WHO I AM
"A CHILD OF GOD"
My name is Daniel. I love Jesus with all my heart because I have seen too much not to.
I was born in 87 and my biological Father left soon after that. At the age of 4 I was living with my brothers and my Mom when we found ourselves in an abusive household. I can remember cops being called to apprehend the man that was supposed to be called "dad". It was hard to make sense of this word at the time and throughout my life. We moved from shelter to shelter trying to find refuge and peace. We eventually found ourselves in Louisiana where things were a little more stable for a season. Sports began to fill a void that I had felt for so long. "Dad" Could be exchanged for the word "Coach" and all the coaches' approval could mask the need for that figure in my life. It wasn't long though until the marriage that brought us there would begin to struggle and inevitably lead us back home... to Tennessee. The coaches and mentors faces seemed to change but the need was still the same - approval, acceptance, love. Still searching for these things, I began to find them with friends doing things that made us feel "cool". Things that no 13 year old should be doing. Drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it. When there's no standard of right in your life and no accountability you are left to seek out whatever pleases your flesh and those things ultimately will try and kill you. I found myself at rock bottom at the age of 16. The void was now a black hole. The path looked like a wilderness. My choices had brought me to a place that could have ended me...
But God had other plans.
In the midst of my darkest valley, He called my name. He ran past the piles of regrets and destructive patterns of behavior. He tore down every lie and masquerade the enemy had placed over my eyes. He lifted my head up and spoke directly to me as if He was staring into the very eyes He created as He said, "Daniel, let me fill the void. Let me be the Father you have always wanted. Because I AM Father to the fatherless". My life was changed. My heart felt full for the first time and would continue to grow and to develop as I pursued this voice. The wilderness began to clear and the path began to appear. He spoke to me again saying, "I want you to praise and worship me, and I will take care of the rest". Such a simple request that has directed my life for 15 years now. In light of this direction I have dedicated my life to praising and worshipping this God who called me at my lowest. This Father who found me in the dark. This Savior who washed away the filth and made me whole. I could end the story there but it wouldn't give full weight to the restoration that I received. You see, when God redeems you, He doesn't just redeem your sins. He redeems even the sins done to you. The abandonment, the abuse, the pain... Now replaced with a love that I had never known. All in the form of a wife that I don't deserve and my children that I would die to protect and that somehow show me a glimpse of how our Father feels towards us.
And now by His grace, I get to come home to these 3 beautiful children that always run up to me with reckless abandon and call me "Daddy".