Tag Archives: loss

Good Grief

crying doll by Theeradech Sanin

image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin / freedigitalphotos.net

My father died today. I don’t think that there’s three points that I can give you in a blog format to help you learn more about yourself through the death of my parent. So I’m just going to unjumble my thoughts and let them flow here, and I pray that God will bless you in some way as you read.

If you’ve read my testimony, you know that I didn’t have a great relationship with my dad. Celebrate Recovery helped me do a lot of grieving and releasing, but especially with my father. It was good to grieve the father I didn’t have, the father I always wanted…to let go of expectations and begin to accept the reality of who my father was. To release my feelings of rejection and revel in the acceptance of my heavenly Father. I continued to do that for the next five years, never really desiring a full-time relationship with him for many reasons. As more and more information about the man I called “Dad” has surfaced in recent weeks, I know that God has been protecting me by removing that desire from me. Instead, I have accepted him as the flawed, sinful man that he is and loved him from an appropriate distance. I am thankful that God indeed protected my heart and gave me the strength to set healthy boundaries.

A couple of things happened as I began to grieve a few weeks ago when I was alerted that my father was on his death bed. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t stop thinking about this one person with whom I had unfinished business. Death tends to bring out those unresolved situations in our lives, making us uneasy with leaving loose ends. Eventually I realized that what was on my mind was, “If I died today, is there anyone to whom I would need to make amends?” There was. I guess because my own father never realized the “error” of his ways and never sought to make amends with his children, I wanted to break that cycle. I could say “I’m sorry” and I could make amends. I wanted to start a new kind of cycle—one of grace and pure love modeled after Christ. And while I had been concerned because there had been no one to talk to about my situation (other than God), I eventually realized that I didn’t need to talk to someone else about it. I needed to talk to the offended party. So I sent an e-mail today. It was hard, and I cried more over that e-mail than I have cried for my deceased father. But I felt a burden lift once I pressed “send.” Life is too short for unfinished business, unforgiveness, and loose ends.

Second, I realized that I wasn’t carrying any burden towards my father. Finding out a few really terrible things about him in the last few days, I thought I would feel heavier about things. When I confessed his deplorable acts to a friend, she assured me that who my father was is not who I am. I reassured her confidently that I didn’t feel that anyway—and it was true. I felt disconnected from that because I had forgiven him. But I also felt disconnected from that because my identity is not in my earthly father anymore. I have secured my identity as a princess of the King and a crazy but amazing pushy prophet girl, and because of that, there is no burden for being my earthly father’s daughter. Whatever heinous acts my father may have committed, they do not belong to me…I have been cleansed and forgiven. I am my Father’s child.

Third, I realized the significance of sexual sin in my generational history. Numbers 14:18 says, “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’” I know that my grandfather and father’s iniquities have visited the generations below them and through me, and that is important for me to accept and understand in my continual quest for purity. Indeed, though I am my Father’s child, I now have some idea as to why I have struggled so mightily in the area of sexual purity. However, what grace and love the Father lavishes on us, that I can not only call myself His child but that I can receive forgiveness and cleansing from the sins of my forefathers. I am ready to break the cycle and bring forth a generation of purity. My tears have not been wasted; they have been collected by a loving Daddy who intends to use them to cleanse future generations as they walk in their PureID™. What joy that brings me!

So I stand here not crying, but instead praising! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow, and I thank You, Jesus, for the opportunity to experience this blessed, good grief. Amen!

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This Is My Story, This Is My Song: The First Eight

“This is my story/This is my song/Praising my Savior all the day long!” Over the next few blogs, I will be sharing my life testimony with you, including the lessons I’ve learned from my past, the excitement I am experiencing in the present, and the hope I have for my future. Blessings!

“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” –Psalm 66:16

story song by Grant Cochrane

image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / freedigitalphotos.net

On Valentine’s Day in 1977, my mother went to the doctor believing she had a stomach tumor. As it turned out, she was actually pregnant with her second child—me. She was in the midst of separating from my father, and thus, in June 1977, I was born into a single parent home to my mom and a sister who was three and half years old. My father remarried when I was six months old to a woman I knew and loved my entire life as my stepmother.

I grew up in a relatively tight-knit family with my mom and sister, living next door to my grandparents (and sometimes my uncle). My father and stepmother lived in the same town, about 15 minutes away, though I only saw him sporadically as I was growing up. My earliest memory of my father is of him coming over to take my sister out—and leaving me behind. The rejection and isolation I felt, even at that young age, was palpable. It was the first of many rejections at the hands of my earthly father. Despite this, in my primary years, I excelled at school and found my many gifts—especially music. I attended church constantly with my family, and when I was eight years old, I responded to an altar call at my church and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was in third grade. That same year, my maternal grandmother died of colon cancer. I had lived next door to her my entire life, as she spoiled me with homemade candies and a true grandmother’s love. This loss was devastating to me personally. Shortly after her death, to help care for my aging grandfather, we moved next door into his house with him.

My primary years were marked by changes and loss, and though it was difficult, I can look back and see a valuable lesson that marked the first eight years of my life: You are never too young to begin a relationship with Christ. Even though I was only eight, beginning my journey with God at such a young age helped established the strong foundation in my life that has continued to this day. I’m not saying I haven’t struggled or doubted. But looking back, I can see that God was always with me during the rejection, the loss, and the suffering I experienced from life. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Though I could not physically see God through my eight year old eyes, now I look back and see the truth of this verse lived out in my early years. I was rejected, but not alone. I experienced loss, but He helped me—even as a third grader with no deep knowledge of Him. God upheld me through this time of significant loss and change early in my life, and He still does the same for me today.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I am thankful that my mother not only believed this verse but lived it out so that I had a strong foundation on which to stand while facing the struggles that lay ahead for me in the next eight years.

If God can strengthen, help, and uphold a naïve, rejected, eight-year-old girl, what could He do for you today?