New Man

Want to receive New Man by email? Sign up here
How is your relationship with your earthly father?
How is your relationship with your earthly father? (Facebook)

I can't remember very much of my early childhood. There are faded glimpses of memories, a picture of playing near a stream in the back of the house trying to catch tadpoles, playing football in the field across the street, falling asleep in the barber's chair, stubbornly refusing to eat peas because my hypersensitive sense of smell repulsed at their pungent odor.

One memory stands out with vivid clarity. It was the moment that my mother called my brother, my sister, and me into her room so that we could talk to our father on the phone. My father traveled a lot in his position as a purchasing agent for General Electric. We would talk on the phone occasionally; however, this call was different. The look on my mother's face was pity and sadness. I knew something was wrong.

My older brother took the phone, and within seconds he burst into tears. I couldn't imagine what was happening. My sister was next to put her ear to the phone. Tears began to silently drip down her face. I remember seeing her eyes glaze over, as if she were in a fog.

Then it was my turn.

As I took the phone, my father's deep baritone voice spoke matter of factly. "Son, your mother and I are not going to be married any longer. I won't be living at home. I love you little buddy."

I can't remember any more. At five years of age, I couldn't grasp what this would mean to me or how it would define me.

The next few years are a blur. The time frame is baffling.

My mother began to date a man who was once a business associate of my father's. Obviously, I was too young to understand the dynamics of adultery, only to find out some of the distorted details later in life. For a child, everything was out of sync. It was as if the rhythm of my life had been interrupted. I would spend my childhood seemingly out of step with everyone, confused and dazed by the whole thing.

One instance seems to define my childhood experience. My mother had been to the grocery store. She treated us with single-pack Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I knew that Reese's normally come two to a package, so after I enjoyed one cup, I asked for another. The strange man firmly interrupted my mother's "Yes" with a harsh tone and said, "No." He intimidated my mother, and she agreed with him. I didn't get to eat the second Reese's.

I was confused. Who was this guy? Who was he to determine my diet?

My mother married him. He was a strange man, but all of a sudden, he was supposed to be my father. I couldn't understand that.

He forced my mother to stop calling me by my given name, "Gary," and started referring to me as "Neil," which is my middle name. Then he dropped my name "Kennedy," and gave me "Roberson" as my last name. In one swift move, my identity was lost.

Every school year on the first day of class, my new teacher would call roll. "Gary Kennedy." I remember the embarrassment of walking to the teacher's desk each September to explain the stupidity of my life.

This identity theft impacted me more than you can imagine. My thoughts were constantly, 'Who are you?'

I had no heritage. I had no baseline. I had no father to tell me of his past and direct my future.

This confusion was only exacerbated by the constant strife in our home. Alcohol abuse, occasional physical abuse, and daily (if not hourly) verbal assaults were the norm.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Be encouraged to slow down to hear God in unexpected ways.

    A Common Reason You May Be Missing God's Voice

    Out of thousands of people, only six didn't fall into one experiment's trap. Discover how ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit