Healing a Lukewarm Heart
Growing up in a little town in Wisconsin, where the only claim to fame was a tavern on every street corner, I had many memories that I would just as soon forget. In fact I had been trying to wipe them out for the past fifteen years. I left home as soon as I finished college and found a job in a different state.
I met Sam soon after moving to Atlanta. He worked in the law offices that represented the firm I worked for. After dating for a year he proposed and we were married. Sam was the best thing in my life. Then along came Jeremy and life was almost perfect. My Childhood nightmares were beginning to fade. I was determined to put my youth in the background and love Sam and Jeremy they way I always dreamed of being loved.
I had shared with Sam that my father was a drunk who never entered a recovery program. I confessed to Sam how growing up in an alcoholic environment jaded me to the reality of family life and that it wasn’t until I was a young adult that I recognized I was an ACOA, adult child of an alcoholic. Sam understood and supported me and then encouraged me to get help. I followed his advice and entered the rooms of Celebrate Recovery, a Christian 12-step Program.
Then, as suddenly as Sam had entered my life, a traffic accident took him away. I didn’t think I would ever recover from the heart ache. Having Jeremy to care for made all the difference in my life. Loving our son, Jeremy, and helping him cope with the loss of his father brought me through this devastation. My friends in recovery walked along side me and helped me keep my sanity as my world crumbled.
About eighteen months into the grieving process my life changed again when I received a letter from my father asking me to come home. It seems that the man I had been running from all my life wanted to have another chance to be a father to me and a grandfather to Jeremy.
It had been six years since we had seen each other and I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid he would just appear on my doorstep if I didn’t respond to the letter so I decided to pack up Jeremy and take a short vacation. We drove for two days, arriving at the little town in Wisconsin on a cold but sunny Thursday morning in early April.
On Palm Sunday he came to church with us where he seemed to be right at home. He introduced us to some members of the church and I could tell they were his friends. But, the thought that he was only putting on an act, wearing a mask and pretending so that I won’t take Jeremy and go back to Atlanta was on my mind.
Now I am witnessing this scene from the lawn at church during the annual Easter Egg Hunt and I have a glimmer of hope.
“You’re getting warmer.” the prompt from the sideline was voiced as Jeremy searched for the Easter eggs. “Warmer…cooling down a little, there you go” came grandpa’s encouraging words. Jeremy bent over and scooped up a brightly colored egg and deposited it in his basket.
Grandpa excitedly pointed to the next egg to be discovered when a little girl stepped in front of Jeremy and claimed the egg for herself.
“Better luck next time,” Grandpa said from the sidelines.
This was one of his better days; one of mine too. I was beginning to realize that perhaps I wasn’t the only one to change over the years. In the six days since coming back to the town in which I grew up, I have not seen my father take a drink.
Having a relationship with my heavenly Father has helped to heal my broken heart. Knowing that I will see Sam again some day keeps me moving forward. Perhaps it is time give my father a chance and let him back in to my life. This hot and cold heart is starting to feel warm again.
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