It was a cold, crisp New Year’s Day. Two young brothers, ages 7 and 10, were in their room playing, jumping on their beds, laughing and having fun as brothers often do. Suddenly they heard a loud thud coming from downstairs. The younger brother ran to see what the commotion was about, opened the door to his parent’s bedroom and discovered his daddy, laying in a pool of his own blood, and the gun he used to shoot himself laying beside him.
This unspeakable tragedy and the wounds this produced turned the little boy’s life upside down. Why did his daddy want to leave him? Wasn’t he a good enough son to make his daddy want to live? The pain and turmoil in the family was intense, and no one knew how to comfort them. Everyone was left in the darkness of their own silence, confusion and pain.
It didn’t seem life could get any harder for that family, but it did. On the day of his daddy’s funeral, the boy’s mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She had to leave the family to go to New York for cancer treatment. The little boy and his brothers and sisters were separated and sent to stay with family members. This sad, lonely little boy was left uncomforted, confused and desperately trying to deal with his pain. Those events sent that child on a search for a father, a search that would last for almost 40 years.
The little boy started to think maybe it was his fault that all those bad things had happened. He began to take on the pain of the rest of the family. He tried to “make it right” for everyone else. That made him feel even more angry and alone because, no matter what he did, he couldn’t fix it. More and more, every day, his feelings of rejection, abandonment, pain and rage grew.
If his daddy loved him, why did he do this? If God was real why did he let this happen? The little boy began to feel very sorry for himself. Rage grew and grew as he thought, “Why is life treating me so unfairly?” The incredible pain from these wounds caused him to look for comfort anywhere he could find it, because pain always seeks to be comforted!
At a very early age, someone introduced him to masturbation and pornography which he used to try to comfort the pain and confusion in his life. Later in life he became a sexual addict, always looking for love and comfort in the wrong places. He suffered from guilt, shame, rejection and a lack of self-worth so deep he sometimes wished he were dead, like his father, and then hating himself more for even thinking such thoughts.
The boy became a young man and discovered that if he could perform well enough in sports that people would accept him and give him some of the love he craved for so desperately. He became a very good athlete, a competitor, because if he “hit the ball right” his coach would give him words of acceptance and affirmation. Even that was not enough to heal the pain in his heart, and he turned to drugs, alcohol, pornography and sex to try to comfort his pain. Those things did make him feel better for a little while, but then the pain came back, worse than ever, because now it was mixed with shame, condemnation, and intense feelings of self-hatred.
When this boy was 16-years-old, he came to Christ, but the shame, fear and rejection didn’t go away. He had a really hard time seeing God as his Father because his experience with a father only represented pain and abandonment. He always felt like an outsider, looking in, trying to be good enough to receive Father God’s love but always missing the mark. Then, when he would inevitably fail, he would become even more angry, lonely, and filled with rage.
That young man grew up, married, had a son and daughter of his own and became a pastor, but the wounds of his childhood were still there, buried deeply. Much of his life was still rooted in fear, shame and rejection. Even as a pastor he struggled with rage, lustful temptations and incredibly low self-worth.
Many years passed, and the man’s own little boy grew up. He was attending Bible school when a phone call came that again would change this family’s life forever. The son of this man had tried to take his own life. The pattern was repeating itself—but this time, the ending would be different. This man finally felt pain so intense that he had no choice but to change. He finally let some of his walls of self-defense down and let God touch his pain, the pain that had been bottled up for so many years.
Father God, the Father this man had been searching for almost 40 years, came in and began to pour comfort and healing into the wounds of this man’s broken heart. He began to see God as the loving Father who would never leave him. He began to allow Father to heal him and his family. He began to realize that God was a Father to the fatherless, and it was only in His arms that he would find true comfort and healing for his wounds.
That little boy, that young man, that father, that pastor, is me. I’ve finally found the Father I’ve been looking for all my life. He wants to comfort you, to heal your pain the same way He healed mine. He is your Father, the perfect Dad you’ve been looking for all your life!