The Pain of Separation
When I was 5 years old, my parents got divorced due to my Dad’s strong addiction to gambling. He would leave us, and my Mum single handedly brought me up, even working hard to help fund for my studies overseas. She would eventually pass away when I was 20 years old. I never saw my Dad again since their divorce. I didn’t even know if he was alive.
“I would forgive him because GOD has forgiven me.”
Coping with the Pain
Going overseas to study, I did my best to resolve my hurts by turning to smoking, drinking and partying. Deep down, I wasn’t sure I really liked the way I was living. I just did it because I knew I had to fit in and belong.
Living in a foreign country, with no family to answer to, my friends were all I had. I did not consider myself religious despite my Catholic background, but when a friend invited me to an Aflame Church event back in 2001, I thought there was no harm to fulfill my religious duty and perhaps balance out my wild lifestyle.
A New Lease on Life
I vividly remember watching a video at the event about a young Pastor in Africa who came back from the dead after a car accident. It struck me. That could have been me. The way I was living my life was careless, having no direction, and feeling like there was no purpose to it. Pastor Jimmy spoke after the video about how we can have a second chance in life through JESUS. All we needed to do was to believe and follow Him. So I thought there’s nothing to lose here, and committed my life to follow JESUS.
Set Free from Addictions
JESUS started to change my life. He was dealing with my smoking and drinking addictions, eventually helping me to break free from them completely. Even after experiencing a setback of losing my VISA to study in Perth, I miraculously got it back. My life felt so fulfilled. GOD was looking after me.
A Miracle Reuniting
Suddenly I began praying for my Dad. I asked GOD to take care of him and transform his life. Although I wasn’t sure if anything was happening, I believed by faith that GOD was hearing my prayers.
Years passed until one day I posted a status update on Facebook about the good things GOD was doing in my life. A woman liked and commented on my status and we exchanged a few stories. I found out she was a Christian mother living in Indonesia. She shared about a story of a man she knew who did some bad things in the past and left his family, but one day was touched by the Love of JESUS. He decided to turn from his old ways. Now he wanted to be reconciled with his family and she asked what should be said to encourage this man. I replied, “If I were that family, I would forgive him because GOD has forgiven me.”
The reply she gave me blew me away! She said this man was my Father. Turns out, she had been praying and decided to search my name in Facebook. My birth date and other details confirmed I was indeed his son. My Father broke down and cried at the discovery. I took the opportunity to be reunited in person with my long lost Father! The man who all this time I never knew was even still alive.
My Encouragement to You
Today you may have some unanswered prayers, or never even thought of praying to JESUS, but there is a GOD that listens and remembers your every prayer. You might think you don’t need Him, or question His existence, but know He still loves you and cares for you regardless. We might have had a bad start, but GOD’s Words are promised to us in John 14:18 “I will not leave you orphans, or Fatherless”. It is never too late for a second chance!