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Author: Subject: A Long Awaited Story From Billy Hollems / Sweet River

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  posted on 1/22/2007 at 01:35 PM
My Friends,

Yesterday, my daughter and I, in the light of angels, were held within the arms of God...

It may appear to many of you on my list that Iíve been in hiding...well, basically I have been. As with all of us, we face many changes in our lives, and often times, they are not always the changes we would like to experience. Nothing out of the ordinary for any us...big heartaches from those I considered to be true friends, my career taking on some difficult turns, and experiencing feelings of being lost, alone, and in need of direction. Just living my life, moving the love forward along the path of my journey.

Well, I figured it was as good a time as any to come out of my self inflicted space of funk and hiding, and throw a little sugar your way to let you know that you matter to me.

Anything and everything in my life never seems to fit right until Iím willing to give it away and move it forward...so I thought that I would share a couple of sugar cubes with you and pass on some big loving.

Yesterday, my daughter Marisa and I, were baptized together during our church service before a gathering of over 1000 witnesses. It was certainly one of the most significant experiences of my life. Another most significant moment of my life was witnessing the birth of my daughter, and as many of you already know, I almost lost my wife at the time, Carla, and my baby girl at birth. However, God was with us all, and Baby Girl, Mommy, and I, were blessed with that cool gift of life.

I was baptized as an infant into the Catholic Religion, and along the way, as I grew to be an adult, I actually became a member of a number of different churches and religions finding my way in the direction of God. I went from being raised Catholic, to becoming Lutheran when I was married, to becoming a part of The United Church Of Christ, to finally finding my way into Parkview Christian Church...I think that should just about do it for now. I never need to look far to know how much Iíve been blessed...I look into the eyes of my daughter, and I know that I matter to God, and that grace happens.

My daughter Marisa, has never been baptized into any walk of religion. Over the past ten years since my divorce, my ex-wife Carla and I, have been working really hard at raising our daughter within the structure of a shared parenting agreement. It has never been easy, but we have come a long way, and our relationship with our daughter is surrounded by love and a willingness to share. Due to our situation, Carla and I, have never taken the initiative to have Marisa baptized. So it is now, that Marisa is old enough to decide on her own, to have Jesus Christ and God in her life through the ceremony of baptism. As for me, it was a decision I also made on my own terms at a time other than being baptized as an infant when there was no way of understanding the true meaning of the ceremony.

The baptism ceremony at my church is a full water submersion ceremony, therefore, Marisa and I were blessed with having the opportunity to assist in the baptism of each other. It was an experience of overwhelming love and acceptance. A true sense of forgiveness, authentically within God. Beyond the tears that flowed freely from my eyes, the emotions and love running through my spirit encompassed all that I am, and within my own humility, I was forgiven.

Carla, my ex-wife, has since re-married to a good man, Scott, and they just recently gave birth to a baby girl named Emeri Rose. Scott and I understand, and respect each other, and I know the shared parenting agreement hasnít always been easy for him to accept into his new life and family. Scottís family has accepted both Marisa and I into their family as if we have always been a part of the family, and now my baby girl has a sister...and for that I am grateful.

Although my Christian Church does not require God parents for the children, I know that Scott would be there for my daughter as I would, in the event I choose to walk on, and go home before Marisa is all grown up.

...Yesterday, my daughter and I, in the light of angels, were held within the arms of God.


If you were here with me now, I would give you a big hug...so for now, I would like to share with you a little something I donít always have an opportunity to do, and that is to let you know that you are loved...I love you


Peace

Billy Hollems

[Edited on 1/22/2007 by SweetRiver]

 

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  posted on 1/24/2007 at 12:13 PM
My heart is overwhelmed at the continual out pour of love that this family has to share with each other. This is truly a place of compassion, empathy, friendship, and love...we are all fortunate to have each other...and to think we all came together through the music we all hold so close to our hearts.

...that's really cool.

All, and everyone one of you are within my prayers...this family has always been here for me to hold me up when I felt I was about to fall down...and for that my friends, I am grateful.

Peace

Billy Hollems

 

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  posted on 1/24/2007 at 12:50 PM
Billy, this is great! I love a post so full of Good News! Thank you for describing some key parts of your journey and what it's been meaning for you. And your journey has come to such a good place! It's really uplifting to read.

It's extra good that you and Marisa could experience this together. May God bless you two more and more and forever.

So, brother, I guess now the name "Sweet River" takes on added meaning: the River Jordan.

 

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  posted on 1/28/2007 at 08:58 PM
Thanks for sharing this, Billy. Your daughter is lucky to have a dad (and mom and step-dad) who loves her so much and is dedicated to helping her find a way in life. Bless you all.

 

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  posted on 1/28/2007 at 09:45 PM
Thank you both for sharing in my experience.

Sweet

 

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