I know Curtis' birthday is Wednesday and it is also the 5th month anniversary of his death. I have been wanting to share something for about a week now. I want to please tell you though, this is very painful for me to write, but not only that, but I take the chance of you thinking bad of me for sharing this deeply personal event in Curtis' life.
I would not be sharing more of this had I not known that Curtis expressed to me before he passed away that he wanted his story told. You have read on previous posts (My Hero- March) how I have described a little about the great change that Curtis experienced in his life. He went from being a verbally and emotionally abusive person who loved God but did not know how to see the change he so longed for, to being so sensitive and kind and truly changed.
If there is a defining moment of change in Curtis' life, I have to say that the event that I am going to describe is probably the catalyst, the launching pad of the turn around that we experienced.
I read somewhere before "these are the best of times, these are the worst of times" I can truly relate. So I will tell you about a day that was truly the worst of the worst, but how God caused it to work together for our good.
One day in October of 2008, I had came home from work and we were getting ready to go out for dinner. I and one of my kids were there, along with Curtis. I can't even remember to this day what Curtis got so angry about all of the sudden, but I found myself in the middle of one of the worst rages that I had experienced with him. As the minutes ticked by, he became angrier and angrier. His fury was mounting. He was yelling at me and cursing, and he stormed through the hall and literally ripped the door of the hinges to our bedroom. I was in the dining area, and he came through the hall and threw the door down the stairs and I believe he went down and got it and threw it again. Then he backed me up against the wall and I saw my life flash before my eyes. I had never been so afraid of Curtis as I was that day. I really and truly thought that his rage was going to take complete control and that I was going to die. In the middle of this, my teen that was home called the police out of fear and the officer came. By then, Curt had already began to calm down, and we assured the office that everything was fine, although he left very reluctantly. Somehow I went on to dinner (after realizing that the cycle had now began and there was little I could do to resolve the situation)
Somehow over the next few days when the reality of what happened began to sink down into Curtis's mind, he became very broken and finally admitted that he needed help. He crashed to the lowest low and had it not been for God, I am not sure that he would have came out of the swirling cesspool of condemnation and guilt and shame. At his lowest, he begin to cry out for help. A recommendation came for a Christian psychologist, and he began to see her, after being diagnosed with mood disorder and possible bi-polar condition, along with OCD, Curtis begin to find answers to the things that had plagued him all of his life. He began to for the first time be able to control his anger and rage. He began going to a therapist who really made great strides with him as Curtis became open and honest about the rage and the bitterness that was inside of him. Curtis began to see the faint gleam of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Curtis began to be accountable to his mentor and began to truly listen to the advice and the wisdom that his mentor shared with him.
Life finally began to take new meaning with Curtis. Here he was, had been born again for 17 years and had such a heart after the Father, but never receiving the freedom he so longed for till now. Over time, with medication and appointments, he started seeing changes that became evident to those closest around him. The changes that he encountered had an amazing effect on our kids. Over the period of the next year and into the months that he was diagnosed with cancer, Curtis was truly a different person. He was so much softer around the edges. The sarcastic outlook that he had melted away. The judgmental and critical air that he carried was gently blown away. The true heart came to the forefront. I had seen this heart periodically during our marriage, but for it to be constant and so consistent was mind-boggling.
I share this traumatic day with you in hopes that you will look past the anger and the rage, and realize that we all have areas that we need to overcome. If this blog does anything to you, I hope that it will impact you enough to know that change is inevitable if one is teachable. Please do not hold this against Curtis. I don't. I have forgiven long ago and that is the only way I can even share this time with you. Do I deal with the pain of the memory? Yes, at times, but as time goes along, Christ is taking the pain out and allowing me to the broken man behind the memory.
Don't feel sorry for me. I hurt yes, I cried many, many tears. But I have decided that I will be Curtis's voice. I will tell his story, for if one person is healed because of his testimony, then I will be able to have the courage to keep telling it again and again. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is with me.
A catalyst motivates and moves a person, and in Curtis' case, it was the driving force that pushed him right into the path of healing.