I threw the un-cut birthday cake in the garbage. My aunt asked if I was going to drop it by his house. “No, he doesn’t deserve it.” Once again, he hadn’t shown up. Another meal, another missed opportunity.
I have often wondered why God chose him for me. Our daddy/daughter relationship seemed to never take root. I envied my friends who had a “real” dad in their lives. Those things dads do for their daughters- make them feel loved, cherished, and beautiful were gifts I never received. I arrived in adulthood with “baggage” that needed unpacking.
There comes a time when we become so weary of carrying the load. How do you love and honor a father that lived a less than honorable life? How do you forgive him for withholding the emotional gifts a girl desperately needs? The first thing you do is make a choice…
When we have been hurt, there is no such thing as forgiving and forgetting. God doesn’t perform a lobotomy.
Every moment, every day.
I began to pray and ask God to help me see dad’s positive qualities.
I wrote him a letter and…never mailed it. Pouring out my heart with pen and paper was therapeutic for me. Do you need to write a letter? Maybe you will mail it and maybe you won’t. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
I protected my heart from future hurt. Through biblical counseling, I learned to honor from a distance. It wasn’t necessary to plan a celebration for his birthday; I could send a card and give him a call.
I decided to accept dad for who he was. It is freeing to expect nothing. Therefore, what he was able to offer, I enjoyed.
My dad restored his relationship with God and me before he died. During the last few years of his life, we spent many hours together as he struggled with addiction and poor health. God used some of those times together to give me some of the things I had longed for.
I hope I have inherited some things from my dad. His easy going disposition and acceptance of others are wonderful traits and I gladly tell others, “I take that after my dad.”
May I pray for you?