Bottom of the 9th - Just What Dad Was Looking For
Just What Dad Was Looking For by Braxton Morehead
I look into the crowds after hitting a double for the go-ahead run at State. I see the proud looks from my mom and sister and cousin and grandparents. I know this should elate me, but instead I feel ... empty. The lack of my father's face protrudes from the small sea of faces behind home plate like a fire at night in my eyes.
My dad is an alcoholic. As a result of his actions, he has missed a huge chunk of my life. When I was seven my father and I were in a rollover accident. Being a seven-year-old, I didn't realize he was drunk, especially given his actions seemed like his normal behavior. After watching my father bounce off the ceiling of the car (he wasn't wearing a seat belt), he told me to throw away the empty bottles in the back seat.
This is one of the few memories I can recall from second to about seventh grade, as my coping mechanism was to mentally block out his part of my life. I know my dad spent about a year in jail for his multiple DUIs, but his absence was now customary. The lack of his presence was a vacant hole in my heart for a long time. I could never count the number of times I asked God to not give up on my dad. This was always my little blurb at the end of communion time with my mom, sister, and me every Sunday.
One of the hardest things about having an alcoholic parent is the continual battle with relapses. It would appear that he was doing great and then the addiction strikes again and tears down any hope that was built up by getting to be around a sober dad, with each relapse leaving a slightly deeper and darker hole. Countless self-promises to be done with my father crumple like sand when I heard the sound of Dad's sober voice, not the slurring mess that often possessed it, leaving my heart naked and exposed.
The worst time was after his second trip to rehab. On the outskirts of the snow packed town of Estes Park, Colorado, my dad went to Harmony and through several visits and even a family class, I saw my father at what seemed to be the best I had ever seen him. He was actually trying! Yet, something was still missing. He could not even last one week before he started hitting the bottle again.
In June of 2011, my dad was at an all time low. Near death, unable to walk by himself, my dad needed a wheelchair so that his brother could push him to the bathroom. So, my mom took a wheelchair down to her ex-mother-in-law's house. My dad apparently had to go to the bathroom, so my mom and uncle took him in and helped him. Mom noticed blood in his stool and decided to take him to the hospital. The holes in his stomach and throat were causing him to have internal bleeding. Had my mom not insisted on taking him to the hospital, he probably would not have survived another day. He had finally hit rock bottom and was searching for what was missing in his life which had prevented him from defeating his terrible disease.
He finally found what he was looking for in Jesus. On June 29th of 2012, I had the blessing (along with my sister and mom) of getting to baptize my dad. A decade's worth of prayer paid off and my dad has been sober for over a year now. In Matthew 21:22 we are told, "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you shall receive."
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:28-29
What storm do you need God to calm in your life? My family has evidence that we worship a living God. His love is everywhere! Happy Easter!