One Christmas eve about ten years ago after we, our children and grandchildren, had finished our Christmas meal and were all gathered around our Christmas tree for opening gifts; I reflected for just a moment about how truly blessed I was to have my whole family gathered here in our home this holiday. Not only were we all together but there was so much joy and
laughter (and noise/chaos from all the younger grandchildren).

But, at this moment, I stopped and thought about how abundantly blessed I had truly been over the years. Though our home
was small, we had been able to pay it off early. We had moved here because our neighbors to our left and the one to our right had moved here shortly after because of us. I had a good job with the school district and at this time actually had the time needed for full retirement. Now that’s a good feeling. I was retired from the Navy and had that retirement as well. I knew that my current job had been a gift from God and I enjoyed the work, as well as all the people I worked with. At this point, my wife and I had been married for 35+ years and I felt so blessed to still think of her as my most excellent gift from HIM! Overall, we were all in good health. Now that’s usually an overlooked blessing-until you are not! I KNEW that, left to myself, I could not
have planned all the things that would have brought me to this life I now have.

I thought at that moment, “How did I get here?” In that moment, God took me back to a moment in time almost 4 decades before. He reminded me of an evening that I was walking back to my ship I was stationed. I was telling GOD how much I hated the Navy and was pleading with HIM to somehow get me out. I had 2 years left on my enlistment and it seemed like an eternity. After all my pleading, I heard GOD say, “I don’t want to say or express your hate for the Navy again. From now on, I want you to say you love the Navy when you want to say you hate it. I tried to explain to HIM that I would be lying and
He who knows the thoughts and hearts would know it was true. Now at that time, it seemed like a really, really big deal to stop complaining about the Navy. It was a favorite thing to talk about when shipmates would get together. I was always one to lead the charge and the more junior sailors loved hearing a higher up enlisted man complaining. Midmorning the next day while taking a short break from work we were all gathered talking about what was always on our minds. How we hated the Navy, the low pay, long hours and demanding workload, unreasonable supervisors, etc. I was keeping quiet. Some noticed how
quiet I was remaining and asked me for my opinion. Now, I would usually give an earful but that morning I responded, “I love the Navy”. All got quiet. Then followed with laughter when they thought I was just be facetious. Then, someone said, “No really”. I just repeated that I loved the Navy and that kind of ended that discussion. Now my love for the Navy didn’t happen overnight but I was no longer complaining about it either. I didn’t realize until many years later tha heart damage that can occur to one who is always complaining and hating!

Fast forwarding a bit, 2 years later I would re-enlist and where would the navy be sending me for my new assignment? RECRUITING duty! I was selected to work out side of my normal duties for recruiting people into the Navy which was now all volunteer. I could have never imagined I would be able to convince young people about what a great opportunity it was and believe it! That was a stepping stone. The first person I met on recruiting was a most highly trained electronics technicians for the Navy. Over time he convinced my that that is something that I should convert to. I was a cook/warehouse clerk at the time. Got to say, that was a desire I had growing up but never thought it was something available for me. I applied when my recruiting tour was up and got accepted and sent to school for Avionics. GREAT JOB! When I retired with that training, I got hired by Klein ISD for an electronics position (also a great job) and then 5 years later accepted for training into the Information Technology field (another great job – even better).

I have tried to keep this testimony as short as possible but in every step spanning those 45+ years in the Navy and Klein ISD, are many testimonies of how HE got me from one place to another. I have come to realize that when GOD has something for you to do it is ‘an Ephesians 3:20 moment‘ in your life. He is wanting to bless you in a way that is far more abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think! But it is an opportunity for sanctification in your life for the kingdom as well.