Proctor M.

Proctor M.

from OK
Story #644
My Spiritual Journey

I, Proctor Mullen Jr., was born the seventh child of Proctor and Alma Mullen. No, I was not the firstborn or the last to be born; they, Ruby and Charles Wayne were the first and the last and they seemed to get all the attention. Anna Lois was the “often over looked” middle child and I was even two notches below her. However, I always felt blessed to be a part of the Mullen Clan.

You could call us a stable family, very stable family indeed. Papa and Mama grew up as neighbors a couple miles apart and lived their entire married lives on the same farm on which Papa was born. He was born in 1897 on his family’s homestead located in central Indian Territory, ten years before it became the state of Oklahoma. Of course, I, and all my siblings, were born on the same farm and attended all the same schools and churches that they had attended.
Now, about my knowing God; as long as I can remember I knew for sure that God was #1. He made everything, He knew everything, and He could do anything. I learned this at home, at church, and even at school. Mama and Papa was always praying and/or talking about Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit, like somehow they were all the same person. This went on all the time about every situation as long as I can remember. I’ve always known about God.
However, it wasn’t long before I learned that I had a mind of my own and some ideas of my own, most of which were against the way I knew God wanted me to live. During my early grade school years, three events happened in my life that caused me to think a lot about heaven and hell. During WWII in 1945, Bill, my oldest brother was killed in France. A few days later in Germany, my next brother, Glen, was seriously wounded with shrapnel. Then in the summer of 1947 on a clear hot Sunday afternoon, my little sister, Carolyn, drowned in the farm pond. This was a terrible sad time for me. I couldn’t understand why God was doing these things to our family that felt like horrible punishment. Was it for things they had done? Surely not. Was I being punished for not living the way that I knew God wanted me to live? That certainly was not fair. Was it?

While growing up, all of us kids were at church every time the doors were open. In addition to the three regular Sunday and Wednesday meetings, we were expected to go twice a year to seven day revival meetings held in our church. Then once we reached the 6th grade, there were always Quaker Haven Camps that zeroed in on our giving our lives completely and totally to Christ. Was I ready or not for such a commitment? Not yet. I felt like I had plenty of time to “be saved.” For just a little while longer I wanted to live like I wanted to live and do it with my friends. I knew God wasn’t going anywhere.

During my last months of high school I stopped attending church regularly with my family and looked forward to getting away to college. However, when I realized I would have to start studying for the first time in my life, I dropped out of college and joined the workforce laying bricks with one of my buddies. I felt that I could put God on hold for just a little bit longer. That little bit longer turned into half a century.

During the next 50 years, my life was mostly a series of ups and downs, highs and lows, good jobs and no jobs, feasts and famines. Through these decades, there were still a few things that were fairly consistent in my life. First, I loved my growing family both immediate and extended, because I loved the fun times we had together and I knew that most of the adults were praying for us. Second, I continually abused my body; breaking down my systems one day at a time with unhealthy working conditions and bad habits. While I knew Superman was a myth, I lived my life like I was invincible. And third, I had no time for God because I was selfish, full of pride, and extremely stubborn. No matter how much I hurt, how much I hurt others, or how bad everything around me got to be, I always thought I was strong enough and capable enough - on my own - to pull myself together and make everything ok. I was wrong. Just a little over four years ago after some near-death stays in the hospital, I realized that I was so very very wrong about so many many things. I was hanging on to the end of life’s rope and I let go.

I cried out to God and quite beyond my understanding of how and why, I landed in God’s Loving Arms instead of the hell that I deserved. And now in March of 2019 all my systems are shutting down and I have just learned that I have lung cancer. I know I am alive today by God’s Mercy and Grace. I now have peace that is beyond my understanding and joy that I can’t explain. I’ve told some of you but I want all to know that I could have and probably should have been dead many times in the last 81 years. Some in this world might call it luck or good fortune, but I call it God’s Miracles in my life. These miracles were made possible by the support, love, and prayers of my family to the Almighty God who allowed Jesus to pay the penalty of my sins.

Obviously, God is not through with me yet, but almost. My final message to all my loved ones and friends, is to take my advice and not my example. By faith, repent and turn your life completely over to Jesus while you still have time. Then STAND BACK and WATCH as you Trust and Obey; He will change you into a new creature, Pure, Holy, and Perfect in His sight. I don’t get it. As I look into a mirror and see my 120-pound body wasting away, I don’t get it. But, I believe it; He is God and I love Him.

I also love all of you and am praying that I will see you soon,
Proctor