Tuesday, January 27, 2009
My dad left when I was 6 y/o and died when I was 20 y/o, the only thing I remember from that time, was the first line of his will. Which read, "I Jack Newman of sound mind and body, intentionally omit my son, Kevin Shawn Newman and my daughter, Kimberly Dawn Newman from my will." That day hit me like a ton of bricks. My whole life I had put my dad up on a pedestal, to my mom and sister. I had fought them for his honor, my whole life, and now he kicked me in the face for it. He said loud and clear to the entire world that I was not his son.
That time of my life, I went into a depression like no other. I could have cared less about anything. The only absolute in my life, through this time was my mother. She was my security blanket, she was there to catch me every time I fell, OD'ed, got arrested or lost another job. She is the strongest woman I know. She everything she could to raise 2 BAD kids, without a sinlge "your doing a Good job, or a single, thank you." She pushed through it, doing the best she could and knew how to do. She stood by me through several attempts to clean up my act, and live sober. But I always did it for her, and not myself. So I relapsed. She let me live at home and some how I got my paramedic license, and finally I moved out or she pushed me out, I don't remember.
I moved out and into my roommates house, which was the beginning of God working on me. My best friend and roommate, Jason Smith, was raised christian his whole life. It was like God and Satan living in one house. For a while Satan was winning. We were partying and I was pulling Jason down, instead of him lifting me up. Then Jason introduced me to Karen, now my wife. I moved in with her, and started our life together. This WHOLE time I was still drinking till I passed out and drugging, HARD!! Karen never knew it. For two years I was using behind her back. It wasn't until Jason begged Karen and I for WEEKS to come listen to him play the drums at church. I would mock him, and make fun of him. Finally we went. I had never been to christian church before, and when I tell you God punch me right in the stomach. I had never felt anything like that, no drink or drug could match that high. I wanted more. We went for about a month, and for that month I stayed sober. For the first time I did it for me, and myself, and because I wanted a better life. Karen and I were already married by now and Aiden was about 3 or 4 months old. It was then that Karen and I BOTH gave our lives to God.
After that, my heart hurt, everyday, all day. Cause Karen never knew of my drug use, she knew about the hard core drinking but not the drugging. No one did. Now I was clean for a month, I had given my life to God, and my wife didn't know the half of it. When I told her, I worried, would she leave me, would she take Aiden. Would I give my life to God, stay clean on my own for the first time with the power of God, and then lose everything. I couldn't let that stop me. I had to be honest with her. I needed her support in order to continue. Recovery steps told me I had to right all the wrongs. So I told her, and she reacted. I wasn't sure how she reacted but she did. Things we're not cool around the Newman house for a long time. But there was still a Newman house. She didn't leave me, when her mom and sister, and society, told her to leave me. Told her that there was no way that without help, with "JUST JESUS" that I was clean for a month. She didn't leave me. Cause she to had given her life to God also, and God let her know, stick with me, stand behind me, and with Him all things are possible.
The next few months, were crazy. Aiden was now 5-6 months old. Karen went through times where she didn't trust me. I had to take home drug tests from Walgreens, and God was moving us to Canton, GA. All at the same time. I was new into my recovery, Karen was on me about finding a meeting. I was trying to find a job. Karen supported us for awhile, I had a FF job coming but had to wait on it. I stayed clean, kept searching for a church like the one we fell in love with. Then the series "For Better or For Worse" came to town. We came to Ridge Stone at that time, and God let us know. This is your home now, this is where your life will change and you will change lives.
Days, turned into months, sobriety was strong, through God. No meetings. I got my job as a FF, and life was going great. Around Feb or March Karen got pregnant again. God was blessing us with our second child. November 7, 2007 Reagan Marguerite Newman was born, life changed again as I knew it. I was now the father of two, the husband of one, life was great. I was working, alot and Karen was also. We needed help so we prayed for months and hired Andrea to come and live with us. It was a perfect match. Our lives were going great now, and we owed it all to God. We both got baptized together. Life was awesome, God was blessing us in ways we never thought possible.
Time and life was passing by so quickly. You never realize how much you take for granted, till God hits the reset button on you. We were living for God, me staying Sober and planning launch for Celebrate Recovery at The Revolution Church. Then at the launch, God hit the reset button and took our little baby girl. That sent my whole life into a spin cycle. The only definite in my life was PAIN and a lot of it. I didn't know which way was up. After the smoke cleared and my mind came out of the haze. I realized what took place, was real. I felt a calming on my heart, that all the things God has brought me to know, were now coming into my reality. I had ask God for a way to repay him for taking me out of the life I had come to know. The life of depression and hatred, and drugs and alcohol. I ask him for a way to repay him for blessing me with the life I had come to know, with positive people, great family, wonderful wife, beautiful, healthy children, financial freedom, and self pride, that I had never experienced before. God's answer to all that, was, have faith in him, when everything else told me not to. The way I could repay him for the life he blessed me with, was trust him, in EVERYTHING, when the secular world told me, I had a reason to pull away from him. I could repay him, by being a strong threshold, to bridge the gap between Him and those far from him. I could repay him for everything he has given me by not understanding why he needed my little girl, and just trusting him that he needed my little girl.
We all love to have faith in God, and trust in God. When times are going good. When our lives are going exactly how we pictured them to be going. It is when things turn for the worse, when your all alone, out in the dark. When you feel furthest from God. That's when he is the closest to me. That's when my faith, when my trust in God is the greatest. I believe, and have seen His miracles. I know what he is capable of, I know he is here with me. I trust in him, and love him. He is my ROCK!!! He is the reason I am able to get up and do this everyday. He is the reason, my life is where it is now. He is the same God that I was worshiping, when times were great, and he is the same God I worship, now, that times are tough.
Give me the strength to get through another day, bless me with another day of sobriety. Bless me with the tools to raise my son in your light. Father, keep me out of my own way, and let me live out your will for me. However that looks Father, I trust you. You are my teacher and I, your student, teach me your plan for my life. I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing with out you.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I'm cool with that, but what scares me the most, is my Dad died running in a 6.2 mile race. Collapsed on the 6 mile marker and died of a massive heart attack. So i am scared to say the least, but I am also bull headed. I have a mentality that tells me, "With God all things are Possible." A lot of people in my family are worried about me, pushing myself, I can understand that, they don't experience the Faith I do. I know though with my continued Faith, and staying the christian stronghold in my family, they will continue to see the changes. I love my family VERY much, I pray they will be proud, and continue to support me.
Don't let anyone ever tell you, that you can't do anything. "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." —Matthew 19:26
My Faith can not falter from one subject to the next. If I believe all the things I believe about my daughter. Then I have to continue my belief and Faith in God, on all things. I thank him in all circumstances.
I pray to you this morning. Thanking you Father, for another day on earth here with my family. Father, I pray that you bless me with the tools necessary to continue to guide my family spiritually. Father, protect me today, guide me, bless me with strength. Father do not let my body fail me, do not let it falter, do not let in injure. I come to you in complete faith knowing you will be there with me, when I get weak, you will give me strength to continue. Father, I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing with out you.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Till last week, I yearned for a way to thank God for the Awesome life that I experienced, and for "BREAKING" my chains of addiction for 3 yrs. Till last week, I try to shout God's glory, on the highest mountain. Till last week, I was greatful to God, for rescuing me from life stronghold. Allowing for me to life out his plan for my life. Till last week, I enjoyed my life and what God blessed me with. Till last week, I owed everything I have, Everything I am, and Everything I dont have, to God. Till last week, I praised God for all his glory. I trusted in him, had faith in him, and loved and thanked him. Then last week happened. My 14 month old daughter, my miracle baby, who was supposed to miscarry multiple times. After enduring all that, Dies!! Goes to be with her almighty Father. So now, I am left here. With the earthly world, telling me I should question God, and his so called plan for my life. Question, his so called mercy. How could this loving God, creator of all things, take a precious girl, LONG before her time. The secular world, tells me to abandon this so called God. Look what he has done "TO" you and your wife. How could this loving God, let a young boy, find his sister? How could your "So called" God let a "nanny" be scarred so bad?
I tell you, this is what the Devil and unbelievers of world, are TRYING to get me to believe. Trying to get me to abandon My God, that just a week ago I worship, I thanked, I praised, I followed, I Loved, I owed everything I know about me and my life to. I did all this then, and I am going to keep doing all this. Till the day I die. I am going to teach my son to do it. I am going to continue to be the spiritual driving force in my household. I am going to get my friends to do it. I am going to get my family to do it. Co-workers, addicts, hookers, patients, gamblers, liers, thiefs, every lost sole I come across. Satan, watch out, God has chosen THIS MAN. God has picked me, to be someone that has gone through something horrible, and continued to tighten my relationship with him. So, you go ahead satan, you go ahead. Pick at everything around me. With "My God" I can beat you. With "My God" I have the strength of many, to tell you to go back to the hell you came from.
So yes, there is "pressure" in life. It is only me, putting it on myself. Pressure to please others, pressure to bring others to know Christ . Pressure to not mess this God given opportunity. I am living my life to please God. If that brings others to know him and his greatness, than let it be. I am not trying to live to impress others. I am trying to live to show God how much he means to me, and how much I appreciate the life he has blessed me with.
God uses all things for the goodness of his glory- even suffering. So to equal out the suffering my family and I are going through, God has something miraclous planned. In that plan, I keep my hope, in that plan, I am excited for tomorrow.
God, I pray to, thanking your for another day of sobriety. Thank you for the strength to get through today. I pray, father, that you bless me with the ability to comfort my family and my wife for another day. Bringing them another day closer to understanding your power, greatness, and love. I thank you for, I love you, and I know I am nothing without you.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
i love you, I thank you, and I am nothing with out you. Please bless me with strength for tomorrow and understanding of your will. Amen
copy this from her first
Last night, when I was cleaning, I was pissed, FOR REAL!!! When we prayed out loud to be "that family" that when people looked at us, they knew there's something different, I never would have expected this. If I would have known this would be the result, I would have been more than happy "just" being the family next door. If God would have given me the choice, I very selfishly would have thought of another way. That's why he didn't give me the choice. I would have fought him every step. I AM SELFISH!! I want my "Baby Reagie Girl" back. How can I be that way? Why would I rather see people never know you, then to have "Reagie" here. Because, I'm a "MOM" and mom's would do ANYTHING for their children.
Have to literally keep reminding myself that he knew what and how long Reagie was here for. Long before I even knew I was pregnant with her.
New thing I hate hearing when someone dies:
1. "God Has a plan for you"
Well, no shit! I knew he had a plan for me days, weeks, months ago. I just didn't think this was part of it. Those words don't make me feel any better at all. Last night, the only comfort I had, was when I read what people wrote to me about wanting to learn more about church and God. Also, hearing about people who have a "renewed" faith in God.
2. "He/she looks so peaceful" (no shit)
3. "Oh, they did such a good job. It's like he/she is sleeping.
If when I die, they make me look like I was sleeping. My mouth would be wide open, I would have drool stuck to my face and pillow, and my hair would look like shit. That's real sleeping.
Every mother who loses a child will always feel they didn't protect their child enough. Or they could have done something to prevent it. In some cases, it maybe true. But, you are the almighty "grim reaper." If time is up, its up, and there is nothing humanly or motherly possible to help that. I pray you keep easing my mind and heart. To know deep down within, that you did this, not me. And not you in a bad way, either. You had this set up before she even came here.
Tell me something...how exactly did Mary continue to go on with her life? how did she cope with the death of her son? Did she blame herself? Did she question "God's Plan"(still hate that word) Did she get angry with God?
Got pissed with myself for being so materialistic. I'm gonna miss shopping for Reagie's clothes. Are you kidding- her clothes?? She has more clothes than you could imagine. I'm really gonna miss her smile and giggle. I loved it when, she wanted me to chase her. I took it for granted. I use to get pissed because everything I did playing with her, Aiden wanted me to do with him. Why would I be pissed about something so stupid. Because that's what happens. You live life and your human. I am not "Super Mom." But I am a mom and at times a pretty damn good one.
There are times when I don't want to let Aiden out of my sight. There are times when I need a break from him. How do I learn to balance "MY" anxiety about leaving him, with letting him be a normal kid.
Again these are the words of Karen J. Newman. The strongest woman I know. Even when she thinks she is her weakest, she is still the strongest. We have been through some horrible times in our relationship, but we still love God, and each other. Karen I love you, and together we will prosper. 01/20/09
Monday, January 19, 2009
I promise not to use drugs or alcohol.
I pray for strength.
I cant believe 2 wks ago my wife and I, while doing nite nite prayers. Prayed that prayer. The prayer that God make us, use us, as a family that everyone looks at and says "wow, there is something Godly, about that family" That prayer as changed my life. God, why so drastically??? Why does God have to have me SOooo friggin humbled. I feel like a lost little child in the dark. Spinning around like an idiot. I feel like, I did my part, I gave my daughter back to him. I know he let me just borrow her for 14 months, but I gave her back. I laid her to rest. I gave her back to you, God. So where are you at now. I know I asked for strength to get through my testimony. I know you were there and you gave me that strength. I know you rejoiced when 10 people gave there lives to you because of that. I know this. God, I ask for more!!!. Its not enough. I am pissed God. I feel like I got the short end of the stick. I feel like, I out gave you God. I gave the ultimate, I gave my daughter. Now where are you, yo ugot me sitting here....my life in limbo. God, dangit, PLEASE, give me some friggin guidance here. God, you know as well as I do, if you leave me here to long, stangnet, that the devil is gonna eat at me. Now God, three options....one bless me with the understanding of your plan and will for me, bless me with the strength, wisdom, courage, and honor to tell the devil to go back to hell, or leave me alone. Use me God, your my shepard, I trust you. I am your sheep. NOW USE ME!!!! I'm here God, I'm here, on my knees, humbled before you, shouting out, crying out to Jesus. Use me as you will. I know this is not fro no reason. So guide me......damn God. What do you have for me. Why my daughter, what you have planned better change the world. I know I said your plan include my tesimony to change one person's life. I know. God, simply put, what you have showed me so far, your reason for taking Reagan.......IS NOT ENOUGH!!! I want more. Use me to do something great. I'm ON BOARD God, what ever it is, JUST LET ME KNOW ALREADY!!!!!! Come on, God. I know in your time, but crap this is rediculous. You know what God, Father almighty, maker of heaven and of earth, savior of my sole....in your time, I just need something God. I need something to go by. Something to tell me where to take my next step. Cause I cant stand still anymore, And I'll be damned if i'm gonna take a step without your guideance.
THATS IT!!!! Its a test isnt it? your testing my patience with you. Testing to see just how long I will sit here and just trust in you. While you just do nothing. OK. I trust in you God. I just need some kinda light, some hint of your plan. I am not taking a step till you show yourself and your plan for me. Not a step. Cause you know as well as I do, that would be the Death of me.
I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing without you. Thank you, God for letting me vent on you. I know you are here with me. I just need to feel it, feel you.
Reagan Marguerite Newman
First, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers, and for joining us on this sorrowful but joyous occasion. It means so much to my family and I. To quote MercyMe “I’m finding myself, at a loss for words, and the funny thing is, it’s ok.”
On November 7, 2007, God blessed my wife and I with a beautiful miracle baby. For 14 months I watched as she captivated so many people with her precious smile and hypnotizing eyes. She began to speak and walk, and being a father of two, took on a whole new meaning. Before I knew it, my baby girl, was running around, terrorizing her brother, and waiting for somebody, anybody to chase her around. She grew such a personality, such a yearn for adventure, and such an appetite!!! This girl could eat, if you were eating, she was begging. That’s just how it went.
As the days of our lives became routine…I took the little things for granted. I would give anything to come home from work, one more time, and have you waddle to the front door. To see you smile one more time at me. To hear one more “Da-Da.” I would give everything to have one more anything from you. But, fact is, I’m an addict, and for an addict, one is too many, and a thousand is never enough. See, I could never settle for JUST one more, I would want more and more and more.
Reagan, our faith tells us, we will see each other once again. It is then that we will not have to SETTLE for just one more anything. We will get to have all of you once again. So you go be with God, be a good girl, and you learn your way around heaven. So that when God calls us to come home to heaven, you will become our teacher, our idle…and our hero.
My faith has not always been so strong, and my actions not so great. But God broke my chains, and let me experience a freedom like no other. I do not understand Gods plan for me, but I trust in it. Our God is a Great God, and has taken Reagan for a reason. Now that we no longer have our little “reagie girl” to hold on to, our faith in God’s plan is ALL we can hold on to. Isaiah 41:13 says “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” This tells me, that like a lost child, he will guide me. And Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” This tells me he will protect me and give me strength. And Proverbs 3:3 says “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” With this I feel God telling me, as long as I have faith and love in him, everything will be ok.
We know that our pain will not be over tomorrow or next month, but it will become bearable with time, and if, out of this pain, one single person would come to know the glory of God and experience the freedom we have felt from the relationship we have with him. Then and only then would this pain be worth while.
I would like to read you something a close friend gave us the other day. When I read it, it gives me strength.
I'll Never Walk Alone
From sunrise to sunset
Even through the night,
My Father has assured me
He'll keep me in his sight.
He's promised to walk beside me,
He gently holds my hand
To lead me and to guide me
So I'll see His promised land.
He never promised my journey
In this life would be struggle free,
But compared to His great sacrifice
My troubles became smaller to me.
I take great peace in knowing
That while I dwell in
this earthly home,
God is always beside me and
I'll NEVER WALK ALONE.
Again, on behalf of Karen, Aiden, and the rest of my family, I thank you. We ask only that you live today for today, and may God bless you all. Thank You.
stood by my side. My security blanket. If I was unable to do it. He was to step in to finish reading what God wrote down on a paper for me to read. God told me that these people needed to hear these things from my lips. So I opened introducing Jason to the "Crowd" then my mind went blank, my eyes went dry, my throat went clear, and my voice went deep. The words flowed more freely than, the water in a river. My dark sunglasses hid my eyes and was like a curtain between me and the people. I looked down at the paper in front of me. I could only HEAR everyone crying and sniffling. God wouldn't allow that to stop my testimony though. So I continued on. What seemed like an eternity, took about 10mins. When I was done, I made it far enough to sit down next to my wife, and I collapsed. I broke down, and cried like God let all the tears build up, but wouldnt release, like a dam on a river. Then Swift sang another beautiful song, this time this song, made faucets out of my eyes...looking at the most beautiful pictures, my eyes have ever seen. Those of you who havent seen my daughter check out her slide show here www.flickr.com/photos/sillysilers/sets/72157612561476008/ My daughter has the most hypnotizing eyes, and they had my attention on this day. Then my pastor, scratch that, one of the best friends I have in GA, Gary Lamb, gets up and brings the heat in one of the best SERMONS I have heard. hit em where it hurts. The purpose, to let people know how much Reagan meant to us, how much we mean to God, and how much a relationship with Jesus will mean to them. Karen and I dont want Reagan's death to go on for no reason. God has a purpose for this happening, and we want everyone to know the reason God is telling us. At this time, the reason, was to bring others closer to God by using our testimony. When Gary asked if there was anyone who wanted to give there life to God, 10, thats right 10 people raised their hands, and some didnt want to put it down. Some were convicted by our testimony, but were scared. Trust me I know. 10 people, I prayed, for one person to come to know God from my daughters death and God give me the pleasure of seeing ten. Give something away and it comes back to you in ten fold, right?? After following the same four amazing guys in our lives carry my lil angel through a tunnel of uniformed BROTHERS AND SISTERS to the hurse. Following the hurse, the procession starts, with a bucket ladder, 2 engines, 3 chief vehicles and multiple cops leading the way. People walking down the street, stopped, removed their hats and held them on their hearts. Now, I don't know about you, but that is RESPECT. My lil' girl only 14 months old and she is going out like she is the friggin mayor. Turning onto the interstate, I notice an another engine, from another fire dept. BLOCKING the entire highway, in full gear, with helmets on their hearts. they didnt know my daughter, hell they didnt even know me. But, they knew the brotherhood they were part of. Every exit we passed, was blocked. The interstate was an island, and we were the only ones on it. The emotions I felt at this time were so over whelming, that I couldnt hold it in. I was crying so hard, every cop we passed had his hat on his heart, every engine had full gear. It was something out of the movies. As we pulled up to the gravesite, we parked, and WATCHED, and watched and watched, as car after car pulled into this cemetery for my lil "Reagie Girl" finally the procession was in, and we got out of the car. I grabbed my wives hand and prayed for strength, cause I knew, we were about to lay my baby to rest. The last time my first daughter, the owner of my heart, would leave this earth forever. Emotion at red alert, and the tunnel of "My Brothers" lined up, sitting next to my daughters grave, my four boys, bring the precious one, and set her in front of me and Karen. With flowers all over and my family next to me. Everyone closed around us, with the cold frigid wind blowing over me, and hands frozen, and tears burning my face. Preston Porter, one of the most important people in my family lives, began to speak. I dont remember what he said, why cause I was cold and I was sitting in a place I would soon be visiting, A LOT. After he was done, the line of hugs began. I was tired of hugs already but, the warmth of feelings and strong embraces of my friends and family, washed over me and warmed me, from the inside out. Thank You God, it was finally done, now I would be able to start the grieving process.
I am at a loss on a lot of things now. how do I go back to trying to save lives physically. I feel like saving them spiritually. Why God took my lil baby girl from my wife and I. Dont know!!! But I know he has a plan for me, and in that is where I get my comfort. I trust in God with everything I have and am, I ask only that he let me know what he has going on with my life, so I can get on board.
God I love you, I thank you, and I know I am nothing without you. Please, bless me with strength and understanding in your plan for me and my life. Let me be whatever it is that you want me to be. Let me make you proud each and everyday. Let me not take you for granted, and let me never falter away from your path for my life. Open the doors you want me to go through and close shut, the ones you dont want me to go through. Light the path of my life, so that I will take not a single step in the dark. Father, I have nothing unless you bless me with it. Bless me father.