“Dad, STOP!” These were the words I remembered the most between the ages of five and fifteen. I remember asking, no, screaming with tears welling in my eyes “Dad, stop! Please stop!” But the beating would continue on, as my mom fought to protect herself from his harsh slaps and pounding kicks to her face and body.
As a child, the only thing I really wanted was “love.” I desperately sought out love; love from the people around me, from my classmates, teachers, neighbors, and most of all, love from my parents. I could sit now dwelling on all of the bad experiences in my life, I could form a list of the extremely unfortunate situations I found myself in over and over again, but I choose not to. I choose to focus on the one love that saved me. The one love that changed me, restored me, hung on a cross for me, and even rose again, promising never to leave me. I met this love as a student while studying at Colegio Meson, Inn Ministries. It was during this time that I chose the Father’s plan for my life, I asked the Lord to take control, and I decided to align my life with the life of Jesus Christ. It is in Him that I find real, uncompromised, unconditional love.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” 1 John 3:1
It is amazing how much our Father can love us. We as humans do not, and even cannot, deserve the love He offers. We were once destined for hell for all eternity, but because of Him, and His love, we can soar to heaven, throw open our arms, and be with Him forever. God has held me in His arms; He is the one who took care of me while my world caved in on top of me. I have enough to thank Him for for the rest of my days, but that isn’t how God works. He has not only restored my life, but my family as well. I know God as the one who restored my parent’s marriage, healed my mother’s bruises, and saved my family’s souls. He is the God my whole family serves.
Last July I had the opportunity to baptize my sister and my father – what a moment! I was given the gift to baptize the very person who gave me life, the person who was once beating my mom, and the person who, last week, preached his first sermon in front of a congregation of fellow believers! The celebration in heaven must have been incredible as my father stood sharing his heart for God and how he is now changed forever because of the Father’s love. Yet, we cannot keep any of the glory for ourselves. All of the glory belongs to Him, the one who loved us first. Christ is the reason why, today, we are alive and serving Him.