I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine that you’ll be hearing more about as the year continues. His name is Michael, and he’s an anesthesiologist in Fort Worth, TX. He currently lives in a nice suburb with his beautiful wife and three children. I’m asking him to tell you a little about himself, and I hope you are as excited to meet and get to know him as I am to introduce him to you! Make sure you pay close attention to him because he will be the one to tell you my exciting news.
Hello to you all. My name is Michael, and as you already know I’m an anesthesiologist living in the suburbs with my wonderful family. I have to admit I love my life. I love everything about it, and I couldn’t ask for more. However, it wasn’t always like this, and I want to tell you just a small piece of my story if you’ll allow me. I’m so excited to tell you the big news you’re here for, but first, I need to tell you about myself.
I grew up in a pretty decent home. My dad worked hard, and my mom and I were pretty close. She took me to church often, and because she volunteered so much, our church was my second home with the members being an extension of my family. I loved every minute of it.
When I was in high school, I was the guy everyone liked. I was the athlete who made good grades. I started leading small groups of middle school students at church, and I was always surrounded by people who loved me. Everything was perfect, or so that’s what people thought when they saw me.
It didn’t matter what I did, nothing was good enough for my dad. I made 3 touchdowns at our homecoming football game, and he noticed the one fumble I had in the first quarter. I hit the homerun to win the baseball game, and he pointed out the strike out in the 5th inning. I had a 3.8 GPA, and he made sure I knew that it could have been better. I lived my life trying to be perfect, and I always fell short. I filled my days with projects just to keep me busy so I could block out the fact that he constantly threw my imperfection and weaknesses in my face.
It was my junior year of high school when everything started falling apart in my life. My dad lost his job, and his drinking became out of control. For him, with alcohol came violence. I stayed away as much as I could and when I was home, I did my best to hide out in my room. I know we were a happy family once but honestly, I don’t remember what that was like. It’s still hard for me to remember a home without yelling.
When he yelled at my mom, I would turn my music up in my room and just pray for God to help us and to change my dad. I prayed every day, and I prayed so many times a day. At school, it still appeared as if everything was okay, but it was getting harder for me to keep it hidden. I even found my small group suffering because of it. The more intense things got at home, the more distance I placed between God and myself. I began praying out of anger, not toward my dad but toward God for not answering my prayers. I questioned if he was even listening to my prayers. It wasn’t long before I began questioning if God even existed.
My dad got so violent one day and hit my mom so badly, I lost it. Before that moment, I never understood what rage truly was. I could feel the blood bubbling inside of me, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I stormed out of my room and saw my mom on the ground. Every time she tried to stand up, he kicked her back down. She was bleeding, crying, and clearly defeated. I shoved my dad into the wall, breaking the precious China my mom loved so much.
It was as if I blacked out for a moment and when I came out of it, I felt like I was out of my body watching myself punch my dad uncontrollably in the face over and over again.
The next day, my mom left. I came home from school to find my dad in a state of mind I had never seen before. I knew what I saw wasn’t the effect of alcohol only. His eyes were crazed, and he was like a madman searching through every drawer in the house. It was later that I learned he was looking for a gun but couldn’t remember where it was. He blamed me for my mom leaving and wanted me as far away from him as I could get.
I was angry at God for not listening, and after my dad tried to commit suicide in front of me, I was angry at myself for believing God even existed. I was 17 years old, and I decided to make drastic changes in my life. I decided God was a fictional character made up by people who wanted me to follow the rules they had set. It was then that I decided rules no longer mattered. Adults were the enemy, and rules were their only weapon against me. I would take no part in either of them.
I’ve seen and done things many people have never even heard of. I’ve witnessed murder, rape, and severe beatings. You wouldn’t believe the things I found myself a part of. Here I am, now, Dr. Michael Johnson. I’m a husband who loves my wife and a father who loves my children. What did I ever decide about God? Well, that story along with the gory details of my life through the teen and young adult years will all be told to you in time. It will all unfold in A Warrior Wounded written by Misty Gatlin this year.
Keep your eyes opened for more information about the book of my life as it unfolds in a very similar manner as Sarah’s story in A Princess Broken.
Oh, and it’s a great pleasure to meet you.