A Father to the fatherless

a story of forgiveness

A Father to the fatherless

I don’t know if you can relate to this but I grew up without an earthly father. Although my mother loved me and provided for me I still felt rejected. For a long time I harbored feelings of rejection and being unloved and ultimately unlovable. It was therefore difficult for me to love myself. This filtered into the kinds of relationships I got into. They showed that I didn’t love myself.

I remember growing up I couldn’t watch anything about an absentee father and not get angry or feel hurt. When I turned to God a few years ago I started dealing with forgiveness and reflecting on people I needed to forgive. After the way God took me back with open arms, no questions asked, I wanted to do that for people I was still angry with or still felt hurt by. My father was one of them.

I told myself to be understanding because I’m a flawed human being and so is he. I even wrote him a letter venting and saying how I felt, without sending it. I forgave him, or at least I thought I did.

Then some months ago I went for a sort of retreat with a few friends and there we spoke about many different things in our lives. There was lots of crying, healing and relaxation, a very much needed get away. I’d advise you to do this every once in a while, it makes a huge difference.

Whilst there we were talking about our weddings (that are yet to be lol) and one of my friends asked if I would invite my father to my wedding. I said no, I hardly know him and have no relationship with him. She said “But he’s your father.” I lost it. My father??? I asked her. He’s never done anything for me, I didn’t grow up with him. I went on and on.

Then it hit me, I was angry and hurt. I was surprised because I genuinely thought I had forgiven and forgotten and all that. My reaction showed me that I still had issues on the father front. So I did the only thing I now know to do, I turned it to my heavenly Father, God. I told God I didn’t realize how angry and hurt I was and asked Him to heal me of the pain I was feeling. I did this because I know how poisonous those feelings can be, especially for my future husband and children. They would be the ones suffering the consequences.

Because God is such a loving Father who hears our prayers, bit by bit He started to work that anger and hurt out of me. Our retreat ended on a Sunday afternoon and that evening one of my friends invited me to attend church with her before I went back home the next day. I did and the message that evening was titled “The good good Father.” It was about how God is our father and a good father at that. It reminded me that now God is my Father, so I don’t ever have to feel fatherless or rejected or unloved.

That same week I watched a sermon by Stephanie Ike on healing and it ministered to my heart. Some days later I attended a book launch that I believe was meant for me. I say so because whilst there this verse was mentioned by 3 different speakers/performers: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1 verse 5. A poet also performed a poem called “Good, good Father.” I left there feeling loved because God used the event to speak to me and minister to me.

For weeks since finding out about the anger and hurt issue, God showed me in so many different ways that my identity is found in Him and that He truly loves me. There was lots of crying and letting go of certain feelings but at the end of it all, God took away my hurt and anger. I didn’t have to do it myself. I asked God to do it for me because I knew 36 years of hurt and anger wasn’t going to disappear overnight if I tried to do it on my own. Whatever feelings are plaguing you, whatever you feel you can’t do on your own, give it do God and watch Him deal with it for you.

After God worked in me, I was able to write a letter to my father telling him that I loved him and that I forgave him. I didn’t send it and didn’t plan on doing so but it freed me. Carrying all that hurt and anger would have been bad for me, my future husband and my children. I didn’t feel any anger anymore.

Then as I told a friend about the experience, she said maybe I should tell my father that I forgave him. I didn’t think it was necessary and said as much but she said maybe he needs to hear it. I prayed about it and felt Spirit convicting me to do it. I searched for his contact details and sent him the letter I had never intended to send. As I reread it I realized I meant every word. It was a miracle because hurt and angry me would not have been able to write that letter and send it.

His reaction told me it was good to contact him because he needed it. What I hadn’t considered is that it would be good for me too. We met for lunch. I got to find out things about him that I never knew that explained a lot about him. I saw him as just a man who got dealt a bad hand in life and like me was trying to live his life the best way he knew how. Anger and hurt would have clouded me from seeing that.

This experience showed me that there is nothing that God can’t deal with for me, for you, for each of His children. This is just one example and it might not apply to you but whatever it is that’s holding you back, God can heal you of it, if you would trust Him enough to take it to Him. He is our Father and He love us.

 

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