What can I say other than today was amazing. Being in an atmosphere where men care about one another and give their time and energy to help build one another up is a gift. My first group session was about obtaining the “man card”. It’s not about how much money you have or how strong you are. It is about being a leader in your family. “when a man gets it, everyone wins”. The strength and solidity in the home starts with the man “manning up” and taking control. For instance….. I just told my son to change movies because of cuss words. If I never “get it” then my family structure will perish along with myself. Children who are not products of stable and structured homes suffer the worst. The second session I went to was about marriage. I already know what you are thinking. Why would a guy who is getting divorced want to learn about tackling a marriage and nurturing it back to health?!?! Well, because my faith says that I will have a restored marriage. The speaker, who is very wise, broke down the “seasons” that all marriages go through. It was like he was talking about my own personal marriage. We have been through the dross and the falling away from each other. The next step is renewed love and a new journey. He said that this season is most often the most prosperous and most enjoyable time in a marriage. After you have adjusted to each others change, feelings etc. God says that he will not hear our prayers if we have strife with anyone including our spouse. He also said that we sometimes wonder if we are are with the right person. He asked…. are you married to this person?? Then you are with the right person that God has joined you together as one. Even a man who has masters degrees and doctorate degrees said that his marriage went through the same kinds of turmoil. It’s all about figuring yourself out first and then you are able to be beneficial to your spouse. I am going to start making a list that I can post for future reference. I will see this list every day. I was sitting in the meeting and brainstormed it. It will say things like 1) have you told your wife that she is important and loved 2) Have you helped your spouse with at least one thing today? 3) have you prayed for or with your wife 4) have you looked past yourself and done one edifying thing for your wife 5) have you spent quality time engaged in conversation with your wife/children 6) have you forgiven your wife for things that she might now even be aware of 7) have you apologized for your wrong doing 8) most importantly, no matter what I feel……. am I treating her in a manner that pleases God (remember, when I mistreated her, I was mistreating God’s special daughter)
God has surely left the 99 to come find me. I am the prodigal son and prodigal husband/father. All of us men got to hear today that our past does not define us. Our slate is clean. How can the creating, all knowing, supremely powerful God wipe our slate clean but some people cannot forgive us?? I know the answer. It is because we are flawed. We think that we know what is best. We think that we need power over people and use their past as a weapon against them. God says that we will not see his kingdom if we cannot forgive. That is powerful and really knocks me off of my rocker. I know that I need to awaken every day w/ a new and refreshed attitude towards ALL people. It is easy to forgive people who haven’t hurt us as bad as others. We put people on different levels. We must forgive all people the same. Sometimes the hardest people to forgive are the ones closest to us. I know that I have offered the same repetitive sin and chaos to my family/friends. All that I needed was for one person to offer forgiveness and say that I would eventually get it all figured out and be on the right path. I am thankful to have had such support in my life. I thank God for the prayers and encouragement of the saints. I do not put my trust in man but God uses people to do his work. Sometimes it gets dirty, tiresome, and may seem futile but helping someone along is the greatest gift that you can give. Never give up on someone!! I have an enormous amount of fire burning within me. A desire to reach the masses. All that I had to do was submit my life fully to God. All that you have to do is submit. God will clean you up and set your feet on a solid foundation so that you are capable of doing his work effectively. I humbly bow at your feet Lord for this second chance in life. Thank you for new beginnings. I was wandering aimlessly on a path to destruction but you Lord, oh God, knew of the diamond inside of me that you deposited for a day such as this. I’m excited to be back in the house of worship in the morning. I can’t wait until all of my family is with me. Happy dance!!!! On a separate note………. when I get my family back I want people to say “I want someone to love me the way Shawn loves Jenn”. I know that it seems way off……. but faith can build a bridge between our circumstances and our future.