At 4 AM I awoke in bed to the sound of the blinds clattering against the windows, feeling the breeze fly over my head, and heard the massive chirping of birds (which caused an issue for me to try to get back to sleep). It was a beautiful moment, even though I was so tired and wanted to sleep more. I felt peace and joy while feeling a disruption at once.
Sunday was filled with being at church & hearing a great sermon that made me cry. I don’t talk about it on this blog really, but I have a hard time with my dad who has PTSD from his being in the Vietnam War. As he gets older and weaker, he’s been tougher to be around and doesn’t treat me well verbally. I ignored my dad on Sunday and couldn’t even look him in the eyes because my emotions have been so sore with how he treats me lately & then he pretends all is honky-dory in front of others. I need to be real. The message on Sunday was about families and many times I fear becoming like my dad and I do whatever I can to make sure that I don’t treat my children they way he treated my brothers and I growing up and how he treats me recently. I don’t know what I am going to do on Father’s Day at all. I can’t even bring myself to buy him a card because they all say, “You raised me so well.” or “You’re a great man.” To me, that’s not how I feel or the truth from my past and current experiences with him. I am one who likes to face down a challenge and fix problems, but whenever I try to with my dad, it just gets worse. I am quiet around him and try to endure while saying in my head, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10) to keep me calm. It feels like I have to hold my breath because I don’t know how he is going to act. PTSD is scary and very sad all at once. My whole life I’ve walked on eggshells around him, which I wish I didn’t need to do.
It is wonderful to know that through everything, I have a Father who cares for me and who loves me more than anyone. He gave me life. He has healed me many times. He has been with me every step of my life and I feel Him. I know He is real. I have seen the effects of His hand on my life so many times. I am so thankful that God is there with me guiding me and showing me how to live. He spends time with me and talks to me. These are things my earthly father has never done with me. I embrace the joy I have when around my true heavenly Father. I long to bring about His kingdom on earth. I know He is my peace. How I live my life needs to reflect my true Father. I believe that how I handle being around my earthly father is a way to train and build me up for something greater. As much as I’ve shed tears over my earthly father, I need to realize that I am who I am not because of him, but because of how God has been involved in my life.
” Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” -Matthew 6:26
For those of you who don’t have fond memories of your dad or who currently do not get along well with your dad even when you try to, just remember there is someone greater who can’t mess up at all. Our earthly fathers are human. They screw up. They aren’t always caring and loving. They don’t always encourage you or take time to be a part of your life. God does. Put your hopes and life in His hands. Continue to show compassion and love towards your earthly father no matter how hard it is. This is what I am working on. It is a great challenge. It is incredibly hard. It is what I need to do, because God loves my dad and shows him compassion and love too.
[a photo I took in April]