SEARCHING FOR GOD

First, I want to share with you what brought me to the point of searching for God with all of my heart. It came with the full realization that, when you give any bad thing an inch, it takes a mile. Here's an example:I smoked cigarettes for 28 years; it started with just one little puff here, a little one there. Quit almost 20 years ago and hate the stench of the things, but I truly believe, if I just had one drag, I’d be hooked again.  

 

My life all began rather well, with a loving, caring family. What I remember of my early childhood is pretty normal although we were rather unusual people. This is a photograph of my Daddy Lynn, brother Jerry, Mother Maryesther, and Grandma Ethel when I was about two or three. Jerry was 14 years older than me and Grandma, a widow, lived with us and watched me while Mother, Daddy, and Jerry went out “playing.”

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Daddy played sax, Momma played keyboard, and big brother Jerry sang along.

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  I started working early….

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and booked my own gigs.

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You can readily see my early childhood was not lacking in any good thing… Until…

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Life started going south when Mother and Daddy began drinking on the job. The constant exposure to alcohol became an enticement too great to bear. Daddy just drank at night and passed out, while Mother drank all day and never passed out. Instead, she just turned mean, nasty, and physically abusive.  

 

I was too immature, of course, to realize what was happening or to know what to do to help them (like there would have been anything effective). Mother was in constant pain from a surgery gone bad and Daddy was, in part, trying to escape the constant vitriol of Mother’s drunken wrath. I remember one time she threw me down on the sofa, climbed on top of me, and began to strangle me and beat me about the face. I reached over and picked up a leaf ashtray that I’d made in ceramics class from the coffee table and smashed it over her head which surprised the daylights out of her! I’ll never forget her startled reaction as she relented for a moment: “Why, you might have killed me!”    

 

It was 1963 and I’d just turned 17 when I ran away with my boyfriend Steve, a great trumpet player (here’s our Junior Prom picture along with my oldest friend Sue and her then boyfriend, also Steve). I played violin at this point. We sold his trumpet and my violin and hitchhiked from Indiana to Florida; took 37 rides (I have no idea why I remember that). One of the rides was so scary, I thought we’d be killed. We were driving at breakneck speed through the mountains of West Virginia and I was on the floor in the back seat whisper-screaming to Steve, “Make them let you drive” because the whole lot of them were drunker than skunks. Ironic, huh? Trying to escape the drunkenness at home and here I am about to go up in alcoholic flames tumbling down a mountain!

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We made it through alive, though, all the way to Hollywood, Florida. Ironic. With my entertainment upbringing, I’d always wanted to go to Hollywood… but this was the wrong one! 

We were there about a week when the police picked us up after seeing an APB about runaways from Indiana and I spent my only time in jail while we waited on my grandfather – Lowell, whom everybody called Pop – to pick us up (he lived not terribly far away in Ocala). He was a great grandfather who took all those family pictures. When Pop was about 75, he married a woman, Jane, who was half his age, but the marriage didn’t last long because she couldn’t keep up with him!

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So we stayed with Pop while Mother and Daddy drove down with Steve’s father, Harry. I bet that was a fun trip! Harry promised Steve a new car if he’d not see that blankety-blank (me) again and he was true to his word, or so I was told. Last I heard about Steve, he’d been married five times and lived on an Indian reservation in the northwest!

 

I returned home and finished high school, graduating a semester early and working two part-time jobs. Never gave college a thought; just wanted to get out of the alcoholic abuse, so I moved in with my brother, wife, and their six children. Oh my! They were so kind and gracious to allow me to stay there, but this one thing was true: they did not keep house. Jerry became a horror novelist and, well, by a miracle of God, my nephews and niece all survived the hell in which they lived. I wish I’d known then what they were going through but, like my parent’s alcoholism, I don’t know how much I could have helped.  

 

I married Terry, a fine, handsome Catholic man from a terrific family (who are still my friends today), at 19. He is the father of our children, Jenny and Greg. Jenny is almost 3 and Greg is brand new in this photograph. He started out at almost 11 pounds - whew!  

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Jenny is now a wife, mother, and lawyer. She is married to Rob, a successful businessman, loving husband, and the father of my granddaughters.

 

Early in my marriage, I began to mess up our lives by buying the lie that a woman can have it all. My greatest regret in life is trying to climb the corporate ladder while my children were growing up. There are only 24 hours in anyone’s day and, for me at least, it was impossible to devote adequate time to fulfill every need. I didn’t realize then what hindsight so clearly reveals: everyone – including myself – was slighted; shortchanged. Terry and I divorced after 20 years of marriage.

 

 

(In this picture, I’m with good friends Rue Ann (left) and Chris (right) at a public relations’ event starring Richard Dean Anderson aka MacGyver.)         

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But, I am way ahead of myself.

 Need to tell you about Greg. In May 1984, he’d just completed his freshman year of high school, was getting really good grades, and had decided he wanted to become a brain surgeon. Instead, brain surgery awaited him.

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He went out for a ride with a friend and let him drive, the BIG NO-NO. The friend drove into a barbed wire fence. Thankfully, he recovered quickly, but I was told Greg’s contusions were inoperable. Suddenly, though, they hemorrhaged and the neurosurgeon had to operate, performing a bilateral frontal craniotomy (removal of the damaged areas of the frontal lobes of his brain). That Greg lived at all was a documented miracle. He had to relearn how to walk, talk, sit up, and feed himself as though he were an infant. Aftermath complications were many, but he had lived, an answer to prayer. His story was written in the newspaper and people from all over the world were praying for him. His neurosurgeon told me that he knew he’d had “help” when he operated on him. He gave the glory to God for Greg’s recovery.

 

The challenges that remained had included grand mal seizure. In 1991, he seized so violently it broke his back. Then, on September 25, 1998, Greg was comatose from the final-ever grand mal seizure when a beastlike creature growled from within him, snarling like an animal. I can tell you that, when a mother learns some thing other than her son is in her son – and its purpose is to kill him, lives are forever changed. You realize how little you know. You set out to learn more.  

 

ONLY TRUTH MATTERS. This was my call to the ministry.

 

You can read about understanding head injuries from a biblical perspective in my blog at

 

www.abrahamministries.blogspot.com

 

Greg is now a college grad, continuing on for his bachelor’s in accounting.

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Post-divorce life wasn’t easy. As a businesswoman (professional writer, public relations and advertising executive), I was defrauded, bankrupted, evicted, kidnapped, molested and raped; and but for the grace of God, I’d have been murdered on at least two occasions.

 

I’ve personally been responsible for the burial of Mother, Daddy, Cousin Patty (another musician), Brother Jerry…

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and my beloved husband Michael (Mick) Stults (yes, yet another musician!).

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Mick and I’d met and married in the mid-1990s and he had the most wonderful character, personality, looks, and talent of any man I’d ever known. Beginning around the turn of the century, though, he developed a serious heart condition from a virus. He struggled in unrelenting agony and tried to die for eight years (but I wouldn’t let him:D) from severe congestive heart failure – a mere 14% of his heart functioning all that time – yet he worked daily with perpetual joy and faith.

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(And how could I forget we lived in an old mortuary house that we were trying to convert into a Christian dinner theatre called High Hopes Cafe for a year-and-a-half? By the way, the police car is only appropriate; a frequent occurrence given the neighborhood we were in.)

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It was there, in the High Hopes Café-to-be that God really spoke greatly to my heart. I am sure He knew how much I needed him to be close to me for this was Mick’s vision and what woman in her right mind would want to sleep where caskets had once stood, cook in a kitchen where they’d prepared bodies for burial, and dodge living rats and evil spirits of death on any given day?

In the High Hopes Café (aka the Mortuary House) the LORD taught me the Truth of the Word of God by teaching me the vapid yet destructive nature of lies. For instance, I can state in an interview that I’m M.G. Stults, the seven foot forward from IU Bloomington who’s just signed with the Indiana Pacers; you might read it and believe it because it’s “on the Internet,” yet I am nonetheless M.G. Stults, the five foot writer from IWU Indianapolis contracted by a major publisher to develop online college courses. My lie is a whopper, but it’s no more or less a lie than “I’ll pay you back” when you know you won’t, “my homework’s done” when you’ve not even started it, or “I did not have sex with that woman…” when he did. Truth IS; a lie isn’t. Truth has substance; a lie is nothing, yet it can be so hurtful as to destroy lives.

 

Satan told the first lie in the garden. It seemed so small; so inconsequential: “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Just a few simple words; a mistruth; deception. Yet, it meant the literal end of billions of our lives in exchange for a couple’s momentary pleasure.  

 

Learning about lies gives us an appreciation for truth. It also opens eyes to see that one of the most important things we can learn is that there are consequences for every action, for every choice we make. Generally, the consequences of lies eventually cause some semblance of pain. But, for EVERY action, good or bad, true or false, thoughtful or thoughtless, there is a REaction. It’s so wonderful when it is good and leads you to other good things; but even when it’s not, if you are in prayer and seeking after righteousness, God will use it for good. Sometimes you cannot see how that can be; but, that is what walking by faith and not by sight is about.  

 

One day as I sat alone in the mortuary house, the LORD began to speak to my heart about the consequences of my sin, how it had given place to Satan and allowed his attack on my son. The Holy Spirit’s teaching is gentle, loving, and kind, but He chose this particular moment of solitude to teach me an important lesson. If you do not believe in Satan, you will not understand what I am saying. He is very real. If you cannot see evil at work in this day, then you truly have blinders on. Satan is not omnipresent, omnipotent, nor omniscient, but he has an enormous force of demonic spirits at work whose purpose is to tempt, test, and try us. I pray you will get my inexpensive but valuable Kindle book, A Christian Study of Evil from which you can see the purpose evil serves and how God uses evil for our growth and development. http://amazon.com/author/marylynnstults Through this, you can learn more about who you are in Christ Jesus and how you already have victory through Jesus and in His name.

 

So, I begin to see how profound are the consequences of our actions. Ignorance is not bliss; rather it, at best, stifles our mental, emotional, and spiritual development. If we think we can just go through life merrily on our way sinning without significant response to our deeds, then we are seriously deceived.

 

The actions we take are a result of choices. Some are thoughtful, some immediate without thought, others made only after laborious contemplation; but when some which are important are made without consideration for consequences, grim results are possible. I am reminded of a time when my brother Jerry was struck with a sudden critical illness. The first reports indicated he might have cancer of the brain and of the lungs. I remember standing beside him in emergency as he waited for a room. He confessed his grave concern. Jerry was a horror novelist who had published literally dozens of paperback books. He’d just sold a novel concept to a major publisher, the most prestigious of his career. The storyline was the most gruesome he’d ever written, more evil than anything else he’d ever sold. He actually hated it and now, lying on this gurney, he (I believe) had been quickened by the Holy Spirit that he had a choice to make: Turn it down and return the advance he’d been paid or go on and write the book. He told me that for the first time he’d wanted to smell the roses; wanted to show his love to his family as he’d never done before. Obviously, he was facing death and he realized he’d been writing novels that were taking him – and perhaps others – down a slippery slope.

 

I call these times “turning points.” From what he was describing, I could see his choices clearly.

 

Money and fame ruled. He decided he “had” to write the book.

 

Here is a photo of Jerry (right) with a friend (left) and one of his idols (center), the Sci-Fi King, Ray Bradbury. Ultimately, Mick and I took Jerry to New York to receive the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the same year Stephen King was likewise honored.

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At first after his hospitalization, Jerry improved somewhat miraculously. The spots on his lungs were just spots, not malignant; nor was the brain tumor that had caused a seizure cancerous. He was put on medicine and released.

I don’t know many details of his personal life, but I do know that dementia overtook him (his greatest fear, for he had been the most egotistical man I’d ever known, exceedingly prideful of his brilliance and talent). His wife of decades left him and he had to go, penniless, into a nursing home, overall and generally forsaken by his immediate family. One of his sons tried to care for him, but it was a thankless proposition. I found a home for him and Mick and I cared for him until he died. At his funeral, just three of his six children came.

I do know he genuinely repented for all of his sins, sought God with his whole heart during lucid periods when Mick and I would bind up the demons and command them to be still, and he is in heaven today. (Years before, we tried to help him through deliverance, but he refused it, so the dementia had full reign and place over him.) Choices. Turning points. Consequences.

I pray your heart will be pricked by some of this testimony and you will seek God with your whole heart. I believe you will enjoy the teachings of A Christian Study!

 

Contacts

Marylynn G. Stults, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.