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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Decision To Go Ahead Of Kenny

The man form Comcast arrived at the door I heard Wyatt get up and quickly join me, then get in front of me, and if you know Wyatt that is very much out of character for him. So, I stood and I heard him in a firm  voice say to the technician that he would take him to the boxes, not to worry his Mom with it. He had just turned 12. My heart sank and the tears filled my eyes and I knew that the children knew we had not hidden it as well as we had thought. At this point the Denali had been turned back in, but Kenny still had his truck and the boat and most of our other things. So I assumed they hadn't really noticed. How Wrong I was!. As I went to my room and curled up in a fetal position and cried out the familiar cry to God what are we going to do, You are our only hope, but somehow, by now, it was only words. But as I sit here I know the beauty of who God is, even though I may have been weak and doubted it, as  my cries went up He heard them and it caused Him great pain. When Kenny got home, I had such a nasty attitude. I thought privately, maybe if He had studied a little less and maybe put a little more into the business or maybe this or maybe that, just questioning everything as we all do, because now my heart was not broke  for me, but now it broke for Wyatt, for my kids. The real ugly was really fixin to show its head. As I made my way around the house knowing the Denali and the cable boxes were just the beginning, I knew we had to address this. So we thought me and the kids would come and live with my Mom for one school year and let everything either go back and shut down or pick up and get back on track. So we began to pray, and long story short, the Friday before the kids started school we headed for North Carolina. That Monday we registered the kids for school. I remember sitting in church that Sunday morning and seeing a couple thinking God I have served you my whole life and here I sit after 24 years of marriage and not by choice I am 500 miles away from my husband, why have you abandon me.  I felt so alone, I have had my own home for 24 years, my things are not with me, my life is in a mess. People greet me and ask me, "What brought you to North Carolina?" What the-heck am I suppose to say? A simpler life, relocating? Me and the kids drove home and for the first time in, I can't even remember-maybe never, we're driving home from church without Kenny. Then I hear from our pulpits the stupid sayings, "I wont participate in this recession!"  I hate all those stupid little whatever you call um, I hate to tell you it was not by choice, I'll tell you that. It is so strange how our new theology uses pithy little sayings to try and enthuse people rather than join in their suffering. I could have said it all day, and I don't think it would have changed anything. But, what a statement like that does is it crushes the individual's very soul, those that are going through difficult times, and they may have no control over the situation they are going through. They sit there week after week feeling like a failure and they began to question there faith and eventually God. WHAT We need to hear IS...something almost unfamiliar in modern church gatherings, yet something which is at the very heart of What and Who God is.  This theme flows through the Bible and is so central to understanding God, but it is left at the altar of "charisma".  What is it that God is looking for?  Does the Being Who created all that exists thrill Himself with our gain in Wisdom?  Is He longing for us to understand His brilliance?  Is He concerned with our acqusition of land and goods?  What often suprises people is what so touches God, deep inside, is something that He goes searching for throughout the human experience.  It is scattered throughout the text of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, yet it goes somthing like this, "What is it God requires from you? It is a broken and a contrite spirit!"  What consumes God's attention is when He sees someone in the most wretched of conditions, it is there that He resides, perhaps because when we are broken we are as He was when His Son was broken by humanity, perhaps it is because when we are broken we lay aside our proud spirit and turn toward Him, hang our heads, and whisper His name, but what a marvelous idea-God is not searching for our goodness He is searching for our Broken-ness. Not the one who didn't participate in the recession,  but the one who was broken and reaches out to the  broken. The rumors begin, instead of support and love you get accusations and, almost, taunting.  "Kenny and Angie have divorced", all kinds of stuff, it really didn't matter, because when you are in these times you lose a measure of concern about the conjectures and judgements, none-the-less,  Emma and my Brother were ready to fight!  That we were divorcing was the leading, and frankly, the most reasonable, calculation.  Finally I ran  into someone who was a leader, of sorts,  in our church history, and, bluntly, he asked how we were and I  said,  "Me and Kenny are fine, just the  business is defunct, home in foreclosure, and me and the kids are in North Carolina, Kenny is still here wrapping things up."  Well he could not get out of chick-fil-A fast enough. It was funny because those rumors of divorce seemed to quiet after that. Those first few months were very difficult ones, being apart, adjusting to a new home, the kids in new schools, a new environment, lots of changes, but God had so many surprises in store for the kids in North Carolina that could have never been anticipated. I see that now, looking back, I see His divine hand in every step it took to get here. Another scripture in Vacation Bible school, I learned as a child, said God directs the path of the people He loves. It is so easy to testify to when your life is going along nice and smooth, but it a different testimony when things are dark and despairing, and you question the very principle of God's love for me? So much has happened in these mountains that has  been good. I have just enough time to share at least one of the ways God has smiled on us since we have been here. Actually Coleman has his 5th grade party today at 1:00! Coleman started 4th grade at Riverbend, us sensing from the previous 2 years he had been struggling in reading. Cole had an extraordinary memory, we would read a small children's book to him a couple of times and he would memorize it and fool us into thinking he was actually reading it. In Florida they had tried for 2 yrs to figure out what his learning issues were and just could not do it. He was too hard to read.  So by the 3rd month here in NC, Mrs. Ross, his new teacher came to me and said, " Mrs. Dyer, Jesse" which is what they call him, "is reading on a 2nd month second grade level. We have to do something now. We cannot wait for the IEP (IEP an evaluation and help system for children in NC) or the team to assemble it is imperative that we move now, so I am going to, with your permission, start tutoring Jesse TODAY! And I will speak to a teacher we have just gotten this year her is named Holly Cable."  Mrs. Holly, we came to know, was an expert in certain children disorders. I left her so burdened for Coleman. We had faced somewhat of a dilemma at the first of the year with Coleman about his hair. We were coming into a very different culture and Mrs Ross, out of concern for him, thought we should consider cutting his hair. We were new to the mountain community and she knew we were outsiders.  You see Coleman is the middle child and the only thing he truly owned was his long hair! Everything  in a family our size is either borrowed , handed down, used or passed around so his hair was unique to him.  So Kenny and I decided not to make him cut it. This would later turn out to be a profound decision.   Ms Holly  phoned  me and, after a few weeks of evaluation, said that Jesse was one of the brightest children she had ever tested, and she would, if we would agree, on her own time, tutor Jesse, Mon-Thur, 3-4 at no charge. Kenny still remembers the call from this wonderful and unique woman.  He was still in Tallahassee and when he answered the phone she introduced herself he was in shock.  She asked if it would be alright if she spent an hour a day with Jesse.  Kenny thanked her but said there was no way we could afford someone with her expertise, (we couldn't afford someone with the expertise of a goat farmer). What she said next will forever remain in the recesses of our minds, she said, "I will not accept money, I want to do this on my own time."  It was remarkable that she always called Cole her "angel" I am certain it was the other way around.  The will be much more to this story, however I will tell you that 1 1/2 years later he is reading at two grade levels ahead instead of two behind, and reading is his worst subject!