Monday, April 27, 2015

Hear From My Brother

I love all of my sisters, and I love Jill a lot.  Jill and I have been able to build a good relationship over the years.  I can't say I "enjoyed" reading her posts regarding our family's dysfunction but they have helped many of the readers come to grips with their own abuse and neglect.  My sisters and I all have dealt with our broken relationship with our father differently.
In Jill's "Forgiveness" post she said "forgiveness is a choice" and she is correct.  However before I go into that I wanted to say that when I was young my hero was Mr. Spock from Star Trek.  He had no emotions; he could suppress them and bury them.  I tried this approach, and in some ways it worked. When dealing with beatings and other abuse I could remove myself from the situation at least in my mind. This worked until I reached a boiling point (something not in my control) and I exploded in a rage.  To my shame, my rage usually rolled downhill to my younger sister Robin and broke our relationship.  It also ended up with a broken wrist when I punched a concrete wall in a rage. Even as an adult I have had to deal anger issues.
I read and took seriously the Commandments especially the one that reads that God is a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate him.  I knew that someone had messed up my dad, and my dad had messed me up. I did not want to pass along the abuse in any way, shape or form to yet another generation.  I decided not to have children.  I had already done enough damage.  I could not trust God that far.  I could not read the next part where it said that he would show steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments.
I actually hated my father.  I could see "removing him from the human race".  Even if he knew of my hate, which I doubt, he wouldn't have cared one lick, and would have told me it was my fault.  It took many years to forgive him.  Forgiveness is not only a choice, a one-time event, but an ongoing, daily, sometimes hourly choice.
I told Jill that I liked this particular post of hers because it made me compare and contrast human forgiveness with God's forgiveness.  Humanly speaking when we forgives someone all we are doing is releasing OUR right to punish someone for what they have done.  My dad didn't care one way or the other, so forgiving him did nothing for him.  What forgiving him did was release me from the prison I thought I built for him.
Again, humanly speaking, the damage has been done, and can not be undone.  There are permanent scars, physical, mental and spiritual.  There is a broken relationship that will never be healed.  I have given up my right to hurt him back and I am free, but I live day by day in the shadow of that broken relationship and other damaged relationships.
Our father chose his own way and sinned greatly against each of us.  He broke the trust that should have been there.  He struck out against us in every way imaginable.  My father will leave this world without justice being done.
Have we not each done the same thing to our Heavenly Father?  Each time we chose our way and say God I will do this my way, not yours; we strike out and slap God in his face.  We abuse his name, we stubbornly want our way and we break the trust between us.  Justice must be done.  God is holy.  He is forgiving, he is loving, but justice must be done.  He grants us mercy and takes the justice upon himself.  His own son Jesus hung on the cross for MY sins, and yours.  Justice is complete and mercy is complete.
And here is the good news.  This is the only relationship we have were the trust can be fully restored, where forgiveness from God heals the wounds, where love remains steadfast.

"The greatest sorrow in life is regret"

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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