Share This Episode
Family Life Today Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine Logo

Learning About My Real Dad

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2021 1:00 am

Learning About My Real Dad

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 478 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

November 12, 2021 1:00 am

We can't always see what God is doing. Ray McKelvy tells of his walk with God, meeting his wife, and his estranged dad being invited back into his life. In reconnecting with his father after 29 years, he learns that his real story was much more than he thought.

Show Notes and Resources

Find resources from this podcast at

Download FamilyLife's new app!

Check out all that's available on the FamilyLife Podcast Network


You know the best things that ever happened with my relationship with my dad know your your it to me.

Yeah you're sitting right here and when you came into our family.

You forced that I with the will of the and will soon will you force my dad and I into a relationship that we didn't have welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will send it on Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life, family life today. My dad and I into a relationship that we didn't have because I saw the brokenness and I was sad for you and I could tell that your dad was sad to and so I was asking some questions that very uncomfortable is my dad. I never ever talked about we just never I was afraid to go there.

You just brought it up and I was shocked that he wanted to talk about these things and I tell you what we get to talk with Ron deal today about a lot of things that one of them is the critical relationship with our dad's. So welcome to family life today Ron, thank you for having me back. Glad to have you here, as many of you know Ron leads our blended family ministry of family life and has a blended family podcast called family life blended and set down with some friends of ours recently and talk to them about their marriage and their relation of Anna relation with her dad Ray and Robin McKelvey are pastoral couple the work in local church in Nashville and there we can remember speakers you guys know Jim for years and 25 years and they are dearly loved by audiences yes speak for frame life events on a regular basis. They have 10 children. That's right, we love them.

They are tremendous speakers and have a lot of great influence.

I sat down with them sometime back for our family blended podcasts and just wanted to hear Ray's journey. Growing up in a blended family. It was amazing what came out. We've already heard in the previous program. Lots of details, family secrets if you didn't hear day one will encourage you to do that today were picking up the story where Robin really comes into his life. Yeah.

And just like you guys.

You know she was a positive influence for him and looking at his childhood and his journey with the men that had been in his life served as father figures and she helped push him a little but don't spouses sometimes help us by pushing us into right and we don't want to.

It's a good thing.

It is a good thing that I would've never gotten to where I got with my dad without an and I don't think Ray would've either. That's fantastic.

You know, we sail the time around here are mates are gift from God, and sometimes the gift includes making us move in. You know directions we don't miss early want to move.

Sometimes that's the Holy Spirit working through our spouse and that certainly happened and raised all of your so from the time you were 13. I think if I have the story right and your mom and stepdad divorced you live partial with your aunt, uncle, so your siblings were with mom. Somebody was with dad and granddad Raymond that you later found out was not your biological dad but yet nevertheless play the role of dad was significant in your life right so there were a number of years. There were your mom still single right right so after she and my stepdad were divorced. She never married again.

Okay, so from 14 on. She was a single mom. And what about Charles the relationship with him kind of to realize because of you is getting married and Robin insisting that you learn yes this lady sitting to my left was very insistent and persistent.

We were engaged, making this list of who's invited to the wedding and she asked me if I wanted to invite him that I remember saying I not really. I mean, I don't think I said no I just said no not really. I don't know where he is and I've never met him before. I don't know anything about him. I know let's just and if you don't say no straight up. It means yes you you can will faithfully she tried to find some Charles bushes which I didn't know then she'd had no success with it. So to fast-forward. We were married two years and my mom came to live with us. I'm preparing to go to seminary.

By this time I get to tell my whole salvation story. But anyway, I'm preparing to go to seminary.

Robbins pregnant with our third and my mom is living with us and I remember Robin just asked me. She says don't you want to meet your biological father. I said no I don't. I said I'm 28 years old right now I don't I don't feel a need to know him. We've got our own family now and so she said I just feel like you need to know him and I just a while. I'm not going to go looking for him to come to my doorstep and Rob is that what I'm gonna pray that he does. That's what she said I'm gonna pray that he does and I walked in on the conversation with Robin and my mom, do you remember that in the kit in the kitchen and what did you you tell what you did. I remember her. I remember asking about Charles Busch and I remember her saying she had no idea she was really kinda mean about it, you know, I have no idea where he is and when I find out where he is. Then I'll let you know or something like that and I'm like okay cool just let them know you know if you know anything and so a couple of weeks later it was a bear last week in Kansas. He will know I got but I remember overhearing a conversation is it Robin, why just leave it alone. Why are you asking and she said I just feel like you need to know your dad. So she began to pray. This was around October or November of that year so she prayed to the site. November December January February March April May now may was the month were to move to Texas so that I could go to seminary. In fact, it was the last weekend in May. It was Memorial Day weekend, my mother came to us and she said hey I'm going to meet with some friends this Saturday it will do a picnic have a party. Don't wait up for me but I will go to church with you guys tomorrow because it was our last Sunday at our church and Ray was preaching.

Yes, I was a youth pastor getting ready to preach a farewell message to go to seminary and my mom said all I will be at church for sure. So, I remember that Sunday morning I got up early. I left went to church. I was in my office and the phone rings and it's Robin she said you'll never guess what happened and I said what happened.

She said your mom came in the bedroom this morning and through the matchbook was the matchbook back in the day you know where you could tear the match often strike it on the booking as a matter how I was sent with the business, no matter what she said your mom through this card or whatever Matt matchbook on the bed and has Charles Busch on it and his phone number and address. And guess what, Ron. What the man live like four blocks away from my goodness, so she says your mom wants you to call him and invite them to church and solicit okay I will and opposite. Here's the number and I pretended to write the number down and I know she's just no hearings yet right so I want to go inside. Why did you pretend like you knew she needed to see you write it down, but you but you didn't want to contact them because no I am thinking I'm I'm preaching my last sermon at a church where I loved not not the right climate to reconcile and try to figure out a relationship with your dad and I had already said I don't want to know him.

I got my own family.

We don't have our third child. I'm going to seminary. I'm going to be a pastor or whatever I did know what it was we were moving the end of that week so this is Sunday we were leaving on Friday. Got it times of yes and yes. And so I didn't call him, but sure enough, my mom came to church and she said did you hear what happened was like yes and she said Ray it was the strangest thing she said I showed up at this party and I'm seeing all these old friends as you said, right in the middle of it.

He walks through the door. She said the first thing he said to me as I want to meet him and she he wants to meet you too. So she said so did you call him and I said no. She said Ray just give him a call this afternoon. Invite them over and or invite them tonight could work and have a special Sunday night there sending us off on Sunday night as well. She said invite them Sunday night and I said okay I will. And sure enough Sunday night I didn't call him and my mom obviously knew that I didn't, so now it's Monday morning it's memorial day. We are packing. We've have the U-Haul ordered were packing things in my mom did a strange thing. She came through and she says hey let me take a reason that there are two small kids.

Let me take them with me and let you guys pack and I said absolutely so she leaves. I'm in the living room packing. I think Robbins back in the kitchen packing and I'm crying over stuff you don't will all miss my friends thing is about 45 minutes later the front door opens and it's my two little toddlers. They walk in by themselves and I asked my old is where is grandma may sit in the car and listen thereto, and one they were little little bit.

So walking, I did know why they're walking by themselves so I look out the window and I see this man getting out of my mom's car I go, she went and got Charles Busch so I ran from the kit don't know okay I yell back to your mother-in-law with Charles Busch. Robin stays in the kitchen first time you come out there yesterday and my mom stayed in the car so there's this buffer right I see him walking out and I remember saying he's going to have to come to my doorstep. And here was cured was this don't make me cry. I have no idea what to say.

I had so many things running through my mind. I'm 29 years old by this time he comes to the door. I open it in the first thing that comes along minas. I said I know who you are and he said, who am I my dad and I just remember in that moment. Tears flowed and she started crying as well and we grabbed each other's hands and just stood there and I remember going to the couch.

Rob I don't know where you are think you're still limited.

I remember us sitting on the couch and I in those few short moments. I don't even remember how long it was in a matter of I want to say 20 minutes I knew more about my life that I knew and 29 years because he filled in some gaps he had shared with me how my mom wanted them to get married. She was 16. He was 18, but he said Ray I couldn't bring you into my life. He said I was an alcoholic. He said my mom died of a drug overdose. He said I used to party with my own mother. He said she would put beer in my bottle to put me to bed at night. He said I have never known a day without drinking and she said I didn't want to bring you into that situation.

So I told your mom know and she said in so many uncertain terms I don't ever want to see you again. So my mom and my dad Raymond were neighbors, the McKelvey's and Harrison's were neighbors and friends, and my dad Raymond loved my mom he said Palmeri and they kept the secret and you're listening to family life today where boil boy as we listen to race story you find out information. He never knew, and that reality changes life. I mean it's like I thought it was this, I'd now discovered isn't in my reality now is totally changed because that enough information) you hear something about human nature. We all do this in the absence of information, we will fill in the gaps absolute and make up a story that makes sense to us. Well, he had poor information and had he not allowed himself to stand before his father can say hearing him he would have never gotten the right information and it change the meaning of the whole story. I mean you can just imagine your rate the story he would've told as a child is my didn't care about me yeah and in a heartbeat.

He discovers my dad cared about me so much he actually thought it was better for me to not be near him know we can have a conversation around that line of thinking, but the meaning there is you were loved and Ray didn't know that I mean that changes everything right and how many times do we do this with God. How many times we just go I know what God thinks I know what he feels about me and we just haven't really considered all the right information and when we hear it. It's like it can change everything in our lives God. Today I had an experience about my dad, which was 30 years. My life thinking the worst thing that ever happened was my dad left as a long story, but the short of it is, it might've been one of the best things that ever happened because God was able to raise me in a different way and it was a gift that information change my life. Like oh my goodness, I can see God different. I can see my dad, different see my family different exactly what we've learned from Ray. Just like Ray, you are actually protected yeah as Ray lies from his dad when his sweet story of grace.

Dad saying I would have been terrible to have been in your life and your signing Dave with your dad exactly and I want to know what happened. Yes, next with Rick exactly know me just remind our listeners that when I start the conversation with Ray. I asked him to tell the story from a child's point of view while about to turn the corner and ask him to think about it now as an adult as the adult man that you are today. Looking back where it was God the father in all of this journey for you and your having experiences with earthly fathers. I knew you were leading up to this question that part of my story is so incredibly glorious. I did not grow up going to church necessarily.

We visited attended Christmas, Easter, special occasions, Mother's Day but really did not go to church very often. I remember memorizing the Lord's prayer when my parents were around that time of getting divorced. I didn't know where was I to look in the index just ask my grandmother if I could borrow her Bible I just had this wanting to know God.

Sure, I remember that afternoon memorizing the Lord's prayer.

I also remember initiating a time to start going to church when I was 13. This is when my mom and stepdad were together and I joined the youth choir but it was very I remember a choir director asking. It's one of us teenagers wanted to introduce a particular song. She says which of you has a testimony.

I didn't even know what that wasn't like a testimony. I have no clue what that is. So I was in a sense God was drawing me right at the time where I found out about my biological father right around that same time when my parents were getting a divorce or my mom and stepdad were having their rocky relationship. I entered ninth grade I was 14, so it's all about the same time, 14 years old I end up at one of the worst high schools in Kansas City but God was at the high school he was waiting in the form of my drama teacher. It just makes me weep when I think about it my drama teacher was a crazy Jesus loving person and she was bold about it. She talked about him. She would pray before class started, and we're like you can't do that. You can't pray this is public school should go honey. Jesus is my boss and you know and so she started a Bible club at our school and I remember she invited me to this Bible club and was on a Wednesday night and I was like Mrs. Hunter. I can't go I have band practice on Wednesday. She said you know what honey I'm gonna pray that they change band practice and I don't know was two or three weeks later.

Band practice got changed my after school and now my Wednesdays were open. She invited me. I'm giving you the short version. I attended that Bible club gave my life to Christ, incredible, eye-opening fatherhood of God began to go to another church. The church that she attended was mentored by the pastor of the church who ended up doing our wedding. Years later he was just a great example was a flawed yes, but he was a great example of a man who was faithful to his wife.

He saw something in me convinced our church to pay for me to go to Christian school I went for one year and then begged not to go the next year just because of the hypocrisy that I support. I was a new believer was on fire. There like what's wrong with you but I did. I had a Christian school experience. He saw something in me and I was a musician just like my biological father that I found out so he had the church pay for me to have piano lessons. He saw something in me and I began to along with my teacher that led me to Christ. I started leading worship at our church went to Bible college graduated from Bible college came back became the youth pastor and the worship pastor met my wife through those circumstances and the rest is history well but it started with a lady who was unashamed Jesus Christ was a bold witness and she didn't know that. Years later, and we contact with its I got chills thinking about God pursuing you in what would end up being some of the biggest crisis moments of your life. Some of the age were you were the most vulnerable in so many ways and I know we can always see what God is doing week.

We just can't. Sometimes it takes years and years and then we look back we go, man. I can connect the dots, but is pretty clear that he was there. Ron I will tell you this had God not intervened right at that moment I would be a black statistic because I remember at 14 I was in a musical. You're a good man Charlie Brown.

My parents were sick, my mom and stepdad were separated I knew about my biological father. I remember at one my performances, my mom sitting in one place and my stepdad sitting in another place. But you know what was different about that. I prayed for them because I am now even though I'd only been a Christian, maybe four months. I had a new relationship, and I knew that those trials I knew, even by that time how trials would create strength, my drama teacher sent me on this path of Scripture memory I had over 50 versus memorized in one weekend of camp so I can win some type of prize. I don't remember what it was. I remember she encouraged me to become a part of a Bible quizzing team and we won trophies but I was just immersed in the word of God and so I was able even through those breakups, even when my mom left and we were separated. I remember sending her tracks with the gospel being a part of it. I remember praying for her to come to know Christ, which she did.

Later I remember praying for family members coming to know Christ so right at that pivotal moment Christ stepped in and I look back I go God you bothered me.

Yes, you parented me such a loving way. I would not be the man I am today if that had not happened even listening to family life today were boil boy what a conversation Ron Diehl had with the Ray McKelvey Ray and Robin both give us some wisdom. Mr. Councilor over there heard today. You know, we entitled that podcast growing up in a blender. It's a series that we do from time to time were we interview people about their childhood experience within the subtitle was whose my daddy and that's really, captures Ray's journey there will who is my dad coming that's a question we all have to ask, not just my earthly father Fryer figures her stepfather the different people to enter into our life, but who is my daddy and ultimately of course it's God. I think sometimes we approach God with this point of view of my life is fractured and people around me are inconsistent and so I guess God is too afraid of God, yeah I mean is so important to us. We still want to please him, and then we know how sinful we are learning is so easy to just in that little shame moment to say I'm unworthy can love me but look at how God pursued Ray. It's an incredible story of God's pursuit and that is a mirror for all of us.

My story is not like raise your story may not be anything like race, but God still pursuing you. Always has, always will. With the father's heart yet.

I've always said and it came strongly through a story to beliefs that will determine every decision you make in your life, what you believe about God. What you believe about yourself. I call theology identity. So if I believe God's a distance absent father like my dad was totally changes the way I even believe about myself identity, but man today Ray revealed to us a journey that I think we all have to take God as a good father. He's a pursuing father. He was always there and that means that any one of us who is in Christ is a beloved child of God. I walk with confidence, even though my relation of my earthly father may still be broken. That's not my identity.

My identity goes vertical and Ray revealed it to us and beautiful way and thinking to guys glazed. I love the idea of telling our stories and even asking do my kids know my story because there's a lot of healing becomes added that even for our kids knowing where we've come from, where God's taking ask is always an important part of our journey and their journey. You know if there's any shame in your story saying it out loud is one of the ways we feel the least. We do, it's the Bible calls a confession, but we just say it's telling our story. But what were doing when in that moment is were taking something that we kinda feel wrong about and were putting words on it were getting adult perspective on it were letting God speak truth into that whole thing it can be a healing moment to share your story with somebody you trust who will handle it well and you know whatever time you're with us. That's sort of what happens. Thanks for the others.

Ron and I went on encourage your listeners to listen to family life landed on wherever you listen to podcasts or family or a family life have all I know and I was on one of the very first growing up blended in this series was your story where you put me on the couch if it has a confessed number two, go listen to it.

I know some of you subscribe to podcasts that David M were just talking about Ron Diehl's podcast family like blended it is available on the family life app so if you got the app, there's easy access to episodes from Ron's podcast there or you'll find it wherever you get podcasts and if you want to look for episode two, where Ron talks with Dave Wilson about growing up, blended, or if you want to subscribe to the family like blended podcast go to our website family like There's a link there or go wherever you get podcasts and look for family life blended. Ron has just completed a new book called preparing to blend. It's a pre-marriage manual for couples who are beginning a blended marriage and if you know someone who's in that situation, or if that's you consider mentioning this book to your pastor or whoever's doing your premarital counseling or going through it together as a couple so you can be ready for the issues you will undoubtedly be facing in your blended marriage. You can find out more about Ron's book preparing to blend on our website. Family life if you'd like to order a copy.

You can order online or you can call one 800 FL today again the website is family life, the number to call is 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. Now we are excited this week and we've got hundreds of couples who are to be joining us at one of our weekend to remember marriage getaways with a getaways happening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Destin, Florida Estes Park, Colorado next weekend people to be joining us in Williamsburg Virginia San Antonio Texas Cambridge Massachusetts Philadelphia Portland Coeur d'Alene Idaho Sacramento California there's a lot of ministry going on right now and David Robbins, the personal family life is here with me, David. One of the things we get excited about your family life is on Monday morning. All of the real-time feedback that starts to come our way from couples who have been with us at one of our weekend getaways.

The I just read one this past weekend of the woman who put on her feedback. Hey, I came as a roommate but I left as a wife again and just the transformation that can happen in a few days. You know we've done over half of the weekends to remember getaways that will do this fall we have 12 left as you said, Bob, and it is so fun to see our team come back and be out there again having a full season of weekends. Remember it's a blast for our teams to be with volunteers and to see these couples go before the Lord and make space for one another because we know our marriages require intentional attention and that's exactly what we can remember. Does it does so bringing people before the throne room of God, encouraging them to pursue him and the transformation is so encouraging and our teams are having a blast getting out there doing it while you can find out more about the weekend to remember marriage get away. Find out what is coming to a city near where you live. Go to our website.

Family life The information is available there, and we hope you'll join us at an upcoming getaway or think about giving a certificate for a getaway to your kids, maybe even your grandkids as a Christmas gift this year there's information about that online the family like as well and we hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend and I hope you can join us on Monday. Crystal pain is gonna be here to talk about what ought to be at the center of our parenting and it's a simple word for the word love.

What is love centered parenting look like will look at that Monday hope you can join us for that on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson I'm bopping P and have a great weekend will see you Monday for another edition of family life today family like to use a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime