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Monologue by Mack Murray

Murray, Mack
Perkins, Tisha
Date of Interview: 
overcoming obstacles; relationships with people and places; childhood adventures; then and now
Mack Murray talks about his life as it relates to his faith.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Tisha Perkins interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
[Barking dogs and children's voices in the background] MM (Mack Murray): OK. I want to talk about, uh, my childhood, and growing up, and, uh, well, let's see. There's myself, I have, I have two brothers, I have two older brothers and an older sister and I have a younger sister. I was the baby for seven years which means I was spoiled, um, for seven years and then, then she came along and I wasn't spoiled anymore. Um, but we had, we had a pretty good, a pretty good, um, family life. Uh, mom, dad, it, it was a traditional, uh, family. Um, [pause] school was good. Um, Mom and Dad, you know, cared a lot about us, uh, as far as, uh, making sure that we had the, uh, uh good foundation as far as education and, uh, uh, as a matter of fact, we were, we were in a, a Christian, uh, school and [pause] and that was, uh, that set a good, a good foundation for me as far as being able to, uh, I think be a better parent today for my children. I think it's important to uh, uh, to be involved with, uh, the church and, uh, with, uh, other, uh, fellowship, fellowship with other Christians. I'm still a little nervous. Uh, I, when I was about 10 years old, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. And, uh, started living for the Lord and that was a very good experience for me. Um, and for about, just about five years, it was a very good time, um, uh, trying to be the best witness that I could be for, uh, for Christ and really me. And I moved to North Carolina and it's, uh, OK. We moved to North Carolina and, uh, I felt we, we didn't get involved in church and ( ) high school. It was a very rough time as far as, uh, staying focused and what we should be focused on and, uh, fell far away, astray, uh, uh, pretty far away from uh, from the Lord and from uh, from church. Went to college, uh, had a pretty rough time there, but I did make it through. Uh, got a degree out of, out of, uh, in Business and um, started working in, uh, retail management. That was a lot of fun, uh, except you didn't have the holidays off. Uh, usually you worked harder around, uh, Thanksgiving, Christmas, uh, New Year's, things of that nature, Fourth of July. And it was always, uh, I guess the, the hard part was as soon as school was out, uh, um, a week after school was out, we were getting back-to-school merchandise in, had to start setting up for the, the next fall which, uh, I thought was kind of ironic that, uh, that it, that it would be that way. Uh, this was something that was a good experience for me I think, as far as, uh, being able to experience the, um, the way they buy, how, how much they get, how much merchandise they get and also when they get it. Um, uh, additionally I would say that the Christmas merchandise, it was, it was kind of odd because we would receive that merchandise in the summer, uh, before the, well about six months before they call Christmas season, which, uh, we would have to find a place to put it, which was always a challenge, uh, but it was fun. Um, after that, um, I, hooked up with another company and, I still wasn't, uh, focused on what I really should be focused on. I didn't base it for myself, uh, now that I, I look back on this and I have said that I really did blow a lot of, uh, opportunities, a lot of missed opportunities to uh, to be a witness, uh, to be the, uh, the witness that I should be in my life. Of course, I was single and I guess they call that the time where you're, uh, sowing your oats, uh, sort of, and uh, but I think I was protected again, the whole time as well because, uh, even though I went through a lot of different, uh, there wasn't any tragedy or anything, but, uh, as far as, you know, getting involved with, uh, experimenting with alcohol and things of that nature when you're in school and you're single and, uh, I, I survived it. I don't know how I did, but I thank God that I did. Um, but anyway, after my, uh, year and half or so of retail, I was able to uh, hook up with a company in uh, contract management service, which uh, was a, a different experience only because I wasn't sure what to expect when I got into it. Um, uh, I went to school to get a management degree, um, and I didn't get to use my degree very often in retail management. It was basically being a stock boy with a tie on and then getting called to the front to, uh, approve checks. That was a real exciting uh, experience. Well, I guess experience, but it's kind of, it's kind of boring after awhile. You know, you go to school for four years and you get, um, you get to push a hand cart and sign your name on a check. And I felt like I was really missing out on something. So I went into contact management service which, uh, as I said before, was, uh, a little different for me. I was working in healthcare. And, uh, it was, uh, it was exciting, in that, uh, I was able to go to different places. I was able to um, serve in a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland inner city which was a big culture shock for me because I had been, uh, I was grown up and raised in small towns and, uh, to go from a small town to a city of over 1,000,000 people, uh, was very different. Uh, but it was fun, uh, it really was. As I look back now from that experience, uh, it was exciting. Baltimore's a good town, a real good city. And the inner harbor there is beautiful and the malls are, are real nice. Uh, the springs and summers, and then, of course, in the wintertime you get the, uh, breeze off the ocean and it kind of, uh, kind of cuts through you a little bit. But, uh, but it was fun there. But I only spent a few months there and, uh, we lost the contract. And then they sent me to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which was uh, another, uh, exciting place, I guess, to be. But that was, that was the beauty of the contract management service that I was part of. We were able, even, even if we lost the contract, I didn't lose a job. I was able to relocate, um, to different areas. And eventually I'd, um, ended up in the northeast and somewhere, I believe in the year of 1990, uh, um, started to really feel, kind of uh empty, I guess and I thought, "Well, what else is there?" You know, "Is all is this all I'm going to be doing the rest of my life?" And, um, met up, met a person, a guy, I think, at the hospital and he invited me to play softball and I said, "OK," and he said, "The only, only catch is, you got to go to church." I said, I said, "Alright. I'll go to church," and I started going to his church and it turns out that the, activity of softball was something that brought me back to where I needed to be, uh, spiritually. And, um, later that year, I believe it was November of 1990, I rededicated my life to Christ. Uh, I've been living for Him since. Uh, it's not a easy life but, uh, and I stumble, still do. But, um, it is, it is, uh, the only life, I think. Uh, I met my wife in, uh, in then, uh, in order to have, uh, actually when I met her, she had a son. I think he was, uh, 14 months at the time. And, we hit it off from the beginning and, uh, I don't know if she would agree with this, but I knew when I first saw her that, uh, that she was supposed to be where she was and I was supposed to be where I was. And it was, I don't believe in destiny or fate or anything like that, but I just think that, uh, things were where, were where they were supposed to be at that particular time. And uh, I think she maybe feels, maybe feels the same way, I'm not sure. But, uh, anyway, uh, we, uh, dated for a couple of years and, uh, got married and, had twins, uh, you know, and so we already had the, the one, uh, a boy and I think he was around three, three and a half, and, uh, actually he was four. They were four years apart and then the twins came and uh, that really changed my life and changed my whole perspective on and, uh, we had no clue when she was first, uh, I don't want to say diagnosed because that's not the right word, but she, when she first found out that she was going to have twins. After the shock, it was, uh, after, after the shock that I was feeling was over, I started to really get concerned, worried over how I was going to pay for this, you know, um, we can't afford, we couldn't afford the one we had and now we've got two more on the way and I just didn't know how we were going to get by. And, back then, throughout the whole time of the, of the pregnancy, we were still active in the church and uh, we were involved in a small group ministry. Uh, we weren't leaders, but, uh, we were participants, you know, and we were pretty committed, and uh, to, to it. And I think through that small group session, uh, I just, I think that, I think back on the, the people involved in that small group and how we encouraged and lifted each other up and held each other up and really cared for one another. Uh, I do miss that, uh, down here, uh, where I'm at now. But, uh, it was, it was a wonderful time, uh, for us, because we were able to, uh, withstand the pressures of, uh, two babies at once. Uh, the sleepless nights rocking in the chair at four in the morning. Uh, I mean it was, uh, people ask me today, said, "How, how can you deal with twins?" And I just think to myself, "I don't, I don't know how we did it." We just did, you know. And, uh, I think it was just through the faith in God we were able to, uh, stick through it and, and again to stay focused on what was the most important thing. And, um, and right now, I can honestly say that my children, my family are very, very important to me. Um, so anyway, after that, where did we go? We went to Virginia and, uh, I've always liked Virginia and we got to stay there for a while. Uh, that was the toughest experience in the contract management field. We were on a, we were in a situation where our service wasn't, uh, our company wasn't the, the most-liked company and, uh, but I look back on that experience and I see that God was working in our lives because it prepared me for the experience I'm at now. That [child interrupts] experience, versus no better experience, then, then to, um, OK, one second, all right? Uh, then to see, I guess looking back on it, uh, when you're going through a tough time and then look back and say, "Well now, I see what, uh, what God was doing in that situation," but when you're going through that, you don't, you don't know that. And you can't look at that and, and you just keep asking, "Why am I going through this? Why are you making me go through this?" And other kinds of questions you would but, uh, once you get through it and you're going off to the mountaintop, you look back down on the valley and you say, "Well. Now I know why," 'cause you, you, that happened with me, is that I met an individual that was going through a very tough time. It was very similar to the situation that I was going through and I was able to support that person, uh, with encouraging words and uh, and with their love. And it was just a blessing, it really was. And now we're here, and we have a new one. And, uh, that makes four in our family and I will say that God has blessed us very well, uh, and, uh, again, it's not easy. It's a struggle every day, but, uh, God has, uh, has been good to us and, uh, I'm sure He'll continue to be good to us as long as we look for the good in, uh, in what life brings us. Is that enough?
TP (Tisha Perkins): Yep.