Oct1TueDaniel Haner October 1, 2019
So I started to write on being single and the church, then I got busy and had some huge spiritual warfare. So through all this God laid on my heart a new topic. Sunday's message at church confirmed it. Our pastor spoke a bit on being a father and loving your children in a godly way, this is what I will write on in this blog. I am going to be completely open and transparent in what I write. I have been told through my openness, it has helped others not feel alone in their brokenness. I am a broken vessel that is carefully being pieced back together so that the cracks are sealed and repaired, so, here we go...
I will take you back to my childhood where my brokenness began. I can remember back to maybe 3 or 4 years old. To me I was a normal boy but I lacked a present father. He was always working and as far back as I can remember, he never hugged me or told me he loved me. To me, he was the man that sat at the dinner table that I called father. A bit of a background on my dad... he grew up on the reserve and because his mother died (she was Caucasian) the Children's Aid Society did not feel his dad could raise him. They put him in the back seat of a car as he waved goodbye to the only father he ever knew. He went through I believe 13 foster homes, abused physically and mentally until he lied about his age at 16 and joined the army. He was an alcoholic until after a few years of meeting my mother and giving his life to Christ. He did not know how to be a dad. He wanted a son and my brother was born. He wanted my brother until he rejected my dad at age 3. Because of my dad's brokenness he had nothing more to do with him. I was an “oops”. My mom got pregnant one month before my dad was getting "fixed".
All my life I heard we didn't know how to be parents (why wasn't the church teaching this?) My mom always said "I never wanted kids" and that, my friends, is the house I grew up in. So growing up I remember at 5, I did something wrong, so I had to sit on the stairs until my dad came home. I was so scared and it felt like forever. He came home and I got asked why I was so stupid and I think I was scolded. I never knew my dad as a kid. I did not realize how much I longed for a relationship. We went to church every Sunday. We were a perfect family on that day like all the other families. I was told to never tell anyone at church anything that happened at home. You always had to be perfect in church. As the years went on, the need to be loved by a dad grew to the point I needed to seek it elsewhere.
At age 10 at school camp, I had a teacher (male) who gave me attention and exposed himself to me in the cabin. I felt special to be seen and wanted. In grade 8 another male teacher started to show me a lot of attention, also exposed himself to me in the locker room. He was always touching me. Again I felt wanted and special.
By this time, when I was 15, I assumed I must be gay. I met a man and he promised me a lot of drugs if I went home with him. He got me high and showed me pictures of all the boys who had been there before me. He used me and took me home. I was messed up, but I went looking for more. Another man picked me up and took me home to take pictures of me and use me. Drugs and alcohol became more and more in my life. I was used and raped once by different men until I was 18 then they were not as interested in me. I felt rejected. I continued to look for that love which I could never find. I went from man to man to man.
So fast forward to becoming a born again Christian. I learned that God loves me unconditionally as my Father (what?) I didn't even know what love of a father was...All my life I had to do something to receive some kind of love. So what does unconditional love feel like? I will tell you...
Even today sometimes when I mess up, like the 5 year old, I take a time out on the stairs. Crying and waiting to be punished by Our Father, but he tells me, "come down off the stairs... I love you, come with me and let's talk" I say, but Lord I am filthy, dirty and no good. He says "you are beautiful and you are clean by the blood of the Lamb. You have overcome in the name of Jesus! You are my child" Praise God for what he has done. Jesus died for me while I was still a sinner. Past, present and future sin... all of it. I know it is why God put me on the streets… when I see these men in their brokenness... I see me. They have been rejected and tossed to the side. God's love comes thru me when I see them. I love unconditionally because God loves me the same way. It doesn't matter what they have done... when I ask some if they got high today and they say yes...I just love on them anyway and hold their hand or give them a hug. I tell them God loves them and has a plan for their life. I still sometimes need a reminder of how much God loves me. My past is the past. Rejection rears it's ugly head once in a while but it is how God has shown me how to love the rejected ...because He never rejects me!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17