To accept is the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered. To me, that meant God offered me a new life, a new me and to free me of my depression and past hurts. That was difficult for me to accept because it to me, it was something that I thought would never happen.
So there I am in my own world having my first true encounter with God talking directly to me. It was like the scene from Prince of Egypt when God talked to Moses and showed him all that he had kept him from. I just began to cry even more and started praying for myself in a way I had never done before. It was as if I had a huge weight on my shoulders of depression, hurt, pain and self-torment that I had experienced for years. Then God said clears as day, it's done and I heard this gavel like noise and then my family stopped praying and I opened my eyes. I was so tired.
At this point, I was happy but could not understand the reason behind this happiness that has come over me. Despite being in a relationship and trying to fill a void, suddenly that void was had been filled. It was unfair to her to expect her to fill a void that she had no knowledge of, to begin with. At this point, I'm headed back to Washington without my depression and or my relationship, yet I am still feeling some sense of aloneness.
Even with coming out of my depression, I still had my ways of drinking, smoking, and sex. The lifestyle that I had created, I still had yet to get rid of just because It had become so much a part of my life. Yes, I was back in church and yes God was talking to me more and more. Still, I was stuck in my old ways and I didn't feel bad about it. I was still trying to fill a void that I was still unsure of how to fill. I just knew that I was supposed to be doing something better with my life God told me. That's when that whole acceptance thing pops back up. I didn't want to accept what God had told me he had for me in my life.
Trying to understand my own feelings was hard for me because I was emotionally all over the place. Searching for love and acceptance from parents, relationships, and family. I didn't know how to accept love or give love the proper way. I still had questions of why am I still feeling so hurt even though God had taken away my depression? How can I still be this emotionally unattached to people that I would see all the time but loved them so much? I shut people out and wouldn't let people in because that's what I was used to doing and use to receiving. I didn't receive it in a way that I understood just based off of the way affection was given to me. I would accept love in any way I could get it, even if I was getting cheated on or used. To me, they still said they loved me so I would overlook the bad and focus on the thought that they love me.
I come from the experience of it someone giving out of what you think is wholehearted, then later on down the road you find out that you had to pay back. This act of "love" that was perceived as pure turned out to not be unconditional. This resulted in my understanding of love being very jaded and confusing just due to the lack of being shown in a healthy or positive way. The amount of affection that I needed growing up I would never speak up about because it was considered talking back. So after a while, I started to think that speaking up about how I felt was either pointless or would not be received. Mainly being told me speaking up was rude, disrespectful or my favorite, "I'm a so and so of God." The one scripture that got me every time or was quoted was.
Ephesians 6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth
But who all knows the rest of the scripture
4 Fathers, (Parents) do not exasperate (intensely irritate and frustrate) your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
To say these things about my journey, actually hurts and is difficult because it's not a norm for a man better yet a black man to admit his childhood/family hurts. Why? Just because as a "man" you could be considered weak, punk and/or soft. All this scrutiny can come just from admitting that you have hurt that has effected you your whole life. But sometimes you have to break the norm and come out to the open and be open and vulnerable. Which in turn took a lot of guts, a supportive wife and daring to be bold enough to just tell my story as bold as I know-how.
To be continued ......Acceptance Part 3 - 07/22/2019