Updated: Jan 7, 2020
When I was Fire Chief, I now know that I was promoted too fast and too quick. I had a lot of growing up to do. As a result, I made some mistakes that, to this day, I regret. But, I also see that they were God’s hand in molding me to be who I am today. In fact, my departure and retirement was pretty rocky and I can remember God grinding away at me to change me. I came away from that experience not liking the person I had been, but vowing to God to change.
What I didn’t realize was that I had an angel at my side the whole time – Terry.
One day, I came back from a business trip, and I got into a rather heated discussion with one of my bosses (fire commissioner). For the next few days, I was miserable at work. Bobby and I were at each other over my reaction. Well, God had sent an Angel (Terry) and a messenger, Pastor Buddy Ellis to me. I knew Buddy from being involved in Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.
One day, it came to a peak, and I was about to explode. I came home. Now, Terry and I had established a practice that when I first got home, she allowed me to talk about my day and then, we would talk together about her and what she needed. On this day, I was ready to implode. Terry saw that, and simply said to me, “Why don’t you get into the hot tub, and relax”. Well, wiser words could never have been said. So, I got into the hot tub, and tried to relax. I couldn’t. I was so angry; with everything that was happening. I sat in that hot tub for a long time, eyes closed, crying, trying to make sense of what was happening. After a very long period (I don’t know how long), I looked up. There shrouded by the steam of the hot tub, sat my wife. She had been there the whole time. She was concerned for me and wouldn’t leave me alone. We hadn’t accepted Christ, yet. But, in her own, childish way she must have been praying for me.
Well, as I sat there, opened my eyes, and saw her, I blurted out… “I have to get back to the church”.
The next Sunday, we attended Buddy’s church (Parkland First Baptist) together. I was one of the first ones to answer the call for salvation. We went home, and over the next few days, we would discuss what was happening. I became a changed person, and Terry saw this. Not too long after that, she followed me down that path.
You see, this was what Terry is about…. My Angel. Terry has so much love for the people in her life. When our kids were growing up, she welcomed all of their friends into our home. I can’t count how many of our kids friends call her MOM (I get to be dad, too).
This has been the life of Terry. She has been God’s angel to so many people. She has accepted and loved on each and every one of them.
And, her love and devotion to our children and grandchildren is matched only by God’s love for us all.
During the times when our children were being raised, or out in the world, she was in constant prayer for them. She had them on her heart constantly… putting them above her own needs.
I saw this story on God Vine, and it describes my angel perfectly (please pardon the edits I have made to personalize it):
A baby asked God, the Heavenly Father:
“They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?” – “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”
The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.” – God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. In addition, you will feel your angel’s genuine love and warmth, and you will be very happy.”
Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?” – God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care. Your angel will lovingly teach you how to speak.”
“And what am I going to do when I wish to talk to you?” – God said, “Your guardian angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”
“Who will protect me?” – God said, “Your angel will defend you at all costs, even if it means risking its life.”
“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.” – God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.” – “You will simply call her, ‘Terry’.”