Clint does not have pleasant memories of his childhood. His father left home when he was very young. His mom became an exotic dancer and men were always at the house. Clint still remembers some of these guys doing very inappropriate and wrong things with him and his sister.
Sometimes, after all the adults had passed out after a party at the house, Clint would drink the leftovers in their glasses. It felt good and the warmth helped him dull his pain.
Over the next 40 years, Clint continued using alcohol and drugs to try and forget the pain, but it never really went away. Desperate to know love, all he really felt was fear and anger.
Last year, Clint came to Helping Up Mission. After getting sober, the pain came to the fore – loud and clear. But now, instead of turning to drugs and alcohol, he decided to talk about it.
At HUM he felt surrounded by people who cared about him and accepted him just as he was. Yet, Clint’s idea of a father figure was not healthy. God as his Heavenly Father was not a good thought.
“People loved me here,” Clint said. “But I still had a lot of blockages seeing God clearly.” As he continued to grow in his sobriety and spiritual walk, he began to develop a new mental picture of God, himself and others. The LORD gave Clint a special “picture” of Jesus being the love of both the father and mother that he longed for – and that image took!
In fact, it took so well that Clint could now see even his mother differently – she was struggling to find the same love he sought. Instead of trying to numb his feelings or deny that they existed, Clint faced them and experienced the unconditional love of his Heavenly Father and forgiveness for his earthly mother.
One issue at a time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director