I knew my life wasn’t all about me, but until a week and a half ago it never dawned on me that my pain wasn’t all about me either. On Christmas morning I asked God if the events of my life had any deeper meaning that I was unaware of. He told me that I was hurt (by my dad) so I could be healed and then show my dad’s broken heart the way out. This was an amazing moment! It shed so much light on so many things. If I hadn’t been hurt by my dad in the same way he had been hurt by his dad then I wouldn’t have understood the nature of the wound. We’re supposed to be God’s hands & feet and I was going to be His hands for my dad’s wound.
God largely healed my heart a year ago as I read John & Stasi Eldredge’s book, Captivating. But I knew there was still a small but vital broken piece that was tied to my unforgiveness. The book helped me see who I really was but I didn’t see who my dad really was. Oddly, because that one piece of my heart was still broken, I couldn’t see that my dad was broken too. You would think a broken person could recognize another broken person! But I guess when you’re hurt it’s difficult to be outward focused.
I knew God could fix anything but I didn’t think He would fix this. I thought my unforgiveness stood in His way. In the moment that God showed me that my pain was for the noble cause of helping my dad, all my unforgiveness vanished. What I had tried for years to pray away was now gone in a miraculous instant!
I now view my dad in a way I never have before: with love & compassion. I know what he’s done but that’s not what I see when I look at him. (This is how God sees us too!!! Read that sentence again and imagine God saying it about you. See Col. 1:19-23 and Col. 2:8-15.) I realized my dad acted out of his pain and the things he did was simply the voice of that pain. He apologized for the past on several occasions but my annoyance of his behavior in the present kept the past alive. The devil used this to cause my dad’s heart more pain. His dad made him feel like he wasn’t good enough and for years I had been doing the same thing. In my last blog I mentioned that I had asked my dad for forgiveness for my attitude but I was concerned that I would revert back to my old ways. I now know this isn’t going to happen.
God healed the last piece of my brokenness, which in turn allowed forgiveness to instantly flow out of my new whole heart. It no longer felt like it cost me something to forgive my dad because I was no longer trying to offer it up out of my brokenness. I was able to offer it up out of God’s wholeness, which could now work in me in a greater way than ever before.
My dad celebrated his 75th birthday last Friday. In his birthday card I told him that I now see him for who he really is. He is wonderful. (I wrote other things as well!) He was appreciative and said my words were therapeutic. I told him not to allow someone else’s pain to steal away the truth about who he really is. I hope you’ll do the same.