Posts Tagged ‘fatherless’


under Secret Stories, Written on April 3, 2011

Recently, my wife picked up a copy of your book Your Secret Name.  I was moved by your candor and bravery to use your emotional journey as a tool for other to address and overcome the baggage in their lives that blocks their relationship with God.  Your book helped me make sense of an emotional journey that I have been consciously on for several months, but suppressing for over 25 years.

As a freshman in high school, my parents divorced.  As my father was leaving our home, he looked at me and said:

 You need to be the man around here. 

Wow, what a burden to put on a 14-year-old. 

My father stayed in the Columbus area and complied with court ordered support and visitation, but emotionally, he was not there. In fact, for almost three years before he left, he was emotionally absent, as he was having an affair with a client, who later became his second wife.  Suddenly, the three of us now played second fiddle to a new family.

Due to his absence, I took on the role of caretaker for my brother and sister, as well as helping my mother pick up the pieces.  I was in a role that I was not emotionally or maturity wise ready for or capable of.  And for that, I became emotionally withdrawn in order to protect myself from the pain, which continues to haunt me with my wife and children.

After all these years, my suppressed feelings regarding my father came roaring out, as I realized that I was not being a loving and instructive father to my 11-year-old son (as well as my 15 year old daughter).  My prayer was to be a better father.  God’s response was to first deal with own father issues.  

I realized that the wounds from my father were impeding my relationship with God.  I vowed to never be like my father, and deep down I always looked upon God with the same caution used when interacting with my father.  He hurt me and let me down, and I was not going to allow God to do the same. But through prayer, the wall that I built to keep God away, crumbled.

God lead me to the book The Way of the Wild Heart by John Eldredge, which spoke about the development of masculinity in a man that God intended and how important of a role I have in my son’s masculine development.  I shared my journey with to two close friends who shared issues they struggle with their fathers.  I felt like God was now ministering to me, as I allowed the door to my heart to be open.

In The Way of the Wild Heart, a key concept of boyhood development is to know and understand that the boy is the Beloved Son of his father, in the same way we are God’s Beloved Son.  I am not sure if I ever felt like my father’s Beloved Son.  I spent many sleepless nights praying about this concept and how could I make sure that my son felt beloved.  

After reading your book (in 1 ½ days), the term Beloved Son began to ring profoundly in my head, thinking that it was my secret name.  I was skeptical and fearful that I was making a rash conclusion based on my time reading Eldredge’s book.  So, I put it on the back burner.  But God had a plan.

About three weeks ago, I was a counselor at our church’s winter mini-camp.  The speaker asked the counselors to prepare poster board testimonies.  On one side, we wrote who we were without Christ; on the other side, who we were with Christ.  I had many different titles for each side and was debating on which one to use.  But when I picked up the marker to make my poster, on the first side I wrote “fatherless.”   On the other side, I wrote “Beloved Son.”  I was taken back by this and did not understand why I wrote those words.  But I handed it in.

At our Saturday evening session, we were asked to come on stage and silently show our posters while music played.  As I walked on to the stage, I could feel my emotions exploding.  I struggled to contain the tears.   I revealed both sides of my poster and walked off the stage, crying profusely, but with a feeling a victory.  Unbeknownst to me, one of the close friends I mentioned earlier was there to watch his sons play in the worship band. Putting his arm around my shoulder, he walked with me to the back of the room.  Clearly a God moment.

I knew that the victory on stage was me finally turning my anger and resentment toward my father over to God, forever.  Simultaneously, God spoke to me — you are my Beloved Son, who I love, care for, and initiate a relationship with you.  My turmoil was gone and the glory of God shined on me.  And even better, my son was sitting in the crowd.

I finally sat back down with my son, and he asked me if everything is ok and did I need to talk.  We spoke briefly, but I hugged him and told him I am now ready to be the father that you need.  I have never felt him squeeze me so hard after hearing those words.  We spoke in great detail the next day, as he did not understand what I had written on that poster.

There are no words to explain the peace that I have in God today.  No more do I keep him close in order to prevent him from hurting me.   Rather, I come to him like an 11-year-old boy, full of excitement and admiration, knowing that he is my Father. 

I want to thank you for sharing your story and writing a book that God can use as a tool to break through the barriers that we create in our heart.


under Secret Stories, Video on November 22, 2010
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