Make Lemonade…

Make Lemonade…

So what do you say to the guy who tried to kill you…?

I’ve heard it said, “When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade…” I’m not big on cutesy clichés like this one or “sticks and stones” that, when placed against the backdrop of reality simply do not hold up. I’m not sure who coined the phrase but I have to question if our lemonade author was someone who just likes the taste of lemons and hasn’t ever had to endure a life experience that wakes you up in the middle of the night screaming or sends you into a flashback when placed in an environment where a vivid traumatic memory is triggered. I can say for certain, if you are that person who never has… Then, be thankful and enjoy the lemonade…

For those who have, you know that the metaphorical lemon is more like a tablespoon of strychnine that wrenches your guts as you somehow hope that it doesn’t kill you. There isn’t any making lemonade with your circumstances…there isn’t any sweetening it or making it more palatable… it is what it is and what it is SUCKS!

I spent the morning in prison today. I’m just going to tell you straight up…I HATE prisons! I cannot stand being locked behind fences and razor wire with thousands of inmates who are “the face looking back” in someone else’s traumatic memory.

I have seen with my own eyes the “evil that men do” and the tattered lives of the innocent victims and families, as they are left picking up the pieces and attempting to put their lives back together after one of these guys were done doing what they did.

As I frequently do, I looked into the faces and eyes of the men and women that I came in contact with today… Inmates, visiting family members and victims. Each one with a “story”… Each one with a mental “Case File”… Each one with a life-altering event that impacted entire families…

My head was swimming with thoughts and perceptions and realizations of realities that the “fortunate” ones (the isolated lemonade makers) will never have to face, and then the realities that those of us who have been “less than fortunate” have to live with every day…

Everyone has experienced different levels of pain and I also realize that pain is relative to your life experience. I’m not at all comparing or diminishing pain… It sucks no matter who you are or how much you have endured…but I cannot deny that there are some who have suffered in ways that are far worse than many would even understand. And the reason I am prefacing what I’m writing today is to keep things in this very real perspective… The truth is, you just DO NOT KNOW UNTIL YOU KNOW!

It’s so easy for someone who has never had to endure your tragedy to tell you to “Suck it up” or “Get over it”… When, not only does that seem impractical, but, to you it may even seem impossible at this point in your healing process…

I’m speaking from experience on this subject. I used to be “That Guy” who thought I knew but actually had no clue… I’ve seen so many Christians who would tell someone “You just need to give your pain to Jesus” when they have NO IDEA what that even means from the perspective of the person that they are talking to. And, although their statement may have an element of truth, the word “Just” in that sentence is a lot bigger than the speakers mind or experience can even comprehend.

To someone who has experienced much pain, there is no simple “JUST” as it pertains to what they have endured…if the “Just” was so simple, they would have given it up a long time ago… and when we trivialize their experience with such a cliché pontification of what they “Just Need To” do, it exasperates the level of pain and frustration for those who have been victimized. Not to mention placing them in a position of feeling like a further failure when they do all they understand to do but cannot live up to everyone else’s “Just Need To” for their life…

The point I’m making in the opening of this is for those who may be inclined to try to justify their judgment or perspective based upon “YOUR” circumstances or life experience… The truth is, everyone has a different story and experienced level of pain/healing…Your “just need to” may be much different than theirs…

It is my hope in writing what I am today, to challenge and inspire those who HAVE had to endure deep levels of hardship while also hopefully educating those who have not to a deeper level of understanding and compassion as it pertains to people, life and choices.

The Predicament

It’s really kind of strange…I’m in a very tricky predicament as a pastor whose mission statement is “Touching the Untouchable and Reaching the Unreachable…” By election and calling, God often sends in my direction those who many are not willing to touch or unable to reach. And, as you may or may not realize, that particular demographic often has a lot of deep-rooted pain associated with it.

It is their pain that is often the catalyst for the walls they erect to protect themselves from outsiders or being hurt again…but on the flipside has also alienated them from experiencing or understanding the love of God through His people. I’m not attempting to label anyone, but the point remains that many times, it is their pain and their response to that pain that has ultimately placed them in what most would consider the “untouchable or unreachable” category.

So, here I am, this pastor that often breaks the mold for Ministerial PC or what I coin MC (Ministerial Correctness) and often is like sand paper for those who think they know… and I’m reaching out and loving on people that many have wrote off and finding compassion in my heart for the very ones that many have given up on…But that demographic is bigger than just those who are “good people but have been wounded along the road of life…”

As much as I believe in grace and forgiveness, on the flip side, I’m a man who is DRIVEN by justice, fairness and righteousness… It’s HUGE to me for justice to be served. And, as a result, today I found myself very torn.

While in prison, I was warring with two sides of me… One side feeling a compassion for the lost souls of these likely lifelong wounded people who come from all walks and have experienced all kinds of trauma themselves which was likely the very reason that they ended up as they did in prison (the typical product of their environment story). And the other side of me who HATES injustice and despises the evil and pain that these people that I was surrounded by have committed in acts of selfishness and brutality…(thinking about it even now causes me to have the most confusing mixed emotions…)

I’m the pastor who tries to embrace the heart of Jesus as it pertains to loving people AND I’m the Cop who put a lot of those guys in the cells that they are in today… It’s so weird, I always wanted to be a police officer or a “cop”…but I also knew I was called to ministry and always said, “I don’t understand how I could be a pastor and a cop”… Even then, I understood why the two mindsets could conflict at some point… Now I have an experiential firsthand knowledge of that perspective…it’s hard enough to be a Christian and a cop… but when you couple that police mindset with being a pastor…I’ll just say it again, you don’t know until you know!

I was in this prison in Northwest Tennessee today to attend the parole hearing of a man convicted of Attempted Murder 4 ½ years ago… The personal aspect of this particular case for me was, I was the victim and the man facing the parole board today was convicted of trying to kill ME…

He received 18 years for attempted 2nd degree murder and wasn’t even supposed to be eligible for a parole hearing until the summer of 2012, but, by chance, I called the district attorney’s office last week and asked them to let me know when this young man would stand before the parole board so that I could maybe attend. To my and their surprise, the secretary said, “Um, Aaron, my computer says he’s going before the board next Tuesday…”

Here I was facing another myriad of mixed emotions. I had been told that he would spend 5 ½ years in prison before even being able to stand before the board and then he would likely be denied parole a few times before being released… in my mind, he’d be locked up 7-8 years for what he did to me before I’d even have to think about it… and now, here I was, having to face in a weeks time what I thought I had at least a year and probably 3-4 years left to confront…

I began forgiving this young man initially the week after he attacked me. I say “began” intentionally because I had some “up days” and “down days” as it pertained to forgiveness. I spent several months with severe vertigo night and day… multiple more months in vestibular rehabilitation, then I found out that the successful career that I had worked so hard to build was over when the doctors told me that I could never go back into law enforcement again because of the injuries that I sustained… SWAT, Detective work, Officer of the year, payroll, insurance benefits…ALL GONE!

So, I had several seasons where I had to CHOOSE to forgive in spite of feelings of anger toward the man whose actions were the catalyst for what felt like my life falling apart… Then I had to deal with the depression, anxiety, fleeting feelings of self worth that accompanied the following years…all of which were a direct result of one days events and one mans choice to try to hurt me. What’s more, the day he attacked me, I was trying to HELP him and talking to him about making good choices and even working “God and His love” into the conversation… and this, just minutes before he tried to kill me… the totality of these circumstances were the perfect tracks to carry me on quite a roller coaster as it pertained to the “forgiveness” that I initially set out to accomplish…

Pain is something that we all experience and we can only gauge the intensity of our personal pain against the experiences that we have encountered. Although the attempt on my life was a traumatic experience for me, and the rehabilitation/recalibration a lengthy and difficult process… in comparison to the rape that a very dear pastor friend of mine experienced several years ago, or compared to the soldier coming back from Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley (named the most deadly place on earth in recent years) or compared to the child who has experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse…My “painful” experience is not on the same level and I realize that… However, it does not change “my process” or how I had to navigate what I went through to reach a place of healing and resolve. And although each persons experience differs, I believe that my personal journey can at least be an example and carry something to be learned by anyone who has experienced pain…

Wound vs Scar

I had a friend contact me recently who has experienced intense levels of pain far beyond my own experiential ability to comprehend. They basically asked me, “why can’t I move forward through this at the rate that I have seen others get through their problems?” Truth be told, I’ve asked this same question myself at times. Wondering “Why, I was still struggling with things that other people, (in what I considered similar circumstances) didn’t even seem to war with…and yet, I struggled to get past it.

I’ve come to understand that everyone heals differently. Again, it has a lot to do with the amount of trauma associated with the experiences and even emotional make up… but where the rubber meets the road, no two circumstances are exactly the same and no two people respond exactly the same to the same catalyst. I’ve spoken to siblings who endured the same traumatic event at the same time and one has undergone a completely different emotional healing process than the other…there is no black and white explanation as to why…it just is what it is… People are different.

When a wound is fresh, the nerves and tissues are exposed and it is EXTREMELY tender! We will often place some kind of bandage around the wound to allow protection and healing to begin to take place. But healing is a process that takes time…and depending on the severity of the wound, the time that the healing process takes is often directly related to the severity of the wound. Someone who cuts their finger does not require the same amount of healing time as someone who breaks an arm. Someone who breaks an arm doesn’t require the same healing time as someone who gets in a severe car accident and breaks many bones… The severity of the wounds experienced often directly relate to the time that the healing process will take to scar.

An interesting thing to consider about healing is, that during the time that the healing process is taking place, there is a natural inclination to protect the wounded area… sometimes, even after the wound is healed and scarred, the amount of time that we have spent guarding and protecting that area from reinjury has developed in us a habit that becomes an unconscious response perpetuating long after the wound is no longer tender even though the area where the break or wound took place is actually stronger than it was before the injury.

For instance, where a bone breaks and heals, the bones scar tissue is actually stronger in that place than it was before the break. And on the skin, where a scar is present, the skin is often even thicker than it was before it was wounded. It is a natural response of the body toward healing and strengthening through scarring.

The scar is the after math of healing. The scarred area shouldn’t hurt like it did when it was a fresh wound. It is the visual reminder of an area that was once very open and sensitive but has since strengthened and recovered. And depending on life experiences, becoming “healed” or living with the scar without feeling the constant tenderness of the initial wound is often a matter of time, care for the wound and sometimes seeing the necessary professional to help you heal as needed. (often the “necessary professional” is a combination of Doctors and God particularly when the wound is very severe…)

An interesting side note on involving the necessary professional is this. If you break a bone for instance, and you do not properly set the bone before it starts to heal, then healing will still take place but it will leave you with an unset healing or limp. If it’s not set right, or necessary physical therapy is not pursued, then there will have to be a readdress of the initial injury later in order to set things into proper alignment if you want the injured area to function normally.

This is a common issue with emotional healing. People leave their healing process up to time without seeking professional help and hope it just gets better…then years later they find themselves walking around with a limp from the initial injury. And in order to set it straight and fix the limp, there must be an address and some sort of reinjury/surgery to the area to set the scarred area right. Sadly, many times people opt to live with the limp rather than readdress the injury because of the pain of revisiting it…

People are at different stages of wounding, healing and scarring in their lives. I spoke last night with my friend who was raped and she expressed to me that at this point, the experience is a scar. She has healed emotionally and she is able to speak about it and even in some ways is a stronger person today because of the event. Given the choice, she would likely have chosen to not have the experience that created the scar…but in His faithfulness, God has worked all these things together for her good as He said in His word that He would.

Romans 8:28 (New International Version, ©2011)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.

I believe that there is a healing place for everyone. But based upon the steps toward healing that we have taken, sometimes that healing is expedited and sometimes it is slowed down. I am confident that as we seek God that there is a balm that He applies to our wounds that speeds up our healing… but, it is not often an instantaneous occurrence. And it’s certainly not an issue of “Just giving it up” as so many will say from a place of ignorance concerning what that really means. Yes, we are to give our hurts and pains to God and He WILL help us deal with them…But it is also important to understand that most people do not even begin to know how to do that and will need someone who cares for their well being to help them walk through their difficulty. And some who have been traumatically wounded may also need help beyond what you are capable of walking them through.

I Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

7Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Healing is a process and there is that “time aspect” of healing that will have to take place before we reach our desired destination. Similar to those in physical therapy, we see people who are running on a treadmill while we are still having trouble walking. We find ourselves comparing our progress to the one who is running and feel like we are so far behind that we will never reach that place of recovery. That is a normal comparative thing to do but it is necessary to realize that we are in a different place with different circumstances surrounding our personal road to healing.

There are other factors to consider as well…Occasionally, because of the amount of time that we have spent not addressing the issue, there is even a period of time that it may feel like we are going backward as we have to address the resetting process in order for us to move forward with our healing and one day be able to run again…

Healing is tricky…Especially as it pertains to emotions. There are so many factors that come in to play. Healing, Scarring, Reopening of a wound through a new experience, walls placed up in an attempt to protect the wounded area, feelings of inadequacy when we don’t heal like we “thought we should…in the time we should”, feelings of anger toward those who have hurt us, feelings of bitterness, depression, anxiety…and the list could go on and on… as I said earlier, no two wounds are the same and the residual side effects are as different as the people who experience them.

What I found in my life was that I had to start from a place of “forgiveness”. And that did not take place overnight. I had to first determine in myself that I would allow myself to forgive. ( I understand that some of you are not there at this point in the healing process….that’s ok…This is my journey. )

I first DECIDED that I would forgive…then I began taking the necessary steps toward making that happen. It was not easy every day. On the really hard days, when I had spent 4 hours in physical therapy, I didn’t really feel like “forgiving” as I wondered if my world would ever go back to “normal”. I didn’t always feel like praying for the guy who tried to take my life and set all the events that I was experiencing in motion. But I chose to do what I didn’t want to do sometimes. I would pray for him even when I didn’t feel “so forgiving” because I knew that, in order for my healing to take place to the point I wanted it to, I could not allow his actions to continue to be something that I hung on to with bitterness or hatred.

It started out as a choice and that choice eventually became a lifestyle. I did finally reach a point where I was not bitter and I was not angry. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t looking to high five the guy when I saw him nor was I planning to thank him for hurting me but I did finally reach a point where the wound(s) became scars and I was not emotionally attached to the events on December 14th, 2006. (And, for the record, I used several professional mediums to help me through the healing process in order to reach the point where I am today. Between God, Time, Counseling, Medication, Debriefing and a lot of prayer from a lot of people, I have reached a different plateau than I was at a few years ago… )

Closure

Even with the forgiveness having already been established in my heart, I still felt a lack of closure as it pertained to what happened to me. For me, it was important to be able to look my attacker in the eyes and let him know that he was forgiven. I’m not sure why, and honestly, it may have been something that was as important for him as it was for me and simply something that God laid on my heart to accomplish more for his sake than mine… But I had to tell the man who committed the greatest injustice toward me of my life that I forgave him completely. Easy task…right…? Not so much…

I warred with going to the prison today. I drove all those hours to get there, I paid for the gas and the hotel and then this morning I sat in the parking lot of the hotel, and while holding the keys to the car I found myself questioning if this was something that I was actually going to do…I relived some feelings from the past few years for a few moments and then, just like the decision to “forgive” that I made a few years ago, I made another decision when I didn’t really “feel” like it… I decided that I would finish this and close the door to this season in my life…

The Prison

As I sat in a cold Twenty-Five by Fifteen white block room with bolted down red chairs and a table bolted to the floor, I faced my attacker, his family, a parole officer and a two corrections officers. I looked the young man in the eyes who the last time I looked in his eyes was on top of me, inches from my face strangling me after hitting me in the face with a trailer hitch. Instead of speaking anger or opposition to the possibility of his release from prison, I spoke life into him…

I spoke to the God ordained destiny that was in him if he would seek God in his life. I told him that he did not have to be defined by this past season and he could leave this place (prison) and make a new life for himself if he chose to. I explained to him how his actions had significant impact on my life and the difficulties that his choices created for me and my family…I spoke to him about the repercussions of the choices that he has made and the potential for future success if he will choose to do what is right in contrast to his previous decisions…then I looked him in his eyes and told him that I never wanted any of this for him, that I often prayed for him and that to me, he was forgiven…

After I finished saying what I had to say, I was dismissed from the hearing. As the door was unlocked for me to leave and I walked out of the parole hearing room, he called out from behind me, “Detective Davis…Thank you…”

With my assigned Corrections Officer, I proceeded to walk in silence back down the corridors decorated with iron doors of prison cells on both sides of me and out into the yard to the last gate of razor wire. As the Correction Officer called for the gate to be opened he looked down toward the ground as if in deep thought and said, just loud enough for me to hear him, “Most people wouldn’t understand why you just did what you did in there… But I do… It was what he did…”

Puzzled by his choice of words I asked him, “…He?”

He looked up at me and said, “Jesus… They didn’t deserve it but He forgave them anyway…”

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

I recently read a quote in the book The Heart Revolution (Sergio De La Mora)- You never really know if you believe in Grace until you’re put in a position where you must extend grace to someone who doesn’t deserve it or you have a need for it to be extended to you…

That quote seemed applicable today, as I placed a season of life behind me for good and experienced a release in completing what I felt was my final responsibility to it… Although the scars remain a reminder of where I have been and what I have endured, for me, the case file is closed and tomorrow marks a new chapter…

I’m thirsty, I think I’ll make some lemonade…

42 Comments

  1. Joy Jacobs

    Detective Davis….my friend…my TBB “Thank You”….tears
    You are making such a difference in this world for His Kingdom.
    These words will forever change people’s lives. Thank you for
    being so transparent and sharing your thoughts, trials, tribulations
    and unconditional love.
    You are such a BLESSING to this lady!!! I love and appreciate you
    so much.
    Also, just need to add…thank you and Lisa for raising a wonderful son named Rocky who we all adore. He will be a Great Man of God if the Lord tarries. ^_^

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Joy, you and Jimmy are such an encouragement and blessing! Thank you for all that you do! I was thinking about you earlier and laughing about Jimmy’s squirrel comment yesterday… so funny! You are my kind of people and I am blessed to have known you! Thank you!

      Reply
  2. Adonis Lenzy

    Great Post. Proud of you and so Honored to be your friend.

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      I love ya bro! and Ditto! Thanks for the prayers and support this week! It meant a lot!

      Reply
  3. Lady

    Oh My Goodness this was soooo good! I’m so glad that someone understands! So many times I felt like such a failure for my feelings, today I’m free to heal! Thank u! Bless u!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you Lady… your comment really meant a lot to me…thank you for taking the time to write it…

      Reply
  4. Rene' Davis

    I love you, beyond words…..”beautifully” written! Thank you… Mom

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thanks ma…Love you too…

      Reply
  5. daisy frankenstein

    I stumbled on this blog entry totally accidentally. I was actually signed in under my other blog (for my artwork) and was going through the “tag surfer” to find other artists – and the tag “tattoo” made this one pop up. At first I started to scroll past it since it wasn’t what I was initially looking for at the time. But as I was going past, a few words caught my eye and there was that still small voice (you know the one) in the back of my head saying maybe I should stop and actually read it. So I did. I signed out from that username and logged back in under my personal (and anonymous) blog to subscribe and comment.

    My husband and I have gone through a horrible time this last year, and it feels like you wrote this entire blog post as a personal letter to both of us. I have absolutely no doubt that God led me here and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Wow…God is amazing! I don’t even know what to say Daisy…He is Faithful!

      Reply
  6. Ashley Jensen

    Wow… really intense. I’m blown away by your heart and love your authenticity. This is just the beginning of your story Aaron. God is going to continue to use you in such a huge way in the lives of those who desperately need healing in every area of life. I’m blessed & honored to call my friend and I appreciate you more than you know brutha. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Ashley, dude, your words meant a lot bro! Thank you! You are a blessing and a great friend!

      Reply
  7. Lesa Melchor

    Aaron,

    I have to face ‘that’ person later this summer. I know its coming; my test is near. While reading this wonderfully vulnerable letter, I feel as though I got a taste of my journey in advance. Thank you for the footprints to truth, healing and courage.

    I can so identify with you and your story of loss at the hands of another. And, I sincerely appreciate your words expressing time and healing. For those of us who have had deep, long lasting wounds, the equal amount of time needed to heal has often times been a frustrating one. Many times people aren’t as patient with you as is needed. I surmise they have a ‘healing time quota’ and when its up, grace runs out. That’s a tough place to live.

    Please don’t take this wrong, but I’ve learned that wounds birth passion, character and humility. I’m sure you are a better man now than you were before. I’m very sure you are more like Christ now than you’ve ever been. I love seeing the very essence of Christ pour from a heart that was changed through tragedy. I respect you, honor you and thank you for sharing your tragedy and the story God is writing through the healing process in your life. It makes people want to listen to you. I know I am.

    With love and many blessings,

    Lesa

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Lesa, thank you for the encouragement… You are correct in your assessment of me. I am better… I’m much different than I used to be… But I am definitely more compassionate and caring… So, i guess in those aspects, I am more Christlike that I was before the incident… Sadly, it took this kind of event in my life to force a change that would not likely have come any other way because of my own pride and arrogance… Still, God is faithful to complete the good work that he has begun in me and in his faithfulness took advantage of a shot that the devil took at me to destroy me to turn it around for my good and use it as the catalyst to launch me into my destiny…

      Reply
      1. Lesa Melchor

        AMEN! Isn’t that just like God to do that? Pit to Palace, unfortunately we ALL have rough edges and God does use what satan meant for harm as the pruning shears of grace!

        Excuse me, sir! “I GUESS I’m more Christ like?” Walking into a prison with the soul (no typo there) purpose of forgiving a man who tried to destroy your life, witnessing not only to him, but his family AND a prison guard (to the point that he commented to you in your moment of silence confirming as an eye-witness likening your actions to those of Christs) and walking on with no traces of bitterness, hate or malice IS gallons of proof that Christ HAS put His heart, nature and character IN YOU!

        Dude, that is nothing less than a walking MIRACLE!

        You ARE a trophy of His grace because you CHOSE to allow His work in your life.

        (standing ovation to God and you)

        Reply
  8. Alex

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I was tearing up as I was reading the part when you went to the prison to forgive your attacker. You have helped to see who I need to forgive who have hurt me deeply in my life. Once again, thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you so much Alex for taking the time to write this and to repost on Twitter…I saw that already… I appreciate it my friend! Your comment about what my transparency has sparked in you is an inspiration for me to continue to remain vulnerable for the sake of others… God Bless!

      Reply
  9. LivingLifeUnscripted

    This is my first time commenting, as it is my first time to your blog. I have to concentrate on seeing through the tears that were streaming down my face. What an amazing, literally amazing post you have written. Thank you just doesn’t do it justice at the moment. I saw this post earlier today, but did not have the time then to read it. SO glad I kept it open and came back. Your heart poured out speaks volumes. I will stop and just say thank you – for listening to and following God’s call in your life. He is clearly doing some amazing things in and through you. Thank you for sharing this inside look. It makes sense and comes in excellent timing!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you so much Laura. I feel your sincerity in your comment above and it means the world to me to know that my heart and ultimately the heart of God is properly conveyed in what i’ve written to the point that the message and intent for writing it is being received by those who read it. I know that what I have come to understand has been liberating for me, but words and language are imperfect. It takes the anointing of the Holy Spirit to breathe upon my imperfection and bring the words and heart behind them to life…It blesses me to know that this is happening and the heart of what has ultimately transformed me is also being conveyed to the masses… Thank you again…and God bless…

      Reply
  10. chet raymond

    I really appreciate you baring your soul Aaron and i’m sorry those things happened to you, my problems seem so small now.
    Thanks for taking the time for everyone.

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you Uncle Chet! I appreciate you always taking the time to encourage and uplift! We love you!

      Reply
  11. Pam Gregory

    Wow, Ps. Aaron, I really appreciate you! I too have had to confront and extend grace to quite a few folks. Freedom from abuse, in whatever form it comes, is a different journey to walk and not many Pastors really get that..you do. Thank you so much! It is a blessing to know you!!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Pam, thank you! Thank you for all that you do and the blessing that you are to so many! I appreciate you taking the time to not only read this but to comment with such sincerity…thank you!

      Reply
  12. Jenifer Niederwerfer

    WOW! This was amazing to read! And the fact that this happened in the middle of the SCARS series isn’t a coincidence! This is an amazing testimony of forgiveness! God is good! I am facing something similar, but not to the depths you did. My ex husband who hurt me very badly is moving back into town, and let me know as a heads up, which was good. Anyway, he has a good friend that goes to Oasis, and has invited him to check out the church when he moves to town. My ex wanted to check with me to see how both me and Roy felt about it. Long story, that wound he created is now a scar, and if he wants to check out Oasis…that is fine with me! It is, afterall, the BEST church around! :o)

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Jennifer, I’m proud of you! What you are expressing here is HUGE and an amazing testament of what God is doing and has done in you! Keep pressing forward!

      Reply
  13. Carlos

    You write some good blogs friend but this is one of the best yet! As I finished the last of the blog I found tears in my eyes, for you and your situation and for me and my past hardships. Healing is a funny thing, its tossed around by many like its a simple door to walk through but for many others its a long hallway with no exits. Today I cried because you stood up and did what was right no matter how hard it was or what you went through, today you became a hero for justice of the heart. Many men beat on their chest to measure their strength but few have a clue of what a real man is. You’re an inspiration to me and so many…love ya

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Carlos… I love you my brother… Thank you for the heartfelt words… You’ve been a great friend to me and I appreciate you for it!

      Reply
  14. Emmy

    With many wounds and few scars at this point in my life, I hurt!… This I can admit openly as it’s no secret. I mess up and it’s evident to those around me. I fall frequently and many times I can’t get up on my own. Many times I see the light at the end of the tunnel and find it’s the ‘enemy’ who’s found me and now spotlighting me for the next shot that always feels like the final blow that’ll take me under. BUT, during all these times, you’ve been the one constant I’ve had that knows everything about my past and STILL you’re there taking my hand, lifting me up, handing me a shield (Scripture =ing God) and telling me “come on, let’s do this!” rather than pushing me off with a “you can do this”…. You do that with your vulnerability and transparency of your life’s experiences.

    I’m sorry you had to experience any of this but, because you have and have been willing to share YOUR story with us as you have walked it out, you’ve helped many people….including me! Forgiveness is vital and right now, I’m on the ‘daily forgiving” level and sometimes finding I have to forgive him many times a day. I get so frustrated with it taking so long to reach the next level in this journey, but I have to believe once I’m able to conquer the forgiveness, I’ll have simultaneously conquered much more. I didn’t realize that until I read this just now (for the 3rd time….ha!). I don’t know “how”, but I know if it can be done….I can do it! This puts a whole new spin on my current situation….

    I’ve always thought and believed I “gave it to God” a long time ago. Sometimes it feels like it’s so bad that God’s saying “oh no, I don’t want this!” as He hands it back…. And, when you said some don’t know ‘how’ to fully “give it God”, you were right. I know I don’t fully get it, but I refuse to let it stop me from trying!

    For the record, I HATE lemonade, and have NEVER had it a day of my life! The whole “when life gives you lemons…” statement was one I heard thousands of times from my biological mother…. For THAT, I never tried it…. True Fact!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Emmy, I love ya! Thank you for sharing this publicly and thank you for your transparency in what you wrote above… “I still believe”…

      Reply
  15. Peter Gilson

    Thank You for sharing this with us.

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you Peter…

      Reply
  16. ivan2356

    Aaron,

    Thank you…as I said before, you found me back in the Myspace days and here we are…alive and well 🙂

    GodBless ya broseph!!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Great to hear from you Ivan! God Bless!

      Reply
  17. AB

    Wow i believe this was a message sent to me to dwell in my heart … This was tearfully beautiful and true on so many levels… I am glad you shared your testimony for us to see. Most of us struggle with the healing process/forgiveness because of the depth of our scars. Its tough to forgive and i have to admit god has blessed me to be forgiving because i have been through a lot. But now that i read your story it makes me start to question if i have fully forgiven everyone that has done me wrong. I wonder!!! if you keep thinking about what someone did to you does that qualify as unforgiveness??? Ihave prayed and asked god to heal me from unforgiveness from all things but sometimes when i see certain people that have done me wrong the thoughts come, does that mean that i have not fully forgave them???

    Well anyway, i really loved the part where he thanked you after you spoke to him, it felt like i was there in the room with the both of you, watching you speak to him and him thanking you, it played in my head like a skit … i know wierd lol …. but that very moment he thanked you was like a weight lifted and much needed closure. That is what many of us need during our healing process, when that release button is hit the bandaid can come off and the wound is healed which brings about a certain ease that your heart and mind can rest on

    Reply
    1. AB

      Thank you pastor again for sharing this is really a heartfelt message

      Reply
      1. Aaron Davis

        Thank you so much for sharing AB and thank you for expressing your appreciation! Healing and forgiveness is a process… just keep pressing forward a day at a time and you will find yourself further from the offense and closer to the forgiveness every day…

        Reply
  18. Gregory Schneider

    Great post man 🙂 I sent this to a friend of mine who has been dealing with forgiveness issues. Love ya bro

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thanks for the Props Gregory! Miss ya man! Hopefully I’ll see ya again soon!

      Reply
  19. Anna Kenoyer

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us. It’s not always easy to forgive those who have hurt us, but more-so those who have purposely and knowingly hurt us. I never knew the peace, freedoms and blessings that came with forgiveness until I was able to reach that point in my journey! You’re an amazing man, and an inspiration to many! I pray I’m always able to find it in my heart to forgive as I walk throughout life and find myself hurt… Love ya!

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thank you Anna! You are a walking miracle! I’m so proud to see where you’ve come from and who you are today! Thank you for being an inspiration to ME! YOu are a blessing!

      Reply
  20. janna pastin

    Ps. Aaron..Just so moved by your transparency..and that much Strength has come from your pain and forgiveness..So Blessed to walk with a Ps. who walks with a “limp”…Forgiveness is a choice…everyday..I love hearing your story…keep writing your journey..Grace Abounds for so many everytime you share..

    Reply
    1. Aaron Davis

      Thanks so much Janna! You have been an encouragement to me in ways that you do not know in seasons and times when you were unaware of your role…Thank you! So glad to be doing life with you guys!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Animated Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Wordpress Development Company
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Google PlusCheck Our Feed