As the son of a father who has been on and off drugs his entire life I've had my fair share of hurt. I never understood how serious addiction was until only a few years ago when I was about 24 years old. I went searching for my father because I wanted to see for myself how he looked, how he was functioning and how he was surviving. When I found him he was extremely skinny and I could smell the alcohol coming out of his pores. I didn't judge him because I realized that if I could embrace other people who were dealing with the same things that I shouldn't have a problem embracing him. Much to my surprise God allowed my wife and I the opportunity to minister to him and love on him despite his current condition. In all the years of my life I was the only one of my nine brothers and sisters who had never seen my father on drugs. For so many years I had been told how bad his situation was but I never had the chance to see it for myself. There were many times when I was growing up that I would write letters to my father in hopes that when I saw him he would understand how much I missed him and wanted to see him.
Being a young boy without a consistent father has been quite difficult. He's was in and out of my brother's life so much that I can hardly remember the good times we did share. It can seem difficult as a young African American boy growing up in this society to not go the same route as your father, but I've always been determined to do something greater than my parents. Plus my mother was extremely stern and would not accept anything less from my brother and I. Not only did she teach us how important it was to at least graduate from high school, she also taught my brother and I extremely hard work ethics. She always ensured that my brother and I had everything we wanted and needed, and with the help of our grandparents, she always had support when times got tough. I knew that someday I would have children of my own, and I never wanted them to feel invisible, but rather have a strong relationship with me.
When my wife and I found out that we were pregnant it was the happiest moment of our lives. We had been trying for so long and knew that eventually God would bless us to care for someone so special one day. I remember when we found out that we were having a little boy and how emotional we were. To be blessed to raise a boy, who will someday turn into a man, carrying the Gamble name. It became evident to me that as I was preparing for the delivery of my son I would need to deal with the issues that haunted me from my on again off again father. I remember he and I had a series of talks about being consistent in my life so that he could have a better relationship with my son. I helped him understand that I had forgiven him for being inconsistent and that my hope was to move on to build a better relationship. I shared with him that every chain and generational curse that affected the men in our linage had been broken off of me, as a few years ago I went through intense spiritual counseling. In this counseling, not only were generational curses broken, but I received healing for years of hurt and struggles.
It was difficult not knowing what to expect as the time came closer to see my son, but what I realized the most was that even though I didn't have the guidance from my natural father, my father in heaven had always been there the entire time. Even in my inconsistencies with God, no matter how far I ran, or tried hiding from him, he was always there.
It's important for my son to understand that as a parent I may not know everything there is to know to guide him through life, but what God has given to me I will give to him. Not only has every cycle been broken but God has given us the opportunity to start a new lineage of Gambles directed by God.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."
Matthew Gamble Sr. is a father, husband, friend, and blogger. He writes about what it's like to raise Matthew Gamble II also known as M2 as a stay at home father. Join him on his journey into fatherhood with Mr. Daddy Duties!!!