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All Good Things–The Return

By Neal Stone ~

It has been years since I've posted here. A huge upset about my atheism caused me to panic (I was in an awful place then) and then I soon faced divorce in 2012, which was completed in 2013. It all fell apart, but I then found myself in Mississippi (of all places) visiting my dad. My dad made me an offer to come down and live in Mississippi with him.

Mississippi is a very religious state though the coast, where I live, is a lot more relaxed. But that is another story.

This story is about how I saw some of my Christian friends for who they were vs who I thought they were. I had some friends who came over weekly to hang out. They played D&D RPG style games (praise Jesus) even though they all attended church. I eventually got bored with it and would pop in time to time during their visit but would sit in my office…writing you guys.

My ex-wife was the queen of playing victim and often wore a hat that said, "SUPER BITCH" and was quite proud of it. Little did I know of secret conversations about me that made me look like the bad guy. Little did I know of what was coming and what was said behind my back.

Everyone in this group got to feel sorry for her and knew what she had to say, everyone except the one person who needed to know…ME!

All these guys were professing Christians (Pentecostal) and not once did any of them approach me to hear my side, to restore me, to encourage or build me up. Not once did they even try to help or offer to be there for me.

One of these friends, Mark, I had known for over a decade before I met my ex. He and my ex immediately bonded (was a good 20 years younger than her) and acted like they were best friends and were too close for it to be just a friendship. At least, that is how it felt.

When the divorce started, he would call and ask for her, she would disappear for a half hour or so, then come back and hand me the phone. I would say "Hello" and it would be dead air because he hung up. This hurt more than you know because up till then I thought he was my best friend.

I learned from this experience and from the one mentioned below who my real friends were. Some people are real friends' others, as those above, are there just to use you for their own agenda and to build themselves up. If their agenda means turning their backs on you, then so be it they will. I have since made some wonderful friends that have my back.

Mark has yet to explain his strange closeness to my ex-wife and since she passed a few years ago he probably feels he is safe. I talked to her before she passed, little does he know that I know what he doesn't know that I know, ya know? I had fun typing that!

But enough about my rant. I moved away, and it was the best thing I could ever do. After some counseling, I woke up to the fact that there was a lot to discover about myself. Discover I did, and I started taking on various projects and hobbies and am not stopping anytime soon.

It was the day of the surgery I noticed something that I wasn't expecting. I had no fear. I had no anxiety. I knew I would be fine because God…er…a skilled surgeon was in there with me.Neal Stone One of those discoveries is the strength and courage I didn't know I had. This became apparent when I had major open-heart surgery. My procedure required being cut open for the repair to be done.

Most Christians would've cried out in fear and ask for prayer or ask why or something along those lines. I blogged my experience; I did a GoFundMe to cover the cost of co-pays and cover my bills while I was off work. I made it and got through it.

But it was the day of the surgery I noticed something that I wasn't expecting. I had no fear. I had no anxiety. I knew I would be fine because God…er…a skilled surgeon was in there with me. He was a great guy and I got to meet him before the surgery. He knew what he needed to do and was well known for his skill as a surgeon.

I got through it and am back to work full time. I am sure all my Xian friends are praising God, but God isn't the one who did the work. I worked hard to get back on my feet and rested as I needed to handle the healing and recovery. Where was God for the three people who died while I was in the ICU? I could hear one man's widow crying in the next room. Why was I so lucky when someone who believes wasn't? Because that is life. There is nobody up there watching out for, but there was an amazing team in the OR with me that got me through this. In fact, one of my best friends was the nurse who ran the bypass machine.

So here I am, back from the dead, back from the brink and now moving forward. I am back from the void and breaking the silence once again.