Monday, April 29, 2013

My Reflection

I started my last blog off talking about being transparent, honest and open as I feel it is important especially being a Christian so I am here again to share some more of my life to help encourage others that you are not alone in your feelings.

I got a few responses from my last blog, two really that have spurred this blog on... one especially from a lovely young lady I know that texted me tonight and was a conformation from God that I needed to share more in depth from that last blog. To both of you ladies, you know who you are, I hope this at least will give you some peace that you are not alone.

In my last blog I made reference to the fact that I really had no interest in finding my biological family for a while but then I started thinking about them and wondering about them... and so we start at this point where my journey of wondering and thinking began.

A few years ago I lived down in Grandview and attended church/events at the International House Of Prayer (aka IHOP). I had a dream, honestly it was a nightmare to be more accurate, about my biological father... whom in all reality may or may not even know I exist... the one of whom I have probably wondered the most about... like whether he would want me if he knew I existed or whether he knew about me and wanted nothing to do with me by choice and asked to never be mentioned on the birth certificate or otherwise... but I digress.

The Dream
I was being chased by a tiger. It was hunting me. I ran into a restaurant and called out to a man with his back to me. He was my biological father. I couldn't see his face but I kept calling out to him and asking him to help me. I was terrified and desperate... I wanted, I needed, his help to stay alive. He arose from his chair and whipped around to face me and then looked at the tiger. He replied, "Kill her for all I care. Eat her and make it painful. Tear her limb from limb. I never wanted her. She is nothing to me. I don't want to know her and I never want to see her again." He turned to me and said, "I knew of you and want nothing to do with you. You are worthless and are better off dead. The world would be better off without you." Turning back to the tiger he said, "Kill her. I will not stand in your way." With that, he disappeared and I was left cowering in front of this tiger just anticipating it's lunging to devour me as its muscles tightened as it crouched into striking position...
End Dream

Wow, horrible right? Just imagine, that was just a dream... sadly I am sure there are people who have been told that by their fathers. But regardless, Satan will attack the orphaned and fatherless. Even those who are placed into a loving family or maybe their parents remarried are not shielded from the attacks of Satan on their lives and their worth. I am proof of that because I have an awesome dad but through that dream I was attacked and hit really hard.

I went through the emotions of questioning my worth, wondering if it was a sign of how my biological father really felt. For a while it solidified my decision not to find my biological family because it was hard enough to face that kind of rejection face to face... or the even on the phone or by letter... however it may happen. But through the pain it actually drew me closer to God and over time He slowly healed that wound and changed my heart as a result. I can't give anyone a five step plan on how to "fix" these feelings but I can tell you how I delt with them and allowed God to heal me. Forgiveness is very freeing. It doesn't mean you condone how you were treated by the person or even that you have to forget... forgiveness is for you, not them. To refuse to forgive people who have hurt you means you are refusing to let yourself be healed and have a happy fulfilling life.

Unfortunately, this was just one of many things at IHOP that I would face that would challenge my relationship with God. I faced betrayal and a fall out with a girl I considered a best friend and a boy I was sure was the one for me. Thank the Lord, He had better plans... but I wouldn't see that until after a very small rebellious streak. Thank You, Lord, You were there to anchor me down and sent me the perfect friend to keep my head above water. I dated a boy just to be dating and I knew he was not the right one for me. The funny thing in all this is that He brought two guys into the mix to knock some sense into me. One was a guy friend who was like a big brother to me and a non-Christian... he said he wanted to meet the guy I was dating. My initial reaction was, "Oh crap! He's gonna meet this boy and ask me what the heck I'm doing because this boy and I are so not made for each other! We are so beyond opposites!" So, I texted said boy that my guy friend wanted to meet him and if my guy friend didn't approve of him then we would no longer be dating. Of course said boy flipped out saying he didn't need anyone's approval.... eeeehhhh WRONG ANSWER BUDDY.... aaaand that ended that rebellion. The other guy friend God made prominent in my life during that rebellion was my "Jesus life raft" and kept me from straying too far from God during this rough time... he would end up becoming my husband, but that is a story for another day. ;-)

I decided to go to beauty school while all this took place... when the rebellious streak ended and my talks with my future husband ensued I would spend what felt like hours staring at myself in the mirrors in our classrooms seeking to see what God saw in me. I would sit and talk to Him about how empty, worthless and ugly I felt. I would tell Him how desperately I wanted to see myself as He saw me. I knew the only way to be healed was to seek my worth in Him. Days and weeks passed of this seeking and speaking to God... waiting, listening and expecting. Eventually I could look into the mirror and see something different in my eyes (your eyes are the mirror to your soul, don'tcha know?) Instead of the deadness I started to see life and light in my eyes. I saw the churning of a sea after a storm... I saw beauty and depth in all the experiences, challenges and storms I had been through. I started to see beauty and worth in myself. I then began to seek answers and healing about my biological father. But the answers I sought were not answered in the way I originally sought them out.

He started out revealing the dream to me. The tiger represented Satan hunting me. Satan wants to devour those who follow God, the ones who He calls His own, the ones who are His children. Satan doesn't attack those who are not a threat to him, he attacks and drags down the ones who are a threat to him... the ones God has shown their worth to. The biological father not only represented my real fears about my biological father but the unspoken fears in my life as a whole. I sought refuge, comfort and protection in things or people I couldn't rely on because they were all temporary. The one who could protect me was God and God alone. He began healing that fear of rejection from my biological family. He taught me through my quiet times and the reading of scripture that He was my Father, Daddy, Abba. He would never reject me, He was my protector... and He would continue to remind me of that in the future (Psalm 91).

I read once in a Donald Miller book that we often see God the way we see our own fathers... distant, cold, unreachable, uncaring. Thankfully I have had a wonderful father in my life who was anything but that so it was easier for me to draw close to God as a loving Father with an attainable relationship.  But to those who haven't been so lucky, God loves you more deeply than you know. He desperately wants a relationship with you. His love is more fulfilling than any other and He can fill the fatherless void in your life. He will take the sting away and sometimes He will put a physical man in your life to be that father figure you need if you are willing to let them in. I know its not quite the same as being loved and acknowledged by the one who shares your DNA... but it can sometimes be so much better and rewarding... just think, that person CHOSE you... Just like God chose you. You are worth so much more than you realize and if your biological father walked out on you it is not because there is something wrong with you but there are things wrong with them... like blindness and selfishness... but seek that God would change YOU first. Open yourself up to God to be changed, to be able to love yourself, to love and forgive the one who has hurt you, to be healed and freed from all the hidden things that have left you chained and empty... and pray that God would soften and change their heart for their own good for those who don't repent for their sin and turn from their selfish ways will meet a firey torturous eternity. No matter how we are treated, we are commanded to love regardless and we should wish no one to meet that kind of an eternity.

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