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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




My Journey: Never Too Far Gone

By Regan Frizzelle
Sept. 22, 2013

Some people you think are just too far away to be reached for God. This is exactly what I thought when I pulled up and saw my father, Craig Seekins, sitting on the porch of a dark, vacant house. He had eaten poorly for days, and he had nothing left. I knew God had opened a window for my brother and me to rescue my father.

Over a plate of enchiladas we were able to pray with my father to receive Christ and take the first step of committing to go to Teen Challenge in Midland, Texas.

My father was my mother’s second of nine husbands, so my brother and I did not have a relationship with him. But what the enemy sought to bring about for all of our detriment, God changed for our good. All I needed to believe was no one is ever too far gone for God.

My mother and father lived most of their days lost and wandering. I was an unexpected arrival in their lives. I’m the youngest of four. My two older sisters have the same father, while my brother and I have the same father.

When my mother gave birth to her first boy and her third child, she wanted to be done. She was becoming very unhappy in her marriage to my dad. After having me, my mother escaped from her second marriage into the arms of her third husband, dragging us four little ones along for the ride.

Like most children who come from divorce, I began to bounce back and forth between parents. Dad traveled a lot, so my brother and I got to be with him sporadically for a few weeks during the summer. He mostly lived in other people’s homes and in hotels until he remarried, when he and his new wife purchased a trailer.

My father loved his alone time where he could read the newspaper or watch TV. So when we would come to visit, he would lock us out of the trailer and we would play all day. He would put a jug of water on the porch in case we got thirsty, to keep us from running in and out.

To this day, I’m sure his reasons for locking us out were from his shame of his addictions. I never remember eating much or having snacks. We would go into other people’s houses and be starving. I craved being with a family.

My stepmom was in love with my father, but I think in many ways Dad’s heart always belonged to my birth mother. Our stepmom tried to love us and was patient when we were in her home, but I don’t remember ever eating dinner as a family or doing activities together.

Dad loved to read. He was constantly staying up with the latest news, reading two newspapers each day. He always would tell me, “Know a little bit about what’s going on in the world so you can carry on a conversation with people.” He always loved to tell me big words then have me look them up if I did not know the meaning.

My father played rugby and football in college. He completed his sophomore year, then got hooked on drugs and dropped out. He sold cars for a living while we were young. (I remember in elementary school going and visiting him in the summer and riding in a car he had borrowed from the dealership. That was always fun because we never had nice cars, let alone new cars.) My dad was a great salesman. His dad was a salesman as well, and my dad always said that selling was in the family blood.

Most of the time my dad was very kind and genuine in his approach to people, but he had a temper and a short fuse if things weren’t going his way. Feeling he did not measure up as a father, his constant insecurity would hinder his relationship with me for years to come.

What I love about our Heavenly Father is that He never gives up on us. God is able to take our inadequacies and failures and use them for His glory. He never sees our lives as leftovers. If we have breath in our lungs, God has purpose for us. He doesn’t want us to think of ourselves as accidents. He sees our lives as beneficial and good, if we will commit ourselves to Him.

Somewhere along the way, my father believed the lie of the enemy and became discouraged by failure. Satan wants us to sit in the valley of discouragement and never reach our full potential. The lies of the enemy can seem so loud you feel you can’t turn the volume down.

No one can change what has happened to us or to our parents, but if we will listen to the Holy Spirit’s quiet voice and accept Christ as our Savior, we can change our today and our eternal future. We can ask for help in the midst of our greatest struggles.

When we pray and wait, God responds by helping, restoring and transforming. God did just that in my dad’s life. At my dad’s graduation from Teen Challenge, I was totally humbled by the change in my father. I had the opportunity to proclaim boldly to the women and daughters sitting in the audience that they can believe the best will come out of their circumstances when they trust and realize that no one is ever too far gone for God.

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:18,19, NIV).


REGAN FRIZZELLE lives in Tulsa, Okla., where she and husband Aaron serve as youth pastors at Woodlake Church (Assemblies of God).

 

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