Oh Father, Where Art Thou? Part one

I believe that this is the time for the family of God to come to maturity. A family is made up of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I struggled with my basic identity from my early childhood as basically a ‘family member’. I questioned throughout my life what it means to be a ‘family member.’
I was adopted out at birth to a family in Spokane in 1964. I’m now 49. My mother would read me a book at nights to help me with the concept of adoption starting at age 4. It was called, ‘The Chosen Baby.’ The pupose of this little book was to help an adopted child with the concept of adoption. I was to see myself as ‘chosen’ instead of rejected. It’s all about perspective. My mom tried to give me that perspective. It really helped….for awhile.
I was under the impression that I was not only Chosen by my adoptive mother, but also my adoptive father. She didn’t tell me that the real reason I was adopted was so that her first daughter which was born 4 years ahead of me would have a brother to love. I was to find out later that her first daughter didn’t like the brother that they got for her. Any of the attention that I received that was nurturing was mostly from my mom. My dad was away a lot travelling in sales and later became the owner of 3 local Spokane taverns. He was very much into football, baseball and basketball through TV. I had to discover what a real dad was by watching my peers at school play around and have relationships with their dads. My dad didn’t seem to be interested in me. My Dad really wanted me to be involved in sports. He came to a lot of my games with mom. What I didn’t understand when I saw that many of the guys that loved sports seemed to have close relationships with their fathers. I heard them talk a lot about playing with their Dads, going to games together and enjoying life together. I wondered why that wasn’t happening with me and my Dad. It was a bit confusing. My parents had another daughter, which made me the middle child The adopted one, and the only boy..no brothers. I began to actually feel adopted. I began to see myself as the outer circle. No friendship with my Dad or my older sister. My younger sister and I had a closeness, but that grew sour as I began to lose my sense of self. I started feeling lost. I was different than this family in my personality and felt different than my peers at school. Our family took on the patterns of a ‘dysfunctional family’ as modern psychology puts it. My dad became an alcoholic, which created codependency and we took on survival type spirit that we children had to experience. I became in the ‘dysfunctional family’ model, the scapegoat. I was targeted and bullied at home. It caused me to feel like something was wrong with me. I was called names by all most every day of my life till I left and even later. Each of us had our ‘dysfunctional family roles.’ Because of mine, I started feeling ‘bad’ about myself, not knowing why. My grandmother used to say to the family many times, “He has a good heart.’ I felt that she was the only one who understood me. That statement from her was picked up as a statement of mockery towards me. “He has a good heart! He has a good heart, they would say with a mocking spirit. The word says that our tongues have the power to give life or to destroy. The rhyme sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me was a joke. I’d rather have a bloody nose than a bloody heart. My heart was broken from the thousands of insults and mockeries spoken over me throughout the years. Hope differed, makes the heart sick. I became sick in my heart when I came to realize I would never be loved as a good person, created by God for a special purpose.
I took courage when Jesus said that King David had a good heart,… a heart after God, even though he had some moral failures, mistakes and weakness.
I began to experience a different type of validation and bonding I could receive would be from physical/sexual encounters and experiences with guys my age starting early in school. That was the only way I knew to have any kind of male validation, or acceptance. I had no Dad or brothers to receive pleasure in their relationship with me. I was a ‘bleeding fish’ at home and school, subject to sharks, as a metaphor, meaning ‘bullies’. My entire life growing up, survived ‘sharks’ that were like predators smelling the blood of the weak and bleeding waiting and planning for the kill.
Where is Love…Oliver Twist
My life song was that from the famous musical, ‘Oliver Twist.’ It was called, ‘Where is Love.” It went like this: Where is love? Does it fall from skies above? Is it underneath the willow tree, that I’ve been dreaming of? Do you know where she may hide? Must I travel far and wide? Till I am beside the someone who I can mean something too? Where? Where is love?”
A New Song… There is Love
I have a New Song in my heart now called, ‘There is Love.’ It goes like this: ‘There is Love. And it came from skies above. It was underneath the Calvary tree, that I’ve been dreaming of. I have found where He did hide. And I’ve travelled far and wide. Now I am beside the Someone Who, I do mean something to. There, There is love!” His name is Jesus.
At the age of 19 I ended up in Hollywood California. I was in pursuit of opportunities to go into acting, singing and possibly media. I hitchhiked from Spokane to Seattle to Sanfrancisco to Hollywood. I was a teenage mess. I was lost, hurt, confused and abandoned. I was Oliver and my life was a twist. The only way I felt acceptance was doing what I loved to do..sing and be with others that were like me in the performing arts. I had no job experience and resorted to the sex industry on the streets. I was picked up once and found myself being introduced into the porn world one time, but God had other plans. Within one month in Hollywood I had an encounter with Him on the late night of the Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.
Gay Pride Parade Salvation
For several hours, during the gay parade, I began to have a sense of fear. This fear developed more and more as I walked up and down the street of Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, one of the gay districts of L.A. My mind couldn’t get away from thinking about Jesus and my life. I was becoming aware that my life was coming to a point of decision. I had dreams of being one of those little children that I would see pictures of in the arms of the Good Shephard in kindergarten, churches or childrens books in dental clinics. I had a hard time believing that he could love me, because I didn’t have that kind of love role modeled to be by family or society that I was grafted into.
At around 2am I began to tremble. I had an inner knowing that my life was not with God. I felt this strong sense that I had to give God my life. It got so heavy and convicting that I cried out to God to save me. If I was to put these thoughts and feelings into a voice, It would have sounded like this: You’re life is not right with me. You’re living in sin. You have to choose now. I’m drawing a line and I want you to step over it and give your life to me. I said back, “I can’t be holy. I tried to give you my life before in a church service. I can’t do it, but I want to give you my life. Why do it? I can’t.” He said, “Im not asking you to change. I want you to confess your sin and surrender. Trust me and follow Me.”
So I did. I put my hands up in the air to heaven and began to pray vocally out loud the Lord’s Prayer. I thought of each word and owned it in my heart. Tears were streaming down my face as I shook from my weakness to start this very difficult journey. Two vows came out of my heart to God. “If you will save my life and give me another chance, I will give you my life all the way to my death, even if you want me to be a Monk in a Monastery.” The other Vow I spoke said, “And no matter how hard it will be, I will never give up.” He heard me.
I know He heard me because suddenly a tranquil serenity filled me and the atmosphere all around me. The fear was gone and all I felt was a quietness, as though I was heard and a transaction was made.
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven
This prayer starts with the title, Father. I gave my life to a Heavenly Father that I had to believe would love me, and cause me to feel special and believed in. I discovered that it wasn’t just about me believing in Him as my Father, but also, about me discovering that He believed in me as His son in whom He would be well pleased.
How could I believe this? I had no evidence that this could be true. The spiritual experience I had was so real that I gave Him my life and decided by blind faith to start the journey into the thicket of His path to Love.
I left Hollywood a few days later. I went back home to Spokane and searched out someone I knew who used to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with me. Someone who treated me with dignity before I was saved. His name was Chris. He was so happy for me and prayed with me to receive what was called in the book of Acts, John and Genesis, ‘The Promise of the Father…the gift of the Holy Spirit promised to all of Abrahams descendants that would come from His Seed, meaning Christ. The scriptures declare…. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit..(Acts) Throughout the book of Acts, Mark 16:15 and 1st Corinthians the bible talks about the gift and fellowship with the Holy Spirit and the manifestations of this gift. I received the Promise of the Father. This was my second gift from my Heavenly Father. The first was Jesus, the second was the Holy Spirit. And then through this relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit, I have received blessings upon blessings, revelations and personal attention from my Father and my brother Jesus.
My first Heavenly Family , and the Office of the Father.
Later I found some men preaching the gospel at Riverfront park. I just prayed with a friend of mine who had the same past as me under a tree to receive Jesus. I heard the sound of preaching and I took my friend to meet them and I asked them if they could help me learn about God. They said yes and invited me to their church. They had a very tight Christian community and told me if I would get a job that I could live in a ‘brother’s house.’ We met every morning at 5:30 for meditative prayer. This was my first Christian family. I was so happy, being filled with the joyous Holy Spirit and beginning to have spiritual encounters with His Presence within me, that this was going to be the family of my dreams. God, my heavenly Father was with me in the Holy Spirit, but I again, went through the same thing I did before. Not by all though. I saw some love in people that I hadn’t seen before. I was treated differently with some kindness, but there was something again about measuring up to conformity to other’s personalitys and ways. This church was ultra conservative and had no experience with people like me. I felt like an experiment. After 6 months in Christ in that church I was publicly and verbally on Sunday morning service cast out to the power of Satan by the church fathers for the destruction of my flesh because of my struggles. Remember, I was a baby Christian conditioned with addictive thinking and behaviours. I was completely honest about them and my heart was good, as my grandmother used to say. I had no desire to justify anything, I was just addicted and needed help. So, with a broken heart from my new family of God, I fell away from Christ thinking that I was doomed. I ended up again in Sanfrancisco doing the same things as before wondering if I was eternally lost. It felt worse this time, because I had the truth of Jesus and experience with His Presence. After a year and a half, my heavenly Father helped get me back up and I flew back to Spokane to my Christian family. I made a new determined effort to be free of my issues and live for God. They didn’t receive me with open arms. The fathers kept me isolated for a month from the church to repent more fully and when I came back, they told me to confess my sexual sins with details and then laid me down on the ground and had a father and mother in the church beat me like spanking a child, with a board. This was extremely humiliating , but I was willing to go through that than going to hell. I lived with this surrogate father and mother for a while. The Father told me that he was in the office of a Father. That irritated me, so I asked him if it was possible if he could just, instead of being in the ‘office of a Father,’ just ‘be a father.’ This infuriated him and expelled me from his home, which was supposed to be a new family of God for me.
I found a new Christian family after that that understood my situation and graciously allowed me in. This church family met in an apartment and the pastor was like a father, but he didn’t tell me he was my father. I did feel some love from him though and he encouraged my faith a lot. His name was Phil. He talked about the baptism of fire and that we would go through the fire of affliction for the purpose of proving the quality of our faith in God and purify us in transformation. That was scary, but I made the commitment to my Heavenly Father in Hollywood. The cross before me the world behind me, no turning back. No turning back.
Part one….. Angel WillSon can be reached at angel222send@yahoo.com Angel has walked with his heavenly Father now for 30 years. He has a lot of insights of the journey of the fatherless, the orphan spirit. It has been a wonderful, arduous and lonely journey at times, but Angel is filled with the spirit, joy and full of faith and love. He is an overcomer and has hope for the broken and for the broken fathers who don’t know how to love. He is a speaker, psalmist and has travelled nation and worldwide as a innovative missionary. His testimony isn’t about the ease of freedom, but perserverance of a righteous man who falls 7 times and rises again. Angel understands the revelation of Romans 5:17 that says, ‘Through the Abundance of Grace and the Gift of Righteousness we reign as Kings in life.