As many of you read this, I will be in route to our house in Pa. This was home to my husband for nearly sixty years between travels and myself, well not so long. Lanny and I raise our two sons in this home from 1998 till 2015 when we moved to Florida. Many of our siblings and both our dads still reside close to our place.
Going north is always accompanied with excitement for many reasons. The past weeks I found myself flooded with emotion. If you’ve ever moved away from family and what you once considered home, I’m sure you understand some of the feelings that a trip back in time can bring.
I’m looking forward to seeing my ninety-year-old dad again. I’ve shared bits of my journey to healing with you. Growing up I saw my dad as a good provider for our family.
As the pain from trauma began to surface, I found myself asking, “Where was my dad when these bad things were happening to me?” “What kind of dad would allow his children to be separated indefinitely from their family and not be aware of the physical and emotional pain being inflicted upon them?” As these questions continued to surface so did my resentment and anger towards him. I would attempt to talk to my Dad, but these attempts left me sitting in my pain.
God’s healing is always complete. I may not have answers to my questions but seeing others through the cross paves the road to our healing journey.
I’d like to share some pieces of a letter I wrote to my dad shortly after our son’s return from Afghanistan and my neck injury.
1Peter 4:8 NIV Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
As I pen these words, tears stream down my face. We could have lost you years ago with your heart attack. I’m grateful God saw fit to give us another twenty plus years with you. If not, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to write this letter.
I want to ask your forgiveness for my conduct. I have not been prompted to write this letter till now. I never felt like I had wronged you, nor that I needed to ask your forgiveness. God has changed my heart. I see where my selfish actions as a teenager caused you pain. I’m sorry Dad that in the midst of your struggle with Mom’s instabilities I caused you more pain and concern.
I’ve heard it said that hurting people hurt people. I was hurt. Thank you, Dad, for introducing me to the great physician who is healing my broken and wounded heart.
For many years I believed that I deserved happiness. Now at the foot of the cross I stand amazed that God gave His Son, Jesus, who offers to removes all our sins, pains and hurts. Jesus died was buried and rose again. This gift of redemption brings me great joy.
I know you forgave my actions many years ago, but I write to say I am sorry for blaming you for the things about my life that I disliked. There is nothing in my past that is more powerful than the cross of Jesus and I want to thank you for introducing me to the cross. Love, Joanna
Forgiveness is a powerful tool and I know many of us have experienced the power that it holds. By surrendering and forgiving those who hurt us we are set free.
I would love to hear about the impact of forgiveness in your lives. How has forgiveness brought you freedom?