Coded for Worship

“…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Rock [Me] Hard-Place

with 7 comments

I have a problem.

It’s one I’ve had since I was a young boy.  A problem I’ve always known about, yet have failed to fully explore.  There is really no one person or occurrence to which I can point the finger of blame.  No, this problem is a by-product of my life.

I was born to a couple who had very little in common.  She was 25, he was 50, and an age difference of 25 years were the least of the differences my parents had.  My mom wore her heart on her sleeve.  My dad was a man of little emotion, except for the times that alcohol took the proverbial wheel.  My mom wanted the best for me, as most any loving mother would.  My dad seemed as though he did not care about the future — he lived for the here and now.  My mom taught me to cook, to clean, to care, and to always stand up for myself.  My dad taught me nothing of value — at least not directly.

The relationships that I had with my parents were rather skewed.  Emotions that should have been shared were squelched instead.  Emotions that had no place being expressed to a child were exclaimed throughout the entire house.  With my dad, actions that should never take place were common place.

I just want to be loved…to be accepted.  I’m your son, you know.

Looking back, I see my dad, and I have no clear memory of him expressing fatherly love to me.  On occasion, the alcohol would take over and with his eyelids half shut, clouded by cigarette smoke, he would tell me he loved me.  Yet, my mind would go back to him holding a shotgun over my 5-year-old body as my mom held me tightly, screaming for help.  I would remember cleaning up both my dad and his vomit, only to be told that it never happened.  He would tell me he loved me, but I never saw it, never felt it … as though his “love” for me never existed.  Even in 2004  (the last time I saw him) he told me I was still the same fat “kid” I was when I lived at home and expressed his severe doubt that I would ever make anything of myself.  He died a year later.

Now, as I see my third decade of life on the horizon, I look back over my life and realize that I’m still trying to gain that love, that acceptance.  I tried throughout elementary school.  I tried throughout middle/junior-high school.  I tried through my high school years.

I’m still trying.

The problem that I have is that I try, either directly or covertly, to “help” people like me, to “help” people accept me, or to “give” people some sort of reason to love me.  This is a flaw.  This is not how love works, not true love, at least.  This would not be such a big deal normally — however, I’ve transposed it into a spiritual issue.  Yet, not in the way one might initially think.  I’m not trying to make God love me.  I know this to be futile.  God’s love for anyone is based on His grace and His grace alone.

Finally!  I’ve found the love and acceptance I’ve longed for all these years!

Not quite.  You see, I fully believe that God loves me.  I fully believe that I am acceptable to Him.  I believe all of these things based on the truth of His word — yet, I only believe them with my head.  My heart, my emotions, they refuse to let me fully embrace these truths.  It’s almost as though my heart is saying to my Creator, “No.  You don’t love me.  There’s no way,” and with that, I write-off the idea of God’s love — of my Father’s love for me.

A few years ago, my wife and I were working on growing closer, communicating better, and understanding each other more than we did at that time.  Angela asked me, “Do you know, fully know, that I will love you no matter what?” I answered her with honesty, not with what I knew she wanted to hear…

No.  I don’t know what it is to have that assurance.  I don’t know how that feels.

Years and years of a deep, aching yearning to have acceptance and love with no conditions.  Yet, when I finally am given these things, I refuse to believe that they are real.  It’s not my wife’s fault.  She has expressed and lived-out unconditional love on countless occasions.  It’s not my dad’s fault, as it was not his role to love me unconditionally — and if it was, he was a flawed human being who failed like so many others (including myself).

No, this is my problem.  It’s one I hope to, one day, see solved.  My heart still needs a lot of work, and while my gut tells me that the Holy Spirit is continually tending to that — my head, my flesh, screams obscene doubts and instills fear.

The truth is this, however: even if I live a full life and die an old age, my problem may never be solved.  Yet, even if it isn’t, it is my lot.  God’s nature does not change, He does not falter, and the love that flows from Him is true and firm.  No-matter-what.


Written by Andy

September 21, 2008 at 4:24 am

Posted in Life and Living

Tagged with , , , ,

7 Responses

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  1. Bravo to you for working on this. The issue will surface from time to time until you do the Inner Childhood work and feel comfortable with it. My husband has a similar story to yours.

    I do believe the way to help heal is do as you are doing –
    1. faith in god
    2. forgiveness of your father
    3. gratefulness for the love lessons your mother taught you.

    Please see me blog for some strategies and questions to assist you with your journey into yourself at I’ll keep you in my prayers!


    September 21, 2008 at 5:23 am

  2. i can most likely talk for days about this. i can talk about how maybe you and i are Jobs, meant to be the epitome of long-suffering. i can talk about how maybe we are meant to be examples of Paul – to suffer for the church. i can talk about desire and love, and how we are called to own them as well as administer them. i can talk about how we are called to be imitators of Him, and of course, He loves Himself. what kind of reality would it be if God didnt love Himself? what would He love? so.. something is more deserving of love than He? anyways.. thats off subject. i can talk about how He places us in the exact same mold, but just that tad bit bigger so you know you dont quite fit… yet.
    basically, i can give words of encouragement, i can give you a challenge, i can give you distractions which are so close to being on topic but end up taking your mind down never-ending thought processes… but i know, and i believe you do as well, that those things will never be a fix. youd just be thanking me for a band-aid.
    also, by now, i think we both have ascertained that time does not heal all wounds.
    not to be pessimistic :o)
    Him. He heals all wounds. of course, after all of this i really will whip out the sunday school answer. :o)
    because in all reality, the thing that children get best is love.
    we are called to love like children.
    they dont understand the love their parents have for them. we dont understand the love He has for us.
    i think of how the child who lost his mother doesnt understand or know the love he has just lost – but he feels it. he feels the evil that has just eternally affected and, for the long-term future, plagued his life. he feels a foreigner in his heart. there to stay. unwelcomed. for an indefinite amount of time.
    say we are called to not pursue the knowledge and understanding of such great a love, but to experience it. to go, to do – to believe. to be and to live love. in and for. by and through. so that one day. maybe. we go back to the beginning.

    ive given you a band-aid. hey, i used to need those a lot as a kid.
    maybe youre on the right track ;o)
    and what a love is that. that He would give you a life of loving you in repetition that never loses meaning. the one and only place time has lost its power of attrition upon purpose. was the first sunrise that much more meaningful than the one outside this very minute? each sunrise. each band-aid. each and every thing He does to embrace you in this divine romance every single day. so you know you are loved. as a child. meant and called to love like a child. one who is prone to fall away. who is created human to realize his dependency in Him who is able to meet all wants and needs. who is created without everything so he can be fulfilled by He who is everything.

    p.s. band-aids do help :o) so does the time between them when the air brings its own healing.
    p.s.s. there is a season for all things. aka everything is seasonal. this will have its end. He is the only eternal. everything else is temporary. and i think He reminds us of that in very painful ways, and that He tries to remind us in more pleasant ways… that we often overlook.

    haha. ill see you in a few hours ;o)
    thanks for allowing me to regurgitate.


    September 21, 2008 at 5:31 am

  3. One thing is for sure, I will be here to go through it with you. I love you!


    September 22, 2008 at 10:22 am

  4. Your story and your honesty are appreciated…


    September 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  5. Tried to call you tonight to check on you.

    Rod Carroll

    September 22, 2008 at 9:18 pm

  6. Whoah! I’m a bit weirded out by your post. I have the same struggle: “… yet, I only believe them with my head.” I’ve struggled with this knowledge for maybe two years – searching for a way out of this incongruency. I know with my entire being that God’s love is complete for others, but doubt that He can love me. Intellectually I find this ridiculous & maddening!

    Today I realized my independence gets in the way of my faith & trust. I’m in a repentant posture. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sorry or sorrowful. I’m grieving the fact that I’m not in sync with God. It really hurts!

    THANK YOU for posting this … for being transparent. I cannot stress how much it means to me to know I’m not the only one dealing with this. You voiced EXACTLY what is stirring in my heart!

    Please, oh please, share what God shows you. I’ll be paying attention. I’ll even share what I’m learning: I keep thinking of Job (Knowing God is more important than knowing what God is doing) and, this is a mystery because I am NOT praying for babies!), 1st Samuel’s 2:2-10 (Hannah’s prayer).

    I’ll be praying for you. Perhaps because it’s easier than praying for myself 🙂


    September 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm

  7. Andy – The best news is that you realize this as an issue. Some of us go our entire lives never figuring out what’s ‘wrong’.

    Anyhow- interested in hearing how you ended up in Nashville!

    Becky Jones


    October 3, 2008 at 10:59 am

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