God has blessed me far better than I deserve! I had the privilege to be able to go back home, in IOWA!!! I’m thankful that it’s only a five and a half hour drive there! But not only did I get to go physically home, God blessed me with bringing me closer spiritually home with Him as well!

But before that explanation, let’s do story time, with Jesup! 😉
I was not planning on coming home for Thanksgiving, and it had been detailed and planned that way. The original plan was to spend time with McIntire and Banks for a “Staff Thanksgiving”. Everyone else had already planned out their leave times, for a majority of us were leaving that evening, or right after work! Then, I was going to spend some time over at the Fischer’s, and join them for their Thanksgiving, that Mama Fischer had invited me too! Then, it was just going to be a normal weekend, get some chores done, shopping lists made, practice for Sunday Worship, and then back to work on Monday!
Well, everything went as planned, and then the day before, my Mom had asked if I was able to come home, could I. Of course I would Momma! In a heartbeat! Well, we planned out if I was able to come, I’d be there from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon! Well, then she said she was going to put funds into my account, and then it all went from there! Praise the Lord homies! So, I got to spend the rest of the holiday weekend with my family and friends back home!

Most importantly though, I got to spend some much needed time home. Home needed me, and I needed home. I had the beautiful opportunity to see my various loved ones again! I got to receive and give hugs! (For those who don’t know, I’m a big teddy bear, and I absolutely love hugs, physical touch! Definitely my number one for the “Love Languages”) the kind of hugs that builds for a while, and then finally get to take part in! I got to spend late nights, much talking, and deep, intimate phileō love, and even deeper storgē love!

This is critical in my life, because this is a situation and feeling that a majority of my family are not used to going through, and to be honest, it’s a God thing! All the way, one-hundred percent! So, to be able to see the Lord working in my family’s lives was very important to me, and really rocked me to my core, in the sense of peace and joy!

I even had the privilege of finding some old encouragement notes from my Mom, but I had never seen it before until right there! It was from 2012, and I used to have these little notebooks I carried everywhere with me, and she had written on sever pages to leave me note about my birthday, and how much she loved me! It reads;

“Sund 10-21-12
Jesup- found this in your pants pocket with pencil- In 9 days you will b e 16yrs old- In 9 days marks one of the very best days of my life!! Not only were the 2 1/2 days of labor over LOL, but it marks the day I fell in love for the first time in my life, holding you in my arms, looking down at you so very small, I was mesmerized by the tiny life I had created. All I could do was stare at you in wonder, fear of the future, and so very excited at the same time. That first night of your life we slept together- I wanted you close to me after carrying you for 9 months! I will never forget the feeling of holding you so small on my chest close to my heart…… And no matter how tall you get or how far away from me you are…. you will always be in my chest- in my heart where you belong!! You amaze me daily! You are becoming the man I always hoped you would turn out to be. Be proud of who/what you are!  Because you are perfect to me. I love you! I appreciate you! You make me smile! You bring happiness in my daily life!
Love, Mom <3″

My Mom is definitely one of the most important influences in my life, and I am so blessed to have her as my Mom! I needed this note, because it helped dig me up out of some pain I was in, but to also bring me back to, well, me! The self that God has been molding me to be! I wasn’t gone, but  I wasn’t fully here either, and I needed to come home! I also had the privilege of hearing my Mom’s heart, and we had a deep conversation about her thoughts and feelings, and to encourage her in any way I could, or bring down any false beliefs that Satan was giving her!
Getting the chance to spend time and see my younger siblings, Devon and Jordan, doing some dishes with Jordan, and cuddling with Devon to wake him up when I got home! Definitely a great time at Mom’s house!

Then, to follow along with the weekend, I had the chance to surprise my Dad, Chuck Wilson, my Step-Mom Angie, and my two other younger sisters, Lilly and Hailie! Now, since they have not a single clue that I was coming, it definitely surprised them, especially my Dad! So, Jordan had wanted to go to Dad’s, Mom said that was fine, and I had asked if I could drive her over. She said yeah! We got ready, and we were off! As we pull through the driveway, I had asked her if they knew you were here, and she said no, because she wanted to surprise them. Like brother, like sister! Well, the door was locked, surprisingly! So I used my sweet pick-locking skills (actually, those are for emergencies only) and I knocked on the door. Lilly opened the door, looked at us, realized it was us, and screams “JESUP!!!” and gives me a tight, big hug! Then Hailie comes through and yells “JESUP!!!” and I pick them both up in this big hug and carry them back to the other room! Walked through, put the girls down, and said “Hey you beautiful souls! Surprise! Happy Thanksgiving!” Pops gets up and gives me this huge hug, talks about how it’s great to see me again, that he misses me often, and that he loves me! *insert start of tears here* Of course, then I walk to Ma and give her a hug as well! Then, as the normal, anarchist oldest brother that I am, the girls (Lilly and Hailie) start pushing me, instigating they want to play wrestle! Uh, YEAAH!!! So I picked them both up, one on each arm, and gently placed them on the couch, and tickled the both of them! Later Dad and I had the opportunity to talk together, and he opened up to me in a way that hasn’t happened in a while, possible ever!
Now, I don’t mean to say that and have it be interpreted that my Dad doesn’t love me. He most certainly does! It’s to express that we’re in a different time in our lives, and God is continually working through everything we go through in life, whether we see it or not, and God blessed me the privilege of seeing and being a part of this amazing moment! We talked for a while, comforted and consoled, cried, and had these moments of closeness that we’ve never experienced before! (Thanks God!)

I guess some background information, because context is key. I’m the only one in my family with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and have committed to serving Him in anyway possible! My family, with a variety of beliefs, of God, or lack of God, or anything in between, there’s a bit of a perspective difference. So, to have my Dad say that he’s seeing things differently, seeing more of God, this had me in tears of Joy! I still have them as I reminisce in the moments! I needed these, and so did my Dad! It was relieving, to be blessed with what God is doing within my family. I’m thankful and grateful, filled with peace and joy, and stoked about the future!

To end this amazing weekend, I had the blessed opportunity to serve in the service on Sunday, at Plano Christian Church! Playing with a variety of new people to me, inspired by their talents and gifts, to hear their lovely voices, and most of all, to praise our Lord together! Couldn’t beat that, able to play acoustic guitar! But wait, there’s more!!!
I wore my OCC sweatshirt, and a few people recognized that, and came and talked with me about it! (Talk about a way to break the ice) I got the chance to meet a couple who’s grandchild actually is in her Freshman year at OCC! How their sons had attended, graduated, and have their ministries! It was phenomenal! And, I got to meet a new face from church! She saw my sweatshirt, and had said “Hey, I was going to go there! But didn’t, obviously.” Introduced ourselves, and talked about ourselves, got to say where I was from, how I was here, and likewise, she did the same.

Well, I kinda got caught up, but not really!!! That’s alright. Now, looking forward, I’m hoping to be able to volunteer more time at church, help where I could serve God best! God’s blessed me with another opportunity to play for service with an amazing group of Christians, hoping to make it home safely for Christmas, getting ready to head to a performance that a band, The Elim Arrival (look them up, you won’t regret it), will be putting on, hoping to bring many people there! I’m excited!
Also, more camp things! This week, it’s just been McIntire and I, and we haven’t done any damage to the camp, but have kept it going smoothly! Laughs, tiredness, keeping each other accountable, and serving our Lord! We miss our Dickson Valley Family, and they’ll be back home soon! I’m grateful for McIntire, and the fun we have, but along with the seriousness to do our best!

I’ve been in a bit of my Abyss again, but this last weekend, was a bit of a revival, to bring me up, all coordinated by the Almighty One! The joy of the Lord is my strength! God has given me a spirit not of fear, but of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline. I have nothing to be anxious about when I bring it to Him in prayer, with thanksgiving to Him.

I’m ready for more revivals, or bringing people to life, His Life, brought to us lovingly on the cross! As Jesus’ arms spread wide, so did our Father in Heaven spread His arms wide, in love! “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9 ESV
Well, I’m ready to come to the altar! I’m still learning, and excited to learn more things! But most of all, I’m ready to love unconditionally, to serve others, to be His light in our dark, yet still beautiful world. Praise be to God, for I don’t deserve this! Yet, He still chooses me! Let’s get to choosing Him.

Always and Forever… Amen.