Diary of a Drywaller: Chapter 11
Doug Bellamy / November 2018
I tossed a burning cigarette into my wishing well. Watched it turning cold and wet, watched it as it fell.
I climbed the stairway to heaven, but at the top I stopped and found myself in hell.
I dressed myself in fine apparel and moved toward the mirror. All I saw were rags, that’s all, each step as I drew nearer.
I chased a rainbow to its end, to watch it bounce and go again, and I am like so many men, I’d do it all again.
Or would I???
Sometime, early 1979
Having lost everything in such a short period was overwhelming. Separation and divorce can do that to a business and or a couple, quick. It’s happened to hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of both. That much I can say, firsthand. Separation places an immediate financial burden on the couple and, in our case, the business. Many expenses nearly double instantly. That’s not the only financial weight. There’s also the crazy kinds of things that each of the two that once made up a couple do when separated. It’s an extremely emotional and irrational period. All that was true of us. Depending on your reserves, that cost can take its toll in a hurry. In a year and a half of separation we were wiped out financially.
Every night as I fell asleep, I knew intuitively that I was somewhere I didn’t belong. I was haunted by a single Bible verse that I had become all too familiar with as I grew up: “Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your heart … .” Yes, that single verse from the book of Hebrews seemed to never quit echoing in my mind.
I was living in a small rented cottage with someone, a young lady that I had no business with. I tried desperately to make that situation right but nevertheless everything about it was hopelessly wrong. Time after time my wife would tell me that I was destined to return to her. I told her repeatedly that it would take a miracle, and a miracle is exactly what it took. Fortunately for me, she never gave up.
Let me tell you the story of a dream, the voice that followed, which then resulted in that very miracle.
One evening, not unlike any other evening during that period, I fell asleep a bit early. As I did, I dreamt. In the dream I was sitting on the couch with the young lady whom I had lived with off and on for the last year and a half.
A door across the room creeped open slightly, slowly bending on its hinges just a bit, with a slight creaking sound. A tiny, adorable kitten peeked out from around the corner. Immediately she was enamored with the kitten and began to call it. “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.”
Somehow, instinctively I knew something was wrong. The kitten seemed evil for some reason. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Nevertheless, I knew instinctively that the kitten should not come anywhere near us. I turned to her frantically and said “No! Don’t! Stop calling that kitten.” As I turned, immediately the kitten turned into a lion that overtook me and began eating me alive.
In that instant, I awoke, startled to say the least. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the meaning of the dream.
It was clear to me that I should not spend any more time trying to convince this girl about good and evil or the existence of God and/or the devil.
I had been raised in a Judeo Christian home and also had what I’ll call a divine encounter or two as I grew into a young man. I knew better, I’m not sure she did.
In fact, I’m certain she had no concept, nor such a background. It was completely foreign to her, as I might imagine, is true of some of you as well. Nevertheless, this is exactly what happened and how it played out. Hang in there; it gets really interesting, quick.
I had been trying to convince her over and over again of that reality. She was never quite sure. The dream made it clear to me that it was not my place to convince her. It also terrified me. If I continued, I would wind up destroyed. With what had already happened to me I could only imagine how much worse my life might get.
Frantically I began to pray. I got up out of bed and grabbed my Bible. I opened it to Judges Chapter 16. I didn’t do so intentionally, it just seemed to fall open and lay cradled in my two hands. Meanwhile, she laid there silently, still sleeping.
For those of you who don’t know, the story that is written in Judges Chapter 16 is the story of Samson and Delilah.
As I read, the application and similarities to my situation grew crystal clear.
What happened next changed my life and my family forever.
Doug Bellamy is former president of Innovative Drywall Systems Inc. dba Alta Drywall, Escondido, Calif. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.