My life was on the way out, I needed to find something to change direction.
|I remember when I first decided to pursue the ministry of counseling. I grew up in a home with an angry mother. Mean words poured out of her mouth whenever she spoke with us. She grew up angry, mostly at my grandfather, and I believe he grew up angry as well. Every word she would scream at my two brothers (at the time) and I were mean, angry, and full of bitterness. My father left her and abandoned us in the process. At age five, my mother suffered (I was told) a “nervous breakdown.” Even today, after 30 years as a professional counselor I still do not know what the heck that is, but she had one. As a consequence, my two younger brothers and myself were thrown into the system. We ended up with a cruel family who should not have been allowed around animals, much less with children. They abuse us emotionally and physically.
When my mother finally returned to get us I did not recognize her. The social worker lady kept encouraging the three of us, who were huddled together out of fear, to respond to our mother and go with her. When the social worker succeeded in pulling us closer to her, I came to realize that this was my mother. I lunged at her with all the fierceness of a five-year-old and screamed into her face, “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” I was not old enough to form coherent sentences to explain to her the trauma we lived in those evil people’s home. I just knew that she was the cause of it all.
Many years later, after growing up an angry child. Failing at most of what I intended. Drug addiction, a failed marriage, a violent nature, a life of petty crime, and a deep-seated hatred that led me to believe that “life sucks and then you die.” I was about to fail at my second marriage. My wife had filed divorce actions against me, and in Texas you have no real way to fight back, being a “No Fault” divorce state. I wished I was dead. I knew that if I had died then, things would only be better for everyone involved.
But, I had two sons. With all the wrongness in me, I knew I would not give up on them. I had already hurt them enough in how I had treated their mom, I would not hurt them further by hurting myself. I looked outside of me for help. I knew I did not have the answer. I turned to God. I told Him if He could change me then He could have me. He took me at my word.
Almost a year later, my wife and I stood before the divorce judge. Her lawyer read off a long list of everything of which I was being accused, in order to get the divorce. Then the judge hit his mallet on the desk and said, “You are divorced.” I walked out of the court stunned and remorseful. I had made many changes in that time, I had submitted to God, I had changed. I hoped and prayed that He would save my marriage. That, it seemed, was not the case. But it was, you see, I found out later she did not sign the divorce papers; we later reunited.
Due to this, I started working with men who were going through the same circumstances I had. The more I helped them the more I healed. The more I healed caused me to want to help even more people. This led to my becoming interested in counseling. Since then, I have counseled hundreds of persons for thousands of hours. Healing continues in my life.