MY 1ST JULY 4TH...
I was NOT only 1 year old at the time, but it's the first main one I remember. I was turning 5 years old near the 4th of July, because my birthday is on the 9th.
My Dad hadn't been in my life on a regular basis until about a year before that.
In April, 1950, we moved into Kenton, Washington, near Vancouver, which was a slummy area and we lived in an ugly little house with brown asbestos siding. The neighborhood had pigs and chickens running loose, and rats, and lots of dirt. The kids were mean, too, and I was littler than most of them, having been born as a preemie.
One day, shortly before the 4th, a 7-year old boy, a bully, came up to me and poked me under my chin with a firecracker punk and burned me. When he took off, I ran to my parents and told them, crying, of course.
My Dad made a decision. The best thing that could be done was to teach me how to fight. So, he spent time coaching me on the "old one-two" boxing punch. He worked me hard, believe me.
Then, a few days later, between the 4th and my birthday, the 9th, "Bully" came to the fence in front of our house and stared at me with a kind of mean look on his face. My Dad happened to be in the front yard with me. Dad nodded at me to go outside the fence. He backed under a tree and watched.
I walked out, looked at the boy, walked up to him, and took my right arm and swung it at him the way my Dad had said to do it. I hit him in his stomach with swing number 1 and immediately hit his chin with number 2. I said each number as I was swinging my arm.
What did he do? He ran away. The bully had been bullied by a skinny, short, young GIRL. Don't think he could ever have imagined that. [And I bet he didn't ever tell anyone about it!]
Now, the results.
#1 -- Dad was pleased with how I did it. Despite the fact that in our present day, a dad usually would approach the bully's family, back then my Dad handled it differently. He had been raised as a fighter, period. Family battles were constant in his life. He didn't see a better way to deal with these tough situations. So training me fit right into his view. Seemed the safest thing to do for me.
#2 -- The portion of Satan planted thoughts in my heart that stayed there until I was 20 years old and came to the Lord. And even then, it did not change immediately; it took some time. The thoughts/lies were: You're on your own. You fight for yourself. Can't trust anyone else to take care of you.
And, this was the beginning of a life-style for me. Yes, as you would see on some of my posts, I was a fighter, physically, from that point on. [Some parents and kids considered me a bully!... Hmm!]
The good result? Now I am a "fighter" for our Lord and constantly focused on the spiritual warfare. Fighting is not uncomfortable for me any more. Why? Because my Spiritual Dad is now my Heavenly Father and when I obey Him, moving into a battle, fighting spiritual "bullies" for the sake of other struggling people, the results will be eternal.
Happy 4th of July!