Doctors, educators, authors, pastors and seemingly all of society say life issues start in childhood.
We have all been victims of something that has left us in some way scarred, broken or dysfunctional.
This was so true for my dad.
My father died last year and it has taken me well in to adulthood to piece together who he really was. I started trying to “figure” him out when I was very young, maybe 5 or so.
My father always kept the family laughing. Sounds great, right? He was comedic relief and joke teller no matter what was going on. My brothers thought he was pretty funny. It was OK for a while but day after day, year after year… my mom and I obviously did not share his sense of humor.
I wondered how someone who really didn’t have anything significant to add to any conversation or never seemed to have an opinion at all, always found it apropos to tell a joke. I thought my dad really did not have a clue how to raise kids.
At 85 when my dad died, his personality or behavior had never really changed. I spent all of my childhood and half of my adulthood wondering why he was so odd.
Well, 10 years prior to my dad’s death, my mom died. I made a mad dash to grief counseling. I, without any provocation, just positively DUMPED on the poor counselor. I mean I laid it ALL out. I did not let her get a word in edge wise. My whole life just came tumbling out. Well, that obviously pointed to some emotional deficiencies I had grown up with. Wow!
I believe during that counseling, the Lord revealed to me that my dad was broken. So broken that maybe all he could do was tell jokes. His emotional protection device was to laugh. Maybe laughter to hold back a childhood of tears!
He was wounded. Wounds that he had never recognized or dealt with.
The Lord revealed to me that deep wounds, addictions, phobias, obsessions, compulsions and other issues that start during childhood can last a lifetime unless they are recognized, acknowledged, and proper steps are taken toward the road to recovery. It is through Him that we are healed.
My dad died without me ever telling him what I came to understand through the Lord’s revelation. We all need to be healed from something.
I wish I had the opportunity to grab him by the hand and just say, “Dad, I understand”.
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