Through the Darkness

Two years ago I️ woke up to what would intensify an incredibly hard season. Trying to formulate the words of see you later to my dad was difficult. Seeing the pain from my brother was heartbreaking. The anxiety and grief was becoming a beast I️ couldn’t face alone.

I️ remember hoping that I’d never lose a close family member or friend until I was married, so that I️ could be comforted by my spouse. Yet 2 years ago I️ was single and faced 2 great deaths. This is something I’m thankful for. The road I️ was on seemed to head to more sadness, but the hand that held mine was sure.

It may sound crazy but there are days I️ miss that season. When you trust God and can’t find even a hint of satisfaction on anything else but Him His presence and faithfulness are so evident.

People often say I’m strong yet I️ feel so weak. The strength they see is something that is beyond me. When I️ chose to forgive my dad I️ had to rely on God. When I️ hasn’t seen my dad in 9 years and I️ chose to go see him because he was dying, I️ had to rely on God. When I️ had to see not only him but my grandpa die in the same week, I️ had to rely on God.

Even in the darkest seasons. The ones where anxiety seems to rule and depression greets you in the morning. In seasons where bitterness encases your heart. When it’s hard to forgive. The secret is found in going through those valid feelings with God. The natural thing we do is try to fix it ourselves. Yet God wants us to go with and through.

I️ know I️ wouldn’t have made it through all of the without Him. Every prayer from every person doesn’t go unnoticed. Even today I’m thankful for each prayer for my family during that season. I️ know there are more times than I️ can count that they carried me through.

Dear Sojourners,

Forgiveness is possible. Redemption is real. Guidance from Our Daddy is necessary.

Dad I️ know you’re enjoying heaven. I️ miss you but thankfully one day, we will be united again.

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Dads

Dad. This simple word brings a flood of memories for everyone. Whether those memories are positive, negative or a mix of both, it is one of the most powerful, thought triggering word. Dads are supposed to teach you how to play catch, ride bikes and how to respect people. They are the sole person that you fear when you want to start dating but the best people to receive hugs from when you experience your first heart break. They provide and protect. I know all of this not because I have a relationship like this with my biological father but because my Heavenly Father has shown me what true fathers look like. My journey with my dad begins a little something like this..

I was born.

I was a thanksgiving baby or as my grandpa liked to call me a turkey baby. Like most people I don’t remember those first years of my life but I’ve been told that by the time I was 1 my mom moved my older brother and I from the east coast of the US to the west coast because my dad chose to do lots of drugs, drink, and be unfaithful. A few months later promises were made and we moved back to Virginia and for the next 5 years my mom tried to save her marriage. Memories for me come in and out. A lot of times I think I remember one thing and have it totally wrong but I know I was exposed to a lot of things that opened doors to struggles later. That main one was fear.

From my memory my dad never did anything horrific like a lot of kids go through but time after time he would promise so much and only deliver disappointment. The word promise lost all meaning by the time I was 10 years old. With age I started noticing the verbal abuse when I would talk to him. For some reason when I would hang up the phone fear of being a failure, or fear of disappointment came. Shame guilt became one of my best friends in all areas of my life. I never called frequently enough. My grades weren’t great enough. And I equated all of this with the identity that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough so that’s why he didn’t stay. I wasn’t enough so that’s why he wouldn’t stay sober. I wasn’t enough so that’s why he wouldn’t keep his promises.

A few years ago I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to look up my dads name. As I looked up the name Randy I found, “a shield”. Immediately I realized where fear was placed as a child. My dad didn’t provide what his identity promised.

When a shield isn’t placed in the battle of growing up fear replaces.

This last December I got a phone call from my dad. This surprised me because of consistent bad conversations he wasn’t supposed to have my number. After he called several times I chose to pick up the phone only to be cut down and told I was doing a bad job because my dad and my brothers relationship was pretty much nonexistent.

After spending a year trying to love my dad when it was hard here I was again being told I wasn’t enough.

I was done. So I chose to be done. Until a month ago.

Long story short my dad was found in a hotel room bleeding to death. He was randomly checked on by someone and they took him to the ER. After emergency surgery he was told he had cancer. Two surgeries later I was told things were really bad. So I called him. These last few weeks I have seen God take my brothers broken heart and put it back together and have had a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Last week things got even worse and I came home to my mom asking if I would like to fly to Virginia and possibly see him for the last time.

Out of everything I have done this year no other adventure can compare to hopping on an airplane and seeing my dad for the first time in 9 years but I see why everything I went through up until this time.

If you’re reading this I simply ask that you pray. At this point my dad hasn’t been sober from drugs and alcohol ever. Pray that he chooses to stay sober. Pray that peace continue to guard my heart and mind. And above all pray that my dad truly encounters the love of my life my Heavenly Daddy and submits to Him.

I believe this could be life changing not only for me but mainly for him.

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
C.S. Lewis

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