Kinda Like Grace 1P - kinda like grace A HOMELESS MAN, A BROKEN WOMAN, AND THE DECISION THAT MADE...
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grace A HOMELESS MAN, A BROKEN WOMAN, AND
THE DECISION THAT MADE THEM FAMILY
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© 2019 Ginger Sprouse
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.Zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.®
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Scripture quotations marked nlt are from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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ISBN 978-1-4002-0788-6 (HC)
ISBN 978-1-4002-0789-3 (eBook)
ISBN 978-1-4002-1607-9 (ITPE)
Library of Congress Cataloging- in- Publication Data
Printed in the United States of America
19 20 21 22 23 LSC 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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This book is dedicated to my beloved husband Dean, who has taken every step of this journey with me. You
are my best friend. All that has been accomplished was truly done by the gracious hand of God, and we got to watch them unfold together! God is so good!
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Chapter 1: Victor
Chapter 2: Noticing
Chapter 3: Some Soul Searching
Chapter 4: Ginger’s Story: Expectations
Chapter 5: Ginger’s Story: Dangerous Dreams
Chapter 6: Ginger’s Story: Utter Rebellion
Chapter 7: Stopping Changes Everything
Chapter 8: A Friendship Is Born
Chapter 9: Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to Me
Chapter 10: What Now?
Chapter 11: New Year and Good- Bye Corner
Chapter 12: You Don’t Scare Me
Chapter 13: Coming Home
Chapter 14: Mother Hubbard
Chapter 15: The Past Makes an Appearance
Chapter 16: Looking in the Mirror
About the Author
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Victor is a sweetheart. In all the time I have known him, I have
never heard him utter an unkind word. A big kid in a grown
man’s body, he is kind, warm, and funny. He refuses to believe
anything but the good about everyone he meets. He has an excep-
tional innocence about him that, frankly, scares me at times.
Despite the fact that he is a grown man, he needs help. A lot of
help. Depending on the day, he calls me his secretary, his driver,
his agent, or his mom. After living on the streets of Clear Lake,
Texas, he knows he needs help navigating life.
He has been a fixture in my town for many years. Anyone
who drove by the shopping center at the intersection of Nasa
Road 1 and El Camino Real saw him. They would talk about
“the guy on the corner” with a perplexed tone and wonder about
him. Street people in our town were the exception more than
the rule, so Victor was an odd sight in our upscale suburban
neighborhood, just two blocks from Space Center Houston.
Depending on the day, he would engage in any number of
behaviors, from dancing and singing to standing stock still and
staring at the sky. He would also traverse the corner in a tight
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circle, tapping the light pole rhythmically and then walk away,
only to rush back to tap it again and again and again. He was
obviously homeless, but he never seemed to ask for anything. He
never held a sign or bothered anyone in the passing cars. He just
minded his own business, in this spot he claimed as his own, and
spent his days dancing to his own tune, rain or shine. Some said
he lived nearby; others said they saw him in different parts of
town over the course of many months. I had seen him regularly
for three years, although I heard he had been living in the area
for eight or more.
I could not tell you what made that particular day different
from any other. It was nothing special. Had I known then what
I know now, about the road I was to traverse with this man, I
cannot say with certainty that I would have stopped.
As strange as it feels to me, many people the world over know
me as that lady who met a homeless man at a busy intersection in
Texas and invited him to live with her family. It makes me cringe
when people say to me, “you’re an angel,” even when said in
utter sincerity and admiration. No, I’m not an angel. I don’t want
anyone to pat me on the back and give me all the reasons why I
should accept the moniker proudly. I want to be honest and tell
them that I was a pretty messed- up person at one time.
When my two children were young, the quest for perfec-
tion landed me on the bottom of a nasty, lonely, dark pit. And
I had no one to blame for the ugly wreck I had made of my life
except myself. In the months following my separation from my
then husband, Ben, instead of being in my warm bed in our cozy
farmhouse, with my little ones tucked in safely upstairs, I was
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alone, living in a sterile apartment in the middle of the city, sleep-
ing on a hard bed with scratchy sheets, with my head throbbing
along with my heart.
It was 2009, and I was turning forty. I hesitate to say I was
having a midlife crisis because that sounds like an excuse, and
many of us have used it as an excuse to sin. I know I did back
then. But I don’t do excuses. Not anymore. Today I sit here and
acknowledge that I’m a person who has always had an aversion
to learning from someone else’s mistakes, always preferring to
make my own.
Funny how with age comes a new way of looking at life.
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C H A P T E R 1
It’s 2017, and I’m hiding out in my garage “office” in suburban
Houston. I don’t mean a pretty garage- turned- office from the
TV show Fixer Upper. I’m referring to a garage office where my
desk is my second husband’s dusty worktable, and the light is a
bare bulb hanging from a cord in the ceiling somewhere above
my head. An old Folgers coffee can has found a new purpose as
my pencil holder, and my view is of my black Jeep and a color-
ful multitude of dried- up spray paint cans lining the shelves like
soldiers. My giant hulk of a dog, Max, sits under my feet, regard-
ing me solemnly as he idly gnaws on his favorite tattered blue
Frisbee. He too is lost in thought, likely wondering how much
longer he has to wait until playtime, while I’m thinking about the
last few years and how it came to be that I’m here, hiding out in
my dusty garage with a meditative dog for a companion.
I’m reflecting on all the bad decisions piled up high like the
boxes and baskets on the shelves surrounding me. I can say that
I possess no self-