One Man’s Example
I’m a father, I’m a brother, I’m a son, I’m a husband, I’m an uncle. If I had a theme for my life it could be summed up as “finding my father through faith.”
My dad died when I was only 7 and I remember how that felt at the time. I was very lost, alone, and not sure what to do with all those emotions. So, instead of sorting through them or facing them, I just buried all of it.
My mom worked to support my three siblings and me, which meant I was at home most of the time alone without anyone to help guide, lead, mold, or discipline me. Later, my mom remarried and divorced again when I was 11. To cope with all the stress, Mom turned a very dark corner as she began drinking heavily and turned into a verbally abusive, distant adult. Which in turn, only served to squash my self-esteem.
She did her very best to be both a mother and a father, but it’s just not the same as having both a mother and father at home. I craved having a father I could latch onto. A father who would love me and teach me, but it never happened. As I grew up, there were no fatherly lessons about responsibility, money, relationships, school, employment or even self-discipline. Regardless, the one thing I always knew deep inside was that I had a good heart and a strong moral compass.
I spent most of the years between the time I graduated high school to the time I met the love of my life, Susan, without any knowledge of what adulthood looked like. I felt and externally looked very much like an adult; internally I was anything but. I was very selfish and bounced around quite a bit. To cope, I started to gamble, experimented with drugs, drank a lot of alcohol and was constantly in trouble. My life was a continual state of chaos and financial ruin. I lived a life that was all about me, yet always had a longing for a life about we. I just had no clue how to get there or how to be that person. God the Father… he knew this and he was pursing me as a son.
He was joyful, kind, wise and willing to listen to what a complete knucklehead I had been my entire life. He showed me grace, and when I asked how he was able to live such a rich life he shared something I had never heard before. He responded, “I have faith in Jesus, God the Father.” This was a game changer for me and I discovered my own relationship with Jesus.
When we had two sons of our own, I made a commitment to be the best father I could to our boys. I swore that I would be there with them every step of the way. If they knew nothing else, they would know they were loved and valued. God’s workmanship in me is at its best when I surrender my life to Jesus. Titus 2:6-8 says we need to encourage young men to live wisely, to be an example by doing good works and letting our own life reflect integrity, and to teach truth. Everyone needs a father in their life. I now know it’s not about me, it’s about we. When my life is in chaos and I’m at the end of my rope and I’m yelling, “Father!” I can rest in him who says, “It’s okay, I’ve got you. I can carry your burdens, Blaine. I’ve got you.”
With the help of my church family, amazing men’s group, and couple’s life group here at St. Andrew’s, I have been able to continually grow. Today, this fatherless son can embrace the same words God spoke to his son, Jesus, in Matthew 3, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”