2 min read
31 Jul

   My father left my life when I was around 10 or 11, I have memories of him being there after the divorce then he disappeared. I didn’t see him again until I visited him when I was 16 going on 17. I had just returned to the church and I wanted to hear his story about why he left. When he left, he left a void in my life and it was something I was very bitter about for a long time. I didn’t have a father to teach me the things I needed as a teenager, and my stepfather was a worthless drunk so he was of no help. I had to have an answer so when I visited, I asked him why he left. He told me the gist of things but above all he had to walk away to change his life. For a while that satisfied me, but I didn’t see the undercurrent coming to drag me back under. The worse my anger and bitterness got in my own life the more I despised my father. Before I left for the Army, I wrote my in case I die letters, and his was pretty awful. I gave it to him when I returned home alive because I felt there were things that needed to be said and I had written exactly how I felt.     

      Over the years I've had the time to visit him and learn from him. When I gave him that horrible letter, I felt I had laid down the grudge. I left it all on that page, and our relationship changed because of it. There was still one thing I never understood and that was why he walked away. God, my higher power, has been guiding me through the truths of this exact moment. Recently someone form my past reached out and we grabbed dinner. This was someone who I had simply faded away from because of my drinking and one of the doors that was shut on me when I wasn’t looking. They told me about their life during the past year, and asked me about mine so I shared honestly. Then they said something I didn’t expect, they said I looked so much happier than I did when we met a year ago. That year clearly changed me, good and bad, it shaped me into who I am now. It got me thinking on how many times I walked away from opportunities to save myself mentally or physically. God is showing me the mirror every single day, and I find forgiveness in that mirror. You know why?  Because I'm being shown how my actions mirror that of others like my father. In my process of choosing to forgive myself I have to give back that same grace and mercy I'm finding every single day.      

     I blamed my own mother for so long for the actions of my father. My father didn’t see the bitterness, he didn’t see the frustrations and the anger that accumulated over the years. He got a glimpse of it through my writings. I didn’t understand back then that I harbored such resentments towards my father, I only saw what was right in front of me. Someone who was there in my life was easier to blame than someone who walked away. That wasn’t fair of me to place blame unequivocally without trying to find why I felt the way I did. I'm grateful for the lessons God has been teaching me about this. Every day I remember I still need to heal that hurt little boy inside of me who just missed his dad. That hurt little boy who lashed out in pain at his own mother because he didn’t know he was hurting all this time. I talk about this space for grave and mercy a lot in my writings but here I can put it to good use. We ask God for space, and that might mean walking away because we have to. We aren't capable of our potential at the moment, but if we took the time to heal, we would be. I pray for this, that we find forgiveness for those who walked away from us. I pray that God guides you and them to exactly where we need to be. Let us find compassion for ourselves and others by putting ourselves in their shoes for just a moment. 

With Much Love, 

Mack   

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