Thursday, March 17, 2011


I don't know about you but whenever I feel convicted, it stings.

It's like you are trapped. You know what you should be doing and when you don't, God convicts. Sometimes conviction hurts and sometimes it's just beautiful.

This past week I learned that my cousin, Charles, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for violating probation and drug charges.

Charles was my favorite cousin growing up. His mom is my moms sister and they were close, which meant WE were close.

Charles was my protector and I always knew I could count on him to be there.
Years went by and our families went separate ways.

Charles and I would no longer see each other except for major holidays. He would get married and have children, as would I. We did what everyone else had done...we grew up.

After a motorcycle accident a few years ago, Charles seemed to have distanced himself from everyone and everything.
I remember going to Louisiana during Thanksgiving in November 2008. I couldn't wait to see Charles. As he was walking up to my grandmothers porch, I ran up to greet him and hug him. He hugged me back and his response to me was, "I'm not sure who you are but...okay."
He then walked past me and I was left standing there in shock. Did he really not know who I was?
I talked with some family members and they told me to just hang in there that he was just struggling with some things.

*Divorce, medical discharge from motorcycle accident, loss of friends, not having a heart to see his children, pain killers, sudden death of new wife, etc.* What do you mean he was struggling with SOME things? I'd say he was struggling with a lot.

It all caught up with him on the night he was caught speeding and busted for drugs.

There is a lot more to Charles than just all that. He was missing some things while growing up. He was missing his dad. His dad cut out on him as an infant. His mom remarried when Charles was 3 years old and that man adopted Charles. Charles called him daddy. Later on Charles parents would divorce and daddy would no longer be active in Charles life.

You see, we are all like Charles in some way or another. We have this sin in our lives that we allow to overrule. It's one thing after another and keeps getting piled up until one day we get caught. It's easier to point out the "obvious" sinner rather than take a look at the sinner in secret...which is you/me. We can tend to make everything look "perfect" on the outside but inwardly struggle with who we are.

Charles was going through a rough time and he kept pushing it. Now he has to deal with the conviction of the law, his family, but most of all his God.
Growing up Charles was always there for me. He protected me, cared for me, and loved me. I think it's time for me to step up and give back to him what he gave to me.

I wrote him a letter for the first time this past week. I am praying for a conviction in heart for the convicted. God is the judge and HE will give Charles the ruling he needs...lovingly.

"...My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you."-Hebrews 12:5
"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent."-Revelation 3:19
Charles-your name means "man" or "manly." I don't think that means you have to be "tough" to be a "man." Be humble and allow God to soften your heart. I know you grew up thinking you had to be the "man" for your mom and a "man" to your dad. There is only one type of "man" you should be...a God-fearing, God-loving, God-admiring, I love you!

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

This blog nearly brought tears to my eyes. Wendy painted a "tough guy" image for me before I ever met Charles after we were married. I feared him by the stories she told. Upon meeting him, we kicked it off immediately. Charles and I spent a few days together due to a round trip from Houston to Wichita, probably the first time we met. We had taken Madelyn as basically an infant to visit Wendy's mother, aunt and uncle in Houston. We had such a great time, we wanted to stay longer, but I had to work a day in Wichita. Wendy's aunt suggested that I take Charles to help with the drive. So we did. We had some common interests and he had a good sense of humor. He had given me some car parts later on that I was looking to buy. He was a generous guy. He was a good family man. He loved his wife and kids very much. Sadly, some things in his life changed, he collapsed, and I can imagine that he didn't know where to turn. Thank the Lord that he has a chance to refocus. I believe that he will find God. With some prayer, maybe he will be a free man again, and be born again. We love you Charles.