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He shall build a house for My name,

and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my son.

—2 Samuel 7:13–14

Not having a father in one’s life can be difficult for a child. I experienced this void when I was young. This was an extremely traumatic pain in my life. I recall a father-son event at church. At the event, the fathers were to accom- pany their sons. I felt so bad because I knew my dad wouldn’t come. My mother, seeing my hurt, offered to go to the event with me, but I decided that I didn’t want her to go. I knew that if I went with my mother that the other students would realize I had no father. I wanted to keep it a secret.

God began to change the situation by bringing positive male role models in my life. One of these men was Philip Moody, my stepfather. Although he was a very serious man, he always provided, loved, and made sure that I felt welcomed. My mother made it her intention to have good, positive male role models to speak and encourage me. Attending church also helped me. This was the first place where I saw real men in action—loving God and their families. It was upon seeing these good examples that I realized that I didn’t have to be like my father—I can be a better father.

I forgive my father for not being in my life. Forgiveness is the only remedy for bitterness. Upon meeting him, I learned he left us because he was young and unable to han- dle the pressure of fatherhood. Although it was very diffi- cult not having him in my life, I knew that God still called me to honor and respect him. Just as the Scripture states, “Honor thy mother and father and your days will be long upon the Earth.” We are all called to respect our parents despite their performance as parents. The greatest lesson I learned was that God would be the perfect father to me. He makes the promise to never leave me nor forsake me.

Lesson to Remember

The days you have dealt with in the past could have destroyed you! God has kept you and God will always keep you! You will always come out on the winning side!

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