Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

For many years, I envied people who had a daddy to celebrate and honor on Fathers day. I oftentimes wondered what a good relationship with a father looked like. You see movies and television shows depicting an image of one, but how much of the entertainment world can we really deem as reality?

My father passed away some time ago. Suffering from a broken heart and a lack of hope, he medicated with large quantities of alcohol until his body finally gave out. My father was skin and bones when he died, weighing under 100 lbs. The last words I remember him saying to me before he passed was, "I never want to hear from you again", then hanging up on me after I pleaded for him to get help. When he finally passed away, after frequent visits into intensive care from almost dying, I was so numb and disconnected from him that, initially, I didn't mourn or grieve his death. I remember my sister calling me and waking me, telling me the news, and me falling back to sleep afterward. I expected that phone call to happen sooner or later; you can't continue living that way and not reach an end.

I didn't attend the funeral. I remember thinking, "what's the point?" The problem was, I carried so much bitterness and resentment from the lack of having a normal relationship with my father and him writing me off for wanting to help that it hardened my heart. That part of my life, as far as I was concerned was closed - SHUT.

You see, I had to protect myself from going down with him. Although, the walls I built up that was suppose to protect me, ended up imprisoning me to the pain, unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment I carried. I was poisoning my life, the same way my father did, except it wasn't by scotch or beer.

God, the Father, came into my life and freed me from my own confinements and the false sense of security I wrapped myself in. He showed me a love I've never known. I was able to release my past hurts and fill the father's absence in my life. I was adopted into God's family through Jesus Christ and now, I don't have to continue to wonder what it's like to have a good relationship with a dad. Abba (Father) has everything I have ever needed in my life; He filled in all the blanks and when I responded to His love, He gave me a new life and a new heart.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! - 2 Corinthians 5:17

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. - Ezekiel 36:26

I have mourned and grieved my biological father since then. I have chosen to see the good in him, realizing that my father had a broken heart and hurting people, hurt people. He didn't cause me pain because of anything I did. My father hurt me because he had never truly received the love from the Father; you can't give something you don't have.

I am learning to uncover fond memories of my dad, rather than dwell on what went wrong in our relationship. I have forgiven him, as I have forgiven myself, and I pray he is with the Lord now, so that one day, I can tell him, "I love you."