A Tribute to My Dad
By Dean Honeycutt
The young teenage boy received a phone call from his distraught mom, “I have caught your dad with another woman. They are at a motel near the house. Will you go with me to confront them?” The young boy had grown up in a dysfunctional home often seeing his mother hurt over the abuse of alcohol from his father and agreed to go with his mom. The young boy confronted his dad as a police officer would a criminal: shoving him on the bed, pointing his finger in his face almost daring his father to give him the slightest excuse to beat the daylights out of him.
I hope that no child would have to go through an experience like this; however, for many children, life is extremely hard because a lot of children come from broken families. And many are growing up in homes without fathers. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My mom tried to make the best of a horrible situation. It is extremely hard to try to keep things normal like birthday parties and holidays when the occasion is always threatened by an intoxicated parent. To this day, I really do not know why my dad became an alcoholic. Of course, I understand all our vices are the result of sin, inherited and imputed sin nature, and temptation. We are born sinners and bent toward sinful behavior.
My relationship with my dad was not good. When I graduated from high school, I was glad to get as far away from home as I could. Although I always longed for a relationship with my dad. I loved him, but I did not like his drinking and the way he treated my mom. But, my problems followed me. I could not escape my family and my dad’s problems.
Things got so bad at home my parents separated, and my dad moved back east to the place I was attending college and the city he and my mom started life together twenty-three years prior. Dad was trying to make a go of it and straighten out his life. In less than a year he had been released from two jobs because of alcohol abuse. My problems did not go away they followed me. I was struggling as well. I gave my life to Christ at sixteen and served the Lord faithfully for a while, but now in college, I was straddling the fence. The Lord was dealing with me and would not forsake me. The Lord chastised me as a Father would a son to get me where He wanted me to be. And, little did I know, God was dealing with my dad as well.
In my second year of college, God called me to preach the Gospel and I surrendered to follow the Lord and enter full-time ministry. However, this change in my life did not change my dad. I had prayed for my dad for years to be saved and stop drinking. Alcohol had ruined his life and our family. In time, I had stopped praying for my dad. I never doubted God was listening, but my answer did not come soon enough. Dad would go through three rehab programs, but the promises he made would not last long and he would be back hitting the bottle.
My dad was kicked out of a rental house and was now living in a one-bedroom apartment. After an automobile crash and no income, I was forced to take my dad to live with his parents. The next morning my dad said to me “I hate you for bringing me here.” The last place he wanted to be as a grown man was with his parents. Over the next couple of years, dad would lose his driver’s license and, because he could not get alcohol, he would drink Listerine or any liquid or medicine that contained alcohol. Upon the passing of my grandparents, my dad’s health would go down amazingly fast. My aunt never gave up on my dad. She took him in and tried to help him.
Dad was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is a profoundly serious heart condition. Dad was told by the cardiologist if he did not stop drinking, he would not live. Alcohol was killing him. Dad would continue to drink, and his life was in a downward spiral.
In 2005 during Christmas, dad was in Memorial Mission Hospital because he had a major heart attack. He was on full life support with a heart pump and blood pressure medicine keeping him alive. After a couple of days, the doctors told us they had done all they could do. My family had to make the painful decision to stop all medical life support. It is like unplugging everything that is keeping a person alive. We were told we would have about thirty minutes with dad and he would pass away.
For the first few minutes, my brother, sisters, mom, and I held hands and prayed for my dad and what was taking place in that hospital room. What we did was give dad to the Lord and said, “Lord he is in your hands.” What happened next is a miracle and according to doctors’ records medically unexplainable.
My dad’s eyes began to blink, and he looked up and said I want to live. These were the first words he had spoken in three days. We were shocked and rushed and got the cardiologist. Dad began to improve and the life-saving heart pump, life support, and blood pressure drip were not restarted. At nine o’clock that evening the doctor finally said, “we are going to treat your dad as a living patient”. God saved my dad’s life that day and performed a miracle.
My dad gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. I was privileged to lead my dad to the Lord. For the next three years, I had a father I never had as a child. The father I longed for. We camped together and vacationed together. He enjoyed his grandchildren and spending time with his family. I praise the Lord. God gave my dad a second chance, and dad tried his best to make the best of it. He never went back to the bottle; God set him free. I thank God for my dad, and I miss him terribly but praise God he is in heaven.
I would like to dedicate this article to my dad, Larry Dean Honeycutt.
Happy Father’s Day and God bless you all.
Pastor Dean Honeycutt
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.
You can read more good Christian news from Dean HERE.