He Calls Me Son

by Rayshawn Patrick

Hi, my name is Rayshawn. I am 19 this year and I  grew up in a family of 5, My mom, my dad, my 2 sisters and me, the middle child. I struggled with my dad a lot growin up because he was an alcoholic. He would cause trouble at home and was even abusive towards the family. I struggled with the lie of not being good enough (a result of my dad’s words to me) and this led me to live a life of pleasure, mixing with the wrong group of people, and also getting myself into trouble. I felt that doing all this would make me feel good about myself, but it didn’t.

I came to encounter the Lord when I was 15 during my confirmation camp. I left my old self and even and as I continued staying in church over the past few years, I was still trapped in the lie of not being good enough. During this time, my parents got divorced, and I felt like I really needed to really prove myself. Since I couldn’t show my parents that I had changed, I thought that I could prove myself in church and especially to God. I always felt like I needed to do things well so that I would not disappoint the people around me, inlcuding God. Even if I made a small mistake, I would beat myself up, thinking that I was useless and that I could not do anything right.

Last year, I became so exhausted from trying to be good and hit the lowest point in my life. I had such low self-confidence and lots of self-condemnation. This made me struggle a lot with God. I was so upset and angry with Him because I felt like even with God in my life, I was so unhappy and so tired from trying to be a better person. So I decided to leave the faith and to go out searching again for the things that would make me happy.

 But in November, I came across a poster about the School of Witnesses. I decided to discern about applying with my mentors and in this period, the phrase, “i’m full but not satisfied”, came up and I related it to my relationship with God. So I decided to sign up for the school, desiring for satisfaction and freedom in the Lord. 

God Saves by Rayshawn

During a session, I encountered the Lord’s love for me. I experienced this immense love from the Lord and felt all the burdens and lies lifted off me. I felt so light and free. I experienced the Lord telling me that I am His beloved Son and that I am good enough. Another encounter with God occurred during a session on the Father’s love where we as participants, had to approach a proxy father figure, and receive an embrace, and allow them to wash our feet. I struggled when the proxy father figure was washing my feet because I felt like I was a son who was so far away and there was nothing I could do could receive such love. But yet, the Father calls me worthy and all I had to do was to be loved. This encounter has set me free from all lies of not being good enough. Now I know that I do not need to prove myself nor seek worldly affirmation because He calls me son and he loves me for who I am. 

My heart has found freedom in being loved by the Lord, and I can truly say that where the pSirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. My constant Yes to the truth of being his beloved has given me new sight to stand firm in my identity in the Father. I claim the truth that He has already won the battle for me and will continue fighting every battle with me when I face the lies because nothing is impossible with God. SOW was a time of true grace that revealed the unconditional, and limitless love of God. The Lord has also given me the grace to be more patient with my family and I am now able to accept affirmation more easily. So brothers and sisters, would you allow the Lord to move you and bring you out of your darkness and into the light? It is a light full of love and freedom! Amen.

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