I have always felt it would be a good thing to share my story. So, I think it’s about time for me to do that. I don’t know how long it will take. But, I need to share it. And if you are reading this, I also know that for the good of all of us and to bring a smile to God’s face you need to share yours as well. By the way I am the little boy on the right in the picture 🙂
So here goes… I will start today and take as many days or weeks as I need to tell the tale.
I have always believed and known God. From my first memories He has been my companion. I say “Him” because God was always introduced to me as a male and the Bible I read refers to “Him” and the full expression of God was in the person of Jesus Christ, a man from a little “good for nothing” town called Nazareth. So, God as a Him makes sense to me, but honestly I don’t know if it matters. It may.. but the women I have depended on and others that I respect and even some that I am struggling with reflect what God is like…. so you’ll have to work that out for yourself. And, for the sake of my tale I invite you to translate “He” into “She” or “it doesn’t really matter to you” if it helps you stay on the journey with me.
So, with God as my companion and Shepherd I started making my way. The name I was given by my mom and dad was Dana Charles Lamos. My grandfather’s name was Charles. So, I was granted that name in His honor. I love that man!! Love that I have his name to carry. However, there are two other names I sort of wish my parents had given me.
One of those names is John. That’s my dad’s name and my oldest son’s name. John True Lamos to be precise. My older brother carries my dad’s name Darrell John Lamos. That’s cool to me because he stepped in and fathered me when John couldn’t be around to get me through many of the the fun times and the crappy times of growing up.
The other name I would have liked to have is “Daniel”. I wish my legal name was Daniel. There is a confession! I am not sure my family really dug me as “Dana”. In fact they always called me “Dan” or “Danny” from the first day I can remember. But, the name on my record of birth is Dana.
Thus started a strange dynamic to my story. I had always been Dan or Danny until I entered the public school system in Springfield, Massachusetts at 4 years old. At that time I became Dana Lamos to my all of my teachers and my school friends and enemies I might add. I remained Danny at home. This was always comical to my siblings and school friends when they called the house looking for me… lots of wrong numbers… The two identities grew throughout my school career. It was convenient for me since I found that the Jesus I knew at home and with my church family knew me as Dan and the Jesus that was an undercover spy with me whenever I mingled with my teachers and the rest of the school crowd and school programs knew me as Dana.
The undercover detective Jesus was the one that I most trusted with my life in those school years. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Never really discussed it with anyone. But, I worked hard at developing the character and I pulled it off for the most part.
Since I really didn’t feel I could share my strategy with my mom & dad or my brother and because of my immaturity, I never realized that I was building a prison for myself. My friends were aware that I was doing this. But, I guess we all sort of had each others back and we couldn’t afford to blow each other’s cover.
In those years I did find that my older sister, Dawn was someone that I could let into my world. She seemed to be aware of both Danny and Dana and she unconditionally loved us both. She probably had no idea or maybe to this day will never really understand how the Holy Spirit was using her to keep me “sane” and to show me what God was really all about. He was absolutely never going to leave me or forsake me! She never ever told me that with words. But, through our friendship, family bond and many stumblings and attempts to get up, brush ourselves off and start again she sent the message loud and clear.
As I think about that, I am really thankful for my family who has always affirmed me “as I am” as someone God loves and that He and they would never forsake me. I am richer because of them!
to be continued…