When I Consider My Life So Far…01.17.11

I’m fascinated with how people are people no matter what culture they are from. Yet there are significant differences in how people raised in different cultures view and experience their world. What’s the same? What’s different? How does the God of all work in lives around the world? Here is the story of Mr. F., who was recently baptized and joined our church. (Shared with permission, translated by me.)

When I consider my life so far, it has been pretty unstable, marked by anxiety and lack of trust. At the base of it all has been a desire to be loved but a lack of certainty that I am loved. In addition, I get really interested in things and then soon lose interest, so it is hard for me to stick with things for the long haul. One reason has to do with my parents. My dad was a stubborn, selfish man, and I have hardly any memories of feeling loved or cared for by him. My mother tried her best to make up for that. She was very kind and I remember feeling surrounded by her love. However, when I was in first grade my mom met someone else and ran off with him. I didn’t really understand what was happening, but without her warmth and care, the pain and loss made me lose trust in people. This showed up in bullying other kids at school, skipping classes, and just generally doing whatever I wanted. These effects of my father’s personality and my mother’s impulsive act played out in my poor relationships with friends, and I become more and more selfish in my thoughts and behavior. At one point, because of my home situation, the school even suggested that I be placed in a child welfare facility, but somehow my father and other relatives talked with the school and were able to avoid this.

From a young age, I had problems with keeping good relationships with people, and as I chased after my own happiness and what I wanted, I caused a lot of problems for and hurt many people. This also left me with many scars. In junior and senior high I changed club membership four times, withdrew from university twice, and finally graduated from a vocational school. After that, I changed jobs six times. This was all because of my selfishness and distrust of people which got in the way of making and keeping good relationships.

At the second of my six jobs, I met a woman two years my senior, and we eventually married. There have been difficulties in our marriage, but through our two wonderful children, I was able to taste a happiness I never had before. Sadly, as the children have grown up, they’ve gotten closer to their mother and I have increasingly felt like an outsider in my own home. It has been hard for me to know where I fit. This loneliness is like a hole in my heart which needed to be filled. By chance, one of my co-workers is a Christian. I asked if it would be OK to go to church to study the Bible, and so began attending a church from the second Sunday in June, 2009.

Through studying the Bible, I found this wonderful verse from John 1:12. But to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God… Even me, with my mistrust of others and selfish ways, my grudges and jealousy, and the many other ways I had hurt people, my many sins were forgiven through the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Through trusting in Jesus, I could become a child of God and receive the gift of eternal life. Yes! If it was possible, I wanted that, so on July 31st, 2009, I declared my intention to follow Jesus.

By a roundabout way God led me to the Isesaki Covenant Church just a year ago at Christmas, and I have been coming ever since. I notice that I have peace more often than I ever had before, and am much more able to be gentle and stick with things because of my relationship with God. I don’t see much change in the problems in my family yet, but instead of giving up, I have decided to accept things as they are without getting angry and trust God to work in this situation that I cannot fix on my own. A verse that is my foundation right now is I Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Both in my work and in my family, I am trusting God to work for good and focusing on giving thanks to God each day. That I’ve changed so much to be able to feel this way is truly the result of Jesus taking the punishment for my sins, dying in my place, and giving me new life as a child of God. Thanks be to God.

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Posted by Andrea Johnson under Church, Healing, Scripture.

4 Responses to “When I Consider My Life So Far…”

  1. His willing[ness] to be vulnerable and let go is his greatest asset. What a beautiful thing. Sending prayers of love and healing that he might feel Love in every waking moment of his day. Love truly conquers all.

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    Posted by Julie on 12/13/09 January 17th, 2011 at 7:58 PMReply

  2. Wow! How wonderful to hear how the Lord has & IS working in your life Mr. F.! The verses you quoted are a good encouragement to me too! I said a prayer that the roots of your faith would grow strong in Jesus & others will see such a change that they too will be drawn to Jesus as Savior & Lord! May He continue to bless & guide you I pray!

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    Posted by JulieH-Seattle on 12/13/09 January 18th, 2011 at 3:02 AMReply

  3. What a beautiful testimony of the healing power of God’s unconditional love. I pray that as he meets with other men for Bible study and fellowship God will work in his life to touch the members of Mr. F.’s family with this love.

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    Posted by Ronna on 12/13/09 January 29th, 2011 at 2:47 PMReply

    • That’s our prayer too. It’s so nice to be joined by Jesus around the globe lifting up this family to God. A.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 January 30th, 2011 at 6:53 AMReply

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