Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Is Holding You Back Dad?

My son, Micah has an amazing recall of the events of his childhood. Truthfully, considering the mistakes I made I sometimes wish this were not true. Often he says, "Dad remember when..." and I would think no way this happened. He keeps providing details and eventually I would recall the event. Many times I would joke with him that if he continually held on to every thought, every event, that his head would run out of room and a mass explosion might occur.

It was early 2002 and I was mired in a deep black hole. Often I have referred to depression as the devil's own disease. Those of you who have suffered with it know the hell I speak of. This particular bout was brought on by emotional exhaustion. During a six month stretch the previous year I had watched a Father I battled with all of my life slowly die. I had surgery on each knee within four months. Between the surgeries according to the doctor I either had a strange bacterial infection in my sinuses or a chemical reaction. I lost fourteen pounds in two weeks. I was sicker than I have ever been in my life. I had a whirlwind relationship that began at the time of my father's death and came to a crashing finality on my son's birthday. The sight of my son with dark welts under his eyes on his fourteenth birthday because of my breakup with a woman he loved brought guilt to me that I could not forgive myself for.

I was hurting, lost, lonely, and could not find a moment of peace. Remember Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump in the storm cursing at God? I did that daily but I was far angrier than Lt. Dan. I begged God to take me from this world. Each morning I was angry to find I was still alive.

It was Saturday night and Micah and I attended a church service. The theme of the minister's message was  "What is it that you hold on to that is keeping you from fullness with the Father?" At one point my son turned and looked at me and with clarity and a weariness in his voice and said, "What's holding you back, Dad?" The boy that remembers everything has no memory of this event. He takes comfort in the fact that he knows I have had supernatural moments with God. I tell him that he has experienced this as well. I thought it a strange thing for him to say that night and as time went by I realized God was speaking through Micah but I was to angry and to set on what I thought I needed in my life to listen.

Fast forward a few years later at Passion 2012 where I asked God to break off whatever else I was holding on to that kept me from intimacy with him. Moments later I was weeping, exhausted, and broken. A few days after that I recall driving down the road and saying "Father, I have made a mess out of doing it my way. I am so tired. You take the wheel. I will go where you say." He knew I meant it. Life has not been the same. The things I thought I needed I don't. What he has granted me has exceeded my dreams.

Why is it we insist on doing it our way? The results at least in my case were not good. Still, we cling to old habits, our achievements, and what we think we need to be happy.Is it a certain relationship we think we need? Is it financial security? Pride? Religious behavior, a certain lifestyle? Do we really trust God to give us what we  need? That was a big stumbling block for me. I did not trust.

He is a jealous God and he will not accept the idols we place in front of him. But he is the consummate gentleman and it will always be our choice.

What's keeping you? 

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