Father to the Fatherless
Brandon arrived at Miracle Farm late one February evening in 2013. His mother, exhausted by her attempts to correct his behavior, saw Miracle Farm to be his only hope. Little did she know, her choice to send him to the Farm would help heal the broken relationship that had been haunting them for years.
Brandon’s father left when he was only 3 years old. Growing up in a single-parent household left him yearning for a father figure in his life. Though Brandon saw his father occasionally, he looked to other family members to fill that void. As a young child, Brandon was unaware of the challenges his father’s absence would create. Among these obstacles was his ability to have a healthy relationship with his mother.
“My sister and I would occasionally go visit my dad, and we would see him with a different girlfriend each time,” Brandon says. “So my views of adult life became: Do whatever you want.”
For Brandon, this mentality meant treating women however he wanted. Screaming matches with his mother were a part of their normal routine. Brandon’s quick temper and selfishness created a huge communication barrier between the two of them. Things at home continued to spiral out of control until his mother reached out to Miracle Farm for help.
“When I first got to Miracle Farm, I just really wanted to be away from home. I showed up here and I was great at wearing amask and acting well-behaved. I didn’t have any respect for my mom or my sisters. I was terrible at home, but I came here and wearing the mask was easy for me.”
After several months at the Farm, Brandon’s mask began to fade away. His struggle to respect authority became evident when he faced the consequences of not taking care of his responsibilities at the Farm. His deep-seeded anger and resentment began to surface as he fought and rebelled. However, Brandon began to see that the staff really cared about him. Over time, his heart softened and he learned to trust in their leadership and guidance.
“One of the big values at Miracle Farm is respecting authority,” explains Brandon. “The authority put over me at Miracle Farm has taught me that my actions or behavior would not be okay in the real world.”
Brandon says his weekly Bible studies at the Farm have given him a hope in growing up without a father. “My heavenly dad created the earth. It has given me hope. My earthly dad may have been able to protect me from a lot of stuff on earth, but God can protect me from Satan. I haven’t had a dad from the ages 3 to 16, but I have the ultimate dad now in Jesus.”
His hope – found in his eternal Father – has transformed his perspective in the way Brandon treats other people. Though he still struggles with his temper, he processes his feelings differently now and considers the consequences of acting out in frustration. The most important relationship it has changed is the one he has with his mother.
Brandon and his mom now have a relationship built on respect and trust. Sometimes he still finds himself disagreeing with her but, instead of lashing out, he suggests sitting down and talking it through. His mother’s opinion is important to him because he has learned how to value the authority figures in his life.
“Miracle Farm gave me a foundation and structure for me to act like I should act. When people look at me, they see that I am a representation of my mom and Miracle Farm. It’s not all about me. Now I stop to think about how I am representing others.”
Brandon is thankful for the change that happened in his life but, most importantly, he is happy that he has a healthy, growing relationship with his mom and is able to genuinely tell her, “I love you.”
Even though it is difficult to not have the influence of an earthly father, Brandon clings to faith in his heavenly father and trusts that God will always be the dad he needs. This truth has given him the confidence to share his story with other boys on the Farm so that they may know the Father to the fatherless.