My childhood was a nightmare. I honestly did not expect to live to even reach 20 years of age. In fact, at one point, I told a teacher that reaching 20 was my main goal in life! My father horribly abused me, beating me at the slightest provocation. Twice he almost killed me. He treated my mother horribly…and as you’re about to read, he treated her even worse than I knew. He treated my brothers and sisters horribly…again, far worse than I knew at the time.
In the past few months, God has revealed things about my life that have given me a new appreciation for what it means to have a Good Father. It may be that you were blessed to have wonderful parents who loved God and affirmed you and helped guide your steps in the paths of righteousness. It may be that like me you still carry scars from your upbringing.
Whatever the case, you have a Good Father who loves and cares for you. He has a wonderful plan for your life and wants to bless and favor you. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because of two events that happened regarding my own family. You see, I was not alone in being treated horribly by my father, and so I was not the only one who needed the healing hand of God.
My father beat up my uncle, my mother, and my siblings as well as beating me. He even got in a fist fight with a police officer in one of his drunken rages. I never heard him say, “I love you” or even call me by my name. Instead, it was “moron” or a curse word. Yet despite that, he still claimed to be a Christian and went to church week after week.
But there was much more that I didn’t know about at the time. I got a very unexpected phone call from a lady named Ann Marie whom I’d never met, in fact, never even heard of! You can imagine my shock when it turned out that she is my half-sister!
When Ann Marie was 40 years old, she found out she had been adopted. As many people do, she started looking for her birth family using DNA test results. Her search led her to a man named Robert Evans, who test results identified as her father. Of course, he was my father as well. As it turns out, though her birth mother never married, she had three children with my dad.
I had never heard the story until recently, but apparently at one point, Ann Marie’s brother found out that my dad was also his father and went to his home. My father came out of his door with a shotgun in hand and screamed, “Get off my property, or I will blow your head off. Your old lady is a whore!”
Like me, Ann Marie never heard the words from her father, “I love you. I’m proud of you.” Perhaps you can imagine the emotions I was experiencing, as I began to share my testimony with Ann Marie on the phone! I talked to her about the Good Father. I told her that our father did not believe I was his son and violently abused me, two times almost killing me. The second time, I awoke in a fetal position, covered in my own dried vomit and crying out, “Why was I born?”
I shared with Ann Marie that God has taken everything in our lives into account. He can make everything up to us. Our mess can be turned into a message and a miracle. We don’t have to be defined by what we’ve been through. I told her that she was a child of the Most High God, that our loving Heavenly Father wants to affirm us and bless us. The same is true for you. No matter what you have experienced, you have a loving Heavenly Father who will never forsake you.