I love watching my sweet boys, escape their lives in the ‘hood and love life, explore life and learn about Jesus!
As I sat on my deck and listened to the rain pour around me, and my view consisted of broken, run down abandon homes, I realized that there is so much more brokenness around me than the average person can see. The average person can see the run down homes, the average person can walk down the street and see the man getting drunk at 11 a.m., the average person can see the mom struggling to pay her bills, to feed her kids, the average person can see the little boy on the corner lost in a life of drugs because that’s all he knows. But what the average person cannot see is the brokenness in the hearts of these people, what they don’t see is the lies that my friends believe because of the brokenness in their lives.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting outside with a few of my kids, and we started talking about life, lately I have been having very real conversations with my kids, some of them pierce me to depths of my heart with pain, some of them are raw, some of them end with tears and prayers, some of them end with laughter. Sometimes we talk about their lives; sometimes we talk about mine and almost every time we talk about Jesus. You see I want my kids to know that even in their “broken” worlds, that there is a Father who loves, them, a Father who will never leave them or forsake them.
For this particular conversation that statement, You have a Father who loves you unconditionally, you have a Father who will NEVER leave you, became so very real, very real for me, and very real for them. As we sat on the porch and the kids asked about my parents, specifically my dad, a topic I’ve been struggling with lately, but willing to share with them, that I don’t have a relationship with my dad, and I haven’t had much contact with him since my teens.
They continued to pry about my own father and I continued to pour out what life was like with my father, they begin to open up about what their lives with dads are like and one of my boys looked at me and said, “Ms. Colleen how will I ever be able to be a good dad?” I’ve never met my dad, I don’t have a positive man in my life, my daddy is in jail, my dad deals drugs, my dad killed someone, my dad is dead. My head is spinning and my heart is breaking as I am listening to these boys pour their hearts out.
Lately, I’ve been sitting in my own brokenness about not having a physical daddy who loves me, I’ve been working through my own fears about lacking a dad in my life, I’ve been clinging onto the hope that I DO HAVE A DADDY who LOVES ME! I’ve been clinging onto scriptures such as this, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows,” Matthew 10:29-31. The Lord knows everything about me, and he values me in all of my messes, in all of my struggles, in all of my doubt. As I sat there with the boys I realized that this was part of working through my own struggles and my own doubts about who I am without the presence of my physical father, as we shared stories of our fathers, good, bad or indifferent I realized that God was orchestrating a counseling session on my front porch and HE was in the center of it.
While I didn’t have all of the answers for my boys, I was able to share with them that if they allow God to become real in their hearts and lives, they will be able to fight through the feelings of not having a physical dad, that God will do for them just as he’s done for me, place amazing men of God in their lives to teach them, to guide them and to love them as a dad should. That God would become that dad they longed for, He would feel their hearts with so much love, that if they surrendered their fears, their doubts and their brokenness that God would slowly begin to work miracles in their lives.
Fast forward to last night and as I was coming home from a babysitting job, I ran into two of my boys and in my head I was running through my to-do list and how I was really selfishly hoping that I could avoid a long conversation with them because all I wanted to do was go to bed, but they stopped and one of them told me that he has been reading his bible that I gave him a few weekends ago, and that he had some questions about Jesus being his Daddy, I looked at him and smiled and realized that while there maybe brokenness in my kids, in my neighbors that I call friends, they have a desire to know more about how to leave that brokenness behind, they desire to know who Jesus is even if they won’t admit it right away, I told him I would be happy to read through the scriptures with him and do my best to answer his questions but if I couldn’t I would find someone who could. I asked the boys if I could pray with them before they went home for the night and these are two boys who laugh at me when I gather the kids to pray in the morning before school, these are two boys who struggle to sit quietly in prayer during Kids Club and NEVER ever want to share a prayer request and last night as they stood with me in front of my house and let me pray for them I realized that they are letting God work in their lives. That these young men have so much potential to be leaders among their friends, their peers, they can do mighty things for the Kingdom of God with the right encouragement and men of God in their lives.
Today as I watched them leave for school in their sweater vests and ties to catch the bus, I prayed for protection for their little hearts, I prayed for someone to encourage them today in ways they’ve never been encouraged and I prayed that they would continue to let me pray with and for them, that they would continue to read their bibles and that they would continue to chase after their Heavenly Daddy who wants to desperately to love them, would you join me in praying for these sweet boys today?