When I was 3 years old my dad was given two options. Choose drugs or choose me.
He chose the drugs.
Growing up I was angry towards my dad, and the decision he made. Some of you know what I mean, those holidays, and events that leave the fatherless or the motherless feeling like complete losers because of a decision we had no say in. It wasn’t easy. I swore that I would never be like my father.
Now when I became a Christian I was told that forgiveness was essential to faith in God. Forgive those who have wronged you, and allow yourself to be forgiven for the wrongs you have done.
Easy right? Wrong. In fact I think I have convinced myself for quite some time now that I really did forgive my father, the truth is I haven’t.
This whole idea of convincing myself came crashing down recently when a person who I have hurt countless times said a very blunt yet powerful statement.
“You use your dad leaving as an excuse for your actions.”
Now some of you might feel the same way I did initially. “How dare you say that to me!” “You don’t know what it’s been like.” etc. All these thoughts came flooding in while trying to hold back tears. I was furious, and I thought I had every right to be. There was a problem though…
She was 100% correct. You see I have acted like the exact guy I swore I would never be. The guy who can’t be counted on. The guy who can’t be trusted. The guy who bounces from relationship to relationship, and friendship to friendship. The guy who lies and tries to run away. I never forgave my father. I became him.
And although my problem hasn’t been drugs and I haven’t run away (successfully). I can still see the trajectory that all of this sin is starting to lead me towards, and I want nothing more than to run away.
I want to run away, but I can’t. I have wanted to leave the church, but I can’t. I wanted to just give up on this whole Christian thing, after all…a lot of others had hoped I would. But I can’t!
Why can’t I? Why shouldn’t I run away.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Now call me crazy, but I truly believe the only reason I haven’t completely bailed on this church thing as I have screwed up is because of one magical thing called Grace. You see I don’t deserve anything. Not a single bit of it. The friends, my incredible church, and family. I do. not. deserve. it. PERIOD.
But God by His wonderful and powerful Grace has pushed me forward, I fall off my bike, but he puts me back on it. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. I know that others sure are sick of watching it, but He will not let me quit. You see this whole Christian thing is not about me, it’s about God. You see God keeps me from running for two reasons
1. You can’t truly leave God. Once you are a child of God’s you’re His forever and ever and ever.
You can’t lose that. Although you might feel as though you can run away, God is there. The entire time.
2. His glory.
Paul was brought into the ministry radically. Why? Because God had a plan for him and it didn’t matter what Paul had done or had intentions to do. Jesus chose him and there was no going back.
So yes I have been hiding behind the mistake a man made 21 years ago, but I have a choice today, and tomorrow and the next day. To live my life on my knees dependent on the same God who puts me back on my feet. I haven’t been doing it. Shoot, I don’t even think I am worthy of writing this blog but I am a fighter, not because of my own strength but because He will not let the story end this way.
God has something in store for all of us. Even after your worst days, He can use you.
Now don’t confuse what I am saying, what my dad did hurts, and it will for the rest of my life. Your problems matter, what happened to you matters. But at some point we have to move forward, and let that pain drive us knowing that God will use it for His glory.
The question you have to answer is the same question that is haunting me. Are you going to live your life day to day making excuses for why you aren’t who God has called you to be or are you going to say enough is enough?