Sunrise at Salen, Isle of Mull, Scotland. https://www.facebook.com/SpectacularScotland

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10 (NASB)

Today I am going to share something that has been on my heart to share for sometime, but I was waiting for His right time. God has shown me in my devotions that today is that time.

I was born and raised in a mining village to older parents than my peers. My mother was a daughter of God fearing parents of the Brethren, my father was the last in the Catholic line of his family who had been Irish imigrants. I never wanted for anything in the way of food or clothing, but it was obvious our family was different from my peers families. The main reason for this came from my father, he loved my mum but to me he was an abusive bully. My young life was filled with verbal, psychological and sometimes physical abuse. To me a Father was not someone who loved, yet I loved him and admired him greatly. But as I grew older my love became hatred and cynicism. When my dad died in 1986 rather than grief I had relief, followed by guilt. The years following this became a desperate strategy of personal survival, trying to rebuild my life from what I had.

I had heard the Gospel and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour in 1984, and tried desperately to lead a good life but my foundation was rotten. My past blocked me from understanding God my Heavenly Father, I did not really want another dad after my first experience. It took seven years of self preservation before a change happened, a miraculous one orchestrated by my Heavenly Father.

In 1993 through circumstances I found myself in Stockton-On-Tees in England, attending Lightfoot Grove Baptist Church. The pastor there was Rev. Tom Richters, a Godly man with a warm gentle heart. Meeting Christian men like Tom was part of my healing process, God was showing me there were good men who could be trusted. That year I was invited to join the fellowship in attending a Bible Camp in Malvern, Worcestershire. I was adopted for the event by the Evans family, Mark , Ali and their three kids.

The Malvern Hills, Worcestershire. (Photo from https://www.herefordtimes.com)

The Good News Crusade camp was in the shadow of the great Malvern Hills, in the Three Counties Showground. The fields filled up quickly with tents and caravans of Christians from all over the UK. The main speaker that year was Derek Prince. It was here that God was to do a mighty work in three days within my broken life. The first stage came in the prayer tent one early morning, as we finished an older gentleman approached me and gave me the verse “…Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” telling me that God wanted me to know all was going to be well. I shared this tentatively with Mark and Ali with whom I had become close friends. The second stage came as I opened up to Mark and Ali about my past, and why it made it hard to receive the word of knowledge. They agreed to pray for me that day in their caravan whilst the kids were out playing, I remember that experience to this day. The Spirit descended on us as we prayed, I cried copiously as I surrendered my past to God. Then I was reminded of the word delivered to me in the prayer tent, at that moment I felt free for the first time in my life and began to laugh, praising God. That small caravan rocked as the three of us praised God that day, I was free!

The final stage in my transition from broken vessel to remoulded vessel came the next evening in the main service where to my surprise Derek Prince had quoted Nehemiah 8:10! At the appeal given by Derek Prince I felt that he was talking directly to me, I was aware that I was being called by God to dedicate my new healed life to Him. This was the first time I had surrendered all my life to God publicly, including my abuse and fears. That night as we praised God in the pavillion singing “All to Jesus I Surrender” my new life in Him was sealed by the Spirit and ready to begin.

Dear reader, I give my story not for my glory but for the Glory of Almighty God, my Father. His love is Holy and pure, covering all our pain and suffering. He wants us all to know Him as Father, one who truly loves His children and gives them good things. Through Him I have been blessed and shown how to be a father (and grandfather) myself. His hope is for each of His children to know these blessings through Him, despite the failings of birth parents. Finally, it is my sincere prayer that God will guide this story to those who need it, that He might heal them and bless them in His Love for them.

24 thoughts on “Almighty God – My Father

  1. Amen, sir. I am glad you found healing in the Lord. I too grew up with a father who was angry and verbally abusive. He was not a believer then, but he is now. I came to forgive him after I accepted Christ at the age of 18 in 1996. My father accepted Christ through my testimony, and God blessed our reconciliation. It is truly amazing how God can change and heal a man’s heart. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your courage in sharing your testimony is inspiring, brother. It’s so wonderful how God put just the right people in your path at just the right time to draw you closer to Himself. He’s done that for me as well. By sharing your journey, you encourage others to to do the same. The lesson I see here is that God is the ultimate father. However, we do not all learn this in the same way. Blessings.

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  3. You are SUCH a godly and beautiful man! I really wrestled with God as Father. It was only since 2016 that I finally understood that God gave good gifts! My earthly dad was the kind of guy who would give you what you didn’t want (emotionally, physically, financially). He was opposite of the father that Jesus talks about giving his child a stone or snake. My dad really was a terrible example of our Heavenly Father. Isaac, Jacob, David were all terrible fathers. I am thankful God gave you godly men to breathe life into you. You are loved, Alan!! Praying for you and Susan!

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  4. Alan thank you for sharing your testimony. I’ve been typing mine for a while now, It seems like I always remember something I want to add, so I wait for just that fact. And add as a recall comes to mind. I believe that most Christ followers were shattered broken pieces, that our loving Abba Father has mended. Our old brokenness whatever it may have been has been made new in him. Thank you Abba for your mending. Glory be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Allen, your testimony was truly a blessing for me to read today. Thank you again. Blessings to you.

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  5. People will be drawn due to your authenticity. I’m sorry for the abuse in your early life but ever grateful that you have been redeemed by the hands of the living God. What was meant for evil against you, God will use for good in spreading seeds of the Gospel of Christ, producing a great harvest.

    Thank you, Alan, for sharing your personal story as the Spirit prompted. May God continue to glorify His name as His light shines through you, illuminating the way for others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Manette. This story had been in the background for months, I knew He wanted me to tell it but in His chosen time. I experienced a very distinctive prompting to share it the morning I wrote it. May our Father God bless you sister.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alan, I cried while reading. First tears of sadness for what you endured in your youth than tears of happiness for the redemption and new life you found in Christ. Thank you so much for sharing your story for it truly to the glory of our heavenly Father. As I stepped away from this post I thought of how your story exemplifies the section of Isaiah 53 that says, “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows . . . by His wounds we are healed.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Beth for reading and sharing your comments. As I read your Isaiah 53 quote I was reminded of the knowledge of His grief in my abuse. It humbled me then and humbles me today that Almighty God, His Son and the Spirit felt my pain first hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Alan,

    I too had a poor earthly father that prevented me praying to my heavenly Father when I was a new Christian. I used to pray just to Jesus initially. Thankfully I was prayed for quite early in my new Christian life and likewise lots of tears were part of that prayer time. And yes, God is good; He brought a wonderful newness in my heart. From that time I have always been able to speak to my heavenly Father without any fear whatsoever.

    I happened to be reading from Nehemiah yesterday, so your quotation from that book caused me to turn there again. I have been mightily blessed in doing so. I hope to write about it in due course.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe someone else who has suffered maltreatment at the hands of others may be encouraged to cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ and the God of heaven for their own salvation and healing.

    Blessings to you
    Helen

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Helen, thank you sister for reading and commenting so generously. There is no doubt our Father God has His guiding hand on your life, Hallelujah! I held onto this story until I felt God’s guidance to release it. I was sure that He had people in mind to hear the message; your response today confirms this, praise God.

      Like

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