Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)
Jan Arden in her song Good Mother sings about her ‘Good Father. And his strength is what keeps me here.’ It is something I searched for in my life. I saw my father as weak. He was a quiet man who allowed my mother to do all kinds of things she should not have. He walked away from me emotionally when I needed him most and died of a broken heart, a massive heart attack, at the early age of 59.
The anger within me raged for 10 years. It was impossible for me to have a relationship with my husband because of the disillusionment I was suffering from about strength. I saw myself as weak and I hated the part of me that resembled him. Until one day his sister came to visit. My life was in turmoil. She was in tears. “I had a dream last night about your father. Something is wrong. It was like he was in the room and he was upset. Is everything OK in your family?” I assured her it was but I was lying. “You know he always knew you would be OK, Mary. He knew you were strong and he loved you a great deal.”
She couldn’t know how much I needed to hear those words from my father. They were life changing for me. Anger comes from fear and lack of understanding. I began to realize that my hatred for him came from a fear that I didn’t measure up; that he couldn’t love me; and then he died before I could even find out. And yes, I am like my father. My weakness is an incredible ability to feel that hurts but allows me to know that I am alive. And yes, Dad, I am strong but it is because of your faith instilled in me. And Dad, I am sorry for all the pain I may have caused you.
I sat in church in a world of my own and thought about all that had taken place. “I forgive you Dad.” At that moment a peace came over me from above. It was like the heavens had opened up. For a very brief moment, I thought I heard angels sing – or was it just the joy within me? I am sorry Dad.
It took another 10 years for me to overcome my fear of being weak and it was through more trials. Now I accept that I am my father’s daughter, made strong through weakness, but there is joy now in that revelation because my Father in heaven gives me strength.
Thank you Father for giving me Jesus because through your love you have showed me what STRENGTH is.
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