2018-part 2 The Bottom Drops Out

*This is Part two of a possible four part series on “2018.” If you haven’t read the first one yet, here is the link. Go back, read it, then come back for this one.*

Well, well, well. You’re back! I promise this second one will be just about as gut wrenching as the first one. But the biggest takeaway is that God reached out to us through the darkness and comforted us. That’s the only way I can keep saying confidently that everything is and will be just fine. Now, on to the next week.

Just before dad passed, probably the month prior, we found out that we were going to have another kiddo! Oh happy day! It takes an act of Congress for us to get pregnant and we did it all on our own this time! It was so stinking amazing! In the middle of the stuff going on with the Wildman, we had a flicker of light and joy.

The day after dad’s funeral, we went for our first sonogram in Lubbock. We got into the office and sat in the waiting room with nervous excitement. We had joy in this rough time.

Our tech called us back. She squirted the goop stuff and got to work. We had shared some baby experiences with this tech before, actually with both of our prior pregnancies. The mood went from light to a little more subdued and finally somber. She asked where we were in our pregnancy. Jeg told her and she nodded her head.

Honestly, her voice turned into Charlie Brown’s teacher then for me. Jeg can explain this part better than me. I immediately knew something wasn’t right. We had to sit on this vague visit for a week before we got any kind of answers. It had to be one of the most agonizing weeks that either one of us had to date (mind you, my dad had literally died the week before.)

Our doctor told us that our baby stopped growing in the weeks before the sonogram. We had miscarried our new kiddo. That information flooded my mind and buried me under the surf. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. And that was just me. It doesn’t even come close to what Jeg was feeling.

They told us that Jeg would pass the baby naturally. So we got to play the waiting game all over again. I dealt with it by not really dealing with it. I’d talk with my buddies Scott and Tanner and try to explain my feelings, but it was just tough. Yeah, Jeg and I talked about what was going on too, but we didn’t get very deep. How could we? We were walking on the edge of this knife waiting for the final slice.

We decided that some kind of change was needed. We had to snap this stupid funk that the devil was trying to put on us. So we did what anyone who was completely overwhelmed with life and put our house up for sale. 😳

The day our house was being shown to the eventual buyer, something happened. It was roughly a month-ish after the sonogram and Jeg started bleeding. Not, “Oh no…I’m bleeding” but “Holy crap, you’re bleeding…like a lot.” And guess where I was? Two and a half hours away on a pipe recovery job.

When I got that call, my mind flashed back to a month prior when dad died. It was just fear that washed over me instead of peace. I might have kept it cool on the outside, but I was 100 percent afraid that I was gonna lose my best friend.

I thank God every day for the folks I was working with that day. My engineer and company man caught wind of what was going on and they shut down the job and we took off to Levelland. Both of them had been exactly where I was right then and they knew how important it was for me to be there at Jeg’s side.

Another big blessing was that NanaMary, Jeg’s stepmom, was with her until I got there from Odessa. She got her to the ER in Lubbock and threw her weight around to get her admitted. (Not exactly sure how that went, but I just know Mary was all momma bear status and it was awesome.) The attending doctor (who was a former OB/GYN) examined Jeg and said that she was hemorrhaging and part of what was supposed to be passed was still attached and causing the massive bleeding. If she hadn’t gotten there when she did and gotten help, she would have bled out. That was all before I even got there.

When I arrived, all the major excitement was over. We were just left with the weird emotional hangover that I guess comes with narrowly avoiding death. We were discharged and we went home. Just like that, it was all over.

Well, it wasn’t over. It was all just the beginning of us picking up the pieces of our life all over again and handing them to God to do something with. Patch us back together, throw us back together, just do something. We needed something. Some kind of answer to all the pain that we were walking through.

We’re pretty private people. We spent many years in the spotlight and under a microscope through ministry work. This wasn’t a story that we wanted to tell people every other week and it sure wasn’t a story to be told through a game of telephone. The help and support might have been there, but it sure didn’t feel like it. We were treated like we had the plague from most folks. It was just a level of loneliness that we had never experienced before

People who have gone through losing a baby will understand what I’m saying here. Nobody really knows what they need to say or even what they can say. I can say confidently on my end of things, that I was lost and just flat out sad. I didn’t know what to say to my wife, who was absolutely wrecked. What do we do?

Well, we got up and went to church. We sought after God. We figured out what He said about our situation and tried our hardest to apply it.

Second Samuel 12:16-24 talks about David losing his son. Now, this is due to him jacking around with Bathsheba, but his kid gets sick and he goes into mourning and the child dies. After the boy’s death, in verses 23 and 24 he explains what he’s doing.

“But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife…”

We can’t turn back time and change what happened. All we can do is have our time of mourning and grief. Then, trust that God has got our kiddo there with Him and know that we will go to see them one day. That’s it.

Like I said in the last post, over time things heal and change, but nothing ever goes back to the way it was. Just like in the loss of my dad, this loss left a hole. A little, baby shaped hole. When you really think about it and focus on it, a whole life is supposed to be in that hole. But you have to realize that the only thing you can fill that hole with is the peace and comfort that only the Holy Ghost can bring you. In John 14:16 it says, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—” That’s the skinny of it. The only way y’all make it through.

I realize that there is still a ton of unpacking to do in the situation, but that is the barebones of it. Trust that God is still going to have your back. Trust that He is faithful and He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can even ask or think. Trust that He is going to lead you and your family out of this valley and back to the mountaintop in His glory.

Phew! That was heavy. It’s so tough writing about this because you wind up revisiting and rehashing it all over again. But this is gonna bless someone. To know that someone went through it and made it out is going to encourage somebody out there.

Thanks for reading folks. Stay tuned for part three of “2018” because the hits just just kept coming that year. Y’all stay safe out there.

2018 – The End Was the Beginning

Man, it’s been a while! Life has been busy since the last time we talked. The oilfield has done it’s thing. The pandemic has done it’s thing. And politics have done their thing! Ha!

I wanted to talk to y’all today about a year that was a turning point for me and my family. It’s gonna be pretty heavy, but know this: God won. Because He always does. It got extremely dark for a while, but God was always there.

Let’s start in the beginning. A little bit prior to February of 2018, my dad, the Wildman, was diagnosed with two types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma: Large B Cell and Follicular. Now, one of these was curable and the other could be controlled and maintained. He had gotten to “ring the bell” and the everything went into remission the Summer of 2017, but the dragon came back with a vengeance in the Fall.

He was tired of fighting. He and my mom had to live in Houston close to MD Anderson so they didn’t wear themselves out driving the seven to eight-ish hour trip weekly. Time and poisonous radiation had taken their toll on the Wildman and when he was told that it was back, he tapped out. He was ready to be in his own home and finish the fight there.

The last time I saw my dad alive was a couple weeks before he passed. I was coming back from a job in Woodward, Oklahoma and was able to stop and spend a couple days with him and NanaRita. Wildman was a shell of his former self. My once jovial dad had been reduced to skin and bones. He couldn’t really move a whole lot without help. He had already begun to not eat as much and drinking was a chore as well.

My plan was to spend a day and then head back for work. But when I went to hug goodbye, he wouldn’t let me go. We cried together for a while. He was scared and so was I. I got to the end of the road and turned right back around. I just couldn’t leave.

We sat and watched his favorite cooking shows, just soaking up one another’s presence. I hurts my heart just thinking about it, but I still have the joy of that time, if that makes any sense. I left early that next morning to start off my work week again. I went not fully realizing but half-knowing that I wouldn’t get much more time with him.

A mere two weeks later, I get a call from my oldest brother, James. I was on day 14 of a stuck drilling rig that had just been a tough sucker. He tells me I’m gonna need to get some relief because Dad wasn’t going to last much longer. As the ladies on Crime Junkie say, I had full body chills all the way back to Levelland. James calls and says I can hold off until the next day to come. So I get to spend a few hours with Jeg and the girls before I head their way the next day, Valentines Day.

You know, you always folks talking about those “never forget” moments. The moments where you know exactly what you were doing when a certain event happened. Valentines Day 2018 was one of those moments for me. I had gotten on the road early to make the two and a half hour drive the next morning. I got to Lorenzo, about 40 minutes into my drive, and I got the call. I had stopped in to grab a quick bite at the local Allsups. When I hung up the phone, my stomach was rolling around my feet like a quarter. The Wildman was gone.

The ensuing days were a blur. Comforting my mom, my brothers, and my family was my primary function of course. It’s just hard to describe the feeling of that kind of loss. Those who have been through it completely understand and those who haven’t have been spared.

So many people told me how awesome my dad was. I heard, “They don’t make anyone like that anymore.” “Your dad was definitely one of a kind.” “He was the best man that I ever knew.” “Nobody ever had anything bad to say about your dad.” It was just surreal hearing folks refer to him in the the past tense.

You find out who really cares about you when you’re in these dark places. We had numerous friends make the trip to love on us. (Thank you for that by the way.) Phone calls and food were in abundance. It was just amazing. Then, on the following Sunday, we laid him to rest and the challenge of grieving began.

I’ll use a whole other blog to write about the grieving process because it’s just too complicated to include here. It just came wave upon wave. I’m thankful for my wife, who just loved on me and my mom the best way she knew how. And my sweet kiddos. Goodness, those girls are incredible.

I was back to reality by Tuesday and it just sucked. I had a peace that he was in Heaven with Jesus but it didn’t help that he wasn’t here. That being said, you never really get over that loss. You just lean into that peace and comfort that the Holy Ghost gives you. (More on this later.)

A verse that I really took in during this time was Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The cool thing about God, is that He hangs out right there with you. Right there in your hurt. You may be a slobbering mess, but the HG…He’s got you.

Time heals all wounds, they say. Who is they? I’m not exactly sure, but that next week…the wound from my dad’s death was about to ripped open and exposed all over again in the form of another set of tragedies.

But that’s gonna be next week in part two of “2018.” Feel free to leave a comment of encouragement or even a snippet of your own story. Y’all stay safe out there.

Wave upon wave

Grief and loss can be…well, weird. It stops you dead in your tracks. It disrupts everything. And your norm? Forget about it.

Over the last year, our family has had a TON of loss. It started back in February of 2018 when my dad passed away from a long battle with lymphoma. That was a huge blow. Then, the following week, we had a miscarriage and a hemorrhage where I almost lost my wife. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.

Six months later in August, my Grannie passed away. Days later, our Aunt Nona passed. Six months after that, my wife’s Mimi passed away unexpectedly. Talk about when it rains, it pours!

Loss upon loss upon loss upon loss. It was pretty tough for a good stretch of life. Explaining death and loss to a four and two-year-old is not fun, let me tell you.

It felt as if loss and grief had come and set up shop in our house.

What could we do? I went to work. Jeg kept busy. We just kept our minds focused on the task at hand: living life. We talked about everything. We prayed together. We prayed over our littles.

We’ve always been taught that there are seasons in your life. That there will be times when things are really good and times where things will just plain suck. Check out Ecclesiastes 3:

“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap, A right time to kill and another to heal, A right time to destroy and another to construct, A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer, A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to part, A right time to search and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go, A right time to rip out and another to mend, A right time to shut up and another to speak up, A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 MSG

To me, this season did more than just suck. It was flat out terrible. Grief just came in waves. Right when you were able to get your head above the first wave, a bigger one rolled in to push you back under. Wave upon wave just pushed us further from where we wanted to be, which was on the shore with peace.

I know, the Word says that there are seasons. I said it and referenced it just right up there. But that doesn’t make it any easier in the moment. “Well, why didn’t you talk to someone?” We did and it helped…for a time. But when you’re in a season of grief, and this is solely my opinion, other people have no idea what you’re feeling. Sure they could have experienced the same loss, but the same feelings? Nah bruh. I quit writing. Nothing felt the same, no matter how many folks I sought counsel from.

The biggest thing that has helped our family has been Jesus and leaning on the fact that every one of these family members had a relationship with Him. It’s like in 2 Samuel, when David lost his son. He prayed and fasted and slept on the floor waiting for God to move. When he learned that he had passed, David got up, cleaned himself up, and ate. Most importantly, he worshipped God. It’s his actions that have really pushed me during our season of grief.

His servants were astounded by his actions. They wondered why he did what he did. Why did he worship after he passed? He said:

“…why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife…” 2 Samuel 12:23-24 NLT

He knew that he’d see him again, so he cleaned up and comforted his wife. And out of his season of grief, Solomon was born. The one who’d build the Temple. Literally, the wisest man was born out of grief and loss. How cool is that?

Things are better. Will they ever be the same? No. Not at all. But things don’t need to be the same. We have to grow, be stretched, and experience these things.

Psalms 30:5 says that, “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” And later, it goes on to say, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Psalms 30:11-12 NLT)

During your season of grief, take comfort in Jesus. That’s literally the only thing that can shine a little light in your valley. He loves you and will never leave you. Remember, there’s joy in the morning.

Have a great day folks! Leave a comment or two just to let me know y’all are still hanging out. Y’all stay safe out there.

When seeking advice…


Have you ever asked for advice? I’m sure you have because even the meekest of decisions can usually require a little guidance.  

You most likely sought that counsel from someone you trusted, someone who had been in the position before, or at least a person who has a few years on you. 

The Word even talks about getting advice. Proverbs is chalk full of what God thinks about getting advice. Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future (Proverbs 19:20). Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22). Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14). And the verses just keep going. 

All that being said, there are two types of people who take this mantle: askers and seekers. Now, I know that both of these seem like these names are just describing the same thing, but listen to these descriptions. 
People identifying as “askers” are truly looking for advice. By that, I mean they are seeking Godly counsel, from Godly people. They don’t just talk to folks willy-nilly. Askers don’t have any ulterior motives or notions propelling them to any side. They are simply looking for guidance.

Seekers” have a preconceived notion of what they want in their head and will go to numerous people (Goldy and otherwise) to seek out someone who thinks the same as themselves. Proverbs 28:26 says Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

You see the problem in that? There is no wisdom there. You are only fooling yourself if you think that your “newfound advice” is even new at all. It’s just your own opinion wrapped in the guise of a few other people’s words.  

I have run into both types of these people in all my travels and let me tell ya, beware the seekers. They have become people who drain you of time and energy with zero intention of utilizing your counsel. 

Now, am I saying that you shouldn’t seek advice from anyone? No, that’s not it at all. I’m just saying that you should seek Godly counsel when you are looking for advice and not running from person to person looking for your own answer. 

Psalm 1:1-6 says this: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 

So seek Godly counsel and don’t becomes merely a seeker of your own ideas in other people. 

It feels good to be back. I took a little time off to focus on some other things, but now I’m back. If you have any other comments or additions, please leave them below. Have a great day!

Untapped Power


Every night, we sit down on LG’s bed and pray together. I’ll start it off by praying for the family and healing for everyone who is sick. LG usually chimes in to include family members that we have already listed, just to make doubly sure. Then we end it with a prayer all together, “Dear Jesus, we love you, thank you and amen.”

It’s a time that I look forward to every night, because it’s a chance to see our oldest learning and demonstrating one of our most powerful tools as Believers. There are even times throughout the day where she’ll lay hands on her mom or sister or her puppy and say, “In Jesus name.” I get goosebumps just thinking about the power of God running through my little girl’s prayers. 

It seems so simple, yet so many of us take it for granted. The power of prayer can literally change things and we regulate it to when it’s convenient for us. Or we just tell people, “I’ll be praying for you,” when really the phrase is just a standard reply. 

It’s doesn’t take special words or a certain phrase to pray. You just start talking with God. Just do it. I promise that your prayers will be heard. Not just me, but the Word says it. In 1 John 5:14-15 it says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 
Psalm 91:15

Your prayers develop your relationship with God. They create a more intimate atmosphere between you and your creator instead of one that feels like an awkward exchange between exes.

One more story to kind of hammer this in. I was talking with my dad last night after doing a little work. He had a long day of chemo, but the Wildman wanted to know how my day was. We chatted about little things and I told him that we’ve been praying for healing. 

Now this is a man who I rarely saw in church growing up. Most times, the three boys just went with mom and Wildman was at the farm, either recovering from a hard weekend of work or was heading out to work. When we did go as a family, it was only on “special” days. But something happened a few years ago that changed all that; however, that’s not my story to tell. 

Getting back to last night. When I told him we had been praying, he said, “Son, out of everything that has happened, a lot of people have been praying. From Levelland to Holland, folks have been praying for me. Let me tell ya, it’s been working. Prayer has to be one of the most powerful tools that we have as believers. But folks just have to do it.”

I teared up. My pops was dropping a major truth bomb that I never expected. The biggest kicker was the statement “folks just have to do it.” 

Just talk to your God. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us to call unto Him and He’ll show us great and mighty things. Psalm 34:17 says that when the righteous call for help, He hears us and delivers us. He’s there to provide us with the best. He wants to be intimate with you. All you have to do is do it. 

Start that prayer life up. Talk to Him. Pray without ceasing and he will be true to His word. 

Y’all be safe out there. 

The weight of the world

There’s this feeling that I get sometimes. It feels like pressure. A weight bearing down right on the back of my neck and it trails off into my shoulders. It’s a stinging and burning that comes from bearing a heavy load. You know what I’m talking about?

It’s like your whole world is just resting right on top of you and if you make one false move, everything will just topple. Kind of like King Louie holding the Monkey Palace up on the old Jungle Book cartoon. This one:


There are lots of things that can do this to us, but stress is the common denominator. It brings worry and all sorts of mess that can really jack you up. I know this all to well…because I’m a fixer.

I see a problem and I try to fix it. It becomes my responsibility to remedy the situation, in my mind of course. By having this mindset, I add a whole bunch of unnecessary weight to my shoulders; therefore, adding unnecessary stress.

Roughly a month ago, I developed an oh-so awesome case of the shingles, which is brought on by stress and lack of rest. Numerous things were happening that caused this: a new baby, a rough doctor’s diagnosis for the Wildman, other family shenanigans, and the list just keeps on going. 

The shingles eventually went away with meds and reduced stress, but in the back of my mind…it lingered. I thought I let go of things, but I really didn’t. But today, when I accidentally hit play on my iTunes, things made sense. 

This song came up. It’s a worship song by Hope Church . The words hit hard and it made me look at the whole chapter of Psalms 55. Look it up here and let’s go through it. 

Basically, David is having a rough go of it. It seems like nothing can go right. He says things like, “My enemies shout at me (v.3)” and “Fear and trembling overwhelm me and I can’t stop shaking (v.5)”. He’s facing some major hate from all sides. 

Following a few more verses of despair and stress, verses 16-22 tell a new story. It turns from despair, to hope and trust. 

“I call to God; GOD will help me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh deep sighs—he hears, he rescues. My life is well and whole, secure in the middle of danger Even while thousands are lined up against me. God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench puts them in their place.”

David trusts that God is gonna have his back. He knows that if he just calls into Him, things are gonna be okay. 

Like in verse 22, it says, “Pile your troubles on GOD ’s shoulders— he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.”

How many times have we decided to take it all on our shoulders? Tried to carry the load ourselves? Everyone has! Has it ever worked? Probably not. 

I know it’s easy to just say, “give it to God,” and sometimes we get caught up in it. But that is the honest truth. God is right there, waiting for you to reach out for help. He wants to just take all of that worry and stress right off of you. We just have to call out to Him

In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 it says, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” With that, and numerous other verses on how God is faithful to His word, why wouldn’t He come and shoulder our burdens?

It is my prayer for you that you take this, read it, and apply it to your life. Thanks for reading. You like it, share it to help encourage others! 

Y’all be safe out there.