We were off to Greenville to prepare for the ministry. I was excited, but there was more fear. I had prayed a month earlier about a fear of losing my family and not being able to provide for them, but the compelling to go was strong and it seemed like the thing to do and Penny was in favor of doing it. So off to Greenville, South Carolina we went. I moved down in May by myself and began my 5-year Alcoa Recycling Company career, lived in an apartment and Penny came down in July with the kids and we then moved into this very nice house and our life was set. I was in school, working at Alcoa, she found a job with Liberty Life and that was that.

The early days were fun and satisfying and very new to us. We were kids out of our element. Penny’s parents resented the fact that I took their daughter away. They resented it so much that when she left me two years later they came down to her help her move out of our house. They were part of the secret plan to move her out. Even to write these things today sends fear through my body. It was beyond any kind of pain that I had ever experienced. Nevertheless, they were resentful. They thought she was going to move back to NC. She didn’t and never did.

So there we were at #5 Lula Lane in Greenville, SC and my school year had begun. I was fulfilling a dream that I thought would never come to pass. I was going to college. This was an unbelievable experience. I remember sitting in my first year English class and the teacher Richard Hughes began to talk about verbs and asked us what they were. I had no clue. I don’t think I had ever heard of a verb. I was so lost. He said they were action words. This was so foreign to me. It was there when I realized I’d goobered up so many years ago by not taking school seriously. What is a verb? Oh my soul. I’ll never make it through this. I not only did not know what a verb was, but I don’t think I had ever heard the word Valedictorian. And it certainly never crossed my mind that I would be the class Valedictorian four years later. I was, but I’ll save that story for another time.

Our kids stayed at the Tabernacle Day Care and eventually went to Tabernacle school, at least Meredith did. Matthew was too young at that time. Meredith went to K-5 and First Grade before they left home. Matthew was a year away from entering into K-5. We had a fenced in back yard and I played with them often. We climbed trees and hid in the Magnolias. We put a kiddie pool out there and played in it. I pushed them on their tricycles and we threw the ball. It was all I hoped for. We were living the dream.

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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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