I will always remember the date, December 17, 1976. This is the date that my father, Abe Brown passed away. It was a cold, dark night. He was driving home, lost control of the car, and crashed into a light pole on I-94 in Chicago, Illinois. I was only six years old and my little brother was just four. We had just lost our daddy at such a young age, so close to Christmas, and in such a terrible way. My mom tells me that our Christmas presents were in the trunk of my daddy’s car; a yellow Cadillac with white leather seats.
I remember my momma waking us up in the middle of the night and sitting us on the gold carpet stairs. We were dressed in our blue and white pajamas. I remember being so sleepy and wondering why she had woken us up. As we sat on the stairs, she began to hold our hands and tell us that our daddy would not be coming home anymore; that he had died in a car accident. Tears streamed down our faces as we tried to comprehend what our mother had just told us. Daddy was gone forever, just like that. We would not hear his voice anymore. We wouldn’t be able to play airplane with him anymore. My brother wouldn’t be able to wash the car with him on the weekends. And we wouldn’t get to run and hide behind the green recliner when we heard the garage door go up. My brother and I would like to hide from our father and have him find us when he came home from work. I can hear his voice saying, “Where are my kids?” We would then jump out from behind the chair and run into his arms.
As the years went by, I tried to deal and cope with the loss of my father the best way that I could. At one point in high school, I remember being angry with God for taking my father away from me. I questioned His love for me. How could a loving God take my father away from me? Why did he have to leave the earth so soon? What did I do to deserve this? It just wasn’t fair.
Soon, it was time to go off to college. I went to Tuskegee University located in Tuskegee, Alabama. There I had the time of my life. There were people from all over the world there and there was plenty to do. I found myself making friends very easily, both men and women. I began to be promiscuous. I found myself at every party both on and off-campus. College was fun and I was so glad that I had decided to take that route in my life. It kept my mind off of dealing with the loss of my father at the very tender age of six.
Time went on and I was getting older and becoming a young adult. Doing life without a father was challenging. I felt confused, lost, hurt, and broken. I began to find myself in clubs often, hoping to meet someone who could make me feel like I was significant; fill the void in my heart. By now, drinking and going to the club were a big part of my life and who I was. I found myself looking to men for validation, safety, protection, and security. As a grown woman, I started to have trust and abandonment issues. I protected myself. I was not vulnerable in relationships or friendships. I never wanted to get close to anyone for fear of losing them.
It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus as my LORD and personal Savior, that I began to heal from past wounds and scars. I surrendered my life to Him and He began to change me from the inside out; once He got my heart, my habits changed. I didn’t have the same appetite prior to salvation. I began to hang around with a different group of people, sought out a Christian mentor from church, and began a one-year journey of counseling at Christian Recovery Counseling. My life began to change. I wasn’t just existing, now I was living! The Holy Spirit began to do a great work in me. I experienced the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. I was now led and guided by Him. I no longer looked to men for validation, worth, value, and significance. I now knew that my worth and value were tied up in the person and work of Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross.
His love for me is vast. He has loved me back to life. I have found my safety and security in Him, my Heavenly Father. I am safe, knowing that I am going to be alright no matter what. I am secure knowing that I can fall apart and He will be right there to put me back together. His love saved me! His love continues to change, shape, and transform me. I am not perfect but I am progressing towards the woman that He has called and purposed me to be. My personal and intimate relationship with Him is growing sweeter and sweeter as the days go by. I rely on Him and put my trust in Him. I will forever be grateful for His love and grace. He’s a good, good Father; my Abba Father!
Lisa A. Brown is a passionate educator, servant leader, community volunteer, child advocate, and Christian blogger. She is an active member of Impact Church located in East Point, Georgia, and a native of Harvey, Illinois. She has been teaching for nearly 30 years and currently teaches first grade in Atlanta Public Schools. She resides in metro Atlanta and enjoys living out her purpose; to change lives through community outreach, global missions, education, and to bring life and light to the world through writing. She has recently launched her website, “Testimony T.E.A. with Lisa B.” (www.teawithlisab.com) Lisa believes it is important to point others to Christ and does this any way that she can.