Susan loves the Lord. She seeks to walk close to him by studying the word of God. His word holds all the answers to life's questions.
He Loves Me
Is God like my Dad?
It has been said that a person's opinions and views about God are closely associated with their relationship to and experience with their earthly father, I believe that is true.
If you were raised by a Dad who had a relationship with God, you most certainly were blessed to see God's attributes being lived out in his life. But for those of us raised by earthly fathers who had no use or time for God, (I only heard God's name used in a series of cuss words) the ability to see God and his true attributes is almost impossible.
My father was not a man to be admired or trusted. He achieved great success in his profession, but at home he wreaked havoc! My father was an alcoholic and a rageaholic.
Come and take a look with me, through my little girl eyes, and try to picture this grown man I called Father. When my father's anger was sparked - look out! Do you know what it feels like to have a raging lunatic looming over you with a deep red face contorted in uncontrolled fury? As he gets in your face his tongue spews all sorts of embarrassing, humiliating and evil utterances. This was the man I knew as my father.
When I was cornered I would feel myself go weak all over and all I could think was - how can I survive this?
The relationship between my mom and dad was hostile and ugly. Angry words and tempers flared as I tried to go to sleep each night. I felt lost and alone. I was terrified of tripping his trigger and was afraid of him, actually for years I hated him.
Can you understand why I never felt secure or loved by him? Can you grasp the concept of the fear and torment he planted in my heart? To this day if someone surprises me or yells I jump out of my skin and my heart races uncontrollably.
As I grew into my early teen years I began to think that life was a real bummer. I was certain I didn't want to live the life my parents were living. Deep inside I had this 'knowing' that there was something more ... more than what my parents experienced.
I mean this complex universe and its people could not have just happened - could they?
Is God Real?
If God exists there MUST be a Way I can Know Him
No one ever talked to me about God and I never went to Church, except on occasions when a friend or neighbor took me.
At age 15 there was a day, and I can remember this as clearly as if it were yesterday, I was downstairs folding clothes and pondering life. I was thinking that if there really was a God there had to be a way I could know for sure. I wanted to know if He existed and if He could bring some kind of sense to this life.
Suddenly I felt desperate to know him. I put the clothes down and laid face down on the floor. Crying out I prayed, "God, if you are real, I just can't believe you created me and then plopped me down here on this earth-place to fend for myself... My heart longs to know you but I don't know how to find you.... Will you please reveal yourself to me?"
God So Loved Me
About a year later God chose to use a very special man to reveal the existence of God to me. One night my girlfriend Debbie asked me over to their home. Debbie knew I had been struggling and was discouraged. She had to work hard to get me to spend the night with her and because she was persistent, I finally caved. That night after her Dad put the kids to bed he turned to me and said he had something very important to tell me. He opened God's word and spoke words of life to me.
Dad Haworth told me God was real and he spoke the Heavens and the Earth into existence. In fact, He was the creator of the whole universe ...'I knew it!' ... He said that God uniquely created me and He loved me and had a purpose for my life... (tears welled in my eyes and the deepest longings to know God squeezed at my heart). Dad Haworth explained that the Lord God is a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin in His heaven ... Oh, I knew all about the ugliness of sin - though I didn't call it sin. He then showed me, using God's very words, that because God so loved me, He gave His only son to die for my sins (in my place) so that I could live eternally with Him.
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness". Ps. 103:12 "He has removed our sins as far from us as the EAST is from the WEST." So when does the East ever catch up with the West?... Never ... it's impossible ... That is how far God has romoved our sins... we must not allow ourself to wallow in regret - it is gone and we can move on.
Dad H. told me that if I would confess my sins that God would forgive me and cleanse me from all my unrighteousness and welcome me into His family. He talked about eternal life and of a new Heaven and a new Earth. Man, I was covered in goosebumps and my heart leapt for joy!
That night I eagerly accepted the free gift of forgiveness that Jesus death provided for me. I asked God to forgive me for my sins and I thanked Him for sending Jesus to take my place on the cross. I invited Him to be the Lord of my life. I felt an immediate lifting of my Spirit and I experienced what scripture describes as .... Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.
My Soul Came to REST
My whole world and direction in life changed. I once felt like a lost child but after giving my life to God and accepting forgiveness through Jesus .. I no longer felt lost ... I belonged! ..not just belonged but adopted into God's family - God calls me daughter.
My prayer the year before was answered, my soul came to rest and I was fully at peace. I finally knew that the creator God loved me, pursued me and had a plan for my life here on Earth.
Looking back I understand that God himself came to my rescue. In the middle of my mess, he reached down, with love and compassion and drew me to his heart.
You Come to My Rescue
A Different Kind of Dad
As I spent time in God's word I began to read about my Heavenly Father. He is so opposite of my earthly Dad. In God's word, the Psalmist gives us a snapshot picture of Father God, the one who loves you and me beyond our wildest dreams, hopes and expectations.
"The LORD is merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:8-14)
Confusing Earthly Dad with Father God
Even today I struggle with the natural inclination to draw away from God when life gets hard or painful. Why would I do this? I have honestly just come to grips with this myself. My distrust in my earthly Father is getting transferred emotionally to a drawing away, in distrust, from God. It is a subconscious thing that goes on with me. I know what I must do. I need to retrain my brain by allowing God's word to be the final authority about who God is and how He relates to me. I must replace those ideas and images of dad with the truths of who my Father God is.
On a conscious level I would never say I don't trust God. But my pulling away proves me wrong. The old feelings of abandonment and distrust try to take precedence over what I know to be true about God. I need to make a conscious choice to trust God and let Him guide me through the hard times. He is 'in the midst' of every situation I encounter and He will never leave me or forsake me.
A Friend that Sticks Closer than a Brother
It is a journey; a pilgrims journey...My life on earth is preparation for my home in Heaven. I long for it and know that this time on Earth, though the days are filled with trials and tribulations, is temporary. I also know that the God of Heaven loves me unconditionally and passionately. I don't ever have to feel alone again. "He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
"How Great is the Father's love that we should be called the children of God" I John 3:1
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Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on July 10, 2013:
rhoda, Woohoo .. His love endures forever! God always reaches us and often uses other believers (even those on the other side of the world) to help us see His mighty hand at work.
He is so faithful! I thank God that He used my experience to touch your life. It makes the time put into writing the story ... sooooooooooooooo worth it!
God bless you rhoda and keep you close to His heart!
rhoda on July 09, 2013:
Am happy,I don't even know how I stumbled upon this site but I thank God I did..am in Africa by the way and to think 3years later your writing has reached me..our God is an awesome God indeed. I needed to hear something from God and He has used this to communicate to me..I will continue to trust in His ways for indeed His love is enduring *woohoo*
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on February 26, 2013:
I'm glad you found it Brenda - I am such a goof sometimes. LOL Thanks for rejoicing in my parents salvation. God is so GOOD and has worked so many miracles in my life.
I look forward to knowing you better here on the hubs!
Brenda Durham on February 25, 2013:
I'm so glad your Mom and Dad both got saved later!! Woohoo! Yes that's the best anyone could want!
Hey, don't worry; I found your other hub and I read it; it's wonderfully written as well; You rock; God bless you sister!
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on February 25, 2013:
Brenda, your enthusiasm for my story has touched my heart deeply. I feel such a kindred spirit in you. Though our backgrounds are as different as night and day the same God drew us to Himself and adopted us into His family.
Your Mom and Dad sound like the BEST parents ever. What I did not write in this hub is that my Dad came to know the Lord later in his life. It was my dear husband who led him to Christ - there was a huge change in him and it was clear that God had redeemed Him. My mother also received Christ. I prayed constantly for my family to know Him and know the peace that passes ALL understanding. Though it took many years, God answered those prayers. What more could a kid ask for? :)
I must apologize because I read over this hub and it is not the hub about my high school boyfriend and God's miraculous guidance to a Christian school and then to meet my husband.
I am so glad to get to know you and really see your heart. You are my sister and I look forward to meeting you someday .. probably beyond the blue in a place Jesus has gone to prepare for us. He's coming soon!
God Bless YOU!
Brenda Durham on February 25, 2013:
what a beautiful story! And it gets to the Truth-------the truth that we can find only when we meet the Master! No matter how we were raised. You see, I was raised in a very Godly home; Mom was the most perfect person I know of (haha of course no one is perfect, but she strove daily to stay with the Lord and to raise us all right), and Daddy was the same (he had overcome a bad past and became a preacher, steady, strong, unmoveable from the path God had chosen for him). The thing is---my Mom had grown up without any Christian influence except her grandfather, the only person who ever taught her about God and to read the Bible. She once told me she couldn't recall ever having received a hug from her own mother.
They both left us kids a legacy of the greatest kind----------belief in God, and informing us that we of course had a choice to make.
You, my dear lady, are doing such a great thing by passing down that information and belief and choice to your own children etc.! All the things that your parents didn't teach you. Awesome!
It's odd, but what I'm trying to get at is this-----you and I were raised differently, but God pursued us and made us His. I too felt like I didn't belong! I knew my parents loved me, and I knew I belonged in their family, and they raised me well, but I still didn't feel like I really belonged anywhere.........until I accepted Christ. Yes, God is our Father in the purest sense of the word! Awesome; praise Him!
I'm so glad that each of us Christians have a story to tell; who knows which one will reach what person somewhere down the road.
I always love to hear the witness of people who weren't raised in a Christian home, because it humbles me since I'm sometimes inclined to take my own raising for granted, and I'm so glad to hear about the new Life that people have come through to witness for the Lord.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on May 29, 2011:
Thank you villar - God answered a teenager's prayer and sent one of His messenger's to show me how Great the Father's love is for mankind ... and for me individually. My life finally made sense - I was created for a purpose. How I love the Lord! God Bless you too villar! :0)
villar from Hong Kong on May 28, 2011:
wonderful sharing :) you have a good heart that knowing your earthly, your love and faith to God the Father made you realize how wonderful you are :) God bless you!
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on June 16, 2010:
Awe Tim, thanks for stopping by for a read. I am blessed to be a tool to BLESS you dear man! and as you know GOD FLIPPED it on me and BLESSED me HUGELY with your life and prayers and more....
tim kenner from Greater Orange County on June 16, 2010:
Awesome insight into your past and the way God and you came together and where you are today and WOW! An angel of the Lord in human form, I will always believe that, such a blessing to me and everyone who knows you, God Bless You!!!!!!! :) Love You Sis.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on May 25, 2010:
Dear drmbyrd, thank you for sharing your love and faith in God. I know others .. one here on the hubs .. whom God made Himself known to from a very young age. He surely pursues us and goes before us.. His love is unconditional and unlike any human can possibly begin to give us .. goes into our souls and ministers deeply.
You have had a very difficult life .. but as you testify God has walked beside you .. I see your very giving heart in adopting a son .. one who is psychotic .. WOW
I pray God continually strengthens you dear one to do His will in your corner of the world .. A job many would back away from .. but you went boldly toward.
Bless YOU and your clear godly insight here .. "it is important that we share Him every time we can. We could save someone's life."
I'll be visiting your hubs .. I am drawn to your heart!
drmbyrd from Silicon Valley on May 25, 2010:
I am so glad you searched of God. Laying prostate on the ground showed your true desire. I am like you. I always knew there was God. He spoke to me before I was 4yrs old. But it was at 4 that I went to church and heard the minister calling the name of God over and over, and I knew it was Him that had been talking to me.
My life has been traumatic, with many abandonments, crushimg experiences in a step family and an absentee father who was all love one minute and the next no problem with taking advantage or using me.
I have child with muscular dystrophy. I have a son that I adopted that is psychotic. I am bipolar. But through it all I never lost faith. I kept my line open for direct communication with the Creator. And that has brought me through. I am soooo glad for you that you too have that conncetion. I feel so sorry for those people who do not know Him. It must be a lonely life feeling that you have no one to turn to, no one to carry you when you cannot carry yourself.
All of us who know Him are blessed and it is important that we share Him every time we can. We could save someone's life.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 12, 2010:
Rossimobis, Yes, "Seek and you shall find." I see you know your Bible .. and you say you know God too .. Awesome!! This picture is actually an artist's conception of Jesus. In the Bible we have the accounts of Jesus when he walked the earth and a description of him and what he did during his time on earth ... remember when Jesus said "suffer not the little children to come unto me .. for such is the kingdom of Heaven." The picture perfectly illustrates Jesus love for Children. We learn in the Bible that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one... The trinity, so in that sense .. yes, you have seen a picture of God. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your beautiful comments.
Chibuzo Melvin Mobis from Nigeria on March 12, 2010:
"Seek and you shall find",he said. I have known God all my life, he has always been there but i never knew he existed over the internet,i saw a picture of him while going through this fabulous life perfecting piece.I know God,have always known him but just saw him today.
"How Great is the Father's love that we should be called the children of God" I John 3:1
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on February 11, 2010:
Moulik, hey nice to see you again .. point of departure?? Do you mean that our quest for God is a continuing process .. to that I would say amen!
Moulik Mistry from Burdwan, West Bengal, India on February 11, 2010:
Beautiful article - there is no point of departure while trying to understand God, at least so far as I think...
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on January 17, 2010:
SL, I am so honored and encouraged by your comments. I continue to seek God's will in my life and He fills me with purpose and joy. Blessings on your life my friend!
SL Perrin from South Carolina on January 17, 2010:
Mekenzie my friend I appreciate the great works of this piece and the way you shared your steps towards Christ as your Savior. You said earlier that God sought you out. My sister in Christ he wants us all, but the deal is we must seek him out and do as you had, asked him into your life for eternity. I truly enjoyed this testimony of faith and the commitment you stood on of joining God's team personally and as a writer albeit here or elsewhere. Thank you much.
Shout aloud and be heard from east to west.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on January 07, 2010:
RevLady, awe - Thank you dear one. I see from your response that I have convinced you that this is a recent experience. I must be a better writer than I thought... Ha Ha. I have actually been a Christian for many years and have a dear husband (were in ministry almost 30 years) three children and 10 grandkids. God has been my rock all through the years. Thanks for your encouraging words and for your life testimony! Blessings
RevLady from Lantana, Florida on January 07, 2010:
MeKenzie, thank you so much for inviting to read this hub. I join with God's angels in celebrating your new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. As you continue to mature and grow in His grace, you faith will only strengthen and solidify (sanctification). You are already way ahead of many.
I am impressed with your ability to self assess and be honest with yourself. That is itself a gift of the Holy Spirit working in you. One of the worst forms of deception is self-deception, which is certainly not an issue of yours.
God bless you!
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 31, 2009:
skye, no mistaking it - we are sisters at heart. I agree that teaching children the song ... yes, Jesus Loves Me .. could change the direction of many lives. I am so happy that your Granddaughter accepted Jesus.. Wow, what a wonderful Christmas present - the BEST! Thanks for your words of encouragement - they mean so much! Have a Happy New Years dear skye.. and keep holding on to the one who never lets go... Love to YOU dear girl.
skye2day from Rocky Mountains on December 31, 2009:
Tidings Mekenzie, Beautiful Hub. Dad H was used in a mighty way. Thank You Our Lord for this wonderful man. I too come from an alcoholic raging dad. He passed on in 1987.He was spiritually ill. I know he was saved and is in Heaven near my moma. We had to go to the Catholic Church. I am grateful, in hindsight, because I knew there was a God. I think if one person could tell one hurting little child one thing it would be good to sing or tell him/her the song 'Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know.' I was thinking of that the other evening. My little step granddaughter 7 years raised her hand on Christmas eve for Jesus and forgiveness. She has not been in church before.
I cried.The little ones have a huge place in my heart.
Mek,there is no mistake we are friends. I look forward to see where yoru writing journey takes you. You are Blessed with sweet words of music that flow and are truth. Hugs
In Joy + + +
Yes we do have a wonderful Father today. Thank You Lord.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 30, 2009:
I so appreciate you and your life testimony. God is so faithful and always patient and kind. He has blessed my life in so many ways and He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Thanks for reading the Hub and for ministering to others with the knowledge and understanding granted to you by God.
"Quill" on December 30, 2009:
Morning MeKenzie...thanks for the invite to read this hub. The blessing of reading over the pain and the suffering is knowing that you have found peace with your true Father.
Over the years of doing ministry with others this has been a re-occuring thyme, that connection with the earthly father has not always been that great, thus it is the way people see God.
You have choosen to step away and lead many others through what you wrte on a new journey of discovery, God Bless you for what you are doing. Such sharing can open old wounds but through placing your thoughts on paper there is great healing there as well.
God Bless Dad Haworth for answering the call...
Many Blessings Sister.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 28, 2009:
Thanks for stopping by Coolmon - I trust you were blessed!
Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on December 28, 2009:
Thanks for sharing
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 11, 2009:
TJB, thank you for your kind words, confirmation and the abundant blessings in Jesus! I receive that in gratitude.
TJBaruch from Clearwater, FL on December 11, 2009:
A lovely hub...the truth of your words carried by the Holy Spirit. Thank you...and abundant blessings in Jesus.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 10, 2009:
Thanks Mary ... after reading some of your hubs I can see that you (as I have) have made a deliberate choice to change the direction of your future generations. You are raising your children in a safe, loving environment. God bless you as you journey.
marygarrison on December 10, 2009:
Thank you, Mekenzie, for sharing your childhood experiences, and how they have affected your understanding, and relationship, with God. I think most of us relate to God (our Heavenly Father) with our earthly father examples. In my situation, my dad was weak, and my mother the abuser or ‘rageaholic’. In my childhood translation, God couldn’t, or wouldn’t help me. I’m so glad I know better now from my experiences with a loving Savior, but I still struggle in believing God desires my personal happiness. For me, understanding how God has a bigger plan, and how we are His foot soldiers here on earth, with an eternal goal, is still much easier for me to grasp, than realizing how God cares for our personal safety, comfort, and protection during our earthly lifetimes. Thankfully God shows His love for me daily, and my faith in His divine love is strengthened each day as I seek Him. I love reading the Bible stories about how God interacted with other people from times past. I’m strengthened and encouraged by their examples.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 08, 2009:
Lori, I am too! God sought me out - my heart is His!
loriamoore on December 08, 2009:
I'm so glad that someone in your life shared God with you. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 03, 2009:
Chris, I so appreciate your transparency - you, dear man, are a survivor who carries some battle scars - just like me. I am going to pray that God will bring someone into your life that you can trust - he has done that for me (in fact they are loyal-supportive, trust with my life type of friends..) They say if you find one such friend in a lifetime - you are most definitely blessed - I have five - I feel it is way more than I deserve...) :-). I have read some of Stormie's books. I am honored that you should give so high a compliment. God Bless you and guide you as you journey Chris!
Chris Cook from Key West, Florida on December 02, 2009:
Hi Mekenzie ! Thanks for the nice words and comments. I believe God spoke to me through this article. You see I was raised by a stepfather who had a very dark side. He molested my sister since she was three. He hated me because I was in the way and reminded him of my father who was a professional baseball player. I ran away from home so many times as a child. I was the kid on the missing report on the 6 o'clock news many times. I was pummeled by my mother and stepdad with fists when I was only 11 years old. I have never really trusted anyone. This has also caused me to pull away from God during difficult times. Now I know why. Thanks for this profound story. You're truly a natural writer. I love to read books by "Stormie Omartian." Her works are in all the Christian book stores. I can envision you writing in a similar style. You can actually contact her for tips and advice if you need to. Thanks again Mekenzie ! It was a Blessing to me.
Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on December 01, 2009:
Madison, I am so glad that the article touched your life. I don't think it was by coincidence that you read it today. God Bless you dear one!
Madison from NYC on December 01, 2009:
How wonderful it is to have read this first thing in the morning, beautiful and uplifting. Just sunday evening I was asking GOD making questions pertaining things going on in my life, I believe some of those questions got answered reading your article, Thank You.