My name is Yale Brown I'm a childhood friend of Paul. This is my story from growing up as a kid, to the night I believed God was true and gave my life to him.
I moved to New Jersey when I was 11 month's old, two houses down from our house was the Erbe's. I was blessed to live next to them but never knew how powerful it would turn out to be.
I think of Mr. Erbe as my grandfather and call him uncle Wes, and Mrs. Erbe aunt Sally. I always felt like one of them. I was close to Janet (babysitter) and Paul because they were always around. I was close to the rest when they came home from college.
One of my fondest memorie's is sitting at the bottom of the steps as a kid playing on their organ with Paul and he would always say "Wally we are Jamming for Jesus" now I always thought that was funny as a kid, and I also remember thinking to myself every Sunday "Boy they have to go to church and I can sleep in ha. I was over their house everyday of my life growing up, and I can't tell you how much they always had their faith even during the hard times. They were my true intro to God and his love.
I grew up like any other kid in a small town, played every sport I could, and just enjoyed riding bikes for mile's on country roads and causing trouble around town. After graduating high school I moved to Florida and four months later joined the marines.
After the marines, my life went down hill faster then Lindsey Vonn. I ended up working at a bar/club and started doing drug's and drinking. I eventually left the bar scene and worked as a stock broker but I was still addicted to drugs and alcohol. What once was maybe twice a week turned out to be 5 to 6 days a week and double what I was doing a year before. I always thought then I was living a dream, but it was really a nightmare and I hurt so many people.
I ended up losing everything, I moved to NC to escape that life. It helped some, but The devil still found me. I left NC after a year and moved back to Florida still caught up in the drug's and drinking, when I lost a friend because of it, I said "enough."
I started to live my life as pure as I could, I stopped going out on Friday night's because I knew the devil was after me. I would tell myself "one beer" but it would turn into ten. After a couple years I slowly stopped drinking so much.
One night I was sitting in my room in the middle of a business deal. I found myself praying for the deal, and the next day I got the news I prayed for. I was unsure if God really did it or if it was just my hard work.
For the next two years I floated in and out of different church's to catch a mass, and always left feeling like a million bucks, but that was the end of it until the next Sunday.
I was talking to my Dad one night in mid March of 09 and we got on faith, he said he never blamed God for anything. He knew God was a true and loving God because God gave us kids to him, and that was all he truly needed to be happy.
That really struck a cord with me and that was when I truly started to search God out. Instead of being a weekend warrior, I was reading the Bible every night, praying before everyday ahead of me and praying for friends, who were fighting the devil with addiction. I thought God was good and he was truly with me until July 24th.
My father was sick for the week of July 20-27th. He kept saying he had a bad flu. He went to the Dr.'s four time's and tested to see if it was possibly H1N1 nothing came back positive. I remember saying to a friend on Tuesday night of that week "I think my father is dying" words that haunted me and something I never would have said in my life.
July 25th I was doing a Job in Juno Beach FL with my brother Bruce. I told him how dad had been sick and asked him to please swing by the house on his way home to check on him since my girlfriend and I were going to a Rascall Flatts concert.
Bruce called me as I was walking into the concert and told me that they had put my father in the hospital. I called my father and said to him "I am coming down to be with you" my dad was never a person to let us worry, or stop you from a good time, so he said to me "Yale they have me hooked up to an IV and I am feeling better enjoy the concert, besides this place sucks, so see you tomorrow. I love you very much, now enjoy the concert." So with a heavy heart I went, not wanting to go against my Fathers wishes, I regretted going for a long time.
On Saturday Morning at 6:20 my father crashed, they got him back after 20 mins. My mom had called my cell phone, but it was dead, she then called and left 3 messages on my girlfriends phone, she said I needed to get there.
I fell asleep on my girlfriends couch that night I woke her up around 7am because I needed her to drop me off at the Hospital. While I was in the shower she came in and said "Yale, your mom said to get to Delray Medical Center now!" I instantly knew this was not good.
When I got to the hospital I knew it was worse then I could ever think. My mom my two brothers and aunt were sitting there, and my mom said to me "Dad crashed, he is still alive, but they think he's brain dead".
I instantly felt pain and anger. I told everyone to let me go see him by myself, and when I walked into the ICU and saw him, I cried so hard I couldn't stand, my oldest brother grabbed me and hugged me. That night my brother Ryan flew in from Colorado, and saw my father.
I went home around 8 that night and in my empty house I prayed and these are the words I prayed "God I ask you to come to me and show me your love. I need you to take care of my father". The next day I walked into the hospital around 9 am Sunday morning the Dr. said to us "I honestly thought he wouldn't make it through the night, and I have never seen anyone open his eye's and respond like he is doing right now, think you got your miracle" And at that point I cried, cause God blessed him and all of us.
I remember seeing him and saying "Dad I love you" with that he grabbed my hand and squeezed it 3 times, and blinked his eye's. I sat with my father that day, heartbroken and prayed with him and stayed til 10 that night.
I went home with some hope, and prayed and prayed. We got a call at 1:15 am that night, that he had a grand Mal sezuir and to get there right away. We got there and sitting there with tears in my eye's and my heart in a million places, I felt the Holy Spirit, and knew then that my father was going to heaven. I sat there and started to praise Him out loud, and my brother's and mother just looked at me like "where did that come from"
I said good bye to my father that night at 3:30 am, and told him that God let me know he was going to be ok and so would the rest of the family. I kissed my father good bye and with tear's coming down my Face I said "Dad I love you and will forever, but please go be with God, cause it's time to go home" and at 5:40 with my brother Ryan and mom, he went to God.
There were many nights after my dad passed away I couldn't sleep, I was still angry but I had given my heart to God and knew he would lead me down this road.
I gave my heart truly to God, in that hospital. I have never looked back and have a relationship with God that I have never had with anyone else on this earth. This is what pure love is. I have been blessed so many time's since that night, and it is the only addiction I have now,
So the moral of the story is this, even when you think nothing can fix a broken heart or whatever it might be, seek God, and seek him everyday, because it only gets better.