Thursday, September 19, 2013

Daddy's Girl

I've been going through an internal struggle lately. Nothing I haven't experienced before, although I suppose if I'm really honest with myself, it is a bit different this time. Mostly because my feelings are different this time. This isn't an easy post to pen. It's not an easy topic for me, although I've been fairly open and transparent throughout my life about this topic. 

If you know me well at all, you know part of my story: I grew up without my father. And sadly, so goes the story of countless girls and boys all across the globe. So my story is not new. And this fact of my life, this sometimes tough to swallow fact of my life, is woven into every fiber of my being. It is part of me. And I suppose there were times in my life that I would have rather had a different story written for me. As a young girl, I would hear my little friends talk about how their dads did this or that and how their dads were their heroes and I would sit and wonder silently, "What's wrong with me? Why don't I deserve a dad like that?"

Oh, if I could go back in time and scoop lil ol' me up in my arms....the things I would say to her. I know the answers to these questions now. And even though I am a perfectly happy young woman with a beautiful family and a wonderful husband who is a fantastic father, as hard as I might try, it doesn't negate the pain and the hurt I felt as a young girl...and as a teenager...and at times, as a twenty-something. 

I'm going to be really brutally honest here...honest with you...honest with other important people in my life...honest with other individuals who may read this and wish to bury their heads in the sand. But most importantly, I'm being honest with me. 

I've been struggling with the idea of forgiveness. For years now I've thought that I had passed the forgiveness stage. But I also have held onto the one thing I remember vividly about forgiveness, the thing that became my mantra: Forgiveness does not equal trust. And that equated, for me, to: forgiveness does not equal letting said person back into your life. 

And I've been okay with that. But I had an honest talk with a good friend last week who has at times been my spiritual mother down here since unfortunately, the amazing woman who gave me life and raised me does not live here. She's the "tell it like it is, straight from the Bible, not gonna sugarcoat anything for you because I love you" type of person. She knows who she is. Did I like it? Absolutely not. But it's probably what I needed to hear in order to work through some of these feelings that apparently decide to rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune times. 

Each morning this week, I have turned off the radio in the car on the way to work and God and I have just talked. Sometimes in life, situations present themselves in which you really just have to wrestle it out with the Almighty. Well, we've been doin' some wrestlin'. I've been doing my best whiny, "But Goooood!" And He's been the ever so patient and loving Father whispering truth to my heart. When approaching the topic of forgiveness and trust, I threw that line in His face. "Forgiveness doesn't equal trust! Forgiveness doesn't mean I have to let him back in!" And a quiet voice whispered so softly I might have missed it if I wasn't listening at the time: "You're right, in many situations, that is true. A person might forgive her abuser but that doesn't mean she allows that person back into her life. But, My child, there are times where that is not always the case. Sometimes,  part of the forgiveness process requires you to allow that person back in and give them the chance to redeem themselves." Uck. NOT what I wanted to hear. 

You see, I've been perfectly content without that father-daughter relationship the last couple years. It's taken me a long time to get to this point and I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to give that contentment up. But there has been this nagging feeling for a while that maybe I'm missing something. Well, now I've realized, ultimately, it's not about me. It's not even about him. Now, I have a little boy in the picture. Now, I have a third party that is completely innocent in this whole thing. Would I be absolutely fine without ever introducing the two? Admittedly, yes. But as my dear friend put it ever so bluntly the other day for me, "What will you tell him when he's older and asks why he doesn't know his grandfather?" Ouch. And to put it plainly, I don't want that on me. This is a tough realization to come to. 

As I semi-cried into her shoulder while holding my precious toddler who was asking, "Mommy, what wrong?" I simply told her, "I've been down this road before. I know how it ends. More disappointment and more hurt. And I don't want my boy in the middle of it. He doesn't deserve that." I can't really tell you all that she said because I honestly don't remember it all but I know it was honest and it wasn't what I wanted to hear. I know I asked her why I even told her about this and she told me because what I really wanted was the truth and I knew she'd give it to me. Touche'. 

The question I've been pondering over and over is this: is it right for me to withhold my son from having a relationship with his grandfather simply because I'm not sure I want one with him? And my answer? Well, I'll let you know when I've finished wrestling it out with my Heavenly Daddy. 

You see, father or no father, I've always been a "Daddy's Girl." My Daddy just happens to have created the universe and breathed life into every living thing. My Daddy is constant. Unchanging. Always there. And even though His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts, I know that He always has my best interests in mind. He will always steer me in the right direction and if I listen closely enough, He will always tell me the right answer.

If this post sounds a bit rambly (yes I just made up a word), I apologize. There are certain things that I just have to write and pray through. Writing helps me sort out my feelings and at times understand myself better. Even as I sit here ready to end this post, I'm contemplating deleting the whole thing. I keep asking myself what I'm thinking by posting something so raw and honest. But sometimes that is what is needed for change or accountability. Please just do me a favor: pray for me? Pray that as I work through this struggle, that I would receive clarity and peace for whatever decision is made. I truly just want to follow Daddy's footsteps and listen to His voice alone. 

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