I was upset.
I was fuming for about 20 minutes as my anger boiled over into the conversation with my sister on one of her many future joyous days.
“I am tired of his behavior. At this point it doesn’t make sense. He can do stuff like that to me but to you is not right!” I exclaimed.
It’s just like the enemy to turn a positive into a negative. He was able to make Eve focus on the only tree she was not supposed to eat from instead of all of the fruit she could partake in. We were no different. Instead of just celebrating the moment of my sister’s engagement. I focused on the fact that my father wasn’t there.
“I’m a man now and a man protects the things that he love.”
Over the next two days, I went over the conversation again and again on how it was supposed to play out in my head. “I’m going to say this and that to him.” I warned my therapist and my pastor about it before it happened. But, God always has another plan.
I woke up that morning ready. I said thank you for the day, and knelt down to pray. The first things I asked for were to help soften the hardened places in my heart. I wanted Him to make sure that whatever came out of my mouth came from Him. I didn’t want to speak from pain but I also wanted to get my point across. I’m a man now and a man protects the things that he loves.
“God already understood the pain and my desire to protect my sister.”
God is hilarious on how He works. As soon as I knelt down to pray, the Spirit told me to text my Spiritual Father Dennis Lindsay (DL). He almost responded instantly asking me could I call him. God already understood the pain and my desire to protect my sister. I was fed up with my Dad’s emotionally abusive and neglectful behavior. God always has another plan.
“The devil wants you to help ignite a situation instead of diffuse.”
DL told me to explain what was going on. I told him how horrible it was as a man to not be there for his daughter on important days. I told him that my father knew in advance about the proposal because her fiancé asked him for her hand personally. DL stayed calm and started to talk to me about love.
DL started off asking where am I coming from and if I am dropping 31 years of weight on a man because of his behavior. He told me that might send a man that is struggling with alcohol and personal things over the edge. That’s the type of pain that the devil wants you to help ignite a situation instead of diffuse.
“I was about to head straight into a potential fight, guns ablaze, without seeing that my father was as much a victim of the enemy as we were…”
He asked me about if that’s urge was out of God’s love? He said operating in God’s love means that it’s not even about you or your feelings, but it’s about sacrificing yourself so that God’s love can interact. He asked me have I ever shared God’s love with my sisters? I said I haven’t had an opportunity much since I haven’t been home. I don’t talk to them as much. He said, “But, you are willing to call your dad to release pain.”
Whelp…he got me.
I was so angry at my dad for his behaviors that I was going to call him up and chastise him “like a man should” but realized that I was doing exactly what the enemy wanted. I wasn’t acting in love like I seriously wrote about yesterday. I was about to head straight into a potential fight, guns ablaze, without seeing that my father was as much a victim of the enemy as we were, but for even longer.
“If you view life as only amounting to the endpoints, you miss the whole beauty of it.”
I eventually called my dad up and we talked for an hour. We talked about my career and he talked about him “reinventing” himself. He’s planning on starting to sell insurance after working in law for 30+ years. We also talked a bit about his upbringing and he shared that his dad and stepdad never really showed much love. That he’s always been standoffish to some extent and doesn’t see why he should change. He referred to this “positive reinforcement” thing as something new that he never had. He feels that he has done his job as a father if his kids are healthy and able to take care of themselves. That’s it.
I got off the phone with a new understanding and pity for my dad. By all regular measures, he’s a great father. Married 30+ years, raised four kids, worked for General Motors, became an accomplished lawyer, and more but somehow people still expect more from him. I get it. But, the most telling moment was when he said, “we come into this world alone, we will leave the same way.” If you view life as only amounting to the endpoints, you miss the whole beauty of it.
“You don’t have to mention God for Him to be there.”
I got off the phone a little discouraged. We talked but I didn’t tell him about God, or love, or the importance of emotional support or nothing. DL later said to me. You spoke to your father for an hour and learned something that you didn’t know in your 31 years of life.
I responded but I didn’t get a moment to share God’s love.
He said, you don’t have to mention God for Him to be there. From that one conversation, you left with more insight on your father than you ever did before. Imagine what God will do in the future.
I definitely learned a lesson today. A relationship with God is sacrificing yourself for His love to move. What ways have you seen love in your life? How do you love others more? Tell me in the comments below.
Turn Your Brightness Up!