Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Children I Left Behind

One Sunday I was "Mr. Scotty," or as some started calling me at camp one year, "Mr. Skitty," to a great group of children who had grown to trust me and love me. The next Sunday I was gone without a trace. One Sunday we are attending a church my kids had come to love and enjoy. The next Sunday we told them we were never going back there because "Dad had messed up and doesn't work there any more." One Sunday I am the full-time children's minister and trying to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children. The next Sunday my dark sin and secrets come out and the devastation begins to unravel.

I often wonder how those children are doing that I had grown to love and spent so much time with as their children's minister. What story will they tell about my vanishing? Did they feel abandoned? Confused? Grossed out? Angry? Were they hurt deeply and questioned their faith/God? Will they be able to see the work God has done since that time and see hope of redemption? Maybe they were simply confused and sad that I didn't say good-bye or wouldn't be there "leader" anymore. Maybe they didn't miss me at all or weren't that bothered. I don't know and have to trust that the Lord worked it out in their hearts starting that very dark day.

I imagine there will come a day when I get the opportunity to talk to some of those children and teens. It may be years later. It may be never. I'm not sure. I pray that they will allow the Lord to heal them. I don't think about these questions that often, but those children still represent a bit of "unfinished" business in my life. I can't reconcile with all of them or make amends with all of them, but I want to be open to it if the opportunity comes. I still visit that hometown, so it's very likely over the years I will run into some of them. I want to be ready and open to ask for their forgiveness and answer any questions they may have.

I also have three children of my own who have questions, especially the older two. Those are the hardest to have to explain to. I really hope they allow God to heal their hearts when they hear the news of their dad's dark history of sin and betrayal. It scares me to think about, but it is a huge burden that I want to work through with God's help. I want my relationship with them to be so solid and loving that when that day comes, they will at least know I love them and care for them. And, that God is bigger than our sin. His grace is sufficient.

God has done amazing things since that dark day in August 2011. I want to keep trusting and keep striving to heal, grow, reconcile, mend and glorify Him. It's not about me. He's the hero of my story.


  1. He who is without sin cast the first were forgiven as soon as you confessed. You and your family are loved and missed! - Jana "Coach"