Jim Daly

My parents divorced when I was five. One of the more compelling memories from that difficult chapter of my life was a close encounter with a monster, a man otherwise known as my father. My dad was an alcoholic. I have vivid memories of the night he walked into the house and started swinging away at the walls with a hammer. He was looking for my mom and threatening to kill her. My older brother, who was fifteen, put me in my room and closed the door. I pulled the covers up to my chin, hoping the fabric might keep me safe. Within a few minutes a policeman was standing over me. “Are you okay, son?” he asked. I looked up at the silhouetted figure and immediately noticed his badge and gun. “Uh, uh, yes. I’m okay,” I offered in my meek four-year-old voice. But, of course, I wasn’t fine. Our family fell apart that night. My mother would remarry but, sadly, died of cancer when I was nine. My stepfather abandoned us the day of her funeral. My biological father died of exposure when I was twelve. I was placed in foster care with an incredibly dysfunctional family whose mentally ill father accused me of trying to murder him. By God’s grace, I made it through my childhood. A high school football coach led me to Christ. Every time I receive a letter from a hurting child, I want to pick up the phone and say, “I understand a little of what you may be feeling.” If I could, I’d remind them that their file hasn’t blown off God’s desk. He knows where you live. He cares for you in spite of what you may see in the moment. What’s more, God has both the power to quiet your storms and the ability to give your life new meaning and purpose. Those aren’t empty words. I’ve lived it and know that nothing is impossible with God.

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