with Andres trying against all odds to make the relationship work.
She wanted and needed love in her life. It
wasn't the kind of relationship that she needed, but it was better than
living alone. And Andy took care of her financial needs. He worked hard
to provide things she wanted. Her old Chevy finally broke down. In the
spring of 1991, he bought her a new car, a 1990 Chevy Berretta.
Andres provided Lynn the
material things that Javier could never have afforded.
Lynn let herself become content with these
things. During the times when the alcohol took over his mind, turning him
into that dark, mean and nasty stranger with the fowl language she didn't
like, Lynn would escape into her world of writing.
Too many times she just wanted
to pack her things and run, but where was the question? And how in the
devil could she manage on her small SSI disability check?
$300. Would not go very far, pay rent and
buy food, and insurance for her car; those were the necessary things she
would need to cover. No, like so many other times in her life,
She was out of options, if she could find a
place she could afford, it would be a shack or a dump filled with roaches;
and a life of poverty.
It was better to stay, take the
mental abuse and when he passed out, escape into her writing; a world of
her own choosing, where she was in control, a world of fantasy where the
realities of life did not exist.
In March of 1991, Andy took his
vacation and they took a trip to Texas.
He took his truck, which meant he would have
to stay sober, because Lynn could not drive the truck. Thank you God.
He showed her the big city of
Houston; Lynn was impressed, thinking her girls too would have loved this,
because it was like visiting Mexico. All Lynn's grandchildren, with the
exception of Nina, (Chuck's little girl) were Spanish.
Texas was a big state and Lynn was impressed
with its size and scenery and with its people and Spanish heritage.
There were many places they
wanted to visit, but lack of time and money prevented them.
"I wanted to take you down into Mexico,"
Andy said, "But we don't have the time, I need to get back to work and
make some more money," he laughed. It was during these times when he
wasn't drinking, that Lynn felt love for him. Lynn cuddled in his arms.
"That's okay," she said, "There is always
"I wanted to talk to you about that," he
said, "next year I want to come down here and look for a house to buy. I
don't like Virginia, Texas is like my home, where I spent a lot of time
working; and one-day I want to live here again."
"I can see why," she said,
"Texas is little Mexico!" They laughed together and made love. Then he
"Just a little bottle okay?" If he was
asking her permission to drink, no it wasn't okay.
But Andy was not asking her permission, he
was telling her that it was just a little bottle and he would not drink
At least here in the motel room
he would not get drunk, not like he would in his own home. She didn't know
when or where he had gotten the bottle. That was the very thing that
always bewildered Lynn, you could strand Andy on a deserted island and
somehow, he would find a liquor store!
Lynn had a good time in Texas,
and she would not let the drinking spoil the time they had enjoyed
together. Andy wanted to buy a house and move back to Texas. It was time
she thought about her options. If the drinking were unbearable in
Virginia, what would it be like if she gave up everything and moved
hundreds of miles away? At least in Virginia she had the support of her
children. If she ever made the decision to leave, Charles was not too far
away. He lived in Harper's Ferry, West VA. Susan, Kelly and Shawn lived in
If she moved with him to Texas
she would have no support system, but she would not think about that now.
Next year was a long way off; this was not a decision that she would have
to make right away.
As they made their way North,
back to Virginia, they ran into a blizzard. Coming up Rt. 66 East, to get off the interstate,
Andy took a short cut. It was a bad decision that stranded them in a
little small town somewhere between Gainesville and Chantilly. He tried to
turn around and get back on the interstate, but the roads had become
Andy pulled the truck into the
parking lot of a little café; they went inside for sandwiches and coffee.
Andy asked about the conditions of the roads that lay ahead.
Two truck drivers laughed, "Impassable,"
"Buddy, we are all stranded here, maybe for
the next couple days. Find a room and settle down," he said, "Until this
blizzard let's up, nobody is going anywhere."
But the little motel beside the
café was booked with stranded motorists.
Andy and Lynn spent the next few hours in
the truck. When the manager of the café noticed they were sleeping in the
truck, she braved the storm to invite them inside.
"You can't stay out here in this
blizzard," she said, "it is too cold and if you keep your truck running to
keep the heat on while you sleep, you could die from carbon monoxide
poisoning. Please,' she told Andy, "You and your wife come inside." Lynn
did not tell her that she was not his wife. They welcomed the invitation
and spent the rest of the cold night inside the warmth of the café.
"Thank you for the coffee and
sandwiches and thank you for staying open and letting us spend the night."
"Its no problem,' she replied, "Its my place
I own it," she laughed, "That is, the bank and I own it together."
The next morning they awoke to a
changed world; snow covered everything.
The state was busy with snowplows trying as
best they could to clean the main roads and the interstate.
"Andy, maybe we should wait a
couple hours before starting out?"
"Yeah, maybe. The roads don't look too good;
I hate driving in this mess. By the time we have more coffee and some
breakfast, the interstate should be cleared enough for us to make it
home." Andy waited two hours to give the state a chance to plow before
leaving the cafe to make our way home. A drive that on normal roadways
would have taken thirty minutes, took more than six hours. Interstate 66
was jammed with accidents to avoid them Andy had to get off the interstate
and take the scenic route home.
Most of the back roads had not
been plowed and those that had been plowed
were covered with drifting and blowing snow.
Finally after six long hours we made it into Chantilly. Pleasant Valley
road that led to our house had not been plowed. We had driven halfway down
the road when his truck became stuck in the snow.
"I guess we need to walk the
rest of the way," he said, disgusted, "I'll have to get the company
tractor and pull it out." By the time we had walked through snowdrifts of
at least three feet high, we were both wet and cold.
Susan met us at the door, the
grandchildren Michelle and Juan jumped happily into my arms, excitingly
shouting the good news.
"Grandma, grandma," they yelled, " Princess
"Six," Juan said, holding up six fingers.
"Come on grandma!" Michelle shouted, excited
as she led me to the box in my room, where the puppies were. Princess
yelped and sniffed as Michelle reached down inside the box where her
"Oh no, Andy come and look at your new
family! Six of them and Buzz is the proud papa!"
"Oh my God," he said looking down in the
box. "How we going to buy food for these animals? And now, six more!
Honey, I spend $50.00 a week now on the cats, kittens and our two dogs."
Hey," I laughed, "Its your dog
Buzz who is the culprit." Princess had crawled into the box with her
babies; over her objection, Andy picked one from the litter.
"They are cute." he said, "But now I need to
spend more money. Maybe honey we need to get rid of some of our animals."
"I have to agree with you, with
all the pets, this place is turning into a farm.
All that is lacking for it to be a farm is a
horse, maybe a cow and a goat."
"You forgot the pig and a sheep," he said
putting the puppy back in the box.
"Okay, I need to get my truck out of the
snow. I need to get up to the big house.
I'll see you later."
I changed out of my wet clothes
and spent some quality time with Susan and the grandchildren.
"Thanks honey, for staying down here and
taking care of the animals while we were gone."
"Your welcome mom, I didn't have anything
else to do and it gave me a break from
Chambersburg. I'm glad I was here when this
blizzard hit or those poor dogs would have frozen to death."
"Mom? What are you going to do
about your relationship with Andy?"
"I don't like his drinking and the person he
becomes when he is drunk. But, I will probably stay. Until I reach the
point where I can no longer deal with his alcohol." In the middle of
April, Andy plowed a spot on the side of the house.
"I guess you're trying to make a farmer out
"We need a garden, peppers, tomatoes,
cucumbers, beans, potatoes, corn, whatever you want," he said. "You like tomatoes,
"Yes of course."
"You don't want a garden?"
"Andy, a garden is a lot of work. I wasn't
always disabled. I did a lot of gardening when my kids were younger. I
just don't know if I can do it now."
"Okay, I have worked all day and I 'm tired
now. Leave it alone until tomorrow."
His answer was not related to
what she had said. He wasn't listening. But Lynn didn't want to argue.
Sure enough before going into the house, she watched him take the bottle
from his truck and take a swig. It was going to be one of those nights.
Before she had finished fixing
his dinner, he was drunk. It wouldn't have been that bad if when he drank,
he would just pass out. Sometimes he would, but other times he would get, what Lynn called,' diarrhea of
the mouth,' and nag worse than an old woman.
"I did all that work and you
don't want the----garden. What is your problem?
You lazy or what? You no different than
your---- ----daughters, or crazy like your—son." And on and on it went.
She had learned months before that it was useless to try and carry on a
conversation when he was in this kind of mood. And whatever had happened
at work that day, he would take it out on her.
She listened until he started
nodding off, she escaped to her room. If she could
just publish the book, about her and papa
that would be her out. She would not have to depend on him for financial
The only prospects she had were
self-publishing companies. Lynn didn't know if it was her writing, the
subject matter, or because the last name was still Hernandez. Some day's
depression overwhelmed her and she felt like giving up. As soon as the
rejection came in the mail, she would stay depressed for a few days but
some strange power that she did not understand, refused to let her give up
on the dream.
Within days her manuscript would
be making the rounds again. Not being able to attend college, Lynn bought
as many books as she could on the subject or writing; books on creating
characters, dialogue between characters, learning to create vivid scenes;
subscribed to Writer's Digest. While her
manuscript made the rounds, Lynn worked on
learning to improve her craft.
Writing, tending to the animals,
to Andy's house and his needs, and the garden,
kept her busy with little time to dwell on
the past and mistakes made in her present. Sometimes, when she would dwell
too much on the mistake she had made in the present.
Her mother's words would return to haunt
her, 'when you make your bed you lie in it.'
In other words, when you make
mistakes deal with it or get out; Lynn was finding it impossible to deal
with it and unless money started falling from heaven, there was no way she
could get out. In June Andy celebrated his birthday, June 13, he was
forty-six; one year older than Lynn. But the drinking had aged him,
making him older than his forty-six years.
"Hey, for my birthday I want you to fix a
good supper. I'm having a party for my friends and me. My friends like
beer, lots of beer."
"Happy birthday," I said, "What do you want
me to fix?"
"Honey, Mexican food."
"What kind of Mexican food? Chicken and rice
and beans, or tacos, burritos?"
"I don't care, Mexican food and lots of
Those were her instructions for
the day, buy cases of beer and spend the rest of the day in the hot
Lynn wanted to celebrate with him, she
wanted to show him that she loved him, but every
Time she tried to show her love, he would
drink and turn into the dark, mean and nasty stranger with the fowl mouth,
who would curse at her, and yell nasty and hateful words about her children.
Lynn wanted to celebrate, but
she could not, her heart was not in it. She went about the day, doing
needed chores before heading off to the store. She spent the rest of the
day making enchiladas; tortillas rolled around a meat filling with hot
Making enchiladas takes more
time than other foods; boiling the chicken, picking it off, dipping the
tortillas in hot chili sauce. She fixed refried beans and Spanish rice.
Lynn didn't know how many people were coming by the time she had finished
she had more than thirty enchiladas, a large pot of hot sauce, a skillet
of refried beans and a pot of Spanish rice.
When Andy came in from work that
day, he looked at the spread of food on the table and hugged her.
"Thank you honey, " He sampled the
enchiladas, "Good!" She bought him a present.
A black western belt and a birthday card,
she had also made a cake and bought ice cream.
"Honey, I don't need cake, but thank you."
Lynn kissed him,
"Happy birthday Andy,
"Did you buy soda and chips for you?" Lynn
"Of course, and I put aside three enchiladas
for me without the sauce and bought three cases of beer, 'corona,' and two
cases of, 'Budweiser.' I hope its enough."
"It's enough," he said, "I got
two bottles. But maybe I won't drink too much,
Just a little bit for my birthday. Arturo
has a girlfriend, I told him to bring her, is that okay with you, if the girlfriend comes?"
"Sure, I welcome someone to talk too,
"Maybe you and her could become friends, she
doesn't have any friends."
Lynn was glad she had enough
food to feed a camp. Andy's house was filled with guys, Arturo had brought
his girlfriend, and her name was Sandra. While helping Lynn in the kitchen
she said, "Thank you for inviting me, you seem to be a person I can talk
I need help."
"Whatever I can do," Lynn said,
"Just let me know, I'll help anyway I can." Sandra smiled, "Wait until
the guys pass out and I will tell you, okay?" Sandra was friendly and
polite and she was scared and in trouble. Lynn didn't know what the
problem was; Sandra had not yet shared it with her. But whatever it was,
Sandra reminded Lynn of her daughter, Kelly;
a little shy and intimated, needing help but a little afraid of asking for
it, afraid of being let down.
When the beer ran out, Andy sent
Lynn to the store to buy more. Lynn asked Sandra to ride with her. It was
the chance she needed to ask Sandra what was going on and what could Lynn
do to help her.
"What can I do to help you Sandra?" Sandra
wiped the tears falling down her face.
Lynn pulled into the parking lot of the
"Sandra, I feel you are in trouble. I don't
know what it is, but you can trust me okay?"
"Arturo has been beating me," she said, "I
want to get away, but I don't have transportation. I need somebody to take
me to the bus station in Winchester."
"Don't cry," Lynn told her, "When do you
want to go?"
"Tonight after Arturo gets drunk enough to
pass out, by the time he wakes up and knows I am gone, it will be too late
for him to find me. I'll be on the bus headed for Georgia."
Lynn reached over and hugged her,
"I have a plan," she said, "On
the way back from the store we can stop by the big house, pack your stuff
and leave it in my car. Then when the guys pass out, we can take off."
"What about Andy? Won't he be ticked off at
"Leave Andy to me, he won't even know I have
left." Sandra hugged her, a big smile spread across her face.
"Thank you," she said, "When you buy the
beer, buy lots of it."
"I will buy cases of it!" Lynn said
Lynn stayed in the car while
Sandra went inside the big house to pack her belongings. They didn't want
anyone to know that Lynn had helped her. While she was waiting, Lynn
thought about her own situation and the mess she had made of her life.
Just because Lynn had chosen to stay, she was glad that Sandra had a
mother who was able and willing to help her; and she was glad that Sandra
was leaving an abusive relationship.
After the guys passed, Lynn
drove Sandra to the bus station in Winchester, and waited with her until
the bus arrived. She helped Sandra gather her bags and hugged her.
"Good luck," Lynn said, "I'm glad your not
staying in an abusive relationship."
"Thank you Lynn for helping me," she said,
"You know the other ladies told me, 'you were snobbish, but you're not
that way at all. You're vary caring and loving, and Lynn,
Andy is a good person, but you need better.
You need somebody whose life is not liquor.
"Somebody who can and will love you for the
person your are."
On the drive home, Lynn thought
about what Sandra had said, and why would the ladies think that she Lynn,
was, 'snobbish?' Maybe it was because Lynn kept to herself and didn't
associate. Sandra had spoke frankly and her words haunted Lynn, 'Andy is a
good person but you need better that somebody whose life is liquor. You
need someone who will love you for the person you are.'
Maybe Sandra was right, but no
thank you, Lynn had been down that road before;
As the old saying goes, 'been there and done
that, Lynn had been there, she had down that, and she wasn't about to put
herself through that kind of pain ever again.
As far as not associating, it wasn't because
she considered herself, 'snobbish,' or above anyone else, she didn't; how
could she communicate when the other two ladies did not speak English?
Lynn knew a little bit of
Spanish, but when Javier died, so did her knowledge of the Spanish
language. Lynn was no longer interested; she was an American woman and
English was her native language.
When she arrived home Andy and
his friends were still pass out. Lynn went to her room, being quiet as not
to awaken Andy or his drunken guests. It seemed as if she had just went to
bed, when she was awakened by the sound of someone roaming about the
house, cursing in Spanish. Just as she was about to climb our bed to
investigate, Andy began pounding on the door.
"Hey Lynn, where is Sandra?"
Arturo was behind him cursing in Spanish.
"What? Sandra? I don't know, I went to bed,
I heard of being, 'my brothers keeper,'
But you want me to be responsible for guests too?"
'Don't get smart," Andy snapped. Lynn wanted
to say, 'and if I do, what?' But she didn't.
"Andy I have no idea what you're talking
about, or what he is cursing about. I went to bed last night."
""Sandra took off in the middle
of the night," Andy said," Arturo checked the big house, she is not in
their bedroom and her stuff is gone." "Well, I'm sorry," she said, "But if he
checked the big house and her stuff is gone, why ask me? I've been asleep,
I have no idea where the girl went."
"Never mind, go back to bed,
it's his problem anyway." Andy said, "Thanks for the party and the
birthday dinner, I enjoyed it," he said giving her a kiss, "go back to
bed." Lynn rubbed sleep from her eyes.
"It's too late now, once I'm awake I can't
get back to sleep."
"If you're up, make coffee okay? While I
clean up the mess." Wow! Lynn thought, what has gotten into him! He was
actually going to stay sober clean up the beer cans, beer bottles and the
Later after the guys had left
and Andy was in the kitchen helping her put away the food and dump the
trash, he kissed her tenderly on the mouth.
"It's okay with me," he said, "If you helped
the girl. Arturo is my friend but my other friend told me last night, that
sometimes Arturo would beat on Sandra."
Careful Lynn! Her mind warned, he is fishing for information. Lynn didn't
like to be deceitful but it had been for a worthy cause.
"Helped her with what Andy?" Lynn smiled
asked, smiling sweetly. "Never mind, " Andy said, "After we get this mess
cleaned up, let's look for some yard sales. Ray wanted me to work but I
don't feel like it today. I feel like spending time with you okay?"
took care of the animals while she finished cleaning the kitchen and
dumping the garbage. The sun
was shining and it was a perfect day to cruise around looking for yard
sales. They went from one yard sale to the other, starting in Chantilly,
going into Berryville, and coming back a different route by way of
Charles Town, W.VA, to Leesburg, VA and back home to Chantilly.
addition to stopping at the many yard sales, they also stopped at the
many flea markets and they had lunch in Charles Town. They had made many
stops, looking for nothing in particular, just whatever it was that
might interest them. There were many items on display, some of the
merchandise was very nice with a nice price, too much value for yard
sale stuff; and other stuff they checked out was just junk
flea market in Berryville, Andy bought her a necklace with a silver
Indian turquoise. Her would have bought her the matching bracelet
with the ring, but Lynn told him no, the vendor wanted double for what
she could buy it for at a quality
found a pair of cowboy boots he could use for work, four short sleeve
tee shirts and three pair of black jeans that could also be used for
work. They picked up some household items, two pots with lids, some
flatware and a cast-iron skillet.
"This is good for refried beans," he laughed.
turned out to be a good day and Lynn was glad he had taken the day off
from work. Andy had stayed sober, allowing them to spend quality time
together. Most the time when he took off on Saturday's it was because he
was too hung over to drive the tractor. He would take off and wanted to
hunt for yard sales, Lynn would have to drive, because he was hung over he
could not drive. And even if he had wanted to drive, Lynn would not have let him.
She loved her life too much to let him get behind the wheel of her car, or
his car, or any car she might be a passenger in and Lynn would never let
Andy drive if he was hung over or drinking.
stayed sober for two weeks; it was a record for him. Life continued on
as before. Lynn spent her days taking care of the animals, planting, and
when she could find the time, Lynn would write.
loved writing it was her way of escaping into a world of her own
The first advice always given to new writers was to write about what you
know. Lynn's thoughts were on her children and the unhappiness they had
experienced during times of childhood. Lynn decided to try and create a
character for a juvenile novel, as an example Lynn used her eldest son,
Charles. With her son as the example Lynn created her main character she
named him, 'Randy.' Lynn decided she would take Randy through a series of
adventures, which would pit Randy against nature and man. In this first
series, Randy would have to overcome many obstacles; she would endow her
character with athletic abilities to overcome the obstacles he would
became engrossed in planning her novels and developing traits for her
Main character, she forgot about the, 'real,' world she was living in, and
would stay sober for weeks at a time, loving her and wanting her to
return that love; during those times, her would surprise her with small
little gifts. But his bouts with sobriety would never last.
would drink at night, get drunk and pass out; get up, hung over, sick
and throwing up. Most the time he would pass out leaving Lynn to her own
devices. At other times he would turn into the mean and nasty stranger
with the fowl mouth, cussing at her, accusing Lynn of all sorts of stuff.
learned to handle the emotional pain, pushing down into her soul. Andy
was never physically abusive, but he was very emotionally abusive.
turned to fall and Thanksgiving Day was two weeks away. Lynn wanted to
fix a big dinner and invite all her children.
"What do want for Thanksgiving Day," she asked Andy, "Turkey or Ham?"
"I don't want anything," he said, he was drinking but he was not drunk.
"I thought I'd fix a big dinner and have all the kids come down," she
said,' is that okay with you?"
"The girls and the children and Chuck is okay," he answered, "but not your
crazy boy Shawn."
"Never mind Andy," she said, "I'll go to Pennsylvania and celebrate the
"Do what you want," was his response, "I don't care."
left him alone to sink into his world of alcohol and she escaped to her
room, slamming her door, she was angry and she wanted him to know it. A few
minutes later he was banging on the door.
"Open the door!" he yelled. Lynn didn't want to unlock the door, but if
she didn't he would just break it down. When she opened the door he
started in again.
"My friends are here," he yelled, "You need to go buy some beer.' Defiant,
Lynn ignored his command. She walked past him and into the
kitchen; he followed her into the kitchen. Lynn continued to ignore him
and went about fixing her a sandwich.
mind," he said, "go to your room," he ordered, like she was a child that
needed to obey her father. Lynn walked into her room; she set the
sandwich and drink down on the table. Andy had closed her door.
Angrily, Lynn jerked the door open and walked back into the living room,
she stood defiantly before him.
not a child," she said, "And, I will not be ordered to stay in my room!"
And, if you want the damn beer you can get it yourself!" Lynn walked
back into her room and slammed the door. A week before Thanksgiving Day,
Lynn went to Pennsylvania to spend the holiday with her children. Andy
could drink himself into a coma and she didn't care one way or the other.
stayed until the until the 1st of December, she didn't want
"Mom," Kelly said, "You know you can come here anytime you want to."
"I know honey," Lynn said, "And I thank you for the invitation but even
with all of his drinking and mental abuse, I guess I'm just not ready
yet to take that final step."
you need to do what is best for you, Papa wouldn't want you living like
this?" A sudden angry wind, like the stirrings of a tornado, blew into
my world and the emotions I had been covering up since I had found out
about papa's betrayal blew open.
papa should have divorced his Mexican wife before we got married! But
no, he didn't and because of Her. I can't file for damages or collect
anything on his behalf.
care of him, she didn't, I loved him, and she didn't!
"Nobody seem to care about where he was or how he had been during the last
15 years since he let Mexico. Now he's dead and there is money to beget.
Suddenly everybody cares!" Kelly hugged me.
don't," she said, "I know you're angry, but don't like that papa loved
you, isn't that what is important?"
"Yeah right, Kelly, sometimes I think papa was the biggest player of all
times?" I loved him and probably always will, but I'm done with love.
There is no such thing."
"Mom, you don't mean that, you're just angry."
right!" Lynn yelled, "I am more than angry and I've been holding it all
in for months now. I'm angry with myself. I should have listened to
Rodriguez. He told me to,
'Leave it alone.' But do you think I'd listen? No, not me. Stupid me
has to prove a point, stupid me, has to fight a battle that is not even
mine to fight." In disgust, Lynn threw her hands in the air.
know what makes me even more angry that finding out that Papa was still
Is knowing that Julie will benefit from all my hard work. Nobody wanted to
help Kelly, nobody knew how to do anything, and I got the balling roll.
And not only that, but at papa's funeral, remember how she turned on me
and supported his kids? I am glad she wanted to there for papa's kids,
but why did she have to turn on me in the process?
No honey, I hope you and Martin make this. Thing called love,' work for
you, but I'm over it all ready."
am so sorry you lost papa. I know you loved him very much. I hate to see
you bitter like this. It's not like you. But mom, you have to
understand, most of the older guys are married in Mexico."
he lied to me!" Lynn said, "He told me, 'no more wife.'" Lynn cried in
her daughter's arms. "Mom, he didn't mean to lie to you. When
these guys come into this country, they come to work and send money back
home to support their families. Maybe, papa had been over here for so long
that he didn't think about his old life. He wanted a life with you mom,
I know he loved you."
he loved me, Kelly. But don't you see, by him still being married, it's
make me feel that our life together was a lie!" Lynn wiped at the tears
rolling down her face.
"That is what tears at my heart, when I think that love we shared was a
"No it wasn't mom, his love for you wasn't a lie. I don't know why papa
didn't tell you.
"But I know his love for you was real."
"Whatever," Lynn said, "It doesn't make any difference now, does it? He's
gone and my life stinks. And the sad part is, that I'm stuck. No matter how bad his
drinking gets, I have to deal with it."
don't mom. If it gets too bad just come up here and stay with us. We've
been thinking about moving to Martinsburg." Kelly said, "Martin's
friends told him there are more construction jobs down there and wages
are higher. But, I hate to leave Susie up here alone."
worry Kelly," Susan said, "If you move, one day I will probably follow.
Without Lucas," she said, "I'm getting tired of his mess, he's a
dictator, and as soon as I can get it together, me and my kids are out
girls have more courage then I do," Lynn said, "You're making better
choices then I've made in my life."
Susan said, "Wherever we are, be it Martinsburg, or Chambersburg, don't
ever feel like you have to stay in this relationship with Andres.
You can come and stay with us." Lynn hugged her girls.
"I know girls, but I walked into this mess and I have two choices, make
the best of it,
Or find a way out. Life goes on and one way or another, I have to deal
with it. Right now, I'm just making the best of it."
didn't want to but she hugged them all good-by, "Shawn, you be good and
don't give your sister any trouble. I guess one day you're mother might
get it together.
"When I do, I will find a apartment, then maybe you will want to come home
you mom," Shawn said, "But don't count on me coming back to Virginia.
I can't stand Andres and I know he doesn't like me. If you ever get away
from him and find an apartment, I'll think about coming back."
you don't like him Shawn and you can't get along with him. I don't think
it isn't that he doesn't like you, he doesn't understand your emotional
disability and he doesn't know how to deal with it."
are making excuses for him mom," Shawn said, "He doesn't have to deal
with my disability. I don't care if he likes me or not. I'm your son,
not his." Crying,
Lynn hugged him. "I am really sorry about the choices I've had to make."
"Don't cry mom, it's okay," Shawn said, "I still love you."
1991 passed with Lynn still living with Andy. Christmas Day was no
different then the year before. With Lynn fixing dinner and Andres
drinking and spouting off at the mouth.
they had another snow, Lynn couldn't drive in, but as soon as the roads
were cleared of ice and snow, she packed up the presents she had for her
girls and Shawn and the grandkids, and headed for Chambersburg.
December 30th Lynn turned 46, she spent her birthday in
Chambersburg with her family. The day after New Year's she headed back
to Virginia. The year of 1992, brought with many more changes in her
of ice and snow gave way to spring, as they had done the year before,
Andy plowed the garden and Lynn kept busy planting then harvesting the
crops. Whenever possible, Lynn would escape into her world of writing.
a series of children's manuscripts piling up on her desk. The first
series was titled, 'Randy,' a basic introduction of her main character;
She had created four series to the character. In each series, Randy was
two years older and his adventures grew more dangerous, requiring more
skill to defeat the obstacles of man and nature he would face.
second series, Lynn titled; 'Randy and The Haunted House.' In this
series, Randy is fourteen, and stubborn and strong willed, which leads
him into trouble.
third series, Lynn titled; 'Randy and The Kidnapers.' Randy is now
In this series, Lynn brings back two characters from the first book.
Randy's father has been kidnapped by a biker gang and against his
stepmother's orders, Randy sets out to find his father.
fourth and final series, Lynn titled; 'A Season For Randy.' Her
character is now eighteen and sets out to find the mother who left him
when he was a toddler. This series leads Randy from Virginia to
California. So far, his adventures are still just scattered thoughts
written down on notes. Lynn has yet to put them together.
now and then, necessity would force Lynn out of the fantasy world she
had created. Bringing her back into the world of reality. A world Lynn
had chosen not to deal with, a world she had chosen to escape.
beginning of August 1992, Lynn received a letter from her brother
informing her that her mother had been placed in a nursing home. Lynn
called and was able to talk with her mother. Lynn promised her mother
that she would find a way to visit her in Montana. She talked to Andy
about making the trip to Montana.
really wants to see me," Lynn pleaded, "I need to see her while I still
can, before it's too late." As usual Andy was drinking.
"Okay," he said, "I will take my vacation is September, and we will drive
wasn't okay. Lynn wanted Andy to buy her a plane ticket. Lynn had the
feeling that September might be too late. Somehow, without knowing it,
Lynn had predicted what would come to pass. Lynn's mother died on August
29th 1992. The saddest part was that
Lynn had not been informed until two weeks after the funeral! Dallas had
sent word asking the police in Fairfax, Virginia to locate his sister.
Lynn was furious. After talking with her mother, Lynn had left her name,
address and phone number with the nursing home. And nobody had bothered with
passing her phone number on to her brother!
police claimed, 'they could not find her.'
"Yeah right," Lynn cried to Andy, "If there would have been a warrant for
my arrest, they would have found me! Bunch of, 'damn liars!" She cussed.
Lynn didn't make it a habit of using fowl language, but she found very
descriptive adjectives that day to sum up her feelings for the police
Department of Fairfax County.
and her son, Charles, made another trip to Chambersburg, to inform the
other half of the family of their grandmother's death. It was not a time
of happy reunion.
They packed them all up in Lynn's van and drove to the gravesite in Silver
Charles drove, Lynn cried, bawled her heart out. Just to think that
Dallas and his wife had been there, buried her mother, while she missed
it, from start to finish. She missed the church service in Montana and
the gravesite service in Maryland.
Her brother and his wife had come alone with no support from his sister.
she had done when Javier had died, Lynn cried in her sister's arms.
Carol was not her biological sister, but after her divorce with Charlie,
and later when
Lynn and her children had moved in with Charlie and Carol, the two of them
the best of friends.
other people it seemed strange that Lynn and Carol would become friends.
The ex-wife becoming friends with the new wife, but Lynn and Carol had
loved the same
man. When people would ask her about it, Lynn would just shrug and her
answer to their
questions would be the same.
hadn't been Carol, it would have been someone else," Lynn would reply
walk away. In time, after Lynn was past the anger and rage, Carol
became the sister Lynn never had. The bond was there, during times
of tragedy and emotional crisis, they
were there for each other. Carol's children became her children and Lynn's
children became Carol's children. They were one big family, not always
happy with each other, but always there with love and support.
this time was no different, like Lynn had been there for Carol and
Donna, when little Andy, Carol's small grandson, Donna's little boy, had
died, Carol was there for Lynn.
make it so terrible, " Lynn cried, "Is that I miss it all, the funeral
and the service at the gravesite. I didn't even know that my own mother
had died!" Lynn cried.
sis," Carol cried with her, "I know, just cry and let it all out."
"Me and mother were never close and I guess that is what I will always
miss the most.
Is not having had the chance to have that mother and daughter
least you have that relationship with your children Lynn and that's one
thing to be thankful for." Carol said. Mom died on August 29, 1992; Lynn
lived in the big city of Fairfax, Virginia, and yet amongst thousands of
people, Lynn felt alone. There was nowhere she could go for comfort.
September 28, a Spanish lady selling Avon came to her door in Chantilly.
Lynn wasn't interested in buying Avon; she was still trying to get over
her mother's death. The Spanish lady saw her tears and set down to talk
with her. She was very sweet and very kind. There was something about this
lady, an inner glow and happiness, and a feeling of peace that just seemed
to reach out and touch Lynn.
church is having a prayer meeting in Arlington tomorrow," she said, "Why
don't you come? I will stop by and pick you up, or you could meet me in
don't know," Lynn, replied, "I'm not much for church. It's been so long
the roof would probably cave in if I went." Lynn joked.
"Don't you believe in God?" she asked.
"Of course, I used to pray," Lynn said, "But for some reason God never
heard my prayers, and if He did hear them, He chose not to answer." Lynn
was being honest; she stopped praying after Javier died.
had prayed so hard that day in the emergency room, that God would save
Javier's life. But heaven had been silent. And Javier had died. That was
Lynn had given up, she stopped praying.
me anyway," she said, "In Centerville at the shopping center off route
I'll be there at 10:00 a.m. Please come?"
guess," Lynn, said, "I don't have anything else to."
"God will bless you," she said, "If you come."
"I doubt that," Lynn replied," But I'll come."
when the next day rolled around, Lynn was making up excuses as to why
she didn't want to go. She had too much to do; she would never get it
all done in time to shower and head to Centerville.
the last minute, she jumped in the car and headed to Centerville. After
all, she didn't have anything else to do anyway with her boring day. At least
she would be getting out of the house.
a Catholic prayer meeting, most of the ladies were also Spanish, but
they spoke very good English. The meeting was held by a nun, but not an
ordinary nun, they called her a, 'prophetess.' Lynn wondered what she had let herself get
But she sat quietly and listened.
'prophetess,' prayed for the country, and the church, then she prayed
for members of the group." God is calling someone here today," she said,
and as she said those words, Lynn felt a presence come over her; at
first she didn't understand it, then as the nun kept praying, Lynn heard
the voice of God.
you ready to come to me now Lynn?" His spirit asked. At the sound of
His voice, Lynn was on her knees, tears ran down her face, she cried
before God, confessing her sins and asking God's forgiveness. Lynn had
always been honest and that honesty served her well now as she knelt on
her knees, crying her heart out to the only one who could forgive her and
On September 29, 1992, one month to the day after her mother's death, the
date forever etched in her memory; in a room full of strangers, the holy
God of heaven called Lynn out of the world and into His kingdom;
God had asked, 'if she was ready to come to him now,' Lynn didn't wait
to respond; "Yes Lord!" Was her response as she fell on her knees crying
out the pain in her heart, unashamed before strangers, Lynn confessed
her sins and asking for forgiveness.
most precious words she heard Him say which are also etched in her
Were; "By your faith my daughter you have been saved." A second half of
the message followed; "Leave the boyfriend, he is oil and you are water.
Oil and water do not mix."
weight had been lifted from her shoulders, the anger, the resentment and
the shame of the life she had been leading was gone; God had taken it,
and replaced it with His forgiveness and His love;
had come to that meeting a skeptic, she had come depressed, alone with
anger and resentment filling her heart, her mind and her soul; she had
come sick and broken.
when Lynn left that Catholic prayer meeting, she was a different person;
God had taken the brokenness and had made her whole. Her mind was
different, her heart and her soul had been cleansed and healed.
way home Lynn sang, 'The Old Rugged Cross.' She blessed the young
Spanish lady who had invited her. Her thoughts were now on God and his
"You find a church now," the Spanish lady said, crying with her, "You find
a church and stay strong in the Lord."
cried in her arms and thanked her over and over. On the ride home, she
shared with Lynn some of her story.
husband use to come home from work and drink," she said, "Me and my
children would go into our closet and pray. One night, he threw open the
closet door and yelled at us.
you in here?" he yelled.
"We are praying," she said, "We are praying that one day you will stop
drinking and come to church with us." Tears ran down her face.
one Sunday morning, he did," she said, "And he never drank again."
Lynn was impressed; her faith had made it happen. And right then Lynn felt
that if she could have that same faith, maybe, Andres too, would stop drinking and
come to church with her.
the Lord brought to her remembrance the second half of His message;
'Leave the boyfriend, he is oil and you are water. Oil and water do not
mix.' But Lynn was a new Christian in Christ, she had faith, but God had
not yet given her wisdom. Lynn felt like her heart was about to explode,
"But, Lord, I can bring him to you!" She was bursting at the seams, happy,
joyful, excited; "Yes Lord, I can bring him to you!" Lynn cried.
Lynn didn't have the wisdom to think that, 'maybe, that wasn't her job.'
Lynn didn't understand the second half of God's message and she didn't
wait on God, she didn't wait on His wisdom to understand the second half
of the message, she plowed ahead. Lynn knew that she could no longer
share Andy's bed without the benefit of marriage; she would have to
leave or marry him, God had left her with the choice.
of leaving Andres, as the Lord had instructed, on February 27, 1993, she
married him. Lynn didn't understand that by doing so, she was going
against God's will, going against His plan for her life. She did not
understand that she would be, 'unevenly yoked.'
found a church, Oakton Baptist Church. The spirit led her to where God
wanted her to be. Every time Lynn went grocery shopping, she would look
to the right side of the road, there sat this little stone church with
its white steeple. Lynn could feel the draw of the spirit, and she knew
this was where God wanted her to worship him.
had never felt a part of anything before, but the Sunday morning that
she walked into that little church, she felt like she belonged there.
The people were warm, outgoing and friendly. Lynn was home.
Lewis Holmes and his wife Barbara, and co-pastor Bill Gamble and his
wife Mary, welcomed her with open arms. When the invitation was given,
Lynn walked up front, she wanted to be baptized. Again the spirit of the
Lord spoke to her.
me," He said, "And I will give you the desires of your heart."
Lynn broke down, as tears flowed down her face, Lynn cried out to God. She
cried over her children.
they were just four precious little children and I didn't protect them!"
"Its my fault Lord, you gave them to me to love and protect and I was too
involved in myself and because of all my bad decisions, I dragged them
through the fires of hell, of poverty and abuse. Lord forgive me!"
you can't give them back their childhoods," God said, "When water is
spilled from the glass you can not scoop it up and put it back in the
glass. But you can give them a future."
you said that if I follow you, you would fulfill the desires of my
heart. Lord, my desires are not for material wealth, but my desires are
for my the salvation of my children!"
September 29, 1992, Lynn had been saved and on December 9, 1992, Lynn
was baptized. On the day of her salvation Lynn had moved out of Andy's
bed and with strength from God, she stayed out of his room until the day
they became husband and wife. Lynn now belonged to God and his church
and even when Andy would laugh and mock her, Lynn would retreat to her
room, pray and study God's word; and that gave her the strength she needed.
OBC, as the church had been nicknamed, short for, Oakton Baptist became Lynn's
second home. She was there every Wednesday, every Sunday morning and
every Sunday night.
Lynn's daughter Susan had left Pennsylvania and was living in Leesburg.
Kelly was living in the small trailer behind the house she shared with Andres.
Lynn was now teaching Sunday school and she loved it.
Sunday morning Lynn would make the trip to Leesburg to pick up her
daughter and two grandchildren. On the very first day Lynn was taught
her first Sunday school class, during the afternoon service, Susan
walked the isle, giving her life to
When their mother was baptized, the grandchildren were baptized with her!
prayed over them she cried, knowing that God was keeping his promise,
what awesome God she served!
service during the middle of winter was especially near and dear to her
Shawn had come down for a visit, the roads were bad, with ice and snow and
she couldn't get him back to Pennsylvania. He went to church with her
and his sister's.
the invitation came, Lynn heard the voice of the Lord, "Take their
hands," He said. "Oh Lord, Lynn cried," I'm not worthy!
"I didn't ask you to be worthy," The Lord said. Being obedient to the
spirit, Lynn took the hands of her children.
daughter Kelly on one side of her, and her son Shawn on the other side.
It was like a jolt electricity going down her arms flowing through Lynn
into her children.
Kelly and Shawn burst into tears, Lynn stood beside them at the alter,
praying with them the prayer of salvation.
God is awesome. Lynn was following Jesus, and God was fulfilling His
promise to fulfill the desires of her heart. Three of her children were
now in the kingdom; there was one child left and Andres.
was growing and learning in Christ. Learning in knowledge and growing in
faith. At home, Lynn would try and set the example, but nothing changed.
After their marriage, Andres promised he would try and, 'slow down,' he
would be fine for a month or two and it would start all over.
would retreat to her room, to read her Bible and pray. On Sunday's and
Wednesday's, church was her outlet. Through Bible study Lynn was
learning the meaning of being,' unevenly yoked.' Lord, she cried, why
didn't I know this before?'
Dissatisfied with her marriage, Lynn cried out to God, Lord, provide me
with a place to live and I'll go.'
fall of 1993, God provide housing in Leesburg, it was the same
Housing project where her daughter Susan and grandchildren lived. Lynn and
Shawn moved in.
being closer to her daughter Susan, while Susan worked, Lynn would see
that her grandchildren, Michelle and Juan, got on the school bus and she
would be there when they came home in the afternoon.
that was the only thing she liked about Leesburg. Lynn felt that she did
not fit into the neighborhood. Shawn and Lynn moved in May of 1993.
Lynn did not make any friends, she didn't look for any. Shortly after
the move in May, Charles came home. It was only a two bedroom, Charles
slept on the sofa in the living room.
been there two months when Andy came one weekend, pleading for her to
take a vacation with him to Texas. He missed her and wanted her back.
you Andy," she said, "But I can't live with the drinking. I have my
church and I am happy. We live in different worlds, your world is the
bottle, and my world is church and family."
stop drinking I promise and I will go to church with you. If you just
come back to me." Andy said. "You and me were married in the church, we
shouldn't be apart.
"Spend the weekend with me, please, I will stay sober and Sunday I will go
to church with you."
packed a few things and spent the weekend with him in Chantilly. She
wanted so badly for Andy to stop drinking, and Lynn had been praying for
it. Perhaps this was an answer to her prayers.
kept his promise, he stayed sober and when Sunday morning rolled around,
he went to church with her. When pastor Holmes, gave the invitation,
Andy walked up the isle. Lynn stood by his side as he confessed his
needs before God.
"I don't want the alcohol anymore," he said, "I want God to take it and to
And I want my wife back."
had married this man, she felt she was obligated to stay with him,
especially now, after he had given his heart to God. She gave Shawn and
Charles the apartment and moved back in with him. In August Lynn took
the vacation to Texas. Andy had not been drunk since that Sunday when he
had walked the isle. It appeared that he was keeping his promise to stop
searched the countryside in Texas, until he found property and a house
in Bedias, Texas. It was set on three acres of ground; the house had
three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was, 'an unfinished shell,' on a
block foundation. They would have to finish the inside. The price
was $15,000. It was $600.00 down and $250.00 a month.
Lynn tried to talk him out of it. But Andy was too excited,
"I want this house," he said, "We can come down her and live. I can truck
farm, watermelons will grow good in this sandy soil."
you retire," Lynn said, "But there are no jobs here. Andy you just can't
quit your job and move down here with nothing." "Honey, I can find a job
anywhere. Texas is my home. I want this house."
There was no stopping him, as he signed his name on the dotted line, Lynn
wrote out a check for the down payment. They spent the rest of his
vacation in the house.
got to know some of the neighbors. Lucy and Hernando owned the property
next to them. Lucy and Lynn hit it off from the beginning. They were
Spanish and Andres and Hernando became the best of friends.
going to be moving here?" Lucy asked, "When?"
"When he retires," Lynn laughed.
"No, next year," Andy said. Lynn didn't know what to say. She had expected
him to wait until he retired. Lynn didn't want to move. She didn't want
to leave her children and grandchildren. And she didn't want to leave
the church where she was learning and growing in her Christian walk.
she said when they were alone, "I thought we were going to keep it for a
vacation house? We can come down every summer and you can work on the
"No," Andy said, "I don't like Virginia anymore. I am coming down next
spring. You are my wife, you are coming with me. Honey, we can be happy
here, I promise."
He started making plans, telling her what he wanted to do with the land
and the house.
to truck farm," he said, "Grow watermelons and cantaloupes, and peppers
and green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. Then, while I work, you can
take the produce into town and sell it."
what about my family Andy? I don't want to move this far away from
"Honey, they are not little babies anymore. They can live without you
now." he grabbed her hand, "Come on, I want to show you how I plan to
finish the house."
walked through each room, Andy told her his plans about remodeling every
"I will build a big closet in this room," he said, "This has a big bath so
it will be our master bedroom. I want to panel all the walls."
"This other room in the front will be your den," he said, "I'll put
paneling here too, and bookshelves for all your books. And you can write
all your books in here." he hugged her and kissed her, "honey, this will
be our house, yours and mine. I will screen in the front porch and we
can sit out there without the bugs and misquotes. This the third bedroom
I will use for storage until I can build a storage shed"
to rebuild the kitchen cabinets and I will put down new floors. I love
this house. We can make a circle driveway in the yard and you can put
your flowers around it. I want to put shutters on the windows and build
a fence on the front and the side."
was happy that he was excited with his dreams and plans. But Lynn could
not share in his excitement. She could not share his dreams and his
plans. Lynn did not want to move to Texas. But he was her husband and
she would follow him and make this home, her home too. And she would use
her social security check to make the payments.
April of 1994, after Andy used Lynn as a deduction on his income tax,
Lynn lost her social security. In June of 1994, Andres had an
accident in the garage while he was repairing the tractor. He almost lost
his thumb; his boss did not want him going to the hospital. Lynn took him
anyway and claimed workmen's compensation. His employer was very angry and
July, Lynn hugged her children and cried with them. Shawn helped them
pack the truck. Lynn cried and hugged him.
"Shawn, come with us," she cried, "I can't leave you so far away."
"I love you mom, but I don't want to move to Texas. I'll be okay," he
said, "Don't cry,
I'm not a baby anymore." Lynn had cried with the other children and her
grandchildren the day before and today, she cried with Shawn. They drove
him back to Leesburg, and Lynn cried all the way back to Chantilly.
Sunday before she had hugged her pastor and his wife and other members
of the church that she had grown so close too. That night during evening
services, the church had presented her with a certificate of
achievement. Lynn cried.
strong in the Lord," her pastor said, "And let His spirit guide your
Don't cry honey," he said hugging her, "I got a feeling that you will be
next day, they packed the dogs in the truck and the cat in her car and
headed to their new home in Texas. In a way, the house was a blessing,
after Andres was fired, his boss had given them thirty days to vacate
his property. If they hadn't had the house in Texas, they would have been on the street or in a shelter.
drove the rental truck and pulled his truck behind it, Lynn followed in
her car. It took them four days; they would drive during the day and
pull over at rest areas to
walk the dogs and eat. Her little dog Princess, did not take well to the
drive, she was sick, throwing up in her cage. Andy had to make frequent
stops to let her out and clean out the cage. The other two dogs, 'Bud,'
and '22 short,' nicknamed for a bullet, and the cat, did okay, but not
princess, the poor thing was very sick. Lynn wasn't a vet, but she
guessed it was motion sickness.
Whenever they stopped, Lynn would walk Princess and the other two dogs,
her offspring, while Andres fussed and cussed, as he cleaned out her
cage. Lynn even prayed over her little dog, that God would keep her
order to save money, they slept mostly in rest areas; Andy would sleep
in the front seat of his truck, while Lynn slept in the backseat of her
car. Andy was used to this, but Lynn was not. The muscles in her legs
would cramp and knot up, causing a lot of pain. Because she was driving,
Lynn could not take any medicine and she would have to wait until their
next stop before she could walk out the painful cramps.
we have to get a motel room tonight," Lynn told him, "I have to stretch
out these legs. I can't take this pain anymore.'
"My back too," he said, "A lot of pain in my back. Tonight we will sleep
in a motel room." Lynn remembered the dogs and she had to laugh.
"If they will let us bring the animals," she laughed.
"Anyway," he said, "Tomorrow we will be home. One night in the motel won't
hurt our money that much. We will sneak the dogs and my cat into the
room," he laughed. They drove through Louisiana and into Arkansas; they
were twenty miles from the Texas panhandle when they stopped for the
night. Lynn and Andy were both tired and hungry, they ate at a truck stop
and found a motel room. They walked the dogs and took them into the room.
If the management noticed the dogs, they didn't say anything.
to get an early start in the morning," Andy said, "I want to sleep in
house tomorrow night." Lynn kissed him goodnight and climbed into bed. The
sun was shining and the dogs were barking when she awoke the next
morning. Andy was up and dressed.
sleepy head, we are late getting started," he laughed, "I already walked
the dogs and paid the motel bill. Come one we got to get on the road."
Lynn forced herself out of the comfortable bed. Andy laughed at her.
got coffee and donuts downstairs," he said, "Fill up a bag and let's hit
the road. Tomorrow you can sleep until noon."
"Don't tempt me," Lynn replied, "I just might do that."
drove all day and half the night. Andy refused to stop until they were,
Tired, hungry and exhausted, they pulled up in the yard of their new home
early the next morning. They let the dogs and the cat out to run.
fussed as he tried his key in the lock, "Somebody changed the lock," he
fussed. "We have to go to the office and get the key!"
They tied up the dogs and drove to the office where they had another wait
just to get the keys to their house. They waited almost two hours.
key to my door won't work!" he yelled at the girl in charge. "Somebody
changed the locks on the door!"
sorry," she said, "But we change the locks to keep the houses from being
broken into. They should have told you and given you keys."
"You have the new keys?'
"I have keys," she said, "please don't yell at me, it's not my fault."
"Andy," Lynn pleaded, "calm down."
"I will calm down when I have the keys to my house."
"Andy I'm tired and hungry too, but it's not this girl's fault. You can't
yell at her for it."
"I'm sorry," Andy said, as the girl handed him our new keys. "Me and my
wife drove all day and all night. We are tired and hungry."
understand," she said, "It's okay, I would be mad too. You know you have
to go into Bedias, to get your electric hooked up and turned on, don't
you?" she asked. "The
plumbing is hooked up to the well and septic. But you don't have any
"Tomorrow," Andy said, "I don't need electric today."
and Andy moved the furniture and boxes into the house, while Andy set up
the bed; Lynn unpacked the kitchen stuff first. They were hungry but
there was no refrigerator and no stove and no electric. Their money was
getting low, they would have to cash another check to hook up the
electric, find a refrigerator, and buy a stove and food. Lynn didn't
know how they would manage until Andy found work, but no matter how bleak
it looked, she knew that God would provide. They ate sandwiches again that
night and collapsed into bed.
"Tomorrow we have to return the truck." Andy said, "And get the electric
hooked up, find a refrigerator and a stove. How much money do we have
"We have $1,500," Lynn said, "If we are careful we can make it last." She
kissed him goodnight. "Anyway, God will provide."
'Next week I will look for work. Don't worry honey, I will find
"I'm not worried, God will provide."
"The first thing we have to do in the morning is return the truck or we
will get charged for another day."
was so tired, she needed more refills on her medicine, but she didn't
want to tell Andy. She didn't want to add to his stress. Lynn would do
without as long as she could. 'Lord,' Lynn prayed, 'Take away the pain
and heal this diabetes. Lord, I know that you will provide. Thank you
Lord, for getting us here safe and sound.'
next morning they made the long drive into Houston, it took them four
hours and four more hours to find Sears and Budget Rental. It was almost
dark when they returned the truck. They would have to do without
electric one more day. One the way home they stopped and ate. The
weekend was coming up and Lynn wanted to find a church. She wanted to
worship God this Sunday.
them $200.00 to have the electric hooked up.
"Why so much?' Andres fussed.
"You get it back in six months if you stay current on your bill," the
representative told them. "This isn't right," Andres said. The
representative ignored his complaint.
"We can hook it Friday," he said, "We will be out there early in the
made the appointment and drove into Navasota to look for a refrigerator
and a stove. It cost them another $200.00.
"You sure they work?"
"They work," the Spanish guy said, "I wouldn't sell you something that
They talked a little more in Spanish. He helped Andy load the appliances
in the back of the truck.
have enough left to eat?" Andy laughed on the way home.
"We can eat," Lynn said, "But if we keep having to buy things we won't
have enough left to fill the refrigerator."
way home, Lynn noticed a big church, she would be able to worship on
Sunday. "You want to come to church with me Sunday?"
"I don't know honey," he said, "I got a lot to do."
and her family arrived at their farm on Saturday. Lynn invited her over
to look at the house.
"Its still a mess," Lynn said, "I have not had much time to unpack."
"Don't worry about it," Lucy laughed, "You should see my house in Baytown.
"With two kids, a full time job and Hernando, I never have time to keep up
with everything." Lynn was embarrassed that she didn't have anything to
offer her to eat or drink.
"Andy hasn't found a job yet," she said, "Funds around here are getting
"Why don't you go into Navasota on Monday and apply for food stamps," Lucy
"Don't be ashamed, when we first moved to Baytown, Hernando didn't have
work and we got them for a little while. At least you can eat.'
"Yes, but you have children. We don't have children, Lucy." Lynn said.
"Here in Texas, that doesn't matter," she said, "It goes on your income
and right now, you don't have any."
the cheapest place to buy your food is, Wal-Mart, in Huntsville, Just
drive east on route 30, they have all the big prisons there, you can't
miss it," she said. "We killed a calf last weekend and tonight we're
having a cook out, you and Andy are invited."
"Hey, it's my chance to give you a big Texas welcome."
liked their new neighbors; the only downfall was that like Andres,
Hernando too, was a drinker. She was very proud of Andy; he had not
drank for almost two months.
Grimes County, Texas was a, 'dry county.' To buy alcohol, he would have to
Navasota or Huntsville.
Sunday morning, Lynn got dressed and went to church. Again she extended
the invitation to Andy to join her.
"Maybe next week," he said, "I got too much work here."
went to church by herself. She enjoyed the service. It was a big church,
but three older ladies invited her to their Sunday school class. Lynn
was younger than the other's in the class. But everyone welcomed her and
they were friendly and outgoing, inviting her back next week.
Lynn need not have worried about Andres finding the alcohol, instead of
working, he had been with Hernando, drinking. He tried to hide it from
her, but Lynn
could smell it on his breath.
"Hernando had a small bottle," he said, "We finished it off." Lynn had
not asked him about it. She knew he had been drinking, but she hadn't
said a word. When Lynn did not answer, he said, "You mad?"
"Why should I be mad? If you want to drink, that's your business."
"Good, thank you honey," he said, "I won't drink no more," he promised.
Lynn didn't want to talk about it. She changed the subject.
talking to Lucy yesterday," she said, "She thought it would be a good
idea if we went into Navasota tomorrow and applied for food stamps. At least we
wouldn't have to spend the rest of our cash on food. The house payment
is due in a few weeks. Paying that is going to make a dent in the cash
we have left. What do you think?"
they will give them to us," he said, "Lucy has kids, we don't."
"Lucy said, it didn't matter here in Texas. It depends on your income."
Andy shrugged. "I don't like being on the public dole," he said,
"I never took anything from the government, I always worked for what I
needed. But if you think they will give them to us, it would be good to
eat regular meals again and fill up the refrigerator."
"Right now we can't let our pride keep us from getting the help if we can
get it," Lynn said. "I didn't want to tell you, but I need refills on my
"Why didn't you tell me?" He was angry that she hadn't told him.
"I didn't want to stress you out with it. I don't know how much it will
cost and I didn't want to spend money we didn't have on medicine."
"You are my wife, you can't die because we don't have money for your
medicine. Honey, you get your prescriptions refilled tomorrow. I don't
care how much it cost."
next morning Lynn and Andy drove into Navasota. Like Andy, Lynn hated
asking for help, but they needed it. They were down to their last bit of
cash. If it had been up to Lynn, she would have given their last bit of
cash as a tithe offering to her new church, Bedias Baptist asking God to
bless the offering, knowing that God would have opened the windows of
heaven and poured out His blessing; but that decision wasn't Lynn's to
knowing her heart, God blessed her with the help she needed. Because she
was no longer receiving social security, the county could not help her
with medicine, but since Andy had not yet found employment, they were
eligible for food stamps. At least now, they would be able to eat
regular meals. Thank you Lord for meeting my needs.
missed her children terribly, as always since becoming a child of God;
Lynn found peace and comfort in God and her new church. She became
involved with a Sunday school class of older ladies; they were warm and
friendly and accepting; inviting her into their hearts and into their
church was trying to build children Sunday school class, but it lacked
children for programs and activities. As Lynn started to meet new
people, some who would become friends, Lynn rounded up as many children
as she could and brought them to church. Lucy was Catholic she thought
it would be good for her girls to attend, but Hernando refused to let
them. He must have said something to Andy about it.
can't take them," he said, "Hernando said, no. They are Catholic, like
me, leave it alone, okay?" He wasn't asking her, but rather telling her. Lynn
didn't see what the problem was in taking children to church, and she
told him so.
kind of influences do they have out there in the world?" She said. Andy
had been drinking again.
"They not your kids, okay? Leave it alone okay?" Lynn dropped the subject,
he wanted to argue. Lynn refused to let him get started, but she did
speak her mind.
they are not my kids. I miss my kids and I wish to God, I had listened
and never came down here. If you want to argue, you can argue with the
cows; I am not listening. I miss my kids, my grandkids and my church,
and I want to go home!" Lynn took her little dog Princess and went for a
long walk down the country road. As Lynn walked, she cried out to God;
'Forgive me Lord, for not listening to you.
Forgive me for being stubborn and wanting my will instead of your will for
my life. Lord,
I'm back in the same mess that you took me out of. But you know that Lord;
that's why you found a way for me to escape. Forgive me Lord. What do I
do now, Father? Different state, same mess."
with Andy continued without interruption, different state, but the same
Only difference was that now she was alone without the support of her
children. As Lynn became more depressed and lonely, Andy went about his
merry plans with fixing up the house and planting his garden.
beginning, because it was to be her house too, Lynn had shared in those
dreams. The planted the garden, watermelons, cantaloupes, green beans,
tomatoes and other crops. But summer continued, watermelons and
cantaloupes were the only crops that grew in the Texas sand. And the hot
summer heat was unbearable. They celebrated their first Christmas in the
had found work, but it didn't pay much, not even enough to cover the
on the house, they started to get behind. To his credit, Andres found a
new job, laying pipe for a gas company. It was thirty miles away, but it
paid good money. By this time though, they were far behind on the house
payments that it would be hard for them to get caught up. After
everything they had done to the property and to the house, it would all
be for nothing.
this time, Shawn decided he missed his mother; Susan put him on the bus
to Texas. He was coming at a bad time, but Lynn was happy and excited.
Andy wasn't happy or excited, but he accepted the fact that Shawn was on
met his bus in Huntsville. "You're just in time Shawn," Andy said, "To
help with the crops."
Shawn groaned, but he didn't say anything. To Lynn's surprise, they got
along better then they had in Virginia. Andres had not changed, but
Shawn had, he had grown up and matured.
tired to teach him to drive, of course Andres had been drinking. Shawn
backed up the truck, hitting the gas instead of the brakes, he smacked
into the electric pole. "Okay Shawn, no more lessons for you," Andy
said. Lynn taught him to drive the riding mower. While she worked the
garden, Shawn would cut the grass. He was good at it and enjoyed it
until the day he ran over the anthill.
had gone inside to get them something to drink, when she heard Shawn
screaming. When she ran outside Shawn was screaming, "Get 'em off me!" As
Lynn got to him, she could see what had happened, he had ran over an
anthill, red ants were crawling over him biting and stinging.
grabbed the hose and stripped him down to his shorts, spraying him with
the hose, at the same time, trying to keep the ants away from her. Shawn
kept swatting and disrobing, backing up away from the anthill. "That's
it!" he screamed, "I'm not mowing this stupid grass ever again! That
was the end of the mowing experience for Shawn. Lynn felt so sorry for him
and she worried that he could get an infection. Shawn never mowed the
grass again, but he did help Lynn with the garden.
afternoon, while Andy was working, Lynn drove into Huntsville for
groceries. On the way out of the Wal-mart parking lot, some people were
Puppies; Shawn saw the sign and begged her to stop.
look at the puppies, stop please they are so cute." They had three dogs
and a cat. The last thing she needed was another dog, another mouth to
fee. But she stopped.
"Shawn we can't afford to feed another animal" But Lynn stopped. Shawn
picked out a little black lab. "Mom please," he begged. "I will buy the
food and take care of it. I want something to love. A puppy I can love
and play with." He cuddled the little puppy to his chest. "He's so cute.
Can I have him please?"
have to move to an apartment," the lady said, "We just want them to have
good homes. I have a 5lb. bag of dog food that goes with them." Lynn
started to say, 'no,' but Shawn wanted him; looking at Shawn holding the
black wiggle puppy and the puppy licking his face, it was love at first
sight for the both of them. She knew Andy would be mad but Shawn hadn't
asked for much in his life and Lynn couldn't refuse him.
went back into the store and bought a tie out chain and a dog collar.
Shawn was in the backseat, with the puppy curled up asleep on his lap.
She hoped Andy wouldn't be too mad when he saw the dog.
Shawn, this is your dog, you need to take care of it and by the food."
Andy told him, he wasn't mad. "You're not mad because I let him have it?"
"No," he said, "I'm not mad, " Andy, said, "As long as Shawn buys the food
and take care of it. He's going to grow into a big dog," he said, "I
will build him a dog house and Shawn can help me build it."
named him, 'Blackie,' and the for the next two months Shawn did take
responsibility of his dog. But one afternoon as Shawn was getting ready
to take a walk with a friend he had been hanging with, Lynn reminded him
to make sure his dog had food and water, he took food and water out to
his dog, Lynn heard him screaming.
out the back door, the little dog was lying under his box, he was dead.
Shawn cried and screamed, "What happen to him!" Lynn unhooked the tie out
chain from his collar, he had an open wound on his neck. "Maybe a wild
animal got to him during the night," she said, 'he wasn't strong enough
to fight it off," she said. Shawn held the limp body close to him and
cried. "Everything I love either leave me or dies," he cried. Lynn cried
with him. "I'm so sorry honey," she cried, "I'm so sorry."
July morning, as Lynn turned on the washer, instead of pumping water, it
was pumping sand. They had not been in the house for one year and the
well had dried up. When Lynn went to the office to report it and tell
them that she needed a new well,
Mr. Hall refused to make it right.
are too far behind on payments," he said, " I won't drill you another
well." "Mr. Hall, you said we could pay you every month until we got
caught up and we have been doing that. And now, you're not going to drill
another well? How are we going to stay out there without water?"
he said, "Looks like you're going to have to move anyway," he said,
"Unless you can come up with $2, 000 in back payments. If you do that, I
will put in another well. If not, you need to be out by September."
promised us time to get caught up, now you've changed your mind. But I
know why, it's because I made a complaint to the county and made you put
in a new septic, isn't it?" The old man shrugged and looked away.
have been better if you hadn't made that complaint," he said, "But
You did." Lynn became very angry, but she controlled her temper.
to you three times," she said, "And told you about the septic and you
refused to do anything about it. It will be one year in September and
that septic tank
had been overflowing and spilling out into the yard since we bought the
house and you refused to replace it. I know that other people in your
houses dump their sewerage in
the little streams behind their property and that seeps into the ground
water and the well water, I was not going to live like that. When you
would not replace the septic tank, you left me no choice but to report
being so far behind in your payments you leave me no choice but to take
back the property"
"Mr. Hall," Lynn said, "This little set up you've got going here is
nothing more than a scheme and a con game."
"Talk to my lawyers," he said. Lynn left his office while she still had
control of her temper.
she told Andy, he went into a rage. "He can't do that! he yelled, "I
will kill that old man!"
"Andy, as much as you want to kill him, that won't solve the problem and
it won't get you your money back."
"All this time and money I've spent has been for nothing. I want to cry
honey," he said. I'm losing my house." Lynn cried with him. They had both
did so much work in the house and in the garden.
hadn't had any luck with the garden, the hot Texas sun and the drought
had killed the tomatoes and green beans, but the watermelons and
cantaloupes had thrived and grew in the sandy soil. The three of them,
Andy, Lynn and Shawn, had spent the weekend loading the watermelons and
cantaloupes in the truck to sell in town. But that
didn't pan out. Everybody in Bedias was selling watermelons and
cantaloupes; they had to almost give them away to get rid of them.
didn't understand why it had not worked out and why they couldn't keep
the house. She begged God for answers, but God was silent. In September
they moved into Baytown. Shawn did not move with them. He took his check
for August and bought a bus ticket for Virginia. Andres drove him into
Huntsville. Lynn hugged him good-by.
"Don't cry mom, I just want to go back to Virginia. I'll be okay."
Lynn cried all the way home.
found them a one-bedroom house in Baytown. Andres and Lynn met with the
landlord and paid the first month's rent and deposit. She was very nice.
"Do you have any animals?" she asked.
"Yes, we have three dogs and a cat."
"I'm sorry, but you can't have that many dogs. I can let you have a small
dog and the cat is okay."
"Is okay," Andy said, "We will give away my two big dogs. Is okay my wife
has a little house dog and I can bring my cat?"
"Yes, the little house dog and the cat are okay." On the way back to
Bedias, Lynn cried.
"Andy we've lost so much and now you have to give your two dogs away."
"Is okay honey. My friend wants my big boy and twenty-two short."
Hernando and Lucy loaned them the cattle trailer to haul their stuff in.
But before they could use it, Lynn had to clean out; what a mess! Andy
carried the water from Lucy's house and Lynn scrubbed away the cow dung.
Hernando helped Andy load the big items, while Lynn, Lucy and her girls
helped with the boxes and small things. Andy took the bathroom cabinets
and kitchen cabinets down from the walls and sold them to Hernando.
get a little bit of my money," he said. Lynn pulled out the small trees
she had planted, she would take the small flowering bushes with her and
give the little pecan trees, the walnut trees and pine trees to Lucy and
Andy's friend. She would get the rest of her flowers that weekend when
they returned the cattle trailer to Hernando.
following Saturday when they returned to the property, her flowers were
gone and someone had broken into the house and had stolen all the
plumbing from both bathroom and the kitchen Andres just shook his head.
glad we got our stuff out," he said, " maybe your old lady down the road
took it," he said.
"Maybe she did," Lynn, said, "she was in need of plumbing. I just hope Mr.
Hall doesn't blame it on us."
"The hell with him," Andy said, "I'm going to drive the cattle trailer
over to Hernando, are you coming?" Lynn had to laugh.
"Where else can I go," she said, "our house is empty."
"It's not our house anymore." he closed the door and never looked back.
returning the trailer, Andy drank with Hernando. Lynn didn't say
anything to him; it was his way of dealing with losing the house. Lynn
felt like getting drunk too,
but she had given it up a long time ago and wasn't about to pick it up
again. They spent
the night at Lucy's little ranch. Andres passed out under the stars; Lynn
laid a blanket over him. Lucy had a little travel trailer; she made up
the bed for Lynn.
the house Lynn wanted desperately to come home; but it was not to be, God
would not permit it. They had been living in Baytown for two months
when Andres lost his job, if that wasn't bad enough, he became very sick.
The diagnosis was not good he had contacted tuberculosis. Lynn was also
tested but she did not have it.
borrowed money from Lucy and Hernando to buy his medicine. While he had
been sick his unemployment ran out and the bills were piling up. Lynn
wanted to ask God what was next? But she didn't dare. All she could do
was pray and keep trusting God to meet their needs.
searched everyday for another job but there was nothing. "Okay Lord, I
give it to you." It was awesome how God worked it out; after Lynn turned
it over to the Lord, Andres found work.
the trials Lynn had learned some valuable lessons about faith and about
trusting God to meet their needs. Andres had been out drinking one
Saturday night and playing cards. Someone took his wallet, with all his
money in it. There was no money to buy food and the Sunday was Easter.
Lynn opened the refrigerator it was empty; Lynn got on her knees and
cried before God.
there is nothing here but I know you will provide. She went off to
church to praise God. During
Easter morning services Pastor Mary Frazier called Lynn up front to
the alter. 'I have something for you,' she said, she handed Lynn an
envelope; 'You never told me or anybody else about your need,' she said,
'but God knew and he met it this morning, you take this and buy food for
dinner.' hugging her, Lynn cried.
Lynn hadn't told anyone, but God; and once again God had met her need.
Shawn returned to live with her and Andres moved out. He had found a job
remodeling apartments. "I can't live here with your crazy boy," he said.
"I got me one apartment with my job."
if you to go, then go. I won't stop you."
"Who's going to pay the rent and buy food?"
"If Shawn is living here he will have to pay the rent, won't he?"
"Maybe I shouldn't have come back here," Shawn said.
"No Shawn you stay with your mother and help her."
stayed but the apartment was only a one-bedroom; if Shawn would be
paying rent it was only fair that he have a separate bedroom. Lynn found
them a two-bedroom close to where Andres lived; they moved in July.
living in Baytown, they moved three times; from one apartment to
Lynn just wasn't satisfied anywhere; she wanted to go home. But God made
her wait until July of 1996. Before allowing her to return back to
Virginia. He closed all the doors in Texas. In July of 1996, Lynn had
one big yard sale; they packed the rest of their stuff in a u-haul
trailer; Lynn said good-by to her church, paid her tithe and left Texas.
Indeed it is true, God works in mysterious ways his miracles to perform
When Lynn had lived in Leesburg in the low income housing complex, that
God had provided, it wasn't good enough for her; she had wanted something
better. The lord let her what she had wanted, the house in Texas. But
because it had not been God's will for her life she had lost it; and the
Lord had made her wait three years to come home; and she had come full
circle; from Leesburg to Texas, from Texas back to Leesburg, to the very
same place she had started from.
Lynn could no longer stand Andy's drinking and had cried out to God for
A place she could afford; God had provided it. But after a few months of
living in the low-income apartments, Lynn had become dissatisfied,
unhappy and she now realized, she had been over taken by pride.
God had provided was not, 'good enough,' for her; 'she,' deserve better.
She was a child of God and she wanted 'something better.' She was better
than the 'people,' that lived here, or so Lynn thought at the time.
Since her salvation in 1992, Lynn had prayed for everything, for her
children to Andy's drinking problem.
there was one thing Lynn had left out of her prayers; she had never
prayed for wisdom. She had prayed for God to guide her and he had, but
Lynn had not been receptive to the voice of his spirit. It had taken
Lynn a long time to realize and understand what she had done, three
years to be exact.
as Lynn returned back to the place where she had started from, she was
beginning to understand that this was where she was supposed to have
been all along;
God's will for her life had not been Texas that had been Lynn's will. No,
God's will for her life had been Virginia. But not having the wisdom to
understand this, without meaning to, Lynn had become filled with pride
and had rebelled.
help me now to understand your will and your plan for my life."
Now that Lynn was beginning to understand, she didn't want to repeat
mistakes of the past. She wanted to do things God's way this time
found a room in Leesburg, Lynn and Shawn moved in with her daughter and
grandchildren. Lynn had returned in an old car they had bought in Texas.
She had given up the new car Andres had bought for her when Andres had
been out of work and could not afford the payments. Lynn had not wanted
to give the car back to the company;
She had wanted to keep it. But she had heard the voice of the spirit
telling her to call the company and tell them where the car was. 'It has
served its purpose,' the spirit had said,
And Lynn knew she had to give the car back.
car had brought her back to Virginia; it had passed Texas inspection but
would not pass Virginia's strict inspection standards. She would need
another car. In her heart Lynn knew that God would provide. "Lord, I
don't know where it's going to come from, but you do." Lynn prayed. Lynn
had returned to Oakton Baptist Church and to the gift God had given her,
teaching the children and taking care of the nursery. One Sunday after
church, Pastor Holmes had asked her, 'if she needed a car,' the church had
two cars that had been donated to them. Talk about an answer to prayers!
Lynn got down in the pew and thanked God. "How did you know pastor, how
did you know?"
Holmes smiled, "God knew," he said, "And he laid it on my heart." God
had answered her prayer. When she and Shawn could no longer live at the
housing complex and she would be in need of shelter, one of the members
was moving into a house and he had a trailer he no longer needed. It was
Lynn's if she could find a way to have it moved and a lot to move it on
and Andy found a trailer court on the outskirts of Manassas. Shawn was
to live there too; he helped Andy tear down the side porches so that the
trailer could be moved. All was going well, until Shawn was helping Andy
dig the holes for the support blocks. They had been working for days;
they were exhausted, tired and hungry.
They started to arguer and Shawn threw a big fit and walked off. Someone
in the park called the police. The next day Lynn was told that because
of the fight, Shawn would not be able to live there. Andy had paid to
have the trailer moved; Shawn had paid the deposit on the lot.
gave Shawn back the deposit. "I won't live here with, 'him." Shawn said.
"I'm going back to Leesburg with Susie."
"But Shawn we couldn't stay there, remember? Your sister would have been
"Then I will go to a shelter if I have to, but I can't live here either."
He was right, the park management had made it clear, either Andy stayed
and Shawn left, or Shawn stayed and Andres left. Shawn made the decision
stayed with Andres for another four years, until his drinking started to
drag her down. Lynn sank into a deep depression. Many a Sunday morning
Lynn had to will her out of bed; she had to force herself to shower. The
depression became so severe that she wanted to stay in bed, she didn't
want to shower and she didn't want to go to church. Lynn knew that she
could not continue to let the depression drag her down.
she battled the depression, God brought a scripture verse into her
Matthew 10:14; "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your
words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake the dust off of
your feet." And Lynn felt that this message was for her. Andy's drinking
was affecting her walk with God and Lynn needed to, 'shake the dust off
her feet,' and get out.
nights later as once again, Andy's drinking had turned him into the mean
and nasty stranger Lynn hated, the message was confirmed; Andy had made
some real nasty remarks about her children, crying, Lynn retreated to
her bedroom and was crying out to God, praying and reading her Bible,
when shouting and cussing, Andy burst into her room; Angry, Lynn ordered
him out of her room, rather, it was not Lynn who called him out, but the
spirit dwelling within her soul. Lynn looked up from her Bible, "Get
behind me Satan!" she said. When she spoke the words, without a word,
Andres turned and left the room! In her walk with God, Lynn had never
experienced that kind of power. God had opened her eyes; by calling out
the being that dwelled within Andres! God had showed her who that being
was. Lynn knew she had to leave the relationship, the sooner the better.
August of 2000, one month after she had experienced that awesome power
of the Holy Ghost, her son Charles came to her with a proposition.
"Joyce and I have separated," he said, "I have a big three-bedroom, two
bath mobile home in Richmond, leave all this mother," he said, "You can
have your own bedroom and your own bathroom."
didn't have to think about it, she knew this was God saying, 'go, shake
the dust off your feet.' "Thank you Lord, thank you." Lynn packed her
personal belongings and headed down the road to Richmond with her son.
only regret was that she could not take her little dog, princess with
Charles had an old dog he had taken after his mother-in-law had died. But
God provided for that too. Her friend in the park was moving to a new
home and she would take princess and let her live out her life on their
new farm. Lynn cried halfway to Richmond; crying over her dog.
cried over being so far away from her children and grandchildren, she
cried over her dog; but she did not cry over the relationship. When she
had first begun her walk with the Lord, Lynn had promised, "Lord,
wherever you lead, I will follow." But sometimes, not having the wisdom
she needed, Lynn had not always kept that promise.
she was beginning to understand what it meant to follow the Lord and
respond to the direction of his spirit. Lynn didn't know what God's plan
for her life was;
But she knew it was not Andres.
made a new commitment to walk with God and to let him be the potter and
her the clay, molding her and shaping her into the person God wanted her
to be; and to walk with him day by day.
Lynn laid her head down on the pillow that first night in her new home,
she felt all the pressures and stress of the last four years drain away.
She said a prayer of thanksgiving. "Thank you Lord, thank you for
removing the evil from my life, thank you for my salvation, thank you
for one more day."
had been attending the same church him and Joyce had been attending when
they were together; one Sunday morning Lynn went with him to services.
They continued to attend for seven months. In order to keep his
job Charles had to start working on Sundays.
Sunday during services the pastor the pastor made a remark that Lynn
took to heart. Lynn felt that he was judging her salvation and no man
had a right to do that. Lynn had a bad habit that she had been trying to
give up; smoking.
are a Christian," he yelled from the pulpit, "And you're still smoking,
you'd better check your salvation. Because if you're still smoking, you
can't be saved." That was the last straw as far as Lynn was concerned;
she went home that day and never returned. God had been dealing with her
about the smoking, like he had dealt with her about a lot of things in the
past. But Lynn felt that this pastor had no love in his heart;
He would yell and scream from the pulpit, Lynn was not a child, she did
not want to be yelled and screamed at. When Lynn had been saved back in
1992, she had not given her heart and her life to Satan! She had given
her heart and life to God, and Lynn knew that she was saved, cigarette
habit and all, she was a daughter of the living God.
day, September 29, 1992, the Lord had not said to her, 'I will save you
when you quit smoking.' No,
Jesus had accepted her into his kingdom, as she was, good habits
and the not so good habits.
remark about not being saved if you had a cigarette habit was not the
reason that Lynn stopped going, there had been other little remarks too,
that had not set well with Lynn. Remarks on how much people should give;
some members like Lynn lived on very small and very fixed incomes and
according to this pastor, offerings and tithes were expected, even if
you didn't have it to give.
had been going to a Bible study group in the mobile home park where she
lived. Lynn had been out of church for two months when it finally got
the best of her.
One Tuesday afternoon during Bible study and prayer, Lynn broke down in
tears and shared her story with the rest of the group.
let this pastor keep you from church," they all said; and before Bible
study was over, Lynn had ten invitations for three different churches.
Bon Air Baptist Church,
became Lynn's new church home. And Lynn stayed until God moved her in July
of 2003. For some unknown reason, God closed all the doors in Richmond,
had been visiting her children in Manassas; she wasn't due to leave
until the following Monday morning. She had talked to Charles on
Saturday; everything was fine, he had said, "See you when you get home
mother." But as Lynn hung up the phone, she
felt that something was wrong.
awakened Sunday morning by the urging of the spirit, 'go home.' Lynn
didn't question the message, she packed her travel bag and headed home.
From Richmond to Manassas, was a three-hour drive for Lynn. But on this
Sunday morning Lynn made the trip in two-hours.
turned off the car, took the keys out of ignition and hurried up the
steps to the mobile home. The first thing she noticed is that their dog
Sampson wasn't there to greet her when she opened the door. Charles was
asleep on the sofa. Lynn shook him awake.
wrong? And don't tell me, nothing,' she said, "Something is wrong I can
feel it." He had been crying, his eyes were red and puffy.
"I lost my job," he said, "And Joyce is behind on the mobile home
"How long do we have, son?"
"Two weeks." He buried his head on her shoulder and cried like a baby.
"Mother, I don't know what to do, it's gone, all of its gone."
"Don't cry, God will provide son, God will provide.," her statement was
meant to cheer him up; instead it did just the opposite.
God Closed The Door
going to do mother!" Charles yelled, "Throw money down from heaven!" He
was upset and angry and blaming God.
"He can control it all!" he continued, "But he hasn't!"
"Charles stop! Blaming God isn't the answer. We have to keep our faith and
keep trusting in him, not blaming him when trials come our way." Charles
looked at her mockingly, his angry words thick, and sarcastic.
"Okay, see how much faith you have when we in the --- --- shelter!" Lynn
hated it when he cussed; and nothing hurt her more than hearing her own
child use God's holy name in vain. Lynn couldn't take it, she yelled at
how angry you are, and I don't care if this is your house, but you will
not take God's name in vain in my presence. You will not!"
"It is my house and I will say what I want to say, whenever I want to say
"Then you say it son," she said, "But I do not have to listen it to it, do
I?" Lynn grabbed her keys and went out to the car. "Oh Lord, forgive
him," she cried.
hauled her stuff from the car and set it down on the front porch,
leaving it there, she sat down in the swing and cried and prayed.
"Honey, what's wrong? Is there anything I can do?" She knew the sound of
that sweet voice, that southern drawl. Dear Mrs. Jenkins her elderly
neighbor had sat down beside her. During the three years she had lived
in the park, Lynn had become close with this dear woman of God and had
grown to love her. She buried her head on Mrs. Francis
shoulder and cried.
Miss Francis, it's all falling apart." She took out a hanky and gave it
"Don't cry, tell me what's wrong? Chuck told me he lost his job and he
told me he took Sampson to a farm somewhere. I know something else is
wrong, what is it?" Lynn stared into the kind and soft blue eyes and
proceeded to tell her the rest of the story.
Lynn had needed an angel on earth to comfort her, God had sent Miss
Francis." Oh, Miss Francis, I am going to miss you. I can't even tell you
"Well, I will always be here if you need me. You can come right next-door
and talk to me
anytime," she said.
won't be here Miss Francis. Joyce is behind on the mobile home
payments. Now that Chuck has lost his job, there is no way for us to
make up the payments. We have two weeks before they reposes the mobile
home." The sadness in her soft blue eyes touched Lynn's heart. Lynn
would miss this sweet woman of God.
would miss her church too, and her Bible study class and the great
friends she had made there. She had two very special friends besides
Miss Francis; Carolyn and Mary Ann.
kept praying that God would turn things around. For the next three days
Charles searched for work, but found nothing. When Charles couldn't find
work and they couldn't find housing, Lynn knew that God had closed all
the doors in Richmond. Lynn remembered her promise, "Where ever you lead
me Lord, I will follow."
Within the weeks that were to follow, remembering that promise would
become a very important part of Lynn's faith. Trusting in God and in his
promises, and Lynn's faith in Him; Faith, the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things not seen; Hebrews, 11; 1. God's word and faith
in his word, was what had held Lynn together since she first believed in
1992; and it would continue to hold her together.
following weekend they made a trip to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to
Shawn and Carol. Shawn was out doing his own thing and was nowhere to be
Carol told them about an apartment up the street that had been for rent a
few weeks back.
Charles wanted to check it out.
hate Chambersburg," Lynn fussed, "Javier died here in 1989, remember?
I won't live here, this town is nothing but a bad memory for me." Lynn was
"No Charles I won't do it." Despite her objections, Charles wanted to see
"You just have to see it, don't you!" Lynn fumed. Ignoring her objections,
Charles held open the door to Carol's apartment. "With or without you
mother," he said. Lynn grumbled, but she followed him and Carol out the
building wasn't too bad on the outside, but inside the apartment was a
mess. Lynn followed him from one dirty, unpainted room to the next. She had
"Mother, it can be cleaned and fixed up," he said, as he walked from one
room to the next
making a plan for each room. In his mind's eye, Charles saw each room,
painted and with wallpaper and borders; he saw the old wood bare floors
all waxed and gleaming; he described what the living would look like
with his antique furniture placed against the walls.
Lynn, on the other hand, saw nothing but grime, dirt, grease, trash and hard
work, a tough job that she was not ready or willing to tackle.
"Anyway, its only a one-bedroom and one bath."
"Okay mother," he snapped, "We will rent a card board box in Richmond.
Will that make you happy?" Lynn felt convicted of her attitude, she had
to change it; now.
"Okay, call the landlord, if God opens the door, we will make it work."
closed all the doors in Richmond, where Lynn wanted to be, and he opened
all the doors in Chambersburg, where she didn't want to be; reminding
'Where ever he would lead her, that she would follow.' The following week
it all came together.
sold his coin collection, his antique buffet, the antique bedroom
that Lynn had used in her bedroom. They had a big yard sale and sold what
they could not take with them. The following day, Carolyn and Mary Ann
came to visit. God had laid it on their hearts that we were in trouble;
and Lynn had not said a word to anyone about their financial trouble.
But Carolyn and Mary Ann knew. Carolyn came first, bearing a gift from
her and her husband; Lynn was overwhelmed and burst into tears.
money Charles had made from the yard sale and the gift from Carolyn and
Mary Ann, was enough to cover the deposit and first month's rent on the
had her answer. Chambersburg was where God wanted her to be. It is awesome
how God will close all the doors to the places where we want to be; and
open all the doors to the places we don't want to be. But as Lynn is
often reminded, God is an awesome God.
has been in Chambersburg for one year and she will stay until the Lord
decides that its time to leave. Her walk with the Lord has taught Lynn
many things; the trials in her life have served to bring her closer to
has a new church home, a closer walk with her Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ. Often the people we love will let us down and break our hearts,
but God will lift
us up and mend our broken hearts.
the course of writing this manuscript and the two others, 'Love, The
Time Around,' and, 'Poems For Tomorrows Generation,' it was very easy to
become discouraged and give up.
computer froze and I had no way to send what I had been typing, I
cried out to God; "Why did you give me this gift Lord, when I don't I have
To us it?"
mist of my crying jag, it started with the computer and went into
everything else I was feeling; from my children to the loneliness I felt
by being separated and not having a Godly mate to share the rest of my
days with to whatever else I was feeling that day; Suddenly I felt those
heavenly arms around my shoulders, God's way of holding me and
comforting me while I sobbed out the pain in my heart.
point is that God is always there. As king David states through out the
book of Psalm; 'God is our protector, our strength, our comforter and
provider.' What an awesome God I worship.
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