I remember thinking to myself, I will be better than my father. I will become a present Dad and spend much quality time with my kids teaching them many things I did not learn as a child. I thought it, I tried it, but I fell way short due to my alcoholism and lack of understanding of how not having a Dad around affected me.
I was given The Gift of three beautiful children at a young age and though I loved them and did do some wonderful things with them until my addiction caught up with me before the oldest turned 7. I did not have the appreciation I have now as to how great a responsibility and how wonderful a joy it is to have children. Truth be told I was too self centered to understand.
Later on I was blessed with three more children, the later two after I came to the Lord. Only then did I start to get it, only then when sobriety came did I see where I had gone wrong. And then, slowly but surely God began to lead me to reconcile with the other four, and to be blessed with 13 Grandchildren.
I know this, what is impossible for man is possible with God. He can turn chicken salad into chicken soup, he is the only one who can. Not by my own futile means could I have humbled my self enough to seek this forgiveness. He gave us The Gift of his own son then takes us through a practical path to reconciliation by teaching us who have faltered how to become the fathers and mothers we should have been in the first place.
And then, when I lost my youngest son to death, I began to understand how great His gift and my gifts were and how short the time actually is that we may have the opportunity to enjoy them. I understood how he felt when he watched his son suffer, I understood the suffering I had caused my other children, and my heart was broken but my faith was reinforced.
Because I now understand The Gift and I will never give it away again!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.