As a son I have experienced both having a father and not having one. Till I was ten years old my parents were together. Everything seemed good. I had a good relationship with both of my parents. My dad was the provider and worked a lot but we understood that and really enjoyed the time we were able to spend together. From going out to eat or playing baseball, or other games, to just talking for a while as he got home late and came into our rooms to tuck us in.

    We were raised with good morals, to be clean, polite and we had order in our lives which is a true blessing. After my parents got divorced we, (my older sister and baby brother) went with our mother to Germany where she is from. It had nothing to do with us loving one parent more than the other. We had to make a choice. It could have been as simple as us being around our mom more or us being use to her taking care of us. Or even some of the stuff that was said by her that helped us make a decision. Both have reasons for the things they did. God knows all things. I am not writing this to play the blame game. That could be played back to Adam and Eve. We all make bad choices and have in one way or the other sinned. Everyone has been hurt and has hurt people in some manner or another.

    Now being a Christian I know that marriage is attacked by Satanís minions for the purpose of destroying, stealing and hurting and so on. And he will pretty much use whatever works! None of my parents were close to God as this was all happening which made it easier for everything to fall apart.

    As I was in Germany I pretty much had no contact with my dad till I was 18 years old. Kids are best off having both parents. It has from the beginning been intended that children have a father and mother. Questions sons may ask their dad concerning shaving to more serious stuff like what choices to make for the future, to just having an adult male role model to look up to and want to be like. A mom can not replace a dad, just as a dad can not replace a mom. I after the divorce turned very rebellious. I stopped respecting both of my parents if not in person then in my heart. From smoking to drinking and stealing my choices left me paralyzed at age 15 from a car accident.

    I am not saying that without both your parents you have to be rebellious or do foolish stuff, a lot of people turn out just fine, even though they missed the blessing of having a dad in their life as they grew up. Some people even have such horrible parents that they would be better off without them or at least with different ones. When or if we as children are hurt by those we should be sheltered, loved and protected by, it often leaves a body or soul hurt and wounded. A lot of times people have a hard time receiving God the Fatherís love because we set up walls around our hearts after being hurt to protect us from it happening again. He is the only Person though that can truly heal those wounds and undo the damage done.

    My dad in the meantime turned to God and started to follow/live for Him. I came to the states after turning 18 to see my dad and meet my brother and sister that were born here in the meantime. He didnít know I was in a wheelchair till shortly before I came over. It was then after being with my dad, and he surrounding me with Spirit filled Christians that I accepted Christ as my Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

    There was a lot of healing that occurred between us after being separated such a long time. Now, after having heard both sides of the story concerning the divorce, I was able to even more clearly see how hurt both my parents also were from their choices. I saw my momís pain and hurt, for a long time very lonely, even bitter and not able to forgive. And then I saw my dadís pain of finding out one day how we were just gone. Left, fled the country. There was so much hurt in them both. Both were hardened, bitter untrusting. And both need healing. As small kids we think we live in a perfect world with parents that are perfect and as we mature we realize no person is perfect.

    I only stayed in the states for three months. And went back to Germany with God now in my life things started to shape up. I got my own place, drivers-license and to some degree found purpose. I believe the healing between my dad and I played a role in my life shaping up too. I stayed in contact with my dad, we would every now and then talk on the phone. Some of my friends in the meantime had also come to Christ and their lives were getting better too. I am not saying life becomes easy and perfect once being a Christian. But knowing that there is a loving God with you in it and that we are forgiven of sins, mistakes shortcomings and get to go to heaven when here our stay is over sure helps. When I was twenty-one I had another car accident this time I was driving. This second big wreck was far worse than the first one I had. My neck was broken in a higher place than it was during my first accident. I also had a bad head injury and lost most of my arm movement and pretty much all my finger movement was gone too. This took pretty much everything I was able to do on my own from me.

    After being in the hospital for about 9 months I was released once again to find myself worse off than I was when I was 15 years old. This was a very hard time for me. My dad flew over and visited me while I was in the hospital. I had to make some decisions as to what I want to do after being released from the hospital. My mom wouldnít have been able to care for me. She had two more kids in the meantime too. They were young and needed her and she worked half the day also. And I wouldnít have wanted to sit around there all day long anyway. My dad on the other hand wasnít working at the time. His second wife was earning good enough for him to be at home with their kids. The only other good option would have been a job-training facility in Germany where they also had medical personnel and people to take care of you. This I saw as good for the sake of not being isolated and doing something in life. But after praying about it I decided to go to the states.

    One thing that can be considered as good when it comes to my parents divorcing and re-marrying is the two brothers and sisters I have gained. God doesnít like divorce but He knows our choices before we make them and He has worked His plan into all of it. He is timeless, He sees the beginning and the end. He is the beginning and end.

    The first year being back in the states I lived in an apartment close to my dad but then we all moved to a nicer area and a bigger place together. We have through all the tragedy gotten real close. It has been humbling but also a growing time spiritually and relationship wise. My dad and I at times can laugh together over silly stuff. We can now enjoy each other for who we are with all our faults and ticks as one might say. It is a blessing to have him in my life. Things arenít always peachy and we do not agree on everything. Thatís a part of life. Complete healing still needs to occur between my older sister, younger brother and my dad. I believe that too will one day happen. All that would have never happened if one of us wouldnít have been able to forgive and start over.

    Till Jesus Christ returns and all the works of Satan are destroyed many bad things can and will happen on earth. Some things that happen are so evil itís beyond me as to why they are allowed or tolerated by God. I know we all have free-will and that Satan and his demons hate all of mankind. God the Father did not stop His own Son from being beaten, tortured, mocked and humiliated so that we could be saved. I know He is a loving God and that it hurts Him to see us suffer and hurt each other. And one day we will understand it all more fully.

    It is to a certain degree up to us what we allow these things to turn us into. We can truly forgive and love or we can become bitter, filled with hurt and anger. There are many people that have been through much worse than my family. And it isnít easy to forgive and let go of evil or wrong that has happened. God is able to forgive us thru Jesus Christ His Son. Should we not do the same? Not only for that reason but when we are bitter people we keep hurting others with our words or deeds. And to top it off we hurt ourselves by harboring that stuff in our hearts. It is no wonder that even doctorís say bitter and angry people are more prone to sickness and disease than non-bitter people.

    It would be great if all dads were perfect in their words and actions as God the Father is or that children would be as loving and obedient as Jesus is. But thatís not the case. Yet we can do our part by loving and forgiving and allowing ourselves to be healed and changed and then share that love and healing with others. It is important to realize that the role of a father is just as important as the role of the mother.

    I personally believe the best place to start is to accept Gods love by accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. Once we get to know our heavenly Father and realize how good He is, we can easier forgive and let our own wounds be healed. There is a difference between having forgiven someone and pretending and just saying that weíve forgiven them. Even people without great discernment can tell the difference too. The relationship between fatherís and their children is very important and needs to as far as possible be restored. Children need their dads, and fathers need their kids.

     Jeff Gandy


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©June 19, 2005