When I was 12 years old my Dad passed away from Cancer.
Losing him at such a young age was tough; I did not get the chance that my brothers did to learn from him. My teenage years into my adolescent years involved a lot of searching for the meaning of life. Who I really was and what it meant to be man. It was a difficult time for me I was making poor choices and I felt lost. By my early 20’s I stopped going to church and had stopped involving God in my life. I began to walk alone and make my own decisions. God was a distant figure in my life. I was truly on my own.
After I entered the work force, I began to work hard and I was driven to find out where I fit in. I became a perfectionist and wanted to please everyone. Everything I did was to get approval; Approval that I was a man, and a good person. Even with all my success and hard work I still felt something was missing in my life, something I longed for, the love from a father … I felt frustration and resentment growing within me. I became impatient and developed a temper. All this striving was not getting me the happiness, peace or the love I so desperately wanted… I was still looking for that affection and confirmation from the father I no longer had.
A few years ago I attended a Men’s conference on Sonship. The Speakers were giving some very powerful talks on being a good man and developing a better relationship with our Heavenly Father. After each talk, they encouraged us to spend some quiet time reflecting on the talks, to pray and ask God to reveal what was holding us back from knowing Him better. As we dug into our relationships with our own fathers, I began to reflect on my own situation.
The retreat led me to believe that while I was missing my earthly father, I really had never lost my Heavenly Father. All along, my Father in Heaven was there waiting to love me and have a deeper relationship with me. As I began to pray before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration, I felt God saying to me “You accepted Jesus as your savior when you were 12, now I want you to accept me as your Father in Heaven. You are not alone. “You are loved by me… And I am your True Father!”
I continued to pray and accepted My Father in Heaven as my true Father; I felt I was no longer an orphan and I felt loved. Immediately I sensed peace and calm. Later I would understand it was the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Leaving the retreat I wanted to know more about the Father Son relationship and how I could continue to grow in my faith. I felt a deep yearning in my heart but did not know where to look. A very short time later I was invited to join a Discovery faith study.
As we went through Discovery, each week my questions and searching were being answered. I felt changes were happening to my heart. I already knew God loved me but this time it was different because I began to really understand how much God truly loves me and longs for a personal relationship with me. A relationship where Jesus is at the center of my heart and fully engaged in all that I do.
As we carried on to Source, I rediscovered the value of the Holy Spirit and the simple ways of guidance to grow in holiness. But when we got to Obedience I found that to really trust God you truly have to give everything to Him and allow him into all parts of your life so He can change them… this is where I really grew in my faith and many of wounds from my childhood and early working days where removed and replaced by His love, courage and strength. This is where I learned to surrender and let go…
Today I lead Discovery in my parish and I’ve seen almost every man in my study grow in their faith, grow in the Holy Spirit and become more involved in our church. Today they either participate or lead in other ministries at our parish. Many Men’s lives have been improved.
For myself I’m still on my faith journey with God leading and guiding me. He is not done with me yet, He continues to heal and change my heart to become a better man. I have a Father and YES he does Love me! Today I do not walk alone anymore, I walk with my Father in Heaven, Jesus is in the center of my heart and He is watching over me!
Thank you and God Bless!