Thursday, September 9, 2010
If I were ever to write a book, I would like to call it, "Making Peace with My Parents, Making Peace with God, Making Peace with Myself."
MAKING PEACE WITH MY MOTHER
In the mid-90's I went through a very difficult period with my mother. It was awful and embarrassing. I didn't talk about it with anybody.
Here I was, a minister, and I couldn't even have a civil conversation with my mother.
Through God's grace, the sensitivity of a godly woman, a mutually respected friend, and a very supportive wife, my mother and I were able to put our relationship back together.
It was a very emotional and important experience for both of us.
MAKING PEACE WITH MY FATHER
My father disappeared from my life at such an early age, I literally had no memory of him. It was as if I never had a father. And what I didn't have, I didn't miss.
I would watch programs where people were reunited with long-lost relatives after years of searching. I never had any desire to re-connect with my father and wondered if there was something wrong with me.
When I met my father, it was a weird experience. I never knew him, but he knew me.
We decided together to leave the past in the past and forge a relationship looking forward only. I think it was healing for both of us.
MAKING PEACE WITH MYSELF
Growing up without a father, I always looked for the approval of older men who were like father-figures. While that doesn't sound so bad, it turned into a terrible insecurity.
I became obsessed with gaining the approval of men who I thought would somehow validate me with their acceptance. It's an awful way to live.
I became aware of what I was doing in my mid-20's. When I was 28, I had a very important moment when I realized I had to stop allowing my insecurity to undermine my life.
I became comfortable being me, for me. It's a much better place to live!
MAKING PEACE WITH MY GOD
When I was young, we went to the neighborhood church, where I was baptized as a small child.
But then we stopped.
Fortunately, I went just enough to know that God was out there, and that Jesus was His son.
When I was in 10th grade, in a World History class, I learned about the Reformation.
There was more than one flavor of Christianity? That was news to me!
I went looking for God, and a church where I could ease my guilty conscious.
What I found was some nice people, and a nice pastor, and even some sense of righteousness... after all, I was going to church! But what I did not find was God. So, that didn't last long.
During my senior year of High School, I invited myself to church with a friend that I knew was very committed to her church.
I'll never forget walking in that building. These people, in a very not weird way, acted like Jesus was real. That really messed me up.
My friend bought me a Bible the next day, and invited me to keep coming to church with her.
I did keep going.
And one day it happened. I heard the message.
I realized that I had been to church.
I realized that I had been baptized.
I realized that I had played in the bell choir, and had been to Vacation Bible School...
But what I realized that day was that I had never made Jesus Christ MY Savior.
And when the preacher gave the invitation, I raised my hand and prayed the prayer he prayed for me, and became a believer in, and a follower of Jesus Christ.
And that is what made it possible for me to make peace with my mother.
And that is what made it possible for me to make peace with myself.
Which in turn made it possible for me to make peace with my biological father.
All because I had made peace with my Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, the Son.