesh. Did you ever see two trees that have grown together? That is what marriage is like.
Back at home Charlyne was hurting and crying a lot, just like our kids. I tried not to think about all of that, but God kept reminding me of what I had done. Charlyne asked everyone what she could do to stop hurting. They all said for her to forget about me, but she could not. Really, she did not want to. She wanted me to come home and for all the fighting to stop, but no one told her how that could ever happen.
I tried and tried to be happy without my family, but the more I tried, the worse I felt. I moved to a lot of different places and had different jobs, but I thought about my family all the time, but no one knew it. My friends thought I was happy.
One Sunday when Charlyne and our kids were at church, a singing group from Nashville, Tennessee was there. Guess what? The man and woman who were singing told their story between songs. They were just like us and God had put them back together again.
God spoke to Charlyne and told her there was still hope for us being a family again, after He changed each of us.
Did you ever have God speak to you? He probably does all day long. Like when you are tempted to look at someone else’s paper during a test at school, and something tells you that is wrong.
Please do not tell anyone, but once when I was a kid, I took money from my mother’s purse, even though God was telling me that was wrong. When my mother asked me about the money, I lied and said I had not seen it. Double trouble, I had stolen and lied. God told me go and tell my mother the truth. I felt a lot better afterward.
Well, Charlyne started praying for God to change all of us. Soon, when I picked up my kids for visitation, I could see that Charlyne was different. She was kind of peaceful and almost happy. I knew she was praying for me every day. It made me think.
Do you like stories with happy endings? Well, this story has a great ending. About two years later, I woke up one Wednesday morning and God had removed the devil’s blindfold from my eyes. I felt so foolish and was so ashamed of leaving my family. God spoke to me that day and told me He could forgive me if I would go home.
Right then, I got in my car and drove 100 miles to where Charlyne worked. We got remarried that same day. Our kids were so happy their dad was home that night.
I want to ask you a question. Can you see yourself in my story? Maybe your mother or father is wearing a blindfold right now. Maybe God has been speaking to you. (I hope you did not steal or lie like I did.) Maybe you are happy now because your parents are back together again.
No matter where you are in my story, there is one thing you can do. You can pray. It is awesome that God hears the prayers of kids. He answers the prayers of kids as well as old people like me. Praying is just you talking to God.
I want to tell you one more thing. One day our granddaughter, Allyson was at our home visiting. She was nine or ten years old. Ally picked up a book Charlyne and I had written about our story. Ally read for a while and then said to me, “You didn’t really do this to Grandma did you?” I had to tell her it was true. I also told her how sorry I was for doing things blindfolded. The good thing is that God has healed our family so well that even our grandchildren could not tell what had happened.
God can heal your family the same way. I now know how tough divorce was on our kids. If you will just keep on praying, God has a plan for your family. Please just keep on being that kind of kid that will make your parents proud.
The story about our family did not end with a divorce. That is when our story really started. Thanks for reading my story about how God took the blindfold off my eyes.