Current Page: Opinion | Friday, December 19, 2014
How to Break Free From a Troubled Past

How to Break Free From a Troubled Past

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday." | (Photo: Twitter/Jim Daly)

We've all suffered heartache.

Even if we grew up in a loving home, we were raised by imperfect people who made mistakes, no matter how well-intentioned they may have been. So none of us escapes completely unscathed. It's the reality of being born into a fallen world.

That's a truth I know all too well.

I've openly shared about my troubled childhood. If you're not familiar with it, it's enough to explain that my mother died when I was nine years old. My step-dad abandoned me and my siblings within hours of her funeral, and my biological father died of alcoholism. And I was in and out of the foster care system throughout my adolescence.

Sadly, my story isn't all that unique. The challenge we all face is how to overcome the very real wounds of our past. A common approach for many is to hide from them. We open a drawer in our mind, drop the problem into the darkness, and shut it tight, pledging never to look at it again.

The good news is we don't have to devote all of our energy to keeping our pain from bursting into the open and wreaking havoc in our marriage and our kids' lives.

On today and tomorrow's broadcast, Pastor Louie Giglio explains how opening those drawers and embracing the pain we've kept locked up is an important first step to discovering true healing. Whatever our struggle, we can bring it out of the darkness where it's hidden and expose it to the light of God's truth.

Take it from me. Although my childhood was steeped in heartache from the poor choices of many of the adult figures around me, fast forward a couple decades to the birth of my first-born son, Trent. I remember holding him and thinking, "Wow! I'm a dad!" Rocking back and forth, I looked at the little guy, and I told him, "I'll always be there for you! I'll be a good father – the father I never had."

But here's the crucial truth about that moment: I didn't have to white-knuckle my way through life to keep that promise. Through God's transforming grace, I've broken the pattern set for me by so many others.

I hope you'll join us today and tomorrow on your local radio station, online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app, for "Examining My Past for a Better Future." This two-part series is part of our "Best of" for 2014 for good reason. I believe it'll encourage you and remind you of the healing that awaits you at the foot of the Cross.

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. Follow Jim Daly on Twitter @DalyfocusFollow Jim Daly on FacebookFollow Jim Daly's blog at DalyFocus