So, Midday Connection asked the question the other day on the radio: What would you say to a 16 year old you? Now that's I loaded question if there ever was one I turned 16 on November 29, 1989. Two very determining factors that would alter my life forever happened within two weeks of my sixteenth birthday. First, my Daddy was in a horrific accident that nearly killed him. He was hunting in Sherwood and feel out of a tree stand. I'm ashamed to say I don't remember a lot about the accident. I honestly don't know if I have just blocked it out of my memory, or if I was just a selfish girl at heart who thought of nothing or no one but herself. Sadly and with deep regret, I fear it was the latter one.
The other thing that happen was I attended a retreat called SEARCH where I fell totally in love with God. I had been a Christian. My family had started going to church when I was 7. I always loved church and God, but that weekend at SEARCH was when I started to understand that God loved me and wanted a personal relationship with me. I wasn't suppose to be at SEARCH that weekend. It was reserved for Juniors and Seniors i n high school. Even though I was sixteen, I was a lowly freshmen - I have a late birthday, plus I went to a preschool for disabled students until 7 and my parent wanted me to go into to the first grade Needless to say, I'm older than many of my friends. But it never fails to amaze me how God's way are greater than my ways; And He always knows exactly what we need exactly when we need it. I can't tell you anything specific that happen that weekend that changed my life It was what the future would bring that would change my life. God used a weekend retreat to strengthen my life forever.
My Daddy was never quite the same after the accident. I really think he suffer brain damage, He changed. It is not my desire to bash my Daddy here. I loved him. He made some choices, that I prayer I'll never make, but I respect his choices because I do believe that they were part of the path of his life. Some of the choices he made impaired the rest of the family. It was through what I learned through SEARCH that allowed me to survive that difficult change in my life. I had to learn to be depend on God, no matter what!
That seams like such a long time ago. I guess if I could anything to that young girl now it would be to hold on to faith and to love the peopled around you, especially your daddy. I loved my daddy, always did and always will. I spent many years angry at him and withdrawn from him. I felt the need, regrettable to keep my children from him. I thought, and still do in some part believe, that I was acting in the best interest of my children. I've always struggled with this decision and always will. I pray that God and my Daddy forgive me. We lost Daddy five and a half years ago, and although I made amends with him a few days before he died, I can not get back the time I lost with him.