Friday, April 5, 2013

Father of the fatherless?

This blog posting may have a different pace, but it's something I need to work through and some others close to me do here it goes.
Well, now that I've told you all about every aspect of my life...from my gi tract, to my reproductive system, to all the doctors i've seen in the past 2 years and exactly what they've told me...I'm going to tell you something personal...haha...yeah...because none of that stuff is really personal anymore...
If you personally know me, you know that my dad was not a real stellar dad. You know that he left me and my sister when we were young, you know that at one point yes- he was in fact married to two people at once (one of them being my mom) and we still aren't sure how it was legal, you will know that he made promise upon promise upon promise to make things better, to fix things, to make it ok...and when the day came for him to fix it, he disappeared again. You may also know some other things, but please don't comment them here, that means I just trust you with more info than others. You also probably know that he died at the age of 49, one month and one day after the first time I was hospitalized (and i've inherited some of his health issues, though most of his were bad life decisions), and when my mom called and told me I thought it was a joke because it wasn't the first time he had "died". I quickly learned it wasn't a joke since at this point in his life he wasn't married, and he and my mom were obviously divorced and as his eldest surviving child I was the "next of kin" all the sudden for a father I didn't know, talking to a hospital in Texas or Arizona I don't remember, at 1:30 in the morning, when I had to teach the next day, trying to figure out what to do with my dead father's organs when I didn't know what he wanted to be done with them. I also had to tell the people on the phone I didn't know if they could use them because he had a substance abuse problem, they assured me they could use his eyes and skin. I remember having to post on Facebook that my dad had died, but I didn't know what that meant. I didn't know whether to be relieved or sad. I didn't know what to think. I remember the first thing out of my mouth to my mom that was 'logical' was "I wish I could just go eat a whole loaf of bread and eat it right now" (remember this is one month after I found out I had to be gluten free). I remember what I did instead was drive in circles around the wonderful town of Salisbury, NC and didn't cry. In fact I didn't really cry for a long, long time..and I still never really processed it. That was 3.5 years ago, hard to believe.
I still haven't dealt with it, and it became abundantly obvious this week. Last Wednesday (1.5 weeks ago), after I finally got to sleep, which hasn't been happening well lately, I had the strangest dream. I was in my 27 year old body laying on my stomach in the middle of the floor in between 2 fathers who I know personally playing with their children (between 2 and 3 years old), having a temper tantrum and screaming "I want my daddy, I want my daddy". Now mind you, I have never really wanted my daddy, I have never used that word in regards to him, but for some reason 3.5 years after my dad has died, I have a dream that I want my daddy and I want him bad. To make the story even more interesting, the next night right after this there is a whole category on Jeopardy (which I watch every night) on great father's or something like that. Saturday thru Tuesday I was constantly in prayer for a friend of mine who suddenly lost her father to a stroke who is around the age I was when my dad passed away (save the fact that she was super close to her father). People have been posting pictures of pretty flowers they have photos of and one of the best pictures I ever took of a flower was when I was in Arizona, seeing my father for the last time with my sister before he passed away for his "last wish", so I went to the photo album to find the picture and saw me sitting on the bed with my father. Then tonight, a dear sweet gal, whom I love dearly, was struggling. Once I finally got her to let me know what was up she let me know that "I've had my father on my mind a TON lately. Like it's an every day thing and...I just don't understand how someone could walk out on their kid. It pisses me off." Talk about getting right to the point of my heart. Yeah I said it, my heart, not her heart, mine. She was confiding in me with this huge problem she was having, and lo and behold it was exactly what I've been struggling with too. In fact, I just asked my small group to pray to bring something to fruition of this obsession I've been having with it last night, talk about fast turn around.
See at first, I thought it's like my friend said, it pisses me off. And I thought I was pissed off at my dad. But then after the Easter service this past Sunday at my church (John 20) where they talked about taking my Lord away from me and hiding him, making some father connections there as well (in my head), and me really thinking about this stuff that's been going on I think, maybe just maybe I'm mad at God. and that's ok. as long as I tell Him out loud.
So why am I mad at God, you ask? Because God tells me in His Word in Psalm 68:5 that He is a Father to the fatherless. Not only does God tell you that. Any Christian you run into on the side of the street who finds out you don't have a father figure tells you don't worry, God's your Father, just think of God as your Father. Well, let me tell ya what people. That's fine and dandy for all you little girls that grew up sitting on your papa's lap, with them reading a book to you, tucking you into bed at night, making sure there were no monsters under your bed. But when you tell me, or my friend that God is my Father, that just makes me wary of God. Why would I want God to abandon me, hurt me, leave me, disappoint me,etc. Now, I know there is not Biblical evidence for this. In fact, I'm getting there, bear with me. But that is what we hear when you say that. We know you are trying to help, but think about what you've said. The only father figure we've had is one of a negative connotation and you are going to tell us it's ok because this God thing is going to be our Father instead...I mean let's be honest, at first, I was just like oh good, a father that doesn't have to "disappear" literally because I already can't see him.
But then you run into opposite stories like my other friend who raced home to make sure she could be by her daddy's side when his heart stopped. Because she had the kind of father that we want God to be like. She treasured the 19 hours she got to hold her daddy's hand before he went to be with the Father and was so thankful for that time. You run into fathers like my grandpa, who still does anything for his kids even though they are all very much adults. You run into the kinds of fathers that would do anything for everyone, those are the kind of fathers that we who are 'fatherless' need to be aware are out there. You run into the fathers that were horrible their whole fatherhood and then all the sudden realize what they did wrong (more on that in a minute). This is where the biblical truth of 'adoption' comes into play.
One of my favorite verses I use to get through this is Galatians 4:6-7 "Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit calls out, 'Abba Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has also made you an heir. How great is it to think that we are an heir to THE Father, even if we miss our earthly dad, even if it pisses us off, even if we feel like he has been taken from us and hidden and it's unfair, even if we are disappointed. We are adopted into the kingdom of Heaven as an heir to the throne...doesn't that blow your mind? Blow's mine for sure. I know it doesn't make it better, I know it doesn't make it hurt less, man do I know that. I know it better than any person on the street. I've been dealing with the pain for 27 years. But it makes it a little better. Just a little bit. For today, and then I read the verse again tomorrow, that I am adopted by the best Father ever and I am an heir to the only throne that I would ever want to be.
From the last letter I got from my dad: "My love for you was never actions you saw, but if you could have only felt it. I love you now and forever. Dad"

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