A Changing Point
After this amazing salvation experience, I walked home, or more like walked on air while dancing all the way home. Upon my arrival, I found much tension in the house. So, being so full of the Joy of the Lord, I shared with my dad who was sitting in his chair my salvation story; I just got saved! I didn’t know what to expect for a reaction as I’ve never been saved before, but I wasn’t prepared for the punch to my face for telling my story. That was the beginning of when I can say was the turning point of my childhood; our entire family direction was changed and changed for the worse.
As I continued to go to church every Sunday, I just knew that I would be beaten with my dad’s fist or kicked with his boots or just get pummeled or however he seen appropriate that day. Variety of abuse seemed somewhat welcomed in a strange way. It allowed the beaten parts of my body to recover somewhat before the next pummeling. This affected the entire family as my mom in the beginning tried to defend me only to fall victim to this abuse as well.
A Deeper Understanding
Holy Spirit gave me the strength to just take it. He told me that, “this is what it looks like when someone is following Satan and has not chosen the path of the cross.” My heart cried for my dad as I began to realize at the age of 11 the impact of bondage; how bondage can destroy a person from within without any external chains. He needed freedom, so my message to him was a message of love. I never challenged him, his authority or prevented him from abusing me. I simply smiled and told him that, “Jesus loves him and that I forgive him.”
It made him change from anger to rage, but I was determined to set an example to my dad of what Godly love looks like. Dad never knew love. He was abused as a child himself. His mother died when he was 6 years old. His dad took all of his anger at the loss of his wife out on his son, my dad. Compassion for my dad grew even though his rage accelerated.
The abuse continued and then one of the most significant moments happened when I was 14 years old. The following is one of the many instances, but the most devastating. On Saturday he was mad about me missing a pile of dog poop in our backyard that I failed to pick up. It was my responsibility to clean that up. He felt that what I done I did purposefully and that somehow, I was responsible for him stepping in it, like I was just crouching invisibly and plunked that pile of poop right under his foot. What came out of his mouth next is was one of the hardest pronouncements that I had to overcome, and spent most of my life breaking its power over me. He looked at me and said “See that pile of poop (but he used a vulgar word) that’s you, that’s your life and that’s all you’ll ever become, a piece of poop”.
He then forced me into the family room and said that he would be right back because he was going to fix this problem once and for all. He returned with a gun. I knew that God had to be my everything in this moment as I stared at him wondering if this was all there was to my life. How could he hate me so much or hate the Lord who was in me? A true glimpse of how much the enemy hates God, what happens in the spiritual realm was acting out in the natural one at this moment. So many thoughts raced through my head, but I wasn’t afraid. One of the most challenging times is when your dad put a gun in your back and tries to force you into the burning fireplace. The heat was intense and I could feel the burning of my clothes and I felt my hair burning and the stench of the burning. Mom happened to come in and tried to stop dad. Well, she was now the victim of his abuse as he beat her too.
This was my introduction on how real God truly is. I felt honored to have just a small glimpse of what torture Jesus endured to save me, to save all of us. Jesus is my hero, my role model of character and my savior. I will be sharing more about how the power of Holy Spirit enabled me to overcome all of this. Choose to forgive, release, and bless all those that have hurt you and you will be free.
James Wheeler is a son of God, loving husband, daddy, Co-Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Mentor, & Financial Professional