I have grown up without a father, he is very much alive just not a big part of my life or the life of my brothers. Father’s Day has been tough for me, trying to pick out a card for my dad was difficult because what was written on the card wasn’t how my life was with him at all. He left home for the last time when I was 12, he had left numerous times before and for some reason would come back and then leave again but at the age of twelve he left and never came home again.
I was saved around the age of 8 and I can still remember that morning in a Baptist church in Orlando. We hardly ever went to church usually Christmas Eve and Easter so not sure what brought my family to church that day. I can’t remember what the pastor spoke about but I sensed a strong pull on my body to walk forward. I was sitting at the end of the pew and I would swing out into the isle while holding to the pew in front of me and then swing back until finally I let go and walked forward to shake the pastors hand fill out a card and joined the church all within just a few minutes.
At the age of 12 after my dad left my mom,me and my two brothers we began to attend church on a regular basis and I have been going to church ever since!!
I read your book “Pure Grace” I have to admit that first chapter scared me, what in the world had my daughter and son-in-law gotten into!!
But I kept reading and reading, crying and crying. Could this book really be true? As I read it was like I had been living in the dark and someone had come along and turned on the light, the song Amazing Grace began to make sense to me especially the line “I once was blind but know I see”. The word had come alive to me, it finally seemed so clear, for the first time I felt accepted by God, He loved me, he really loved me!,
Growing up in church at least from the age of 12 I was told God loved me , and he would love and accept me and long as I was pleasing is. his sight. I was always warned about grieving the Holy Spirit because The Holy Spirit would leave if He was grieved. So I got used to the Holy Spirit coming and going, I got used to continually trying to be good, not listening to the wrong kind of music, watching who my friends were, being careful of what I said, what I did and what I didn’t do!
Over the years Pastors would tell me that I was having trouble in my walk because I grew up without a father and therefore because I didn’t have a relationship with him (not my choice but my dads choice) I couldn’t relate to God my Heavenly Father.
While reading Pure Grace, God began to reveal Himself to me. I realized that what the church was teaching fits perfectly with how I grew up. You see my dad kept leaving and coming back, leaving and coming back and I believed that If my mom, my two brothers and I did all the right things then my dad would come back but the minute we failed he would leave, isn’t that what the church is teaching about God? Work harder Adrianne, be holy Adrianne, don’t mess up Adrianne, perform Adrianne and God would stay!! That is how I have lived.
I was trying to earn my dad’s love, when my dad left for the last time it was the day after my mom, my brothers and I had worked all day. We had cleaned, my mom cooked a great meal, my brothers had done chores around the yard and I had worked in the kitchen making sure that all the dishes were clean and the table was set just perfect. At dinner that night he noticed that his fork wasn’t clean, I had failed and he left and he never came home again.
All my life since that day not only have I tried to earn his love I have been doing the same thing with God, trying to earn his love by my performance, as an adult my “sins” haven’t been about what I was doing , my “sins” were about what I wasn’t doing. Was i doing enough? Was He Happy with me ?? Had i done something or said something that would grieve the Holy spirit ? Would he stay??
Pastor Clark I don’t know how to express how much your teaching has changed my life!! God loves me, He will never leave me, he accepts me!! You have taught me that. I am only beginning to understand his perfect love for me! I heard you say that the reformation coming to the church is The Fathers Love!,
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see!! I see now, I get it!, it’s all about Him! It isn’t about me!! Whew !! I’m off that treadmill!!
I am a life that has been changed, there are so many just like me who need to know the message of Grace, to understand The Fathers Love!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,