Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Leading up to Father's Day, I planned to be in this very good space, do all these great things for the fathers I know and make it a very happy day. Father's Day has always been blah to me. I never got excited about it...NEVER! Buying gifts for my mom's husband was done mostly out of what I thought was "right" and "considerate"; not out of genuine love for a father. I purchased gifts for sons dads because I want my sons to know about showing appreciation to their fathers for being a very present force in their lives and for loving them unconditionally. Plus, I really do truly admire them for being amazing dads. I prayed that they would never feel that void I felt and God has shown himself to be faithful. Their dads are incredible!
I grew up knowing my dad. I vividly remember my dad leaving and never returning; not physically or emotionally. I felt abandoned. Every relationship I encountered, I ran away if there was any type of conflict and immediately shut-down anyone that made me feel the slightest rejection. I've done this my entire life. Honestly, at this very moment I am on the journey of facing my fears of rejection and abandonment (not an easy task, but the race is not given to the swift - it's given to the person who perseveres, the one who doesn't give up, the one who keeps going...remember that!)
So, Sunday Abesi (my accountability partner) texted me "Tia are you doing alright today?". And of course, I gave the easy response, "Hey boo. Yes, I am good. Thanks for checking." Btw, I was not doing good, but I didn't want to own my feelings. I didn't feel like walking in my truth. I didn't feel like sharing the same sob story about my dad how my dad had been absent pretty much my entire life and I am still bitter and pissed at him. Well, God had dropped me in her spirit the night before, so she knew I was not okay, but not to be pushy she simply replied, "Make it a good day." Then God was like, "so you really going to act like you're okay when you're torn internally? I've sent someone to check-in with you, to encourage you and to lift you up, but you also have to be willing to DO THE WORK and SHOW UP for yourself!" And then I poured my heart out (I needed this so bad!)....and in return she was able to witness to me about God'd love for me, about how the lack of love given to me from my dad does not justify how worthy and valuable I am to receive love. She also reminded me that I am very loved and am helping a lot of women and that is God's love manifesting in my life. Can we say "DING! The LIGHT BULB came on!!!
As I travel this journey of loving myself, walking in my truth and forgiving my past, I have to be open to forgiving my daddy; something that I MUST do in order for me not to punish myself by fueling my heart with sadness and frustration and continuing carrying around the weight of anger. Wounds are made to heal. It's like I wanted to keep pouring alcohol on an open wound...crazy right?! And as I expect God to forgive me for all of my wrongdoing, I too need to forgive my daddy.
So, to start my journey of forgiveness and to heal my broken heart, this year for the first time in many years, shortly after this "come to Jesus" moment, I texted my dad "Happy Father's Day". Not much, but a step in the right direction because I purposely would not text him on Father's Day or better yet any day in close proximity of Father's Day. The simple acknowledgement that he is my "father" meant a lot to me. Also, this week I will begin two devotionals "Forgiving My Father; Forgiving Myself" and "Heal Your Father Wounds". I have also committed to write a letter to my dad (something my therapist recommended me to do a very long time ago, but I wasn't ready - expressing my sadness, anger and frustrations, but also letting him know that I forgive him and am open to building a better relationship with him) and I am mailing it to him this week. Let me say this, my dad has acknowledged that he was a very absent father and how regretful he is for not being there. He has apologized to me, but I was not receptive because I wasn't ready. He doesn't owe me anymore explanations because he's already owned his stuff. The rest is left to me to forgive and to be open to him loving me the way a father should. It's up to me to believe it when he says he loves me and to allow him the space an opportunity to show me. It's not my job to make him feel any hurt for how I felt, but to allow God to deal with us both the way we need to be dealt with.
I don't know how long this process will take and I am sure that there will be a few bumps in the road, but I am proud of myself. At the beginning of this year when I started this new journey of "freedom", I asked God to forgive me for all that I had done and/or said that was not pleasing to Him. Every day I ask God to help me be more like him and some days I still don't get it "RIGHT"; I ask for forgiveness. I am ready to forgive my daddy as I have asked God to forgive me.
I'm letting it go. My soul and spirit is at peace. I am ready for the abundant life that God has for me. I am in pursuit of happiness; not from anyone or anything, but the unexplainable unspeakable joy that radiates from the inside and that only God himself can give. I am obsessed with my potential. I don't know exactly where I am going, but I am on my way.
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." ~Paul Boose