In my early thirties, I dreamt I went to visit my dad in prison. When I awoke, I was very angry that God allowed me to dream such dream. I prayed, “God, why did you allow me to dream this after all these years?” Afterward, I repented for my response. The dream caused me to start thinking about my dad, which was the first time I had thought much about him since childhood. I began feeling a love for my father, and the thought of going to see him came to my mind. I said, “No, God, this is just too hard.” For the next three years, I continued to dream of visiting dad in prison. I hated having the dreams.
I worked for the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), so I talked with my co-workers about it. They believed my dreams were God’s way of dealing with me about visiting my dad. I continued to wrestle with the idea, believing that perhaps it was just something I had thought up in my own mind. As the dreams continued, I began to focus on the issue of forgiveness concerning my dad. I finally concluded that if I did not forgive my dad, then God could not forgive me. I asked myself, “Am I going to let something that robbed my childhood rob my future and rob God also?” I answered myself, “No way, God.” My final dream was in 1996. I woke and wrote my dad a letter telling him I wanted to come visit him. He wrote me back saying he wanted to see me also.
On May 4, 1996, twenty-three years and two days after the death of my mother, I walked into Michigan State Prison in Jackson, Michigan, to see my dad. As my dad walked out to see me, the guard pointed his finger at me so Dad would know me since so many years had passed. As Dad approached me, I raised my arms up to welcome him back into my life. I let him know that I loved him and that I had forgiven him. At that moment, it was as if time stood still.
The Bible says, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord...” (Romans 8:28). I share my testimony at Teen Challenge and other places. For me, it’s a way of repaying the Devil for what he did to my family. Through my testimony of God bringing me through this, I encourage others to know that God can bring them through also. I feel like my life is gravy compared to other people’s experiences. I’ve had some good points in my life. I’ve had Christian grandparents. I had a godly mother, so I’ve had much good in my life, and I am thankful.