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Get Back Up


In January, I had several vivid dreams about the month of September. Down to the words I said in various conversations, I remember the dream vividly. It wasn’t a pleasant one. Then, I lived it all in September – hoping as each day passed that the dream was ‘just a dream’ but it wasn’t.

I think there are a lot of different ways that people experience God. In some cases, they cry out to God when they need help. In others, God is a persistent source of joy, peace and contentment.

In my life, I’ve had a really hard time viewing God as a benevolent being. Whether it be because I don’t like following authority or because of the pain I carry after losing my Father, I’ve never felt warm and close to God as much as a perpetual prodigal that never gets it right.

When I lost my Dad, I had a wound created in me that still hurts me to this day. In many ways, I feel like I was just a kid when it happened, and I was.


Behind the smiles, there’s a 20 year-old that’s screaming these things inside. Truth be told, I’ve carried this pain for so long that it’s felt like it’s permanently etched in me.

Yet, in little ways, I have begun to see a different picture of God – largely, because I’ve become a Father.

Recently, I was assembling new toys for Atlas, ahead of his arrival the following morning. As I put each piece together, I felt a sense of Joy because I knew that it was only a matter of time before Atlas saw the gifts.

”Don’t you know, that’s what I think about you?” I heard this little voice say. God? Really?

I stopped in my tracks and sat down on the couch to let the tears fall.


God has a lot of different names, but one of them is Abba, and it’s the Hebrew version for “Daddy”. Jehovah Jirah is the provider, but Abba Father is there to pick up his kids when they fall down and cry out.

Recently, I felt alone. Alone for the first time in nearly a decade. It was the type of feeling that came with anxiety, a panic attack and familiar voices from my past telling me that I wasn’t good enough to be here.

“F*cking fa***t – deadbeat dad – you’re not even GOOD ENOUGH to get any pictures of your own son for SIX days, you piece of s*it. Why don’t you just go pick up that new toy of yours…I hope you eat from a feeding tube you f*cking fa***t…”

”No. You don’t own me anymore, and all of those words are a LIE straight from the pit of hell.”

I got out of bed and went to the skatepark and I skated like I never skated before. It isn’t enough to simply say ‘no’ to voices of negativity – you have to combat them with healthy actions, habits and your own voice of positivity instead of believing the lies from hell.

Tonight, I stopped a little boy at the skate park and asked him if he wanted some pads. He quickly nodded, before his Mom stepped in…

”Baby, you’ve got pads at home. You don’t need this mans pads!”

”Mom, do you want to pay for surgery if your kid falls?” She quickly changed her tune and let me fit her son with pads.

I’m guessing that kid was scared, and I’m also guessing that kid was embarrassed to wear pads – just like I felt when I went to the skate park. Perhaps I felt the embarrassment I did because it helped me understand kids like this, and not be afraid to skate up and off them the protection that their mother didn’t think was necessary…

Sometimes you need a Dad.

Shortly after this, I decided it was time to try dropping in to the concrete bowl – something I did earlier that day for the first time (!).

I put one foot an the rail and worked up the courage to pull my right leg onto the pipe and begin to lean forward. As I leaned, I panicked and lost my balance just as I started to fall into the bowl. I fell, hard enough to knock the wind out of me and turn my vision into a pulsing red blur that faded in and out.

It was the first time that I feel that it took me a while to get up, and I simply had to lay on the concrete until I regained my composure. It would have been very easy to feel defeated. But, I didn’t. Instead, I looked at my pads and thanked from from preventing broken bones, torn skin and a concussion – all of which would have been a guarantee if I weren’t protected.

As I skated away from the bowl, I noticed a hard knocking in one of my skates, and I stopped to examine my wheel hardware. The front screw to my left skate (my lead foot) had nearly worked its way out of my skate. Had I dropped into the bowl and not fallen, it’s likely that the wheel would have popped off when I was riding the walls of the bowl – and a much worse accident could have occurred.

I don’t look at all difficult situations and think that there’s a silver lining. However, I think this is the case more often than not, and we simply don’t stop to realize the number of things that could have gone wrong – but didn’t. 

Perhaps I’m feeling pain again. Alone, even. However, this time around I’m not turning a bottle, pill, party or any other nonsense to try and run away from the feelings. Instead, learning how to lean into them and find the hidden lessons each moment of pain carries.

“On the other side of this is something incredible” I repeat to myself every time I try dropping in. Now, I’m learning how to say these words when difficulty, pain and hurts present themselves in my life.

A few weeks ago, I was laying in bed and Atlas had just fallen asleep. Looking over at him, I started to think about my Dad. I thought about the wonderful memories we had together, the times we shared and all of the incredible lessons he taught me. I then realized that I had never properly grieved my Dad’s loss – or gave myself permission to let the tears out.

Something told me to pray and ask God if I could go ‘up there’ to the spirit realm to let out the cry I have carried for over a decade. I’ve done a lot of ‘out of body’ meditations, but none have ever worked as quickly as this prayer; in seconds, I found myself detached from my body and up in the stratosphere of the spirit realm.

That’s when I let it out. I let out the cry, the scream and the pain that’s inside of me. I let out every ounce of hurt with a mighty roar. For a brief second, this pain occupied the entire spirit realm, and it I witnessed what looked like the universe splitting in two – ripped end-to-end with a mighty bolt of lightning that carried every ounce of pain, hurt and sorrow I felt – the pain a Son feels when he’s robbed of his Father.

And like that, it was all done – as quickly as it started, I found myself laying in bed and feeling as if a wave of peace was washing over me.

“Now, go be a Dad – and know that yours is forever with me…and you’ll see him again…but not like you remember him.”

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