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Beard Talk with David Bean
Written in 2002 while living in Orange County, CA.
THE STORY OF ME - Dave Bean
For me, life has been a long, strange trip. The following is a brief testiomy of where I've come from, and how I've gotten to where I am today. I was born in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire, where my parents lived on a hippie commune.
We moved to Boston and I watched my folks divorce at the age of 3. After the divorce, my Mom gave into her hippie urges and we embarked on a journey, that looking back, is a miracle I lived through.
My earliest memories were of life in Cohassett, Mass. We lived in a nice apartment overlooking the bay. After work, my Mom and I would go to the local pub (The Red Lion Inn) and she would drink with her friends and I would tell jokes to them all night. Her best friend babysat me, and was a very interesting character. One night she streaked through the Red Lion Inn wearing nothing but a Nixon mask. Being the only black woman in town she wondered how everyone knew it was her.
This kind of stuff didn't phase me, because I didn't know any other kind of way. To me this was a normal life. After leaving Massachucetts we moved to upstate NY to live on another hippie commune/farm. Everyone was vegetarians, and I was forced to eat soy burgers. The only bathroom was 10 yards from the house, and made for the worst imaginable nightmare in the 15 below NY winters. All the people ever did was smoke the pot they grew, make love, and tease me. I was the only kid around for miles.
The one memory that sticks out in my mind from that time was my Mom and I being at one of her friends house down the road, and watching this guy, tripping on acid, chase his wife (my moms' friend) around the house with an axe. We freaked out and left almost not making home because the roads were so ice covered we almost slid off a hill into a ditch.
We finally left the farm and things became fairly normal. My mom did a 180 degree turn and gave her life to Jesus Christ. We then moved to Watertown, NY where she took a job working for The Association of Retarded Children. For the job we lived in a huge house with 13 retarded girls. My mom took care of them, and we lived there for 3 years.
Since my Mom was now a Christian, I went to a Christian camp one time and had a dramatic encounter with God that I never understood till years later. I don't remember if I asked Christ into my heart or He just introduced Himself to me. In any case I belived in God from that moment on. The only problem was that I didn't know what to do with that belief and it soon became just a fond memory that I still cherish to this day.
While in Watertown, my Mom met Nate, a Godly man. The knew each other for 3 years and then got married. On a side note, they were friends for 2 and a half years, and kissed for the first time the day he proposed to her.
So enter Nate, a new addition to my ever changing world. I like him, but resented him trying to be any kind of father figure to me. Our relationship was rocky, but not too bad. Sooo, we moved to West Springfield, MA. Then to Princeton, NJ, where Nate went to school.
It was this time in my life when all my interests, time and money began going to music. Music became my refuge, my escape from the world that I had a hard time coping with. I would lock myself in my room and listen to The Police, Squeeze, Tom Petty, Devo, B-52's and all the other groups that were just coming out at that time. I spent all my money from birthdays, chores, etc. on my stereo and music. I probaly had the best system of any kid my age.
By the time I was in 9th grade I was a DJ on the school radio station that could be heard for twenty miles. At 13 I would take the train into NY City and Philadelphia to see the Police, Cheap Trick, The Specials, Oingo Boingo, etc. I was very much a loner. Music was My life, my friend.
After NJ we moved to South Florida. Up until this point I was a pretty good kid, I had no desire to do drugs, or skip school or anything bad. Something happended early on in Florida and I just snapped and began drinking and doing drugs, becoming more rebelious and withdrawn from my family, who I really did love very much, even though I think they had their doubts at times.
Summing up the first 7 years of life in Broward County Florida in a couple sentences is this: I became a punk rock, alcoholic, druggie. I was very confused about who I was, what I wanted to become, who my friends were, and most of all-who was God and where was He? I still believed in God very much and desperately wanted to live for Him, but felt like I would never be able to.
I hated myself because I wasn't living like I knew I should be. The Holy Spirit nagged at me for years on and off. This kept me from doing certain things that probably saved my life. I responded to a couple different alter calls to get saved but nothing ever seemed to stick.
I felt as if I was too bad to ever change, and becoming a good Christian was just a dream. So I just lived my life for 7 years my way. I got arrested a few times, did a lot of stupid things, and of course once again lived for music, becoming a part of the Miami punk/hardcore scene.
Early one morning while coming down from an acid trip at a friends house on the beach, I began to seriously take a good look at myself and what I'd become. What I saw Disgusted me. This was nothing new, but this time I felt God there with me giving me the courage and strength I needed to do something about it.
So, I decided right there that I was going to move away from all that I had known for the last 7 years and go to Boston to get away and start over. My Dad lived there and I knew he would let me stay there for awhile. It did me good to go there and while I slipped a few times with certain things, I was making progress.
When I felt it was time to go back, I packed up and moved back to Florida. I still struggled at first, but then I met someone. Her name was Samantha. I met her one day because God had told me to go into a record store where she worked. I went in not knowing why. We met, struck up a conversation, and became friends. She was a strong Christian and she she helped me more than she'll ever know. It got to be where I was doing pretty well, but was still drinking and doing drugs on a few occasions, even still doing acid once or twice. Then it happened.
We were at a church we had gone to a couple of times, and a man visiting from out of town was the guest speaker. He was prophesying over a couple of people then he told me to stand up. He totally read my mail. He started off saying things that confirmed to me that this was God telling me what he was about to say. Things I never told anyone. God knew I needed that because I was and still am very leary of people who claim to speak the words of God to me.
He then proceeded to tell me that I was heading for a drug overdose that was right around the corner, and that if I turned completely to God he would not only save my life but restore everything Satan had taken from me over the years. It was so right on.
It was exactly what I needed. In fact it scared me from ever doing drugs again. From there I decide to go away to Bible school. It was a 9 month school in Texas that was more like a spiritual boot camp. I loved it, and I took off flying in my relationship with God. I threw away hundreds of tapes and albums that used to be "my god". Samantha and I fell more in love during those 9 months.
I was half a country away but I wrote her once sometimes twice a day for nine months. When I got back Sam and I dated, and after 3 years of knowing each other got married. We moved to Atlanta and then Costa Mesa, California where we live now. Now I am living the life that I used to dream about: A life filled with the joy of knowing my creator intimately. God has blessed me beyond my dreams with a awesome wife, and a love for Him that Grows daily.
I certainly have my share of troubles and problems, but now those cause my roots in Christ to grow deeper and become more solid in Him. God is so rad!