Jacob Martin: The Absence of Brotherhood

Posted by in Brotherhood,Faith | December 9, 2013


Editor’s Note: Sometimes we don’t know what we have until it’s gone. This becomes abundantly clear when we lose the close friends that helped support us during difficult times in our lives. In Jacob’s case, he explains how much more difficult it is to be a high schooler, even with a group of surface-level friends, without the close bond of brotherhood, and the strength it provides. It’s also worth noting that, had it not been for Jacob’s dad being both observant and invested in his son’s life, Jacob may not have had the courage to admit to himself that he was struggling with feeling terribly alone. This ultimately allowed God to work through IRON and FIRE to pick up Jacob’s spirits and teach him a few things along the way. So thanks to Jacob and to his dad for always chasing the truth and for being faithful stewards of the relationships they have.

Brotherhood… I thought I knew how important it was; but that was back when I had it.

My name is Jacob Martin and I am a member of Jeff Knapp’s Sophomore squad; but since I transferred to Buford High School, after my freshman year at Lambert High School, I have not been able to attend the first semester of my group, due to football practice.

I transferred to Buford because the atmosphere at Lambert was awful and I felt like no one at that school worked hard because they always had everything given to them. I also thought that, by going to a mostly Christian-led school like Buford, I would be able to avoid all my other struggles, like porn, lust, masturbation, deceit, etc., but I was sadly mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, I have been at Buford now for 3 months and I have made many great friends and gotten to know several great men, between the faculty and coaches, at Buford. The only problem is, the friends I have made are just friends… I have not been able to find a guy to be my brother yet. My struggles that I mentioned earlier didn’t get better either; they basically got worse because I had no brothers to share them with and to help keep me accountable. This caused my struggles to build up inside of me and made me less focused on my grades (which began to slowly drop). And because I was so messed up on the inside, I started to slowly retract from my family.

One day my dad sat me down in my room and asked me what was going on. It took a long time and lots of long pauses, but I finally got to the root of the problem. I told my dad how I couldn’t find any brothers at Buford and how all my junk had just been building up inside of me. I will never forget what he said after I finished talking. He said, “… so, is it that you are feeling alone?” At that last word “alone,” a body wrenching sob came forth from the depths of my gut and I cried uncontrollably for the next half hour. At that moment, at that word “alone,” all of what had built up inside of me came out in tears. What had been tormenting me had finally been tapped and it hurt.

The next week, I called Jeff and told him what was going on and it was so relieving to talk about it again. He told me some things that will stick with me for the rest of my life. First, “In the end, you have to make hard choices for yourself because sometimes you are stuck in the desert and there is nothing we can do.” Also, “Doing the right thing especially when it is hard is what separates the men from the boys.” Not being able to be with my brothers in his group, so far, has been one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. And Even though I do not understand completely why God has these struggles in my life, I think he is trying to teach me some important things in the absence of my group: For instance, I think he is trying to teach me the importance of forgiveness.

He led me to this verse,

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Being kind and compassionate, forgiving others just as in Christ, God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

This verse really helped me overcome some challenges at Buford. Secondly, I think God was trying to teach me how beautiful true brotherhood is. After struggling with feeling betrayed by some of my new friends at school, I called up a brother and told him what happened and asked him to pray for me. And as soon as I was done, I felt a burden lifted from my shoulders. God also led me to this verse,

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22

This is talking about the importance of obedience of brotherhood. All in all, God has really been working in my life the last couple months; and it has been hard, but the gifts I have gained from it make it worth it.

Jacob Martin

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