Dysfunctional Family – Lack of Stability
As a child, I was raised in a dysfunctional family with a great deal of adultery, several fathers, violence, drugs, alcohol, and other negative influences.
It didn’t occur to me that our lives were out of the norm. My mom and I played and laughed just as much as any other family. In between those times, I had to watch my mom be thrown through walls by violent men. Time after time, I would be drug out of bed in the middle of the night, told to grab some clothes and toys and get in the car. We would plow into the next dad’s sports car and then disappear into the night. It seemed every time we began to settle in somewhere, someone or something would make its attack to destroy our stability.
From the outside looking in, I’m sure it looked like a horrific life to live. To me though, it was full of fun and adventure. My mom made sure that no matter how bad times got, she would have a smile and comfort me, letting me know everything would be alright. As time moved on, my mom kept trying to find a stable dad who would be there for us. Father after father, home after home, and many nights on the streets was the result of her quest.
Dysfunctional Family – Journey toward God
Somehow during all this, I was aware of God. I never questioned Him. I never wondered if I had to do anything to know Him or if He was actually watching me or present in my life. I just knew He was. I suppose before my memory serves me best, my mother may have read the Bible to me or told me some of the stories from it.
When my mom met “my last dad,” he actually cared for both of us. It was during this relationship that my mother discovered she could be saved despite her dark past. This realization came to her in a less-than-wholesome way. She was cheating on that final dad with a back-sliding Christian. They went to a Billy Graham event and afterwards, the man told her that he couldn’t be in a relationship with her anymore. He gave her money for her flight home and she also received a card with an example “prayer of salvation.”
On the flight back home, my mom broke down, knelt down right in the aisle of the jet, and prayed with tears streaming down her face. She arrived home and burst through the door, saying, “Guess what everyone! I’m a Christian now! I’m saved and we are all going to get to know God and go to church from now on!” You can imagine this didn’t go over too well with my dad because he knew that she had been out with another man for the past week. But that argument eventually subsided and I guess he too saw this salvation as a good change in our lives. We joined her on this quest down a new path that none of us had ever seen before. We were not yet aware that a “sinner’s prayer” or “prayer of salvation” had absolutely no power in the prayer itself. It is faith in Jesus Christ that saves!
I visited many Christian camps and joined many Bible studies, immediately becoming on fire for Christ. It finally clicked. I knew who I was and why I never quite fit in before with other kids. I understood why my heart felt so different about so many things in this world. I finally felt like I belonged. But, as with the many changing seasons of my life up to that point, it wouldn’t be long before Satan would make his move.
Dysfunctional Family – Satan’s Attack
Satan’s attacks came swiftly and were without mercy. He pulled with all his might to keep the blinders on our eyes. My greatest battles began when I hit high school. My parents sent me into a private academy which served to be a great challenge. Satan created this feeling of inadequacy.
I would become popular among other Christians by using my many memorized verses and telling stories of His grace that would cause the women to almost melt in my hands. I would use my worldly experience to woo the secular women. I would become popular in both worlds of people. I caused a great deal of sin to be stirred.
I was a puppet -- a tool of Satan. I had almost totally forgotten about the road to eternal life (which at that point in life I had not come to fully understand anyway). I convinced myself that I would eventually repent and get back to God, but that same convincing seemed to become the tool for me to keep sinning. I sought more and more secular relationships. I committed a great deal of adultery and caused a great deal of adultery among women who had committed themselves to God. I was a poison to everyone I met, pulling them further and further into this fantasy world I had created for myself.