As we step into the third month of our project, I have to say that I’m overwhelmed. I’m so thankful that so many of you have reached out to share your story. I believe that we are all making a difference in this world.
This week, my friend Erick is here to share with you all. He has a powerful story, and I hope that you find encouragement.
I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I pray that it’s an encouraging and uplifting piece! When Matty first approached me about this, I instantly had something come to my mind. Honestly, though, I was scared to write about this, but here it is. Enjoy!
It’s an insatiable cancer that spreads rapidly. Forcing its way into every part of your life eventually overtaking every single boundary you wish you could steal back, but you find that you have no ability to do so. It isn’t content with only one part of your body but forces itself to spread further and further until it’s spread so far that your body no longer has the ability to cling to life, and the light is pushed from your eyes. Your last breath is taken, and you are left there cold, lifeless and no longer able to do anything but rot.
I know, gruesome picture, but in reality, I feel that’s how bitterness and sin affect us. It’s a serious issue. I have failed time and time again to do so because, for some reason, there is a sick gratification within me (all of us honestly) that enjoys being bitter. We enjoy wallowing in self-pity because, in some strange way it gives us a sense of comfort, I guess. We need to see that this bitterness is not good for us. It destroys every part of our life! I can say that because I’ve experienced it.
I’ve been bitter toward my father for a long time. I grew up in a broken home. My father was abusive toward my mother and it was rough. They were married for 13 years, and I experienced long nights of loneliness, tears, and heartache. I honestly have a lot of memories that still haunt me. I can remember these nights vividly; my father was screaming at the top of his lungs, and my mother weeping from the hits she had to endure.
As a kid, I felt so helpless and scared, but most of all, angry.
Who wouldn’t be angry or bitter after something like this happened to them? We have a right to be angry, don’t we? I mean, I was the victim. It wasn’t fair for my brother, sister and me to deal with such a tyrant of a father who abused our own mother. It wasn’t fair that we had to deal with his fits of anger because he had no other way to cope with it.
It wasn’t fair.
It wasn’t fair.
It wasn’t fair!
The unfair mindset was in my head ever since I first experienced these things. I had a lot happen to me. I had truly become bitter and because of it, I had become extremely oversensitive, unable to accept genuine love, and along with that, a deep sense of insecurity. I set unrealistic expectations and expected others to uphold them.
I became oversensitive toward the people I interacted with on a daily basis. I would constantly question whether or not they were my friend, or if they said these things to get what they wanted from me and then abandon me. It was always the little things that bothered me.
For example, if they didn’t give me attention then I would get offended. If I took something they said the wrong way, I would get offended and shun them. If I didn’t get invited to something I felt I should have gotten invited to, well, there I was offended and hurt by something that shouldn’t have bothered me.
I also could not accept genuine love and had a very deep sense of insecurity. Whenever I would be around someone who had invited me somewhere, I felt like I was annoying them and that I was ruining their lives. There was no pleasing me.
I had these thoughts constantly about how I’m ruining their lives or that they don’t really love me. I felt that a lot with my church family. I didn’t feel like I could care for them because I didn’t feel I deserved to be cared for. My father had said so much horse manure that it was ingrained in my head.
“You’re worthless, you’re not a man, you’re too fat, you’re always crying, you’re______ “ fill in the blank.
I also had several unrealistic expectations for people. Whenever I would text someone I wanted an immediate reply. I didn’t think “hey maybe this person is busy and can’t respond.” I thought “I NEED AN ANSWER NOW OR YOU DIDN’T MEAN ANYTHING YOU SAID GOOD ABOUT ME YESTERDAY.”
I had a family who called me their adopted son. What do you expect? I wanted to be in the family photos! I better be hanging on their wall whenever I step into their home. Oh, you’re wanting to have family time? Well, that means we’re all doing something together right? It was so unreasonable! I’m so happy I’ve had people stay with me to help me mature and grow out of that.
As I moved forward, there was always the “It isn’t fair” mindset. That was who I was for so long. I struggled with all of these things all because of my father!
Why should I forgive my father for being a huge douche bag?
He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. Why should I give him my forgiveness and abandon my comfort? What I didn’t realize was that you can’t impute conscience on another person. My being bitter wasn’t ruining my father’s life; he was living normally. I was the one wrecking my own life by being so angry and bitter. As I matured, I realized that what I was doing wasn’t fair.
Christ came to the world and chose to die for a wretched sinner such as I. It wasn’t fair that Christ was a man of sorrows, rejected by his own people and put to shame on a cursed tree. In light of what Christ did for me and all of humanity, what right do I have to hold bitterness against my father? I have no ground.
I realized that I had to get rid of this! I had no idea how to do this, though.
I talked to several people and nothing really seemed to stick. Finally, after talking to my mentor of 5 years, he told me how forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing. You’re not going to magically wake up and decide you forgive him and “poof” all bitterness, anger, and insecurity are gone. You’re still going to have to deal with that. You’re going to have the effects of what he failed to do as a man as a scar on you for the rest of your life. You just have to choose to be better than him by forgiving him.
You must forgive him daily.
It won’t be easy, but it wasn’t easy for God to be able to forgive us, but it’s a command for us to do so. Sure, you’ll fail, but that’s part of it this is what makes us stronger. One thing we can always count on is that Christ is there able to help us when we need him most because He understands. There’s not much more you can do than to have faith in the Lord and know that one day you will get past this.
Thank you, Erick for sharing your story and the hope that God gives!
I would love to meet you and hear your story. Feel free to like the post and comment down below! Make sure to subscribe, as well.
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