I wasted years running from God; by His grace and mercy I have the chance now to tell others about His amazing love for us...
My name is Brian, and I have lived in and around Lancaster for most of my life, although almost all of my working life has been spent in the Preston area. I have three children: daughters in Leeds and Preston, and a son who lives with me here in town.
I left school at sixteen without really paying much attention during my time there. Nevertheless, I got a job immediately in an army & navy store selling stuff like camouflage jackets, when I could find them!! I came from a large family with loving caring parents; I had money in my pocket and not a care in the world, so with my mates we set out to have fun, fun, fun. Fun we had - lots of it. Drinking as much as possible was always the priority; most of the time we got by ok but sometimes things got out of hand, brushes with the law, losing jobs because we didn’t turn up, and general lack of concern for others. Everything was a big joke, but I forgot that my loving mum and dad had many sleepless, tearful nights.
As I grew older the carefree times didn’t come as easy, I had to try harder to laugh, to relax, to feel the way I wanted to. I would try anything and everything to `fill this void’ in me. There were some good spells and each time I thought "this is it, I have found it", but they didn’t last. I met a girl and we had two beautiful baby daughters, we got married and I thought definitely this time I was settled. Although I loved and adored my daughters and always will, I got restless again, went searching for excitement and the marriage ended in divorce four years later. I entered a long period of wild living, running up large debts and ran very close to losing my job on several occasions. Again there were some good times or I thought they were, but again they were short lived. I was very much in and out of happiness, there was definitely no peace of mind and depression started to creep in.
I had met people who had talked to me about Jesus Christ that I needed him in my life; I tried to act tough but I heard them. I saw their kindness, I think I felt jealous of their zest for life, there was something peaceful with them. I never forgot one man who put his hand on my shoulder and gently said, "lots of people love you and are concerned about you but Brian, Jesus loves you even more and wants to help you if you will only let him". Still I carried on thinking I knew best, I was scared to change because I thought I would stop having fun - how wrong I was.
I met another girl, we lived together and had a wonderful son, and again I thought "this is it". Things went along reasonably well for a couple of years, but `the void in me’ was getting worse. It was hard on them at times because I had periods of anxiety and feeling down which usually led to heavy drinking, resulting in bad and stupid behaviour that causes distress to innocent people. We broke up and I moved to Preston, near to my work and my daughters; I missed my son but he came each weekend.
This week's word...
"For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have."
[2 Cor 8:12, NIV]
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