A North Carolina pastor reconciles with parents who abandoned him when he was still a baby. He said, “I wanted to go to my grave with forgiveness, not bitterness.”
Steven Cox Early Childhood
Pastor Steven Cox is now leading the congregation in Peace Baptist Church. But it wasn’t easy to follow the calling of God for him.
He was still a baby when his parents got separated. And when he was two years old, Steven lived with his father while his sister stayed with his mother. He spent most of his childhood at his step-aunt’s house. His parents would visit him occasionally, but there were times that months or even years would pass before they visited him again.
But the bigger problem was that in his aunt’s house all types of immorality were normal, including drugs and violence. It was only a matter of time when Steven conformed to that kind of lifestyle, too. But he didn’t like what he was doing, so he blamed his parents.“I was seeing all this and just wondering why is my life like this? I had friends with both parents in their life, so around age 6 to 13 I started forming a deep hatred and bitterness toward both my parents. This hatred kept growing. I didn’t want to be around them,” he said.
“I thought there was something wrong with me or weird with me. Literally, I would shake my fist to the sky and just say, ‘God why do you hate me so much? Why did my life end up like this?’”, he added.
Steven Cox Got Saved
Steven eventually lived with his grandparents who were strong Christians. He would go to church with them, but on rare occasions and he was uninterested.
It only changed after he graduated high school.
Steven fell into a really dark place as a result of the difficulties of the real world combined with a rise in drug use. So, he went to church with his grandmother one Sunday service and it was the start of a new life in Christ.
“I couldn’t tell you what the preacher said, but I knew when I walked into that church I needed to get saved. After the service, I went down to the altar of that small North Carolina church, and a friend of mine led me to the Lord,” he said.
Pastor Reconciles With Parents
Steven was willing to do anything God wanted, even if that meant forgiving his parents.
“It was like God had to drag me to do that, but on this side of the journey I’m so grateful that God’s Word directs us to forgive and restore our relationships with people. Even those that hurt us the most. They needed to know more about God’s love and forgiveness towards them even more than my love and forgiveness toward them,” he shared.
And now, Steven has been the pastor of Peace Baptist Church in Whiteville since June 2022, and has been clean from drugs for ten years.
Not only that, his mother also attended church and he got to baptize his father. Praise the LORD!
“My advice to people regarding forgiveness is firstly to rest in the Gospel with your own soul. Grow in what Christ has done for you. I would rather someone get deeply rooted in the Gospel, instead of trying to rush a process. I had to walk through my own pain and my own hurt by reading God’s Word and resting in the Gospel.
“Some people told me to just leave my parents alone, but I wanted to go to my grave with forgiveness, not bitterness,” said Steven Cox.
Header image: Steven Cox and Father [@PastorStevenRC]. Twitter, 17 January 2023, https://twitter.com/PastorStevenRC/status/1615330467695439873/photo/1
Reference: Baptist Press