After spending some time reading over previous blogs I’ve written, several things have become apparent to me. One of those things is, God is telling an awesome story through our family and it’s been such a blessing to witness His hand at work and the other is, I paint myself and our family in a very good light. Even though it’s not my intention (maybe it is… I mean who wants to look bad on their own blog) I can see how someone could read this blog and think to themselves Who is this spiritual weirdo who thinks He has all the answers to life’s many mysteries and problems? God has taught me many things over the past 28 years but one thing is for certain, I’m just as messed up as everyone else. Here’s just one example out of the many…
When I was a fresh-faced 18 year old I tried chewing tobacco. I was playing college baseball at the time and honestly it wasn’t much different to me than spitting seeds, chewing gum, or sucking on candy. It seemed to go hand in hand with being a baseball player. The first time I tried it, everyone said “you’ll get sick” or “you’ll throw up” but I never did. In fact, I didn’t feel a single thing. I don’t know why but I immediately fell in love with it. I think I would have called chewing tobacco my best friend freshman year at college. It was great. We did everything together. We sat in class, played baseball, video games, watched movies, surfed the Internet, homework, TV, road trips… You get the picture?
I know it kind of sounds like, whats the big deal? This sounds like great times and you’re right, it was. I really did/do love chewing tobacco. Grizzly Wintergreen was my brand and if I had my way, I don’t think I would ever quit. However, I came to the realization that I was undoubtedly addicted to nicotine. Realizing this didn’t make me want to quit though… it just made me feel shameful of the fact that I was addicted to something. When I transferred to Taylor University there was a no-tobacco policy. I quit for a little bit every year but to be honest the sheer game of doing it when your not supposed to was alluring. When I met MaKenzie, I did not disclose the fact that I was an avid dipper so when she found out about it I lied, and then I lied again and again (and again) to try and protect myself. I quickly learned that deception in a relationship (no matter the cause) creates nothing but mistrust, hurt and division.
To this day, I don’t think chewing tobacco is wrong, but what it caused in my life wasn’t good. I wasn’t living in the light and I probably told more lies to friends and family when it came to chew than I care to recall. If I could go back to 18 year old Ross I would say Don’t have that. It’s very good and you’ll love it but its not a good decision. I want my kids to know from a young age that dad is not perfect and they can come to me with anything. I don’t want them to feel shamed by their sin because at the end of the day, there’s no difference in what they are struggling with vs. what I’ve struggled with my whole life. The Gods-honest-truth is, I hadn’t fully quit until we got the news of the babies having TTTS. I don’t know why but this scared me straight and I haven’t had one since. For something that has remained hidden in my life for so long, it’s just another way I feel like God is using this situation to draw out a lot in MaK and I’s lives… even in areas we might have preferred to ignore. He’s a good God and He can be trusted, even with the messy parts of our lives.
Well, now you know.