In today’s post I share with you a very personal part of my life. I am sharing this to impress upon you the importance of forgiveness. I also share with you the importance of coming clean with the people you love through open and honest communication in their living years.
Happiness Turned to Sadness
I have both fond and not so happy memories of my relationship with my dad. As a young girl up to my early teen years, my father was my hero. He was the first model of manhood that I knew. He was funny and made me laugh so often. I felt safe in his presence because he provided for us as his children.
I have fond memories of sitting on his lap and playing drums on his tummy while he played his fingers as a flute. He sang funny songs to me that made me ball over with laughter every time. Those were the good old days. Days filled with innocence and undiluted unconditional love.
Things took a dark turn when another woman showed up in the picture. Eventually my parents divorced just before I turned twelve years old. Life took a terrible turn. Our quality of life nose dived as my mom struggled to take me and my brothers through school alone.
Sadness Turned To Anger and Rebellion
Later on we moved in with my dad and stepmom and life was real hell on earth. I was confused. My emotions oscillated between hatred and anger at my dad and at God. I felt that my dad had seriously let me down by not ensuring that we kept the safety and comfort of having both him and my mom in our lives at the same time. I felt let down by him not shielding us from the cruelty that was taking place right under his nose.
I was angry with God for letting the authority figures in my life get away with making decisions that hurt me and my siblings so much. If He was a powerful and all-knowing God, why could He not defend us from our parents poor decisions? If He could not discipline them, why would he expect me to obey Him? I rebelled against the God that I had known through my defective father and I left the church.
So Hard To Forgive
After thirteen years of divorce, my parents remarried. A lot had already gone wrong. I felt that he came back into my life too late. I no longer needed him and I intentionally kept my distance from him. Deep inside though, the little girl in me yearned for a relationship with the man who had been my first love.
I carried that chip on my shoulder into my marriage and needless to say a lot of things did not work out well. I was fighting my mother’s battles that were never resolved in my head. I was fighting for that little girl who had missed her dad so much. The men in my life became the victims of those unofficially declared wars.
My emotions were a roller coaster of love and hate of the two most important men in my life. Having been blessed with sons, I gave a laser focus effort to loving them. Their love was pure, clean, untainted and unconditional. Is it possible I spoilt them? Maybe, and we need to clean that up too.
A Journey of Healing
Fast forward to about six years back. God has been taking me on a journey of healing through searching His Word, prayer and meditation. I have been learning to understand myself and the way that I am. I now understand where I went wrong on my life’s journey in allowing my circumstances to dictate to me how I behaved.
Some mistakes I still have the opportunity to change for real. Other mistakes may not be fully corrected as they require not only my decisions but those of the other players too. Yet one thing that I am grateful for is that I now have learned the strength that lies in forgiveness. Forgiveness of others (with or without an apology from them) and forgiveness of myself.
The Empty Fathers Day Syndrome
Two years into my journey of healing, my dad passed away. We had made some inroads into the restoration of our relationship. There were still some issues that we were both trying to work out together. From a traditional point of view, he was still refusing to talk about certain issues. I was still angry and emotional about stuff. While we were treading on the eggshells and minefield of how to sort everything out, death struck. The empty Fathers Day Syndrome struck.
My moaning for my dad was chequered with frustration, confusion and a rekindled delusion in my Christian walk. How was I to resolve issues with a dead person? Why had God robbed me of a chance to make things right with my dad and subsequently with Him? Little did I know that my dad’s parting was to show me how to really trust Him and to truly forgive myself. As the dead know nothing and cannot hear our confessions, I only had God to confess what I should have confessed to my dad. In the process, God taught me how to let go of the past and accept forgiveness of myself from myself.
God’s Word – A Healing Balm
I thank God for His Word that renews and revives. As I cried myself to sleep on so many nights trying to figure out how to move on, God’s Word came alive for me in text and song. As I threw my tantrums by myself, I felt His presence by claiming the promises in His Word that He would never leave me nor forsake me.
My message today is especially for daughters and sons who on this Fathers Day do not know what to say to their dads because of the hurt that they feel. You feel your dad has not made the best decisions for your welfare. It looks like they have valued their personal happiness over your safety and welfare. You are angry and bitter towards him for making that choice.
Seek For Healing
I have been down that road and trust me anger and bitterness will only mess you up. Find a trusted God fearing adult/friend for you to talk to and ask them to help you deal with your emotions. Your church pastor or his wife are a good suggestion. If you are male, talk to a man, if you are female, talk to a woman. You do not want to create unnecessary complications from male/female dynamics.
If you cannot find someone you can talk to right away, pray. Talk to God openly and honestly and tell Him you want to start your journey of healing and forgiveness. He will show you what to do and He will bring the right people into your life to guide you at the right time. This advice is for both young and old who are hurting from their relationships or lack thereof with their fathers.
Today as a starting point, even if you may not have felt like extending the message, pick up the phone and just wish your dad a happy Fathers Day. You will deal with the deeper things later.
Obey God – Both Father and Child Admonished
No matter what your age, remember this commandment: “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord Your God is giving you” – Exodus 20: 12. Your father does not have to deserve your honour. Your noble and godly response towards him with all his faults is honour. God will keep his side of the deal and give you a long and joyful life.
To the fathers, listen to this caution from God: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” – Ephesians 6:4. These are powerful words to keep in mind in your dealings with your children. Be mindful of the impact of your choices and decisions on them. Do not give them cause to be wrath towards you and possibly turning their backs on God too.
Your choices and decisions have an eternal influence on your offspring. If you have messed up and your relationship with any of your children is not at its best, take the initiative to make things right. Ask for God to guide as to how you and your child can walk towards reconciliation. Both of you will benefit from it in your relationship and your relationships with other important people in your lives. Fathers Day is a good time to get that ball rolling.
Happy Fathers Day to all the dads and all the children in the world.
Snap! This really got so much longer than planned 😉. If you know of anyone who needs to read this message, please share it with them on social media or via email.
Nomusa is a loving mother of four sons. A professional water resources consultant with a Masters degree in Water Resources Engineering and Management, she has mastered the art of mindset shifting and integrating her conventional professional training with becoming a successful God praising network marketing business owner.
My Skype: madlala2010