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Feeling the Father Void

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 11, 2021 1:00 am

Feeling the Father Void

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 11, 2021 1:00 am

Connecting the present with the past is good. Ray McKelvy tells his story about not knowing his real father and being the man of the house. Another father figure stepped into his life, only to then separate from his mom, and the devastation he felt left him searching for his identity.

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The Masculine Journey
Sam Main
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Destined for Victory
Pastor Paul Sheppard
Moody Church Hour
Erwin Lutzer
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

So we get something a little bit different this year you went to counseling. Yes I did hide and seek, quavering in this up because we both ended up going that I think the reason is getting welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most in Wilson. Wilson and you can find or on our family life. This is family life today went to counselor. As I said, I will grab my counselor.

I told him I should've done this in my 30s, you know, he said don't matter, you're doing it now and it's a really really good thing in one of the things he did that I so valued was. He connected my present to my past and they walk me through my upbringing in heaven. No dad in a single mom and the death of my brother and all these kind of things blended family with my stepmom and it really connected a lot of dots for me and I felt like again. I wish I done it years ago but you know what I did and now it was awesome. In fact, we both did it.

Yeah, we did. And because things happen in my past that are affecting my present and there's something about going to the past and really talking about your story bring things out that you realize wow that still affecting me. Yet I was grosser one of the reasons I love the show. This is us honestly is because they keep connecting the present to the past is like so insightful is like all that's why they're making the decisions we do the exact same thing.

So the good thing is today. We've got the expert. Mr. Ron was in the house line is always one of my favorites become puts you on the couch. I need to honestly he's just so good at drawing things out and helping us realize this is where God is working, then the good thing is I'm not on the couch today. I am just passing the baton over to Ron because Iran's ahead of our blended family ministry of family life.

What a privilege to have you as part of family life really think your ministry is one of the best in the world.

That is because in the country but really the world and so you have a podcast and you said there was somebody that really goes back into their their life will Ron tell us about your podcasts tell us the name tell us how often because I have been telling everyone about this. The tenant blended situation and they are raving about it and are talking about how helpful it's been family life blended is the name of the podcast. It comes out every other week 26 per year and we are having lots of fun. We take deep dives on a number of different subjects and every once in a while we like to share one of those podcasts with the fingerlike today audience which is what were doing today. So tell us what are we to listen to today and I gotta tell you said this is us a minute ago. The interview that people are about to hear. I actually had an experience in the middle of the interview going this is this is really because the narrative organ here is from Ray and Robin McElveen other friends of family life. We ran rather than on our family life.

We can remember Caesar looking on your chest right they do lots of great things Ray is a pastor at a church in Nashville. He's the lead pastor of Christ for the nation's church, a multiethnic church they got 10 kids of their busy and do lots of things that gives them credibility along that you want to listen to everything they say I love you said they do lots of things I have 10 kids Jason everywhere in the even though some are grown at this point gather tremendous people and I gotta tell you what was behind the scenes Ray told me after we did this conversation about his childhood growing up in a blended family that he connected dots to his present and is passed in ways that he really hadn't in a long time and some new insights came as we talked and I think as people listen to this conversation. I want to invite you to do what I asked Ray to do when we started the conversation I asked him to tell his life story from the vantage point of being a child being a young boy teenage boy don't put adult-isms on just tell it from how you experienced. I gotta say that changes things have really does right because what it does is it forces us to go.

You know what this is where remember it and this is how I made meaning out of that this is the here's the identity I drew out of these moments in my life. But wait, and now you as an adult get to say but is that really the way it is. What's God's truth on this. You know, as children we can't have a skewed perspective and sometimes we need to revisit that in order to save now let me put God's truth. Let me grow up first Corinthian's 13 verse 11, gives us that little thing Paul says when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child a reason like a drunk.

Yeah, we pretty much all do that you do what children do when I became a man I gave up childish ways that there's a lot embedded I think in that statement. One of the things we have to learn to do as adults is put away some of the conclusions that we drew about ourselves as children raise going to talk about his journey with his family. The man he thought was his dad only discovered that there somebody else when there's family secrets embedded in it's a very interesting story and in it he is questioning who am I and where do I fit in. What is this mean and at the end of it you're going to discover the adult mature Christian man's point of view of what he remembered as a child. It's really a marvelous journey down. Let's listen to I grew up in a home my mom was 15 years old when she got pregnant and so at the age of 16.

She had me prematurely.

So right off the bat, being born into a single-parent home and my mother and father got married a year or two after I was born and so I distinctly remember even when I would go to the hospital or emergency room or pediatrician.

Whatever we visit a doctor.

They would always have issue over my last name and I could never figure that out like I'm Ray McKelvey that's what you mean but I didn't realize as a kid. For the first couple of years or so, I was Ray Harrison because that was my mom's maiden name.

Okay so anyway grew up in a home with teenagers. Basically, as parents.

I'm the oldest, so always been charged always been the one who was responsible. I would pick up my three-year-old sister from preschool walk home while go to the apartment, lock the door back make sure everyone got their chores done and how old were you that son 789.

Even from a child's vantage point how did you experience all that emotional instability, the volatility that you talked about the pay Ray year responsible to pick up your sister like that.

Sit with you. I mean I try to put on my kids eyes or heart. It was normal to know any different. It's all I knew it wasn't like I would go around thinking. Oh wait a minute, this isn't the way normal families work. This is all I knew, but I can tell you, fear was a huge part fear drove everything because I didn't know what the emotional climate would be when they would come home.

I didn't know so I I live my life avoiding anger.

What can I do to bring stability rights.

What right. I am going to keep peace in the fight have to control my brother and sister in order to do that I would know is pretty much a straight a student did what I was supposed to do at school and I just didn't want to rush you so so what you're telling me is even as a young boy you very well understood that instability the emotional instability of your home and you knew that you carried the mantle of being able to help provide peace for other people. You had the power, least you thought you did on some level to help mom and dad out to help the younger siblings out because there were things were uncertain, but you could bring some measure of control and create certainty. Sound like yes exactly yeah that ever have a sense that it was a burden for you. I think looking back on it. My frustration and having to be a caretaker. My siblings felt like a burden. I don't know why I just look back at at times how I felt cruel that I was cruel to my siblings and so I remember after I came to Christ as a teenager I apologized.

I will and I said I apologize for being such a cruel older brother and they were both like oh we knew you loved us, and so I was treated really like apparent even though we were not that far apart in age.

I was respected as a parent and even to this day still have kind of that voice, especially with my younger sister just you just said to this day, and I was about to, leap forward into the now one of the things we know about kids who grow up in homes whether they be with intact families and parents or whether they be from a divorced family. For example, whether some natural gaps that can materialize over time that there is this high level of reliability and they tend to grow up and be doers as adults. Like they know how to get stuff done and they've learned responsibility and they've learned how to fill gaps in my guess is that that's carried over into your adulthood in some form or fashion.

I was telling someone I can't ever remember being without a job. I never been fired never been let go of course not.

Your good peacekeeper you know how to keep his job and so we've been talking this whole time and I've been thinking about Robin and I know she's got something to say and you know here's the thing for the list or what I want is it Robin is the woman he came into his life as an adult and she's learned all this stuff after it all happened and she's been his life partner for 32 years and so part of this is yeah Robin so as he's talking, what are you thinking okay when one of the things that I hear Ray talking about is how he kept the peace. But there is a reason why he needed to keep the peace.

He didn't say that his dad was an alcoholic and so there was so much turmoil because he would come home drunk and be ready to start a fight. And so all of those things were. How can I keep it where nobody is injured or in some of the things that were finding out even to this day are because of some of those past entries that happened in a time when the family was in the middle of the fighters and I did and I want him to share his feelings about that because you have some and and when you're eight years old and you're trying to box your daddy so you protect your mom. Those things yeah I mean, there's so many layers.

It just depends on where you want to go with this because my story. That's just like from age 1 to 9 with the mirrors 9 to 14 and 14 of those are three distinct got Sheriff's yeah yeah what I think will move her into those next agents here in just a minute before before we do, though, what about that observation that Robin made about your love you dad being an alcoholic and sorted that put you. It sounds like you were not only a peacemaker but a protector well.

Specifically, there was really a turning point when my parents divorced and it really centered around physical violence begin to escalate between my mother and father and from a kid standpoint, it appeared to me that it was around whenever he would drink it wasn't like this all the time but it became more frequent and I remember one particular incident in this one. It just wells up so much emotion every time I recall it, but I remember him coming home and there was just chaos and I walked into our apartment living room and he was physically fighting my mother and I remember as I was either eight or nine somewhere in there and I jumped into protector and in an instant without him even thinking about it. He turned and started to fight me as if I were another man, and I mean and there's blood in tears and screaming and then we hear sirens our neighbors heard what was going on, someone to call the police and as the sirens got closer to our home. My dad started running toward the front door and I yelled out to him. I don't ever want you to be my daddy that I remember saying it again.

I don't ever want you to be my daddy and that was monumental and it was the last time that our family and that way was ever together. You are listening to family life to a with Ray and Robin McKelvey, boy I feel like I'm watching a movie you know but it's Ray's life. You know when you talk about connecting the dots. You know what's really extreme for me as I've known Ray for couple decades, I had no idea you never thought that was in his past, which is good to be instant hear the rest of story because something great has transpired from then to now, don't you think it's a good journey sometimes to unload the past that we hide from everybody in our adult world. It doesn't mean we should be indiscriminate and share everything is going on in our life with everyone week. We need to choose carefully who we unload things to but it is interesting how we can know somebody long time and really not know them. What's interesting to her as I hear that last sentence I don't ever want you to be my daddy.

How does that affect your future. He has carried that I'm sure he carried that for years without acknowledging the effect it had on him And is as we continue to listen, you're going to hear more of the story and how that rolls into the next season. It was life the suspense is killing the goblins is RS I don't know who's." This is when father leaves a home he takes a piece of his son with him. So there's just like this whole that's in there that you kinda spend your life trying to catch up or to fill in. So even though I didn't want him there. I for the first time begin to feel this void in this whole and I never will forget I obviously was injured in this fight and I don't remember it was two weeks or so later and my mom had to go to work and so I was still responsible. I was at home and she says I don't care who comes to the door to not open the door and I remember this incident, my dad came back to the apartment and this was a couple of weeks later and I had a scar somewhere on my nose. I don't remember exactly where was but he'd knocked and he said this is your daddy will what'd I do I open the door because I still felt that way even though I had yelled out. I don't ever want you to be my daddy but at the same time there was an instability that was brought with him being absent so it was monumental in that way. So I ended up having to go to court to testify against him and it's so difficult, so true. This is such a lose lose for a kid it really is and and I don't again remember all the details, but they were divorced and shortly after that my mom started dating.

I remember an incident when I was 19 I was living at home and my mom moved into another apartment and I had to help her pay bills because she said now you're out of high school.

If you live at home. You're going to have to help and when I was there might. Dad Raymond started visiting and I remember writing in my journal. Maybe they'll get back together.

Maybe we will be a family again because I start seeing that I was still holding onto that sure that's 10 years later. Then there was a lot of life lived between 19 and nine okay so bit of a spoiler here for a listener because one of the things I know is that this first 89 years of your life you were nine when your parents divorced.

Yes, sometime after that you're going to discover that the man you call dad is not who you thought it was right when tells that story well before I do that I have to actually, there was a parenthesis J because when I was 10 my mom met another man that I totally adored. They ended up getting married and my stepdad. He entered bile life right around puberty around that time, sat down and talked with me and I loved him, and for the first time I was like oh we have all show my age now we have the leave it to beaver family that my mom was able to not work outside the home and dinner was ready. When we got home, it just felt like wow we have a family. This is the way this is the way it should be and I'm imagining that you were relieved of some of those parental duties very much so I didn't come home with a key because my mom was there but I had a sense just because of my hypersensitivity to my atmosphere. I began to sense that my mom and stepdad.

It didn't feel right to me so I wrote them a letter. I think I was 13 I wrote them a three-page letter and I entitled how to keep your marriage together. What I'm not getting any given so the sensitivities in you that were developed very early on in your life to look around to be noticing what's going on in the world to help your peacekeeper to help provide stability in the midst of instability that continued for the course.

It was in you. At that point you are picking up on signals that something's going on. Not sure exactly what it is and so you felt again the deed to intervene, to do something about to help try to bring stability to their relationship yet because I was very adept at picking up tones yeah yeah I would be the one. If their voices raised at all, I would be the one who would sit up in the bed and go what's going on what's what's happening and so I begin to hear more of that, even though they were together.

So I wrote them. This letter slipped it under their bedroom door and the next day I remember them sitting down talking you going.

Things are fine this is it your responsibility where okay and sure enough I don't know a couple of months.

Two or three months later my stepdad if I have the story correct. I was about to leave the house and he says hey I need you to go with me and I said where any sit just get in the car and we got in the car are little Volkswagen. We drove and we ended up where at the grocery store we got out of the car and he just started putting groceries in the cart without saying a word. We filled the cart he paid for.

We went back and loaded everything into our Volkswagen sat down. He shut the door and I'm waiting for us to take off and I look over and he's got tears running down his face and he said I'm sorry if it were not going to make it is announced so sorry your mom and I are not going to make and I guess I haven't recalled it in that way in a long time but I remember as he was crying because he felt it deeply.

I felt it deeply as well and so I remember going back to the house and my mom obviously knew what was going on she never came out of the bedroom and he started unloading the grocery and I could hear her crying in the bedroom and he immediately started taking his clothes, took out all of his stuff drove off and that was that. Literally, it was the death of a marriage but the death of a family fractured right everything to do fracture something in you will. I almost felt like okay strike to dad, but that I have.

Strike three. I was at school in eighth grade. During this time this is all kinda blurred between my stepdad and mom divorcing right on that same time I was with a friend and we were running track at school and that friend said to me is your dad's name Charles Busch. I said no, I've never even heard of a Charles Bushey set my mom said your dad's name is Charles Busch. Now his mom and my mom were high school friends. I thought that was really weird. She should know better. So the next day my friend came back. I said I went home and told my mom what you said. She does know your dad's name is Charles Busch I like I don't care what your mother said. And so then I was curious enough that I went home and not my mom was cooking and I looked over at her and I said I was at school today and mom do you know what Charles Busch and she said yes. Derek keep saying that's my daddy and without hesitation, without looking at me.

She said he is now. How old were you at this point, 13 or 14 and had your parents split up your mom and stepdad. It was in the middle of all that they were still together. When I found that out okay so let's go back to that moment.

Your mom says she is right and you feel, think, what honestly I didn't feel anything about it because I have my stepdad. I was like oh that's weird. I had never heard that before. It would just I just didn't process it as a 13-year-old.

I was just like oh okay and just kind of moved on. We didn't talk about it anymore. No one brought it up. I didn't have any pictures of them. So, in your mind you were going will who who was Raymond who was the guy that was here the first nine years of my life I have those questions but because on the peacekeeper got you, you don't ask those questions because it might upset the apple cart. There is a reason why they don't talk about that so I didn't talk about so I'll just hold that I'll just hang on to my questions and not have any answers, and keep the peace for you right quick little comment here hello commentary on kids in complex families there's often at least one child in the family who is more than happy to carry the load for whoever they feel like this is going to protect.

If I don't bring this up final say this if I just do that if I cover all these bases that is going to keep peace and keep stability where there's been instability and yeah there somebody who's willing to do that just because your child seems to be okay with some bit of news doesn't necessarily mean that there okay. It could just be that there holding and carrying the burden for everybody else and that you Ray and you know what Ron I didn't think so at the time but now that I talked to my aunts who are older and now we have the freedom to talk about those things up my want this one out.

In particular, who's very close to our family.

She said this rate we were so worried about you and that's it. That's an eye-opener isn't. It is because I had no idea she said out of all the kids we were so worried about you and I think it's because they saw me bearing that burden, or those burdens, and so again when I found out it didn't mean a lot to me until their marriage started farming apart then who am I all of a sudden begins to surface you listen to seem like today where I run deal was you know here in Ray McKelvey story and boy oh boy, what a story where I think what he gets into at that last part is what every man and every woman really have to hassle through regardless of your upbringing, but who am I with my dinner and I think that identity question. We carried all asking that question, yes, were asking a question and you know there's two qualities in family life that really tell us who we are and it's our we loved and are we loved with stability. In other words, can we count on it. Are the caregivers in our world trustworthy and faithful. By the way we all recognize these are qualities of God loves us with a steadfast love, and as a child we need that from our caregivers. Will Ray had instability and had people who loved him and then, walked away so there was a lack of faithfulness, so it leads a child. Anybody who experiences that to begin to wonder, so who am I what's my worst what's my value. Does anyone really care when those are serious questions that we carry with us throughout our lifetime. And you know I don't think they can be answered horizontally. I really don't. I mean we do find identity from our father. I can relate a lot to what I'm hearing from Ray. I did know who I was.

I tried to find for my dad. I never really got it there so I got I found it from my heavenly father literally changed my life and I think where to find a similar case with Ray in part two I think we will begin to hear that next time I add just a quick thought you Martin Luther, the great reformer said my dad was hard and unyielding, and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way so we as parents need to remember that God made us in his image and then we make God in our image and if there's consistency and love provided to our children. It gives them a running start on their identity so that within they can as you set vertically catch that in their God relationship and I would add that I have two great parents who loved me, who are always there for me but I was still asking questions.

I believe God is the one who answers that question because he created at analysis and he can also heal. It's always important for us to remember as we hear stories like the one we purred today from Ray and Robin McKelvey, it's helpful to know that God is the one who brings beauty from ashes that he can take the hard, messy family situations that many of us grew up with, or that some of us have left as a legacy to our own children, and he can bring great healing and great redemption and restoration out of those messy family situations. That's the greatness of our God meant something that run deal points to regularly and the resources that he provides for us his podcast which is called family life blended so many of you tune into that podcast regularly. There's a link if you'd like to find out more about the family like blended podcasts go to our website family like The information is available. There, there's also information about Ron's books, including his newest book which is called preparing to blend which is a guidebook for those who are entering into a blended marriage, premarital preparation for couples who are beginning a blended marriage and need to grapple with the kinds of questions that have been talked about here today, that book is available online.

The family like

You can order it from us or you can call one 800 FL today to request your copy again.

The book is called preparing to blend go to family life to order your copy or call us at one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today.

No, I think all of us have a tendency to look at the families around us in church or at school and think our family is challenged. I mean we got messiness in our family situation. It seems like everybody else's got their act together and the reality is you're just seeing the surface with everybody else.

All of us are facing challenges.

There's mess in everybody's family situation here in family life to one of our goals is to help point you toward Christ to help you deal with the reality of the messiness that is a part of all of our story family like today's mission is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. That doesn't mean perfect marriages and families because there aren't any means marriages and families that keep going to Christ in the midst of the mess to find hope and find help. We just want to take a minute and say thank you to those of you who make this daily podcast available for blisters all around the world.

Your investment in the ministry of family life to a is paying rich dividends in the lives and marriages and families of hundreds of thousands of people were tuning in every day to this program and were grateful for this partnership effect if you can help with the donation today.

We'd love to send you a copy of Rebecca McGlocklin's book 10 questions every team should ask. It's a book we talked about this week and it's a great resource for parents who are helping to raise children in a confused culture when it comes to spiritual issues. The book is our thank you gift to you. When you donate or call one 800 FL today to make your donation. Thanks in advance for your support of this ministry and we look forward to hearing from you now tomorrow morning to pick up Ray McKelvey's story where we left it today will go to when he's 13 and his mom and stepdad are divorced when the kids are are scattered, Ray continues the story tomorrow along with run deal. Hope you can be here for that on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today family like today is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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