Devaluing Men: The Testimony

04 August 2013

I am pretty sure by the contents of the last two post you can totally see how black my heart was when it came to my Father. His lack of interest in my childhood just confirmed the feelings I began to have for him in my adulthood. I will give him credit though after he realized that he hurt me because of the events surrounding my wedding he did try and make amends. I decided that I was above his apology because I had heard them before and from past experience they were always empty words. 

Truth be told the negativity from the broken relationship with my Father seeped over into every relationship that I had. It even began eroding the foundation of my marriage. I used the experiences with my Father to beat down my husband. I always suspected that he was lying to me, if he came home late I suspected that there was someone out there that was more important to me. When he failed me by even being late to fetch me from work I lumped him and all men with my Father. In anger I would yell out to him "You are reminding me of my Father, I refused to be married to someone like him!". Oh goodness the ugly truth is making me regret even sharing that last sentence with you but I was really a wreck when it came to trust. I made my husband feel so small so many times because I didn't understand for the life of me why he was still in my life. I expected him to make a swift exit because that's what all men did. But my husband was not my Father.

After God talked to me in the dream thoughts of my Father continued to occupy my mind. I could not seem to get away from thinking about him, during this time I also found a new church. At my new church LOVE was redefined for me and I started to really learn it's true meaning. Learning about love helped me to heal my marriage and it also helped us to rebuild a new foundation that stood on God's word. While I was focused on being a better wife forgiveness continued to be on the forefront of my mind. Just about every message that my Pastor shared referenced to forgiveness. At one point I wanted to scream out to God "Stop it with the messages, I don't wanna do it!". Let me tell you when God wants you to do something you will do it - its only a question of when. Every conversation, thought, sermon, book, blog, and daily experience weaved back to forgiveness, seriously. 

[via]
One day I decided to get together with a friend from my women's small group. This was our first time hanging out together outside of the group - she had also just moved from California with her husband. So as you can see our friendship was so new! I didn't know anything about her save for the fact that she was a Filipina military wife who loved Jesus. When we sat down to have lunch we were eating mangoes and then she mentioned something about her Dad. She talked about how she and her Dad has a rough relationship and how hard it was to forgive him. She told me that God made her to be victorious - not a victim, then a God-bulb went off. I was so consumed in being the victim in this story and God wanted me to be victorious. He wanted me to overcome this unfortunate event so that I could move on. He wanted to release me from the shackles that un-forgiveness had put around my heart. He wanted to show me that He was my Dad, that through every experience in my life He was holding my hand. He showed me that when I was assaulted justice prevailed, He revealed to me that my marriage was put together by Him and the husband I have was handpicked by Him. God revealed to me His protection, provision, and guidance through my entire life - and that one experience paled in comparison to all that He had brought me through. He told me that I was His child and though the person He assigned to take on the earthly role had failed, He would not.

That God-bulb was the final piece to all that had been working in my heart from the night that I had the dream. God's work had been done. That day I found this scripture that really spoke to my heart.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
God had forgiven me so many times and he commanded me to forgive others in the same way. As I studied that scripture I realized that forgiveness did not mean that I accepted my Father's behavior it just meant that I was giving him the same grace that was given to me. 

[via]
Later that night I talked to my mom and I told her that I was ready to move forward. She was so happy that the words she had planted had finally begun to bear the fruit of forgiveness. In my anger I had deleted my Father's number so I asked my mom for it. I dialed it and as the phone rang my heart beat faster and faster louder and louder to the point where I could barely hear. Then the line stopped ringing and he said "Hello?". My heart stopped and I looked at my mom and she motioned for me to talk. By this time it had been 7 years since we had spoken to each other. I didn't know what to say or if I should call him Dad or not. I finally mustered up the courage and our conversation went like this.

"Hello?" he said again.
"Hi. Dad?" he responded with a hesitant "Hi?". No doubt he was trying to identify my voice. "Hi. Who is this?" he said.
I said "It's your daughter, Charity!".
In surprise he said "No! Really who is this?"
I repeated "It's your daughter, Charity! I know it's been a while but I am ready to talk to you now."

The line was silent and then I heard tons of sobbing. He talked through his tears, I hadn't shed a tear over him in years so I was truly all cried out. But the emotion that I felt when I heard him crying made my heart feel like it was about to explode. He apologized over and over, saying that he wanted to see me and that it had been so long. He told me that he wanted to see me that weekend but I had a flight to NY so that wouldn't work out. So he asked for a picture of me instead and I sent him a few. His only response was "You are more beautiful than I remember". We talked a little more and I realized how alone my Father had been - he and my sister barely kept in touch, and his wife had left him. His life hadn't been as wonderful as I was assuming it was, he had been suffering too. I also asked about his health and the only cancer that existed was the one that festered out of the un-forgiveness of our broken relationship.

Our relationship didn't snap-back to normalcy, in fact we are still working on it day by day. My Father even asked me what made me come around and I told him that it was my love for God and the forgiveness he has shown me. He didn't really understand the experience because he wasn't a Christian but he said he truly appreciated it. Last year on New Year's Eve I called to wish him a happy new year and he began crying. I asked what was wrong, he said you are the only person who thought of me today thank you so much for calling me. I proceeded to ask how he spent his New Year's Eve and he told me he has just gotten out of church. He said today I gave my life to God! 

I choked back tears as I saw this story of brokenness come full circle. Two lost sheep returned to their Shepard to receive healing. Two people realized God was the only one who could fill the voids in their lives. My Father and I are on the path to restoration, he may have missed all of my childhood but he is here now. He happily looks forward to the future and being able to be a grandfather to my children - he told me he can't wait for that fresh start. I know that God does everything for a reason, and if he had to take my Father away from me so that in brokenness he could return to Him - I am totally okay with that. 

I encourage you to forgive whomever you all holding hatred for. You should always guard your heart but we are commanded to forgive everyone as many times as Christ forgives us. I realized that holding on to hatred was hurting me more than it was hurting my Father. Hatred for him changed how I treated every single person around me and it changed me from the loving, fun, and compassionate woman God had created me to be. With the help of the Holy Spirit I am being molding everyday to resemble my beautiful Dad in whose image first I was created. 

11 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear your father returned to Church! I'd never have expected that. If only I could get MY father to go.

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  2. beautifully written post. forgiveness has always been hard for me, especially when i've felt hurt or betrayed by those very close to me. your father seems to be making positive strides, and you too :) have a good day!

    msemilybee.blogspot.com

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  3. this is such a beautiful post... i'm so glad that your father returned to his Father.. and that you were able to find healing and rejoice in that. God is amazing

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  4. You sure do know how to write a tear-jerker! This is such a wonderful, wonderful testimony. And nobody but you could tell it.

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  5. wow wow! What an incredible testimony!!!! Thank you for sharing with this. The love of the Lord, his healing power and his sweet redemption with your father. <3

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  6. Wow, dear! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing testimony! How wonderful that God worked so strongly in your life!

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  7. Wow. This is amazing. I dont have words, just tears and they speak more than any words right now. This is an incredible testimony and glorifies God and shows how the Holy Spirit guided you in every step. Thanks for sharing. Its a blessing for me... xoxo Tayrina.

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  8. Beautiful post!! I'm so glad you shared this story, it really is amazing!

    On a different note, I'm so sorry that I just discovered your passionfruit add application on my blog! I don't check my pending ads very often. You're on my sidebar now, and I'm happy to have you there, girl!

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  9. I nominated you for the liebster award!---http://mintchocolatechipmoments.blogspot.com/2013/08/liebster-award.html

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  10. Wow. what a powerful story and testimony, Charity! Thank you for sharing. I have been inspired to consider my forgiveness toward my own dad. God has used you to minister to me through this post!

    Ellie
    www.ChoosingPeaceBlog.com

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  11. This post resonated with me on so many levels. Thanks for sharing! God bless!

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