A Son's Story of Redemption and Restoration - Chris Breuer
Well, howdy! My name is Chris Breuer and I am so delighted to be writing to all of you! I'm 20 years old and have lived in Spring, Texas my entire life. On top of working at Starbucks, I spend a large portion of my time leading both junior high and college age small groups at my home church, Faithbridge. I love to help guide and counsel young people in better understanding God's word while pointing them to the eternal hope that lies in Christ Jesus alone!
My story is not all joy and smiles, however. When my father passed away in 2009 from a series of complications resulting from a staph infection, I truly didn't know what to think. How could the God I had been raised up believing was full of love, grace, and mercy, allow something so destructive in my life to happen? I'm sure some of you have had the same thought, and it truly tore me apart. For the next year, most of which I only remember vaguely, all that I pursued was the love and joy of this world. Why would I pursue a God that those things had previously been attributed to, when He had let me down so much by taking away my father? My mother had placed so much pressure on herself by trying to be my emotional and spiritual support. The only thing my anger did, was accentuate her guilt of not being a strong enough parent. This season was not filled with much love or joy, but rather anger towards God and my family, and sin, which I had been accustomed to committing without pursuit of repentance.
After a year of darkness had laid waste to my understanding of God's goodness, He started to cut straight through all of it by revealing the sin I was committing, and the love and peace which truly is found only in Him. I had an encounter with the Lord through a Christian summer camp I had been attending, and with a powerful scripture, which I'll get to later. God began to make His goodness plainly obvious to me. Over the past years, my relationship with the Lord has strengthened beyond any hope I might have had.
I would love to share how the Lord has revealed himself to me through my situation, mainly by 3 groups of people that He has placed in my life: my church family, my biological family, and Godly father figures.
With my church family, it was all about the concern and care that they showed my biological family and me after my dad passed away. My Heavenly Father was echoing His compassion, comfort, and love towards me through this incredible group of believers.
Through my biological family, I sensed community. With the close and extended family that I have, it's hard not to feel loved by their presence. The Lord made me feel like I wasn't alone by keeping my family close to me through the whole situation. My mom and brother were so compassionate through the storm of my emotions. Even though we had our long spurts of anger and pride, I felt God's peace through our eventual reconciliation.
Lastly, the father figures I have in my life are incredible. When my earthly father passed, there were 5 or so men from my church who gathered around me and were consistently asking to go to lunch, hang out at the gun range, or would just offer to be there when my emotions felt overwhelming. They never forced me to have difficult conversations, but were always ready in case I wanted to talk. Even though my dad wasn't around, God showed me what a man should look like through this group of guys whose lives were marked by consistent sacrifice.
On a side note, I would encourage any of you mothers to look toward the men of your church to help your son wrestle with these types of hard situations. It was invaluable to have a group of them pursuing my heart. Praise be to my Father who used these men to help mold and shape my life to look more like Christ's.
Through these people, and by a few smaller avenues, I have found my foundation in the truth of the scripture, which I had previously mentioned:
“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
I know that through this difficult season, God has shown me that He can work incredible good out of ANY circumstance, even the loss of my dad, all for the purpose of glorifying Him.
In closing, if I could speak anything, even the most basic truth, into you mothers who may be worried about their sons, it would be this - There is SO much hope in the power of Jesus. His life-changing, love-giving power is not restricted by even the darkest circumstances of this world. Praise be to the God who comforts the broken and gives hope to the hopeless! Our God truly is able!