The father I knew as a child was a hurt, abusive, and angry man. I spent my early years being the recipient of his hostilities. Since a seed reproduces from it’s own kind, he passed his hurt, abuse, and anger onto me; just as his father passed it down to him.
The trauma of living with an abusive parent manifests in different ways; causing a survivor of childhood abuse to adopt a chameleon personality. I learned to be whoever I needed to be according to the situation. Don’t misunderstand me; it is not that I purposely set out to deceive people, it was a self-protection defense. Growing up in close quarters in fear of the one who is suppose to nurture and protect you can alter your self identity and value.
You see, when you grow up walking on eggshells, you quickly learn how to tip-toe so you will not upset the one you fear. Unfortunately, this skill does carry over into other areas of your life and relationships; it’s a learned behavior. The very thing I ran from, I ran to, and if you have ever experienced long term abuse then you understand what I am saying. I ran-away from an abusive father to end up in one abusive and unhealthy relationship after another. I was so beat down I didn’t know my own worth or who I was; and if you don’t know your worth then you will accept anything.
The pattern that was embedded into me led to failed marriages, depression, anxiety, and an inability to finish things. Where I failed in one area I would try to overcompensate in other areas, leading to imbalance, more failure, self-loathing, deeper depression and guilt. I was plagued with the constant thoughts I was never going to be good enough. I became an expert at self-sabotage.
I share this with you, not to bash my father, because I have long since forgave him. Nor do I seek any kind of pity, because I have learned I am not a victim, I am conqueror. I share this personal information about me to give you hope.
What I have done in the past (and probably what you are doing now) to numb the fear and anger I had inside of me, simply did not work. Healing is for you now and for your future; it is not to change your past. Your past can’t be changed, but you can be empowered to not let your past dictate your future.
There is only One way you can truly be free. Any other way is only a temporary fix and will lead to more heartache.
Allow me to backtrack to the beginning of this post and start over. OK?
I didn’t know my Father as a child. I met Him at a time in my life when I was so low that death began to look like an option. I was weary and tired of being tired. Know what I mean? Have you ever been there?
Yet, there was this quiet inner voice of hope, almost like a whisper, and He told me to not give up. Then His voice redirected my footsteps right to the bookstore to buy a Bible. I have tried everything else and failed, so I figured I will give God a chance. Of course I didn’t understand a word I read, it may as well have been Shakespeare to me. But, He still continued to call me, He didn’t give up on me, He led me to a church filled with people who loved Him and it was there I met my Father for the very first time. Well, it was actually in my car, but God used His people in this church to lead me there.
At the advice of my pastor, I opened my Bible again and read the book of John. It was no longer Shakespeare, it was the voice of God speaking to me. It was as if my eyes had been opened for the very first time and all I could do was weep as I read about His great love for me. It felt as though Jesus Himself was sitting right next to me. Have you ever experienced this?
Can I tell you what the difference was? It was His Spirit!
For the first time in my life, I did not feel alone. For the first time I felt loved.
What He did for me, He wants to do for you, too. He fully immersed me in His love and bathed me in His righteousness.
All the shame I carried… gone.
The fear… gone.
There is something you need to understand. From the foundation of the earth, before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you. All of your days were fashioned before Him when there was none.
It was, and still is, never God’s will for us to suffer; especially children. You may ask, “Then why does He allow it to happen?” Ah, my friend, you are His Beloved, and because He loves us He gave each of us the freedom of choice to choose to love Him, so we may be conformed into His image. He never overrides our own will; though I can personally testify there have been many times He has super naturally came to my rescue. He has written His law in our hearts, this is what is known as a conscience. Since the fall of man, sin has entered the world and the consequence affects generations, even the innocent. Do you understand this?
The second greatest gift He gives us is the ability to forgive. When you have reached the sweet place of being able to forgive the one who hurt you, then you will be truly free from your past. Please, understand forgiveness does not excuse or justify the wrong, it sets you free from the injury. Forgiveness cuts all ties with what was meant to destroy you. Forgiveness works hand in hand with the cleansing of God to purify and renew you. It brings healing and deliverance and sets you free to be the person He created you to be from the foundation of the earth. It is like taking off the sunglass in a dark room and suddenly everything becomes bright and you are able to see.
When His Spirit helped me to remove my sunglasses of unforgiveness I was able to see who the true enemy really was. It wasn’t my father. It was Satan and the works from hell working through my father. Forgiveness gave me the ability to see my father as a hurting man who carried injury from his childhood and passed it down to me. He is a lost man in need of a Savior, just as we all are before we know Christ. We have all hurt people out of our own injury; it may not have been the same injury that was caused to us as children, but we have all been in a place of needing forgiveness.
For your own soul’s sake, do not withhold forgiveness. I am not saying it will be easy. You may have to forgive everyday until you come to the place where you can say, “It is well with my soul.” You may even need some help walking through this, a Christian counselor perhaps. But, I do know His Holy Spirit can and will comfort and help you.
Be Free & Stay Free