There have been many times in my life that I’ve felt totally out of control. Things would be happening in my world that I was completely at the mercy of, unwanted things, terrible things. In these times I’ve never felt so alone and helpless.
But my mother taught me when I was young that I could reach out to God and he would hear and help me. She stressed this many times in our little talks together. This was the basis for her survival in a chaotic marriage with my father. I watched her and then I began to test this in my own crazy world growing up.
I discovered that it was true. Even when circumstances didn’t change immediately, I found there was a peace that came over me that I couldn’t explain. And in the end, things did work out, not as I anticipated or hoped for but I would survive, even thrive through it all.
I’ve often thought of peace as the absence of conflict, turmoil. The actual peace that came to me was a quiet confidence that someone was in control and had my best interest at heart. Like my mom, the knowledge that someone was in control, that there was some weird order to life that I couldn’t understand but could trust was huge.
And that was an important fact. I grew up understanding that I couldn’t trust my parents, my teachers, my sister or anyone around me. Bad things could happen to me at any moment from anyone. It’s not a good way for a boy to live. I think mom understood that, saw that in me and realized the only thing she could do to help me was to give me someone that was trustworthy. And as I grew from a toddler to an adult I found many opportunities in my life to test that advice.
Without getting into specifics, there was hurt, danger, actual harm, loss, and grief. There was sickness, bruises, broken bones and betrayal. There was also loss of innocence which I was unable to fully appreciate till I was much older.
Like most others in the world, it wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all good either. Probably the normal human experience these days. When I’ve shared my story, which I rarely do, I’ve heard people remark with wonder that I’m as sane and together as I am. I can’t attribute that to anything other than that deep-seated, tried and tested faith that mom gave me, that there really is someone who cares, who watches, and can be trusted to help in times of need.
I remember being hit by a car on my small bike around 11 or 12. I saw headlights and the grill of a car, then I woke up on the street in a pool of my own blood. My first reaction was to pray, “Jesus help me!” and I did over and over till I passed out.
It didn’t occur to me to call for mom or dad or anyone else. I instinctively knew no one could help me other than God. When I finally woke up in the hospital, I was bruised and had some broken bones but alive and in my right mind in spite of the doctors warning that I would not make it and if I did, I’d be brain damaged severely.
I didn’t get up and walk out on my own that day. Foolishness has consequences and they wanted to watch me overnight again. But I beat all odds and expectations because of who I put my trust in.
I can’t trust myself all the time. I can’t trust people, even those who love me all the time. I can’t trust my government or anyone else in charge. Life gets crazy, gets messy, and stuff happens. At times it can seem as if there is no reason for peace to exist. But I can have peace. It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.
Just My Thoughts by – Roger Mann
Roger writes for MenShattering the Silence
A website initially started by Dr. Cecil Murphy to help men who were sexually abused. The site provides an outlet for men to express their hearts about their experiences and how they are regaining the courage to live a full life. Dr. Murphy has since retired and pass the mantel to Roger Mann, who does a great job.