I grew up with a lot of friends who had cool dads. I realize that many of them may not have thought that their dad was very cool, but I had a different view of them. In my eyes, these men were not like my dad. They were not always distant, and preoccupied. They were engaging in the things that dads do with their children. They were coaching their kid’s baseball team, hunting and fishing with them, hanging out with them, teaching them valuable lessons and just being a dad to their child.
My dad wasn’t like that. I don’t know why, and I will not find out. My parents divorced when I was very young, but they tried to make their relationship work until I was fifteen. I have tried to form my own relationship with my dad over the years, but he cannot stop talking about my mother and the hurt she had caused. He has also told me that I am just like my mother, so getting anywhere with him has been an impossible feat. I stopped trying to make it happen with him several months ago. He is my dad, and I love him, but he is impossible. I don’t know why, so I just pray for him.
This lack of guidance from a father in my early years, as well as a father that would hit his wife in front of his kid, was setting me up for a whole lot of painful experiences. I was a frightened kid who would spend time in closets, under beds and in the arms of my mother. I was truly scared of my dad. As I grew into a young teen, my fear turned into anger. It made me very bitter. I eventually started to really hate and blame myself for the way things were, so I would mask emotions with drugs and alcohol. Anything I could do to kill the lifetime of pain. As I became an adult, my anger was distributed to those who didn’t deserve it. My mother, my friends, my family. I found myself screaming at my own wife and kids. This monster that I knew as my dad had planted very harmful seeds within me, and now I was conditioned to be his product.
I want to be very honest with all of my readers. God changed me. The Lord is the strength I could not find within myself in order to become someone I was not. With that being said, it was also the Lord who allowed me to be conditioned by these experiences in order for me to come to Him for the true life and light that was missing. If it wasn’t for Jesus Christ, I would be dead. I know this.
Over the past several years, I have dedicated my life to the Lord. The changes He has made within have removed the guilt. The experiences are burned into my memory, but His presence pushes these thoughts to the side, and His light shines upon me. I am no longer a victim. I am a victor. I do not let the past harm me, and live in the present embrace of His love. His grace is what I embrace. There have been so many positive changes that have taken place within my life over the past several years, and months, and it has been a process. I began to choose different roads, I began to choose different methods of dealing with situations. I am choosing how to unlearn, learned behaviors. I had to seek guidance and professional help, and I am very glad I did so. Throughout all of this, and the challenges that will come as I grow towards a new me, I will lean on my Lord. His perfection is what is needed to help this imperfect man along. The love and guidance that I had missed as a young man was actually a big blessing. It taught me how to rely on God to get me through. To get me through all of those things that a man cannot do outside of Him. I couldn’t find true strength, true peace, true joy, true wisdom or true power. All of these things were not fully possible or understood because Holy Spirit was not being utilized. He is the strength. He is the comforter. He is the gift of our faith in Christ.
My life has never been easy, and I am broken into many different pieces, but I am slowly being mended back together through his grace and love. Look up John 3:16, and Galatians 5:22-23, and think on these things. Grow in your understanding of these things. We all deserve to be at peace within, and through our Lord, we can have it.