Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Will You Do with Your Trial?

As a young boy I developed a grudge against my dad over how poor our family was compared to others. My dad could never seem to hold down a job for more than a week, we always ran out of food for 2-3 days, and every winter our electricity would get turned off because dad couldn't manage his money. He also never talked to me like you'd expect a normal dad to talk to his son, and he never attempted to pass on any wisdom to me to keep me safe.

Around the time I turned ten years old we were forced from a trailer we lived in and had to move to Middletown Ohio where I also had to change schools. Our new home was above an old abandon store that was condemned and the apartment was in the worst part of the city. Here, I was first introduced to racism for the first time. The school I attended was about 95% black and each day I had to run to and from school otherwise I'd get beat up. I did get caught once and was knocked out by a large rock but for the most part, I was likely one of the fastest white boys you ever seen:-) 

Though I always gave my dad respect and listened to him, I began to despise him for all "my" problems. Why was I going through all this? Wasn't I a good boy? Why did God hate me so much? Didn't my dad love me enough to take care of my sister and I like normal parent? A lot of serious questions for a ten year old. I was angry over all these questions I didn't have any answers to. As I grew older the feelings only got more intense and I began to emotionally separate myself from my family.

I could go on about the effects of holding on to feelings like this but I won't. The point is this, had I not gone though all the horrible trials in my young life that caused me to grow up so soon then I wouldn't be who I am today. Trials can turn out to be the most important occurrences in your life experiences--if you choose to learn from them instead of holding on to them.

They showed me how important goals in life were and led me to Christ at an early age. The experience motivated me to finish school instead of giving up like most people I grew up around. They taught me to stick with my decisions and not to keep changing them when I have a set-back. They also showed me that parents aren't made perfect which helped me to forgive my dad. Later in life I learned my dad was almost killed by my mother's brothers. They came into his apartment and beat him in the head with a baseball bat then through him out a second story window. He was never the same, but growing up all I knew was he was different. He was almost murdered because when he got home from work late one night he found me crying in the closest where my mom had locked me. She got stoned, locked me in there and forgot about me. You can imagine what you'd do.

Without personal trials it's impossible to learn important lessons or grow spiritually. Our God of all creation knows this and now that I'm older and wiser I'm beginning to understand. Maybe it's time for you to take a serious look at the trails that have come your way and decide what you're going to learn from them and what path they're going to set you on