My Family Problems (A look at the Croydon church)

I haven’t wrote about this yet. I feel now is the right time. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know, and I’m not claiming its God. I just feel like I’m in a good frame of mind to be able to share my feelings, thoughts and observations. I invite you share your thoughts in the comments section below.

It will be in story form and serve as an analogy or ‘parable’. The story and characters are not real, just a depiction of a reality we lived through. ** BLUE LETTERS ARE LINKS TO BIBLE VERSES RELEVANT TO THE HIGHLIGHT


THE STORY

  1. The beginning

Every family has problems. Some bigger than others, but no family is free from them. I was adopted at a young age, I had no family and I was lost. They took me in and loved me for who I was. I loved my new family. I was somewhat naive and felt we were perfect and invincible. God was on our side and nothing was impossible. My older brother Marcus took me under his wing and taught me how to be a man. I loved the way my father would gather us around to himself regularly and teach us about life and God. It was the happiest time of my life.

We did great things together, we went all over the world and spoke to people about the power of God and in the meanwhile our family got bigger and bigger. I loved my family. I loved the get togethers and the adventures we shared. I can’t begin to express the joy of seeing my little brothers and sisters doing well and my older brothers and sisters being examples to the rest of us.

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My father was a stern but loving man. He always had our best interests at heart. He gave me great advice and worked tirelessly to help his children grow and develop. There were times when I messed up and I deserved to be thrown out the house but he kept me in…it was a great atmosphere, and the best thing about it is God was there. We saw God do great things with our own eyes. He alone was responsible for the all growth we saw.

2. The Changes

Soon the home we lived in became too small as we grew in numbers,and we had to move out. Our landlord didn’t like us, so we held hands one night and prayed to God and asked for a miracle. Not long after, my little sister Florence found a place we could live in so our father fought and hustled for it and God gave him victory…we finally got our own place! My brothers and I worked well into the night refurbishing the place and our sisters also helped. We had a sense of pride and we were optimistic about the future. God did all this.

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Around this time however, my dad began to change. His temper was unrestrained and he was becoming more and more controlling. I had never been in a real family before and I gathered this must be what all dads are like. We would sometimes ask Marcus what he thought but he would just say forgive him, he is your father at the end of the day. A few times I felt like running from home, but I didn’t want my emotions to dictate my actions. Besides when ever I spoke to God about it He wouldn’t say anything, so I decided to stay put till He did. A few of my siblings soon decided to run away from home. I tried to convince them to stay but their minds were made up…it didn’t matter what I said. It was sad to see family members that I loved dearly leave. For some, I never saw them again.

We loved our dad, but something was wrong and we couldn’t put our finger on it. Mom tried to talk to him so many times but he wouldn’t listen. The more popular and successful he became, the more he changed. The atmosphere in the home changed. We were afraid of him. Eventually my mother couldn’t take it anymore. She begged him to go for counseling.

“You are not treating the kids right” she cried “Please, stop for a moment and lets speak to someone”.

He reluctantly agreed after a few months, but after a few sessions the counselor placed some of the blame on him and said he was responsible for the state of the home. He listened quietly but didn’t say a word. On their way back, he asked my mom if she agreed with the counselor and she said yes.

“Well, you are wrong!” he shouted. “You are just jealous that I made it further than anyone else ever did. I did this! None of you would be where you are without me! It was MY blood, MY sweat and MY tears that put food on our table. If I hadn’t taken all these kids in, they would have all been lost. You should all be grateful that you have me!”

“Sweetheart” my mom replied “Do you remember when you were small in your eyes and leaned on God? All the success you have is from Him and Him alone. If you hadn’t take the kids in, God would have just used someone else”.

My dad was livid. The rest of the journey home was spent in awkward silence. He told a few of the kids that their mother was a liar and out to get him. Dad told us all one by one that mom was trying to take the house from him, and she secretly hated him. A few weeks later he filed for divorce. Some of my siblings believed him and left with him, but the majority of us had seen mom weep and pray for her husband. We knew she loved him and just wanted him to do right. With great pain in our hearts, we were separated from our father.

3.  The new beginning

A lot of my family members were hurt. We cried, we fasted we prayed, but the pain lingered. Who wants to see their parents go through a divorce? It was tough. This is something that happens to other people. Not to us…not to us. I tried to be strong for my little brothers and sisters. I didn’t let them see me weep. I tried to encourage them, but some didn’t want to hear it.

My big brother Marcus didn’t say anything to anyone for a long time. I had other siblings use my fathers absence as an excuse to do what ever they wanted. Others stopped praying, some left home, and some blamed Mom for everything but never actually spoke to her to understand what happened. My family has problems. Every family does, but I love them. I could never leave them.

After a few years of living without our dad, mom met someone and got remarried. She married a good man. Not a perfect man, but a good one. He said all the right things to us and said he would always be there for us, but we were hurting. It sounded good, but could we trust him? If dad left, what would stop him from leaving? So we unwittingly gave him a hard time. All the pent up anger and emotions over our broken relationship with dad, we poured out on our step dad. We spoke to him without the respect God expected us to give fathers. We did our own thing and didn’t listen to Him, yet every day he stayed. He didn’t complain. He didn’t leave.

We compared him to our dad and picked holes at the way he did everything. As we complained about the changes he made to the home, Marcus stood up and spoke for the first time. We all loved Marcus. When things went bad in the past, he was the guy to go to and he always managed to say the right things.

“Guys” he said, “We have forgotten that God is in control. We have forgotten that He knew this was going to happen before it happened. We have forgotten standards that were based on Gods word. We have forgotten ourselves. We have allowed grief to become our leader and self interest to become our God. I have stood here and watched siblings that used to live for others, now turn their focus on themselves. For example, James stopped praying when dad left years ago, and now he has left home. He has made  a major decision, without once seeking the face of God. What happened to us? Was our faith in vain all along? Was it based on man and not God? We all know that God expects us to treat our step-father with respect and honour. It will take us a while to get used to this, but God is in control. Every decision we make will affect other people. Love looks out for other people despite their own accountability before God. What we need to do now more than ever is come together. Be a family again and pray, fast, repent of sin and seek Gods face. I say, that we support our step-father and rebuild. God gets no glory from disunity, gossip, bitterness, and anger. He gets glory when we overcome sin and evil with love.

When he had finished talking, some shook their heads and said,

“I’m sorry Marcus, we’ve made up our minds. Stay in touch” and walked out, but most people stayed. I stayed too. Its been five years since and things have changed. God have vindicated our step-father…yes he had flaws but his heart was always in the right place. As for our dad, God in His wisdom and grace took care of him in a way that surprised us all when we prayed for him and left Him to God. I look around now and grieve over the family members I lost, but rejoice with those that laid a hold of God for themselves and for the family. God has changed everything around and I have seen it with my own eyes.

…Then one day, during a family get together we all heard a loud trumpet, a thought swept through my mind…Jesus has come…my heart started beating…in a twinkling of an eye people started disappearing…all of a sudden the pain and hurt was gone and the earth was a spec of dust in a vast universe…Nothing else mattered expect for this moment…it was going to be seconds before I finally met HIm…

We have been through a lot, but we are still here. I love you all and thanks for reading. Jesus is coming.

dealwithit

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