Taunts and haunts are the first images; first recalls from a memory bank shrouded over with thinly laid layers of tears that have dried up in their place. The fierceness of fear gripping the heart of a child, just three. The frigid grip on that heart, as it’s ripped from its sleep, night after night. I remember the screams of my mother. I remember, at twelve, screaming, “I will never be like you.”
One must wonder what life may have turned out like for those children, of whom I was one. It’s not like growing up without a father; it’s growing up with a drunkard you absolutely fear; a stranger I kept calling daddy. I knew as a child what I was learning from this man I would never teach to my own. I knew I would never hurt my children like this. I knew I would never touch my wife, like that. All I knew, was I would be better than him.
I learned the ugly side of a man’s nature, without God. I learned brutality, cruelty and hate, beyond the bounds of evil at the hands of this wretched abuser. I learned not to hope. I learned not to want. I learned not to cry. A hardened heart, callous to the sight and smell of blood; I knew as a child how to do what I was told regardless of the horror. Yet, something on the inside kept me knowing I could be better, as I lay aside impulses brought on by a murdering spirit… yes, that man had a murdering spirit and it wanted a place in me; the plans my young mind would imagine, in desperate hope of saving my mother and sisters. My earthly father was an evil man.
How generous is the Spirit of the Lord, my Father in heaven, and Keeper of Light in me? Somehow, through valleys of shadows of death, screams in the night and rage that promises to kill, God has brought me through. I have learned the empty heart of a fatherless child; hated, yet shielded by an unseen force; the Love of my heavenly Father. I have learned that evil never has the final word in any matter; and the rescuing love of a Father, always available, firm yet never cruel was how I would live before mine. I learned how to hear the heart of my wife, and set a boundary on my lips to not allow my words to cut her; to speak without words when we see-eye-to-eye, and when we don’t. I learned how to be a son that trusts his Father. Trust, was an issue for me.
My earthly father never told me he loved me. I have no memories of his love for me. I have no memories of his happiness for me, or for anyone. I cannot remember a time when he played with me, as a father might with the son he loves; tossing a football, flying a kite, or showing me how to keep a car maintenanced, I learned by watching other fathers with their sons. I knew as a child it was wrong; I knew I could be better.
As a young father, I came to repeat the same painful acts I had learned were the norm, as far as rigid discipline; I saw myself turning into the very man I swore I would never be. I was angry and overbearing, quick to speak and slow to hear. I wasn’t a verbal abuser, but I had my ways and they were far short from what I knew in my heart they could be. I had a heavy hand, a hardened heart and had yet to learn how to be a child of God. I was taught, “boys don’t cry”, and the very first thing that happened to me when I surrendered myself over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ was to cry, as if for the first time; the wounds had gone far deeper than I could have ever known.
When, decades later I would find myself with the unseen Love I had hoped was always there… I was brought to my knees. To hear for the very first time, the sound of a Father’s love move through my very being; to know the warmth of healing love, smooth out the rough places of who I had become, patiently; a degree of kindness I had never known before in my entire life. When as a child suppressed of expression, physically abused for doing things little boys do, such as mischief and bad report cards, I had to unlearn the bad habit that had formed within me, to suppress others. Religious conformity was the new proper, quickly becoming a weapon of choice. The Lord would not let me get too far with that, and I have long since realized it’s the power of relationship that conforms a person; that softens the most callous of hearts, the most wounded of souls. Years have passed, and the generational curse that might have continued, has died. My sons and daughters have never witnessed the horrors of abuse and domestic violence, nor is it shown to theirs. Love and the heart of love, in its most fragmented of pieces is still more than enough to undo the vicious cycle of sin and death. A new legacy has begun, and it started with me.
Al Cerda is an Ordained Minister through the laying on of hands, by the late John Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. Experiencing firsthand, life as a child of Murderous Domestic Violence, Blackmagic Witchcraft, Severe Child Abuse, Childhood Alcoholism, as well as over 25 years of severe Drug Addiction and more, Al seeks to reach the prodigal. Raised in the Occult, and a former 7-fold Backslider, Al Cerda has the unique gift of reaching those others cannot reach. His transparent, compassionate yet bold ministry is rewarded by a powerful anointing, that sets men free! His powerful testimony of the delivering power of God has allowed many to be freed in Christ Jesus. The boldness in his preaching has stirred many to repentance, with desire for a closer more intimate walk with the Lord. God has anointed Al Cerda in the Ministry of Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare.
For more on Al Cerda’s story, visit www.cerdaministries.org
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