Today during our staff meeting, Pastor Terry Bley made us get into groups we don't normally sit with and then asked us to each tell the story of our relationship with Christ.
As I began to talk about my story, I started sharing how my dad's decision to quit drinking has totally changed my life. All of a sudden, I couldn't hold in the tears any more. I had to stop talking for a while to gather myself and then I had to share a lighter story to really pull myself together and make myself laugh.
Here's the story, in case you don't know it. My dad grew up without any real Christian influence. He began drinking probably in high school and that was his lifestyle even through the time he married my mom and my sister and I were born.
One of my earliest memories is going with my mom, while I was still in my pajamas, to pick up my dad from jail after he had been arrested for drunk driving.
Just last year he told me how he saw me walk in with my mom and made the decision that he was going to change. He said seeing me helped him come to that decision.
Shortly after that we started going to church and my dad was quickly saved. He hasn't had a drink since that time - probably close to 28 years.
So, as I was telling that story I think it really struck me what an incredible thing God did for my dad, and our family. He took all those years of mistakes and sin and forgave them, wiping them away and giving us a fresh start. And all my dad had to do was run to him.
It also struck me how I have that same opportunity today. As I look at my son I sometimes think about all my bad habits and struggles with sin that I don't want to pass on to him. And I know that all I have to do is run to my Heavenly Father and he will forgive me and wipe those sins away, giving my family a fresh start.
I am so thankful for my Father in Heaven and my Dad here on earth!
And even though I wept like a baby today, I gained a new appreciation for both of them.