A longtime friend called me the other day and said He needed to talk to me. I told him to come over. We had known each other since right after high school. Our friendship continued off and on through the years, even some 40 years later.

We decided to go outside since it was a beautiful spring day. We went up on the Appalachian Trail near Skyline Drive Virginia. We sat down on some rocks overlooking the Shenandoah Valley and river.

I asked, ” What’s on your mind?” He began to tell me his story. He started speaking as he looked over the valley, his eyes tearing up at times. He began, “What I have to tell you is a reminiscent confession, a history of my failed life.”

Continuing, he said, ” You know when you get older, you tend to look back over your life. I have had some revelations through contemplation as to why I failed so miserably. I think the downturn and the mold were set when one day at my father’s parents’ house ( I was 12 years old), he totally unexpectedly embarrassed me.”

My sister, younger brother, and I were sitting on the living room floor in Hamilton, Virginia, on a Sunday. We kids hated visiting there, we were uncomfortable, as my dad’s parents were the very stuffy, holier than everyone, English type. We never played there. It was always a horrible time. Anyway, out of the blue, my dad says, “Does everyone want to know who the loser is? The room went silent as my dad pointed directly at me. ( I never understood why he would say this, as I was a decent student, successful in sports.) Then it dawned on me many years later, like someone whispering in my ear, “Your dad’s father said the same exact thing to him in his youth.” You know my father was a good provider, but he never, not once told me he loved me.”

He paused and said, “As the years went by, I often wondered why my dad’s family didn’t seem to like us kids very much. ( I often compared my dad’s parents to to my mom’s which we loved very much) One of the things that I was always asked by my dad’s father was, “When are you gonna get a haircut?” ( I viewed him as lowly and common.) There was never, ‘Hi grandson, how are you, how’s it going in school, who are your friends?’ Then he said, ‘I finally figured out that my dad’s parents never accepted my mother, and basically mentally abused her throughout my parents’ marriage.’ He continued, ‘ I remember on one occasion how my dad’s brother asked my mother how she could put up with this family. I never knew what her response was to that question, but knowing my mom, I would imagine that she endured for us kids.

He then said, “ Let’s advance forward and change gears. In the spring of 1981, I had an amazing encounter with God. I won’t go into the details right now, but on one Wednesday evening at a prayer meeting, a bunch of us were gathered in the basement of Potomac Baptist church in Virginia. I want you to know that I had only been a Christian for some three weeks. I really didn’t know too much, only that I had a newfound faith. Anyway, back to the prayer meeting, as the leaders petitioned off the rooms for privacy, we began to pray at our separate tables of about five at each table. The leader said that we could either pray silently or pray out loud. I don’t remember how I prayed, but it felt as if oil had been poured on my head and ran down onto my shoulders. I also felt this presence that I had never felt before. Anyway, as the prayer meeting ended and the presence lifted, I quickly asked, ” What was that? Did all of you feel it?” One person said, “That was the presence of God.” I remember the peaceful feeling that stayed with me very strongly through the next three years. I also found out shortly after this prayer meeting revelation’ that I had been given the gift of witnessing and evangelism. For many years, I was very successful at telling others about God. I had an amazing gift, I guess I still have it in some form.”

“Then, the spiritual attacks began, and I was attacked viciously. As I was the first Christain in my family ( that I was aware of ), Satan brought my family against me. My brother once told me he was going to “blow my head off”

I was attacked regularly in my sleep. I developed a sleeping disorder, a sleeping paralysis. I was often held down in my sleep by some demonic entities. These entities would stretch their ‘forms’ over my body, and I lay sleeping. I remember on one occasion when the attack was so vicious that the only way I was able to break free was screaming the name of Jesus.

Changing gears again, he said, “Then my social and work life changed. I experienced a failed marriage because the woman I married turned out not to be a Christian whatsoever. I have often asked myself how I could be so fooled. I once lost an important job because I was called a “religious recruiter.” I believe someone in the company didn’t like my talking about God at the workplace and complained. Looking back, I guess I experienced the ugly face of ‘political correctness’ and ‘cancel culture’ back in the early nineties. My life was full of weird misunderstandings with some people I encountered.”

He continued, “I condemn myself because of my failed marriage. Seems I never could get a godly woman in my life. I resorted to living in the flesh instead of the spirit.

So, he said, ” Thank you for listening to me.” There is more to my story, but for now I will conclude by saying, it’s very interesting how a negative event event such as my father telling everyone that I was a loser, can remain suppressed for many years but finally surfaces and causes all kinds of trouble. If I have learned anything in this life, it is this: People want to be loved, and they want to be loved unconditionally. Unconditional love changes everything” written by Frankie The Earthman. littleraventhepoet.blog

Sometimes, demons come.

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