Thunder sounded like bombs being exploded. Lightning streaked down, sizzling and dangerous from the sky as its deadly bolts slammed into the ground outside my bedroom walls. Sheets of rain pounded against the windows as though wanting to enter and drown me. Wind whipped through the tree branches ripping them from their trunks.
Suddenly it stopped. An eerie silence hung mysteriously. Not even a bird chirped. The clock ticked loudly in the silence.
I knew. I knew what was about to come and then it came. As the hail pounded against the roof, blasted horizontally against the windows I ran. Grabbing my Bible, my purse, and my dogs I ran to my walk-in closet. Cowering beneath the skirts, shirts, and slacks tears streamed down my face. Gasping from the sobs that forced their way past my lips as the wind howled outside I cried out to God. God I don’t want to die hating my Dad!
It seemed like all of my life I hated the man who was suppose to nurture me, keep me safe, feed me, clothe me, educate me, and raise me to love God and others. Instead he violated me, taught me to lie, to sneak about in the dead of night, to depend on myself and not scream or ask for help. He taught me to feel guilt when I was not the guilty one. He taught me to distrust any who got near. He taught me shame and that I was nothing; not in his eyes or God’s.
God, I don’t want to die hating my Dad.
As the tornado warning horns blared loudly through the trees the Lord said to me, “I want you to forgive your father. Not here in this closet. I want you to go to him tomorrow and forgive him to his face.” I agreed and sighed a sigh of relief when the warning horns finally stopped and I was able to leave the confines of my closet.
The next morning three of us entered my car for the fifty mile drive to confront my Dad. The three of us was not God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It was me, Christ, and Satan. At several points the enemy wanted to turn my car around. “Forget it! You don’t have to do this, he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.” I fought the steering wheel. Again I cried out to the Lord. “If You want me to do this Lord, you better take control of this car!”
I parked my car under the large Oak tree and began walking across the pasture toward my Dad’s front door. “What do I say, Lord?” I asked as I approached the front door. “I will speak through you. Trust Me child.” The door opened, in more ways than one.
Sitting across the table from my Dad I saw fear in his eyes. He didn’t know I was coming but somehow knew this wasn’t a social visit. “We need to talk,” I said softly. He just looked down at the table. “Why? Why, Daddy, did you do all those horrible things to me for all those years?” I had a sense that the words were not mine. That the voice coming from my lips was from the One who already knew the answers. A defiant look flashed in my Dad’s eyes as he boldly looked up at me and said, “You wanted it!”
I had confronted my Dad once before many years previously. When he said those same words to me at that time, I lost it! I went bolistic and screamed, cussed him, shook my finger in his face, and got nowhere except hating him more. He sat like a stone on the chair and listened. He ignored my pain and then got up and walked out with an air that he did no wrong and it was all my fault.
Not this time! It wasn’t Sue asking the questions. It wasn’t Sue doing the confronting. It wasn’t Sue who would lead this father to the realization that the child, his child, was not the one at fault. Softly the Lord’s words came, “How can a two year old child ask for sex? A two year old child doesn’t know what sex is.”
The Lord, and me, calmly waited for his reply. “Well I must have been drunk and didn’t know what I was doing!” was my Dad’s next excuse and with each excuse the Lord very calmly confronted him with the truth. When the excuses ran out silence filled the room.
I looked across the table at this man I called Daddy and for the first time I really saw him. I was looking at an 85 year old man who had been physically and emotionally abused by his own father, sexually abused by his Dad, abandoned on a street corner and left to care for his mother and seven younger siblings at the age of seventeen. I saw an old man who didn’t know how to accept love or give love. I saw a man who had been given over to the enemy by no fault of his own.
Looking across that table at the man who now had his head lowered and tears streaming down his cheeks my mouth opened. Jesus stepped back and the words that came were mine. “Daddy? I forgive you. I forgive you for all the horrible things you did to me. I forgive you for all the things that you should have done, that you didn’t. I forgive you for not being the father to me that you should have been.”
My Dad sat sobbing. Through his tears he, for the first time ever, apologized for all the hurt he had caused me.
And then the real kicker came.
Reaching across the table I took his hand in mine and looked at his tear stained face. “I love you daddy. I loved you then and I love you now. What you did was wrong and I forgive you. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You still have to answer to God.”
The Lord showed me that it is those we love the most that are the ones who can shatter our hearts into a million pieces. I never dreamed there was an ounce of love in my heart for this man I called Daddy.
With God’s peace beginning to flow through me I cried all the way home.
“Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” Jer. 1:9
Read: John 14:27 – Is.26:12 – John 8:32, 36 -Is. 43:2 – Is. 41: 10 – Ps.118:17
Now be still and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to say to you.
If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you.