Days and sometimes weeks go by and we don’t think on the little things which impacted our youthful development and the directions we would eventually take as adults.
For some, reminiscing can be a difficult and painful journey.
It is a journey that all of us must sit back and take if we are to find closure, healing and the hidden lessons that were contained in those moments of heavy emotional trials. Most of us try to hide the dark days by rewriting certain events in order to move on and on top of that, these are events that not spoken of in mixed company.
Families have their secrets and those things that were hard for my family while I was growing up was at the center of many many families. So what we consider to be secrets were actually everyday occurrences in other homes and apartments, right?
For me, the events that have garnered the most focus was those days when food in the house was low, my dad was as visible as a 10 ounce glass of water in the Saudi dessert, and my mom was working two full time jobs and a sporadic cleaning job at a daycare (this job we would do so she could get some rest).
It is her struggle to keep her children fed and clothed with a good roof over their heads that motivates me to ensure that my children will never, ever have to have dark days as I did as a child. I keep talking in the last two posts about my position in this world as being a good dad and mentor as a way to inspire other men to pick up their mantle and bless the children (theirs and those who look up to them) as a beacon of what they could achieve as an adult.
The adults who raised me were not the epitome of what parents should have been, but they did all that they could in a world that hated them, mistreated them, and still looked upon them as merchandise instead functioning, productive adult humans. Parents are not supposed to be perfect in placing their children on life’s uncharted journey. No street lamp or signal light is made perfect There are those discrepancies within its programming, but it still functions near perfect to allow the flow of the populous safely day to day.
Most can blame the system for setting them up for failure. But there are those who looked at the system and did all they could so their children would not focus on the system but on the talents God had placed in the grasps.
There are those midnight hours that I remember my mother standing in a dark kitchen, crying and praying with her hands raised up to the ceiling begging God for a few dollars to keep the gas on because the winter days were going to be seriously cold.
It wasn’t the fact that she was crying which keeps coming into my mind’s eye, but how she continued in conversation with a God who doesn’t answer verbally, and how she would get up early and cook breakfast for her children and smile as if nothing was wrong or going to fail.
This is the example of faith wrapped deep in a hermetically sealed bag of hope.
I have travelled the world on three different occasions; hold a job that most would not consider me for because of my cultural makeup. But I succeed based on the fact that I can stand in the middle of my living room in the midnight hour and call upon a God who answers, not by word only, but by deed.
I learned patience from watching my mother survive brutal beatings from the man who told her that she was the love of his life, losing two sets of twins, getting fired from a job she held for twenty-two years because of “downsizing” with smiles of hope and faith.
It is those little things that we have seen in our childhood that we must revisit to create a greater path for our children so cycles are not repeated and their future is seeded with ideals of success and hope.
The things we are doing as parents are not for us, but for the development and sustainability of our grand and great grandchildren. It is the little things that we implant in our children hearts now that will inspire them to create positive avenues for their own children.
Over the last three years, my eyes have been opened by three of the best friends God could have given me. They have accepted me, and I them, as a member of the family. I learn from them because we can sit down and talk in detail about those sick, anger-filled and disheartening moments of our childhoods. These conversations end with us praying for and hugging one another in brotherly love.
The problem with most dads making it in this functioning-dysfunctional country is that they cannot trust other dads enough to find that common ground that will inspire and encourage them to raise their hands and ask God for just enough to get their children to become better adults than they currently are.
Psalms 150 tells us to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”, most of us cannot do this because we are not continuously excited about the little things in our past which have worked in tandem with the Holy Spirit to get us to this exact moment and realize that we have learned from and are better because of those dark days.
If you have gotten this far in this post, take a moment and a breath and a minute to think on those areas of your childhood in which you could have quit, giving in but realized that you were far better than the circumstance.
Looking back kind of stings right?
Look back any way, you might see something you learned and had forgotten about.
Now is that one moment that you stand and raise your hands not in triumph, but in acceptance of the epiphany that all things negative contain morsels of positive seeds.
Failure could have easily overtaken you. But for some reason God saw that one little thing in you which you will pass on to your children to allow them to be that one person in the crowd, who everyone will look up to and call on in their moments of despair. And your child will tell them what I am telling you right now, look passed the situation and raise your hands and ask God for that push which will get you over the hump and out of that dark closet.