When I first became involved in Way Ministry fellowships, I was in a shell composed of fear and a lack of self-confidence. One of the sources of both my fear and lack of self-confidence was my lack of a normal father-son relationship growing up. When I heard in the Foundational Class about the tender relationship that a father should have with a son described in the Word as “Abba, Father,” I began to realize what was missing from my life up to that point. I didn’t let this stop my spiritual growth, however. The promises of God became living and real to me by my taking the entire class series within eighteen months. These classes, as well as fellowshipping with like-minded believers, enabled me to overcome many of my previously held fears in areas such as finances and other relationships. I was able to gain confidence in both of those areas, but still, something seemed missing.
The opportunity to defeat these self-imposed shortcomings became available when our fellowship was challenged to share one-on-one with our fellowship coordinator, a Way Corps minister, what our goals for that year were. I called him and told him that my goal was to feel that I was a complete man. I told him that I had been taught that we are “completely, completely complete in him,” but that didn’t change my deep-down feelings of incompleteness and inadequacy. We set a time to discuss that. At the appointed time, I laid out my concerns to him. He came back with so many positive observations about me, that I was almost overwhelmed. The gist of the conversation was that I should focus on what I do have and can do, and not worry so much about what I don’t have or felt that I couldn’t do. He gave real-life examples of people who masqueraded as masters of their craft in various areas of life, but hid their real selves behind the masquerade due to deep-down fears of showing their true selves. I was able to apply his advice in my life immediately and stopped worrying and having doubts about myself. In situations where I was previously unable to stand up for myself, I was able to draw on my new self-confidence and take a stand where I was previously unable to do so. I was able to claim righteousness and know that when I was right, I was right, and all I had to do was stand my ground. I stopped comparing myself to others who seemingly had it all, but when you looked beneath the surface, many shortcomings became evident.
Now, when phrases such as “a father’s love” and “Abba, Father” are mentioned, my thoughts no longer turn to the shortcomings and lack of relationships in my past, but to the Word and the examples of God’s love for us. I am truly blessed that these previously held thought patterns have faded into the past. God worked in my fellowship coordinator, who then taught me the above principles from God’s Word in less than an hour, and that started me on the path to victory in this area of my life. What really blesses me is that I was able to raise two stepsons as if they were my own, and I have a great relationship with both of them to this day. They have no idea that I had had those feelings of inadequacy in the past.
Our heavenly Father has made us complete in Christ, and He loves us so that we can love ourselves and others.