About Tom

“The Rest of the Story”

Over the last several months I have enjoyed writing this column. I have sought to share with others what our lives are like here on our farm. I hope and pray that these true stories have been a blessing and encouragement to many of you readers out there. I have received a number of very favorable comments from people face to face, over the phone, and through the mail. I have also had a couple of people that have been extremely upset with my writing. One yelled at me over the phone, “Not everyone believes like you do!”

The other day in town I met a real nice lady who is a very faithful reader of this column. She made a statement that totally shocked me. She said, “Tom, your stories are all so uplifting that all of us with jobs are going to want to quit them and go into farming with our families.” I was so surprised and replied, “Well, farming isn’t always easy. We have problems and troubles on our farm, too.” She replied, “Yes, I know, but you work together and overcome them as a family. It’s wonderful!” I had to agree with her on that, but also told her there was a lot more to it than just that. Here’s the rest of the story:

Shortly after I was born my parents had me water baptized as an infant in the church they attended. We attended that church on a weekly basis; and a number of years later, I was confirmed top in my class. I remained active in the church and did very well in high school. But my life was a disaster. So much so, that at the end of 1979, I nearly ended my life. I now thank the Lord for his mercy and for good doctors. I remember waking up on January 1st, l980, in a hospital room with a TV on. The parades were on and the announcers were talking about what an exciting, fabulous year and decade lay ahead for us. I would have liked to have taken that TV and busted it into a thousand pieces because my life ahead looked terrible to me.

Well, I got out of the hospital and went back to my old life. I graduated from high school and went to work full time on my parents’ dairy farm as a hired man. I really didn’t know what else to do. I enjoyed the outdoors and the farm animals, but yet my life was empty. I did not like the person that I was; yet when I would try and change, I would continually end in failure. I knew I was not right with God. I knew back then that if I were to die, or take my life, I would most certainly go to hell.

I well remember January 17, 1982. It was a Sunday, and I did not make it to church that day. It was about noon by the time I finished up all the barn chores. I stood outside the barn door looking across the landscape before me. The fields were covered with a thick blanket of snow. The trees all stood stark and leafless in the bitter cold. I stood there thinking, “Everything outside here looks so dead, cold and lifeless—like I am inside.” I did not like it at all, but I didn’t know how to change it.

I went into the house and started to look through a pile of stuff on my desk. I came across a book, Meeting God at Every Turn, by Catherine Marshall. The book really caught my attention. So I took it to my bedroom and started to read it. In the book the author tells how, as a very young girl, she repented of her sins and asked Jesus to forgive her. She made him Lord of her life and committed to follow him all the rest of her days. Her account of how God so loved, guided, and provided for her after this was absolutely eye opening to me. I had never heard of, or known of, a God like this before in my life. Right there, in my bedroom that day, I got down on my knees and asked God to forgive me of all the terrible sins I had committed in my life. I repented of them, and then I asked Jesus to come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. I asked him to lead and guide me in my life, even as he had Catherine Marshall. I promised to follow him the rest of my life.

When I got off my knees that day, I was a different person. I knew then that if I were to die, I’d go to heaven. As I looked out over the fields and trees, they didn’t look so cold, lifeless, and dead any more. For the first time in my life, I was really alive.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That’s what happened to me that day, and my life has never been the same since. He has led and guided me these many years now. Since that day I have never thought about taking my life again. I live today and do what I do because of Jesus. He has given me life and “that more abundantly.” I love him with all my heart and seek to live every day to glorify him.

It doesn’t matter where you are or how messed up your life is. God loves you just as much as he does me. He has a wonderful plan for your life, just like he had a wonderful plan for my life. I have never regretted totally surrendering my life to him that day years ago. I just wish I would have done it sooner. If you have never given your life to the Lord, I can’t urge you strongly enough to do so today.

Tom Heck, his wife Joanne, and their two children Catherine and Joshua, own and operate a 35 cow, 159 acre dairy farm in northwestern WI. Contact Tom at: lifeonthefamilyfarm@gmail.com  Copyright © 2011 by Tom Heck.  All rights reserved.

One Response to “About Tom”

  1. Toney December 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Toney


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