Knowing exactly what I personally don’t want in life — after making all of the bad choices that led to dismay — has paved the way to my current place of contentment.
It’s a wonderful feeling to have the majority of your ducks in a row, but I say this with great humility.
I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve been the worst! The absolute worst (in my own eyes and many others). From harmful substance abuse, the bitterness towards the world, to the hate that I carried towards my blood family, I have been a nasty man. Not to mention, the self-abuse that was absolutely a necessity for a great majority of my life. I had to punish myself, not only because I felt like a zero, but because I believed I was one. It took a lot of time and courage to dig myself out of the hole.
I praise God for His way with me. I learned that God is always looking out for me, no matter where I am, will go or where I have been. But, for a time, I didn’t believe God had a plan for me at all. In fact, I only believed God hated me, even more so than I already hated myself. I believed that God was looking down upon me and was absolutely disgusted by the waste of space I was. I — the mean, drug addicted, hateful, nasty, fornicating and wretched imbecile like myself — worthy of a perfect God?
In a crucial time within my marriage to a sweeter-than-life woman, I began to see a need for change. She and her three children — whom I now know as my own — deserved more. I had to learn to live outside of my own space and live for someone other than just myself.
That was different, and it was very difficult.
I guess I never really realized how selfish I had always been. When you are taking all of your frustrations out on those who don’t deserve it, project that inner- frustration into the aspects of the life in which you share with others, and when you don’t have a grip on your emotions, you really mess your world up!! I know from personal experience, unfortunately.
The Lord taught me several things of importance that were very crucial within my time with my wife and children, and these things are always evolving, but their significance has been life changing. Firstly, self-control has been of the most important. I always had a temper, so learning how to control the emotions (the bad ones) was and is mandatory. Patience, being the second, has also been recent and crucial necessity. Anyone who is married with children — and desires to strive be a loving diciple in Him at heart –absolutely needs this particular virtue! It’s just best, in my opinion. I had to learn. I had to grow. Through these two things alone, I have learned so much about a life that was never seen in the same light as it is now.
You may notice, these two aspects, or emotional qualities, or merits of the human complexity, are that of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23.) That, my friends, is where we should reside; where we should place our focus. Throughout my personal walk with the Lord, I always seem to arrive at this particular chapter and verses (never downplaying the rest of them!) The fruit of the Spirit — when we truly begin to see and understand how it develops and the nourishment that it brings — does fix a lot of the difficulties we face in this human form.