Swamp Loggers Star Overcomes Murky Past
By Michelle Wilson
The 700 Club
Bobby - An old man told me one time years ago, he says, “son, find a niche in life and you’ll make a living.”
Bobby Goodson found his niche as a swamp logger. In fact, he owns a successful logging company in Jacksonville, North Carolina and he was featured on Discovery channel’s hit show, “swamp loggers.”
Bobby says, “I still don’t think of myself as a star. I mean, I just felt like I’m a person with a job, and we just did our job. In the type of work we do, every day is a challenge, every day is different. You’ve always got obstacles to overcome. I guess what gets me out of bed in the morning is to come out and face the challenges, to-to do something that nobody can’t do or don’t want to do.”
But Bobby wasn’t always the face of a reality TV show. He came from four generations of loggers. As a young boy he learned to party with the older kids he knew. He even went to school drunk in the fifth grade.
Bobby remembers, “Looking back over my life, I couldn’t remember a day that I had went without getting high or drinking or some type of drug.”
Bobby dated plenty of girls. When he was 14, he met Lori but their relationship was volatile from the very beginning.
Bobby remembers, “When I got mad I didn’t hold back and neither did she.”
“I could shoot back with the best of them’” says Lori. “If it was a little push, I pushed back. If it was screaming and yelling and cursing, I was, you know, right up in his face too. I mean, I knew how to push the right buttons.”
Bobby recalls, “Whatever I thought would hurt her the worst, that’s what I would tell her.”
Lori says, “The worst thing that Bobby ever said to me, I still can remember the time. He looked at me and he said, ‘I don’t love you anymore.’ It physically made me sick. There were days that I could not get out of bed.”
When Bobby and Lori were just 16 years old they had a baby they named Justin. They married five years later. Bets were placed on how long the marriage would last.
Bobby remembers, “I didn’t know it until after the wedding, but my brother had actually taken bets that within a year I’d kill her.”
Bobby’s brother didn’t realize how close he’d come to for telling the future. One night, Bobby came home drunk. When Lori found him passed out she tried to wake him. Bobby flew into a rage.
Lori recalls, “He just sort of picked me up by the throat, and I can remember my head slamming up against the wall. The phone rang. And I can remember him just letting me go and I fell on the back of that bed and it broke it. He answered the phone like there was nothing going on. And he looked down at me and he said, ‘It’s your dad.’”
Lori choked her way through the conversation, and Bobby fell asleep. The next morning he didn’t remember what he had done to Lori or to their home.
Bobby says, “I remember doors knocked off hinges, holes in the walls, TV, I mean, just the whole house was disarrayed and I couldn’t remember what happened. I made my mind up then, I cannot live like this. I could have killed Lori. I could have done anything. I don’t even know where Justin was at, but I knew that something had to change in my life then or it was going to end very badly.”
The following Sunday, Bobby and Lori went to church. Bobby prayed and gave his life to Jesus that day.
Bobby remembers, “I felt so good inside that night when I left. I mean, I knew I had done the right thing and I knew God was going to help me. It’s like I mean, I knew that. And immediately the alcohol, all that stuff was gone.“
After seeing the dramatic change in Bobby, Lori prayed to surrender her life to Christ the next week in church.
Lori says, “All I know is that when I left that night, I knew that my life was different, that I had truly meant business this time. No one had to tell me ‘You’ve got to stop drinking or doing drugs.’ I knew that I was going to give those things up. Uh, and I was happy about giving them up.’”
Bobby and Lori were baptized and as they put God first in their marriage they learned how to love one another.
Bobby recalls, “I just knew that we had finally did something right in our life and uh I didn’t want to lose that. And every opportunity that I had to compliment her on her food or how she was dressed, I mean, stuff that I didn’t do once we got married, that I started doing.”
Bobby and Lori have two children, Justin and Brittany and five grandchildren. Bobby and his son Justin still run their company, ‘Goodson logging and all terrain.’ But more important than work or having his own TV series, Bobby and Lori say finding Christ was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Bobby says, “The most important thing God has done for me is by saving me. By doing that he has saved my marriage. We’ve got a legacy that’s going to live on. Our children love the lord, our grandkids go to church every day. It’s something that money can’t buy is what God can give you.”
“Jesus Christ is my salvation,” says Lori. He is my savior. He is everything to me. I owe everything that I have today. My family, which is the most important thing, apart from him. And my husband and all the material blessings. I just cannot wait to get to heaven. I just cannot wait to see the person that did that for me.”
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