Post Categories: October 25, 2018

Fatherhood, God, and Prison

For many people like Miles, the word "father" evokes painful memories. But now Miles knows that he has a loving Heavenly Father — one who has "an unfailing love."

My name is Miles*, and I was born in Winnipeg. I am a thirty-three year old Aboriginal man. I prefer to be called “Sonny” — that name has been with me since I was born.

I grew up in a dysfunctional household. I was a victim of all types of abuse. I feared my father, who was sentenced to federal prison when I was just three years old. I didn’t meet him until I was twelve years old. I had nightmares, waking up and crying to my mother that my father was coming to kill her. By the age of twelve, I lived in four different provinces and went to many different schools.

I started drinking at a young age with my uncle. We went to the bars together, drank lots, and partied. This started a cycle of drinking, partying, drugs, sexual immorality, depression, anxiety, and broken relationships. My uncle always told me to believe in my native spirituality, and that the Bible was white man’s way.

I lived in shame, guilt, loneliness, pride, hurt, pain, and embarrassment. I was trying to cover all my negative emotions with alcohol and drugs. It was a vicious cycle. I was looking for someone to fill the loneliness deep within. I was looking for love and acceptance. I understand now that my deepest need was a personal relationship with God. God had a plan for me. He had a purpose for my life.

In 2015, I was arrested for drinking and driving, causing death. I spent four months incarcerated before getting out on bail. When I got out on bail, I was to report to the RCMP ever Friday in person as one of my conditions. It was a Friday when I got released, so my sister picked me up and I went to report.

While at the station, I saw a friend who happened to be inside. He asked where I’d been for the last few months. I briefly told him what had happened. He was a Christian, and he told me that if I was really serious about turning my life around, I had to try a Christian program he knew about. I told him I wasn’t a believer in the Lord, and that I wasn’t interested in what the program would be teaching.

For many people like me, the word ‘father’ evokes painful memories… No matter what kind of father I had on earth, I can have confidence in the Heavenly Father. I am loved by Him with an unfailing love.

But a few months later, I was back to the old me. I knew I had to seriously get help for myself before I killed myself, ended up back in jail, or became responsible for the death of somebody else.

So I signed up for the program. I thought: What’s the worst thing that could happen to me if I never tried the program? In the first few weeks, I was doing daily devotions and reading the Bible. I knew right then and there what I was reading was the truth.

Shortly after, I became a born again christian. The old life was gone, and a new life began. I excelled in the program, graduating earlier than the one year program required. I wanted to keep growing into the image of God.

For many people like me, the word “father” evokes painful memories. Some people were abandoned early, and never knew their fathers until they were older like me. Many of our fathers made bad choices, which had negative impacts on their children’s and families’ lives. Victims to their own addictions, some fathers set examples no child could respect.

No matter what kind of father I had on earth, I can have confidence in the Heavenly Father. I am loved by Him with an unfailing love. He knows me, and He still loves me. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more or less than He already does. His love is unconditional. He accepts me just the way I am, and He loves us too much to leave us in a broken state.

My children are getting older, and are starting to ask questions. I want to be completely honest with them, when the time is right. I know how important being a father to my children is. I know what it’s like to not have a father growing up, and how it’s affected my life.

I was sentenced to 30 months earlier this year. I’ve seen favour with the Lord and I thank everybody that was praying for me. I’m going to try to get parole because I want to be able to see my children; they haven’t seen me while incarcerated. I miss and love my children; they are a big part of my life.

Praise God for the work He is doing in my life, and I thank God what He’s going to do.

* Name changed for privacy. Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash.

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