BROKEN AND BACK
By Ronald Arceo: I've done wrong. I've cheated. I’ve broken up a marriage. I’ve fought with fists and cursed others with words. I'm not a perfect person, and there's no possible way I can be.
It started at a young age. My father was an angry man. He lost himself in the midst of raising a family. And in those shadows of darkness was where I lived most my life.
The one thing that stuck with me for a long time was the words he said in an argument we once had: "I gave up on you a long time ago, son."
I was bullied nonstop -- every single day. I was the 2nd shortest kid in school and everyone felt the need to tease me. It instilled in me that not only had my dad given up on me, but the entire world – and even God.
Later, I struggled with drug addiction, for a good part of 10 years. I moved from friend to friend to eventually being homeless and broke. I hated who I became. I hated how the words, "I gave up on you," were etched into my heart. The lies that surrounded my life and the lies I created just kept me in that downward spiral. And I kept falling.
But that’s where Grace found me -- at my lowest low.
I decided to go to the one place that felt right: church. Church became my home. I found a loving and sovereign God. I listened, learned, obeyed, and rebuilt. I was even baptized, and life has never been the same.
I wrote my dad a letter and told him I was sorry for all the things I've done. I told him that I had no reason to be angry with him anymore, and that he's done the best he could and continues to do so.
I also found my true friends – the ones that never left, no matter how screwed up I was. Best of all, I found out that I actually had a loving family despite all the craziness I’d put them through.
Now I only look forward. Why? Because grace saved me, and the best is yet to come.