Tag Archives: love

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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Motivation: Compassion

Compassion-Logo

image courtesy of Schulstiftung (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mercy: the crown jewel of the motivational gifts. Why are they the crown jewel of the gifts? Because the mercy is wired to the heart of God, not the mind of God (as the other six gifts are). Mercies are often caught up in the battle of pleasing God or pleasing man because they are so compassionate that they do not want to hurt people by making decisions or confronting sin. However, they are predisposed to worship and can connect with God immediately without hesitation (I love to watch this happen with my mercy friends!). Mercy gifts are a safe place for wounded people and they can often sense who is wounded and hurting in a group of people. Mercy gifts are often attracted to prophets because prophets are bold and fearless, and prophets desperately need the softening influence of the mercy gift (I am always surrounded by mercy gifts!).

You may not be wired like them, but here are a few ways you can connect with a mercy gift:

  • Give your mercy friends time to process. This is probably the most important present you can give to your mercy friends. They will not process things at the same rate that you do. The mercy gift requires even more time to process than the teacher because mercies are processing everything through their emotions. You may not understand this, but you should respect it. Your mercy friend may come up to you three months later and say, “Remember when you said…well, you were right.” If this happens, simply remember that they were processing that the entire time!
  • Give your mercy friends appropriate physical contact. More than any other gift, the mercy craves intimacy—not just soul contact, but physical contact in the form of hugs and touch. The apostle John was a great example of a mercy gift—he not only referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved” but he also needed physical contact with him (he laid on Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper). Please be careful and notice that I said APPROPRIATE physical contact! Please do not allow yourself to become attached to a mercy gift based on physical contact; their need for physical contact can too often lead to inappropriate behavior, especially interactions between the opposite sex. Help your mercy friends to receive their physical contact in holy, God-honoring ways.
  • Give your mercy friends a push towards excellence. In their battle between pleasing God and pleasing man, mercies may get wrapped up in the emotions of others instead of the Lord. I have experienced this in churches where there is a mercy pastor who often wraps himself in loyalty and takes up offenses for his family. Pleasing man instead of God can mire the mercy gift in mediocrity. Help them get wrapped up in the Lord like John did in Revelation: it will help them to deliver hard messages with compassion while staying faithful to God’s will for them!

The beauty of the mercy gift—of all the gifts—is found in their differences. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and the mercy is living proof of that.

What are some other ways you can encourage mercy gifts to walk in the beauty of their gifting?