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Scott Duckworth, My Testimony, My Life

I don't have any memories from age 5 back. Maybe that was God's way of protecting me. I'm told my mother battled several bouts of depression during that time.
About age 7 my parents divorced. I made a decision to stay with my father. I don't know why, I just did. I had weekly visits with my mom, usually on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I don't know why, but about age 8 (actually Nov. 3, 1968, according to Mom's Bible) I was at church with my mom. During the invitation, Mom asked me if I needed to be saved. I was going to be a tough little boy and said no. But next verse, I had my mom's hand and said "Mom, I do need to be saved". I don't remember, the date, and had to look it up for this page, I don't remember the sermon. But I remember the place, and what happened in my heart.

My life from that time was pretty uneventful. Except for dad's two marriages, mom's marriage, two major surgeries for myself, and all the other stuff that life throws at you. Through high school, I pretty much had just a few friends, most of whom to my knowledge were pretty "straight", no drugs, alcohol, etc. Just cars, trucks, normal teen age stuff.

Then, after high school, my life started a downhill turn. I went to college, and met up with a whole new group of friends. I started drinking. In fact I got to the point I would stop at 7AM on the way to college and get a beer to start the day. Then, I met a girl, and we started doing marijuana. I did some speed and other drugs too.

That relationship ended and I wound up working in a night club. Became a bouncer. Got to the point a few beers wasn't enough any more. Started doing the "late night" clubs where liquor was sold. And usually came home (most of the time) plastered. My life was pretty much out of control.

Then, a course of events happened that devastated me. My grandmother started getting advanced dementia, and my dad and I had to put her in a nursing home. One month later, my dad died of a massive heart attack. I can remember that night. We had went to bed around 10PM. Dad was up 20 minutes later, and had a hold of the door frame trying to "stretch a cramp out". He described it and I knew what was happening. I knew I didn't have time to call for an ambulance, so I drove him to the hospital. He walked in under his own power and told the nurse "I think I may have had a heart attack".

I had to sign some papers, and they let me go back in the emergency room to see him. I'll never forget his last words to me. "It's OK son, I'll be OK." They told me they were taking him to ICU. As they rolled him down one hall, I paralleled them down another, and as I looked across, they started running with him. I was alone. I'm an only child of two only children. I called the only person I thought might could help, my grandfather, Rev. Carl Beck. He came, and brought my other grandmother and my mom. We prayed, and then I was told, my dad had died.

Let me interject something here. I worshiped my dad. We had become close friends. We bought cars together. We collected guns together. And, sometimes, we drank together. As a small child, before he and mom divorced, I can remember us all going to church. Then, after the divorce, he took me and my grandmother to church, and then came back and got us. As my dad passed that night, I did not know if he had went to heaven or not. I found out later that my grandfather Beck was the one who had led him to the Lord, and had baptized him. I also found out from one of his friends, that about two weeks before he died, he had evidently repented, and the friend said dad was reading the Bible, instead of a newspaper at work. I understood why Dad said
"It's OK son, I'll be OK."

Well, all of the sudden, life hit me square in the face. Here I had a funeral to plan, and a grandmother in a nursing home to see after. I figured I would straighten my life up. I got the funeral behind me, got the legal processes started regarding dad's estate, and the care of my grandmother, then started a job driving a school bus. I stopped drugs and alcohol, and started going to church regularly. Pretty good huh? Not really...

You see, I was a Christian that wanted God to see what I was doing for Him. It was "look God, I'm in church, I'm staying sober, and I even put a dollar in the offering today". I don't think God was impressed.

For a couple of years, I occupied my time driving a school bus, and fishing. Then I met a lady, and got married for all the wrong reasons. Trust me, physical reasons are not enough, and will not hold a marriage together. We stayed married 5-1/2 years, and maybe went to church 5 times. Then, the marriage broke up. There was some infidelity on her part, but my part of the breakup was worse. I failed in my duty as a husband, father, and man for what God expects. I was faithful physically to her, but I was not faithful to God.

I moved in with Mom. It was Saturday. I knew that I was going to have to go to church with her the very next day. I also knew she had been requesting prayer for me. And, my grandmother Beck, who had Alzheimer's, had been requesting prayer that I would get off drugs and alcohol and get back in church. True, I wasn't in church, but I had been off drugs and alcohol several years. But, I guess I'd just deal with it when I got to church. So that Sunday morning I went.

I went to Westview Baptist Church in Athens Tennessee. My grandfather was music director, my mom pianist. Something amazing happened that morning. I knew a lot of folks there. But they didn't look down on me, or try to avoid me. No, they shook my hand, said "Glad you're here, we know you are going through some tough times, let us know if we can help." And they sincerely meant it.

You know, I had already made up my mind that Monday afternoon, after I let the last child off my bus route, I was going to kill myself. I had it figured out. There was a huge bluff off the side of the road, and I figured if I got going fast enough, and unhooked my seat belt, when the bus crashed, it would throw me through the windshield, the bus would roll over me, and my troubles would be over. I went to church on Sunday morning with that in my mind.

But, I went back Sunday night, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I have no idea what the preacher preached, all I know is when the invitation was given, I had to go to the altar. And God met me there. I had to do business with Him. My first question to God was "Have I ever really been saved?" He took me in my mind back to the place where my Mom had asked me if I needed to be saved. And He confirmed I was. Then, I told God how sorry I was for making a wreck out of my life, that I had nothing left to offer Him, but if He would take me back, I would do my best to do anything and everything He asked me to do. He did, and I have.

I read the Bible and studied for hours each day. I wanted to know where I went wrong, and God showed me. I repented even more if I needed to. A few months later, I began to teach Sunday School. Then, sometime later, my pastor asked me if I would "preach" Wednesday night, as he was going out of town. Me preach, you have got be kidding! But he insisted. So, I prayed. I was scared to death. But God gave me a sermon, and I preached it. And I did several times after that. I started playing bass guitar in church. I started singing in the church quartet when someone was out. I started singing solos. And I STILL DO TODAY!

Then I met a wonderful lady named Jean Veach. We began dating (first date was in church) and then married only a few weeks after we met. We are still married today, still going to church every time we are supposed to, and minister together. Has life been easy? NOPE! But it has been GREAT! Sure we have had struggles. We both now have health problems, and I am disabled. But, with God's help. we plan on being together, serving God, "till death do us part".

My life represents how out of control a life can get if you don't do the things of God you are supposed to do. But, it also represents how loving God is, how "long-suffering" He is, and how His amazing grace extends to us. Yes, God does love us, and wants us for His own. I am glad that He is mine, and I am His! May God bless you!

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