I think the probation was two years. I had to meet with a very nice man during that time. To be honest I think he said eventually that we didn’t have to meet anymore and the probation eventually went away. I don’t remember meeting with him for long even though the probation lasted longer if I’m remembering correctly. I wish I knew his name. He was a nice man. What I remember the most about him is that he encouraged me. He was not mean, condescending or negative and seemed to have an interest in me.

He asked me during one of our times together what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to finish school, go to college and have a family and nice job. He told me something like he had never heard any of his troubled juveniles say anything like that. One of the questions he asked me was whether I was going to commute or not to college. I had never heard that word in my life, commute. I had no idea what he was talking about. I wanted to act like I could carry a conversation and was aware what he was talking about. I think I told him that I hadn’t decided. What he didn’t know is that I needed to go home and find out what he was really asking me.

During the probation time I decided that my life was going in the wrong direction. Robby was in prison by this time. Joey was not doing well. Gary was arrested with me and so was Dwayne. Dad was a habituated drunk and mother was out doing her thing. My family was out of control and I had no controls on my life so the prudent thing for me to do was to turn around and walk the other way.

I began cutting my hair, stopped cursing, stopped drinking, stopped smoking pot and sought to limp through high school while working anytime I was not in school. After considering my options I didn’t see college as a possibility. I decided to become successful through a solid work ethic. I was working at Hardee’s, moved into supervision, saved money, moved into Mama Grant’s house at 15 and pretty much walked away from the 15 years of hell I was born into. The next 10 years were various forms of self-reformation, which had various amounts of success. My template was to observe what others were doing who seemingly were successful and imitate them. That meant finish school, get a job, save money, get married and live happily ever after. I had a job; I was limping through school and I was saving money. The life reversal was in full effect though there was still something missing in my soul.

I did not know God.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

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