Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Our Struggles, but Christ - The Army Brat

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It was a brisk fall day, but I didn't care because the Bears were playing! I had my big winter coat, my Bears gear, my Chicago hotdog, and my dad. I couldn't ask for more. We screamed and yelled most of the first half and I was enjoying every minute of it. It was halftime and I just had to talk to him about Cici. 
James Smith Jr: Hey dad, how did you know mom was the one? How did you know you were ready to marry her? 
James Smith Sr: I knew this day was coming soon. 
James Smith Jr: You knew what?!  With a slight grin on my face. 
James Smith Sr: My dad smirked. Because I know my son and I know when I am starting to share my son's heart with someone else. 
James Smith Jr: I turned to look at my dad and captured that very moment forever. So how did you know? 
James Smith Sr: Well, son I knew your mother was the one when I could bare my soul to her. I knew I could be any and everything to and with her. Every time while I was with her, I felt like it wasn't enough. When I saw her, I had serenity. Plus, it didn't hurt that she was fine! You think Cici is the one? 
James Smith Jr: I chuckled, turned to my dad, and smiled. I believe Cici...
Beep, beep, beep....I hit the snooze button on the alarm and let out a big sigh. I laid in the bed for 10 minutes while going through a mental battle if I should call him or not. This time could be different. We could actually build a real relationship. I'm going to call him. 
Ring, ring, ring...Hi, you reached James Smith Sr. I am sorry that I cannot come to the phone, but if you could please leave me a voicemail with your name and number I will get back to you as soon as I can. End call...Man, whateva. It is not surprising. He never answers the phone. I don't even know why I even tried to reach out to him. I just don't understand. What father doesn't want a relationship with his own flesh and blood? It never fails. It is just me, my siblings, and my mama. I need to get ready for work. 
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Days later...meeting my friend, John to play some one-on-one 
James sits on the bench to lace up his shoes. He notices that no one else is in the gym. He is actually happy because he wanted to talk to John about a few things. John walks out of the locker room and takes a seat next to James. 
James Smith Jr: How was your week?
John: It was pretty good. Getting ready for the baby and building the house with the Pops. Yours?
James gets up to warm up and takes a couple of shots. John gets up to catch his rebounds. 
James Smith Jr: Decent. Cici and I are having some issues. She is constantly nagging me about opening up and being more emotional. I keep telling her that I'm good and that our relationship is good. I just don't understand why that just can't be enough.   
John: I love you like a brother, but I hate to admit that Cici is right. 
James Smith Jr: Cici is right? 
John: Yeah. You don't let people in. You never tell people how you really feel. You have been seeing Cici for quite some time now and your relationship hasn't been taken to the next level. 
James Smith Jr: Next level? Please explain Dr. Phil. I chuckle. 
John: John chuckles. My dude, I have known you since we've been 6! You can't even be honest with me and I am ya boy. You should be able to tell me anything. How can you be honest with Cici? 
James Smith Jr: I paused and seriously thought about what John was saying. Am I not honest with John? I do tell you things. I am telling you about Cici now. 
John: James you know what I mean. You stop letting me in, your brother in, your sisters in, your mama in, ever since your dad left when you were 11. Ever since then you have been unable to commit to anything. Think about it. You switch jobs more than anyone I know. You can't find a church home because you are always finding something wrong. You hop from relationship to relationship. I am surprised Cici has kept your attention this long. 
James Smith Jr: What are you saying? 
John: I am saying that you have abandonment issues which are linked to your commitment issues. I am saying that you will never be able to give Cici what she deserves if you don't heal the wounds from your dad leaving. Let's be real James, your dad broke your heart.
James Smith Jr: I really don't want to talk about this. I'll just ask about the baby it always changes the subject with John. Maybe. How's the baby? 
John: Don't change the subject James. You have allowed this to control your life for far too long and as your friend I am telling you we need to talk about this. What are you afraid of James? Why can't you let go? 
James stared as John as if he could see through him. 
James Smith Jr: Am I going to really tell John what I think and how I feel about MY DAD?! Was he right? I really don't let people in do I? Here goes nothing...Aight. I'll tell you since you my boy. I don't want to be like my father. I am afraid that I am going to end up just like him. I am afraid if I have kids I will abandon them. I am afraid that Cici is going to be like my father and abandon me. How can I expect someone like Cici to love me when the very person that is genetically wire to love me doesn't? How John? To avoid that feeling of disappointment, I just choose to not commit to anything. It is simple. No commitment, no disappointment, no hurt. 
John: You are not your dad. Cici is not your dad. Your future children are not you. If you are like your dad, it will simply be because you chose to be like him. You can't make your dad have a relationship with you either. You can't control the actions of others, but you can control yours. You can choose not to be like him. I know the more he hurts you, the more reluctant you are to open up to anyone. You have to stop allowing this relationship to rule your life and everything in it. You can't define your life by people that hurt you. You have to stop pointing the finger, but you do need to deal with you past in order to be free. The best part is that you don't have to do it by yourself. When God said that He came to heal the brokenhearted, he meant that literally. He came to heal you, James. Psalm 147:3 You have to accept when you say it broke your heart, your heart was really broken.
James Smith Jr: James interrupts. I'm broken?
John: Yes, you are broken hearted. I know because my father has been where you are. It took him until he was almost 50 to admit his father broke his heart. I don't want you to wait that long. We have all buried wounds that need mending. Those wounds are strongholds that keep us away from God. The best part of it all is that we know Jesus Christ! He desires truth for you. In the most hidden parts of your heart, He will bring you wisdom. Psalm 51:6 God can help you conquer your abandonment issues and overcome your fear of commitment. You will be able to be the man you need to be for Cici. Until then you will be here, stuck and never going to the next level in your relationship. 
James Smith Jr: I hate to admit it. I had a broken heart. My heart was so broken because of my father. I love him so deeply from the deepest part of my soul. I just wanted him to love me the same. I just wanted him to be a part of my life so bad...I knew that my relationship with Cici was stagnant because of my fear of commitment and feeling trapped. Is my father the key to mending my heart, overcoming my fear of commitment and abandonment? Is John right? Can God really heal me, my wounds, or my broken heart? You say God huh? You truly believe God can heal me?
John: I know God can do it. He did it for my pops. I know opening up to Cici, trusting me, or forgiving your dad is like jumping out an airplane. I just want you to know that when you jump you will give up control and your heart will change. Your fear of commitment and abandonment will vanish because there will be no room for it. Only faith will remain. You will have made room for Jesus Christ. Room for Him to give you strength Isaiah 41:10, peace John 14:27, power for love 2 Timothy 1:7, and much more. 
James Smith Jr: I pondered on the thought of being free from my broken heart. The thought of giving Cici my best and letting her live in my soul. It felt good to know that I could be free and that I didn't have to do it alone...
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The Army Brat - is someone that has commitment issues due to a broken heart, abandonment, and/or fear. We move from one relationship, job, and city to the next. Always looking for the next new thing or for a quick rush. Those commitment issues have become strongholds in our life. A stronghold is anything that keeps us from the freedom of being in Christ Jesus. Strongholds are anything we've given room to in our lives in an attempt to cover up our wounds from the past; be they from friends, family, coaches, teachers, or even parents. If we do not face the wound, we will fabricate a variety of bandages to dull the pain and thus bury it in our heart. The bandages are the relentless pursuit of money, the quest for fame, the approval of men, drug abuse, illicit sexual relations, even addiction to food. The list can go on forever, but the root cause is the same. We try to forgive those who wound us, but this only deals with the symptoms. The wound remains like a weeds with their tips cut off. They continue to pop up in other situations or relationships in our life like James. Because he didn't deal with the situation with his dad, it affected his relationship with Cici (his girlfriend), John (his friend), etc. Dealing with his dad doesn't mean he needed to talk to him, but it meant forgiving his dad and himself. It meant letting go of the stronghold and pain and allowing God to heal his heart and wounds. We cannot change people, but we can change ourselves by going after the root. We must always go after the root of the weed and remove it completely so there is no opportunity for the stronghold to return. The best part about this is that we have a professional weed wacker (Jesus Christ) that will give us the strengthen and perseverance to go after the root. The Lord desires truth in the innermost being. And in the hidden part He will make us know wisdom. Psalm 51:6 We challenge you to allow God to heal your broken heart and set you free.

Click Here to read about forgiveness.

Eph. 4:22-24



  1. Yup, this one hits home! The Lord has truly been urging me to contact my father with whom I have not spoken in many years. I was putting it off, but now it's time to listen to God and time to take action. It'll be tough I can do it with His help! Pulling out the weeds in my life!

    1. Amen! Remember to lean on God in hard times and he will give you the strength you need. He keeps his promises and he will never leave you. This is a big step and shows so much growth in your faith. God is good!

  2. This has to be my most favorite blog post thus far. The man who was abandoned by his father grows up with complexes regardless of what people think. Men like us are tough to date because we are fighting our own demons. Thank you for shedding light on this and making us think. God Bless

    1. Amen. Men and women! Thank you for reading the post.

  3. Wow!!! That post was powerful. God is truly using you all to speak his word into people's lives ...

  4. Ya’ll right, we need to let that bad father stuff go.