Mom was visiting my husband and me from Hawaii where she and Dad had lived for the past few years. She was “on the mainland” getting some medical tests. As she paced the living room near the fireplace I could see her getting agitated.
“Marijo, there is something in the past that you will NEVER forgive me for….”
I quickly thought back to the several years Tom and I had lived together before we married. We were smoking marijuana and drinking way too much, I suspected that she and Dad had “disowned” me during those years. The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit interrupted those thoughts with a single sentence, no, Dick isn’t your father
I mentally shook my head. I’d seen my birth certificate complete with Marion and Richard filled in for parents. Yet, in the several years since my being born again I had come to know the voice of the Lord, this was the Lord speaking.
I walked across the room and took Mom’s arms in my hands drawing her close to me. “Mom, Dad isn’t my Dad.”
“Ohhh, I just knew you knew, I knew you’ve known all along!!!” her voice came out in a very painful wail.
“No, I never had any idea until about 3 seconds ago when the Lord whispered this to my heart.”
“Oh, can you ever forgive me, can you ever?”
“Oh, Mom, yes, I forgive you!”
She was crying, talking and letting all the guilt and hurt pour out. It was that night the Lord Jesus began a healing within my Mom that was most incredible.
She sobbed out her story of a bad choice while Dad was in Africa in World War II as I held her close to me. We prayed. We later called my sister so Mom could ask her forgiveness. Mom had a smile on her face as the weight she’d carried for over 30 years was taken off her shoulders. She had recently come to the Lord in a salvation experience and His Holy Spirit was doing a further, deeper work in setting her free.
She was scheduled to fly home the next morning. Dad had told her never to say anything about this, to “let sleeping dogs lie…” I wanted to let him know what had happened and that it was the Lord who told me and not Mom.
I usually typed letters because I had polio as a toddler leaving my right hand weak. When I wrote much of anything at all longhand my hand got tired, cramped and was achy. It was later in the evening and I couldn’t type. Mom was leaving early and Tom had morning classes to go to. The typing would have kept them both awake. I didn’t work until the afternoon and could stay up so I began to write longhand.
The missive I began started with my earliest memory in life, the day my younger sister came home from the hospital as a newborn when I was 2 years and 4 months old. I relived all those special times I could remember about Dad being just the best Daddy a girl could have. From the times we “danced” in the living room with my feet on his shoes, hum, maybe that’s why I always stepped on the man’s toes even today when attempting to dance…. On to the time in the hammock when he sat and I was looking at the animals in the clouds above, to later years when he drew pictures explaining how lightening worked and how corn grew and produced.
He took my sister and me fishing, taught us to use a screw driver and hammer, taught us to paint furniture without leaving brush strokes. He read to us… His life and actions affirmed our value and worth as children in his life.
We were blessed in that both of our parents had time for us and treated us as people. They listened to our hearts and actually thought what we had to say was important. They disciplined us and helped us to grow. We learned how to work doing chores, gardening, sewing, and basic life skills. My hubby would say that perhaps we flunked housekeeping, but that’s another story.
Pretty soon I realized I had written, longhand, SIX pages. The thought came to me that maybe the Lord had healed my “polio paw”. Well, the next time I tried to do more than chart at the hospital for my RN duties I found out that the hand still ached and got tired – I had a special grace for that letter to Dad.
I got a letter very soon by return mail which I then read over and over. My stoic, German Dad poured out his heart in that letter. It was one of the very few letters I had ever gotten from him. Part of it said “I thought every child should have a Daddy. I had a father but never had a Daddy. If I wasn’t to be your Daddy I didn’t know who would. It was a most beautiful day in April when you were born, you were the most beautiful girl baby I had ever seen and from that day on you were my little girl.”
Tears ran down my face with the reading of this letter. He went on to say that he and Mom had issues but that it was definitely not the fault of us girls and he wanted me to know that.
At this point my Dad had not come to Jesus but that did happen not too long after. The Lord Jesus began a healing in the family with this one event that evening in the small duplex where we lived. So many things began to make sense. If Colette, my sister, took lessons then they wanted me to take lessons. They never wanted to spend more on one of us than the other. I didn’t want to take music lessons but now this was making sense. They never wanted me to feel “less than” or like I was any less their daughter than Colette was.
It was humorous how I was tall just like my girl cousins on Dad’s side of the family that I was not a blood relative to. My sister was 4’11 ¾” tall and the shortest one by about 8 inches. My Dad’s mom was only 4’8”. Our Lord helped me to fit in well as I was actually shorter than all my other girl cousins. Little things we noticed spoke to our hearts over the years.
The family healing began. Mom was being made freer in Jesus and I think Dad was relieved and freed also. I never stopped thinking that he was my Daddy unless I was giving a medical history and remembered that oops, I could no longer give that side of the family for my history.
I prayed for my “bio father” that he would come to know Jesus and maybe I would meet him some day, in heaven.
God is so good to put broken pieces of hearts back together many years after the fact. I might not have been planned by my Mom and Dad but I was in God’s heart. God didn’t choose the circumstances of my conception but he definitely chose me. All those parts that make me uniquely “Marijo”, God thought up before I ever was. I was and am special to Him, unique. I praise Him for the scriptures about this and especially the following:
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
God loved us all and the healing He began in our family that night was just a tiny example of His love. I am sure glad that Mom didn’t choose abortion.
I Almost Wasn’t
Lifting sunlit eyes
Many faceted green
When I was but
All Your pre-thought
Sperm and ova united
Breath of life
Holy Spirit ordained
Pre-held little one
By the hosts
Before my mother
Had a clue
Cherished of God
Before my mother
She made her choice
I was given life
And glow and know
What You planned
For two celled
Plans in time
And then Eternity
She’s with You now
And I thank her still
Her difficult choice
My life, my breath
As she exercised her will.
Jeremiah 1:5 (New King James Version)
“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalms 139:13 (New King James Version)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
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Your story was captivating. A powerful testimony of love. I'm glad that it is a happy ending. Out of the chaos emerged beuty. I rejoyce with you my sister. That part that made me stop and re call my own journey is: 'My stoic, German Dad poured out his heart in that letter. It was one of the very few letters I had ever gotten from him. Part of it said “I thought every child should have a Daddy. I had a father but never had a Daddy. If I wasn’t to be your Daddy I didn’t know who would. It was a most beautiful day in April when you were born, you were the most beautiful girl baby I had ever seen and from that day on you were my little girl.”
' I thank God for father's like your dad who extend themselves to individuals like us. May God's blessing of His healing power continues to pour into your life. Stay blessed my sister. Jan