Leaving Pain at the Cross

Leaving Pain at the Cross

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.

                                                                                                                                         September 2011

Dear Dad,

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?

10 thoughts on “Leaving Pain at the Cross

  1. Joanna I too can relate to forgiving my father as while he saw showing his love through buying us kids anything we wanted, what we truly needed was to be told how important, loved, cared for and supported we were. At any rate, years of therapy in my 20’s taught me that he didn’t know any differently. He grew up losing his mom at age 6 and with a dad who emotionally and physically abandoned him after that loss. He too experienced long term pain and hurt from his father. I see my dad now as a man who has suffered deeply because he never allowed himself the ability to give or accept love. While it is sad, I know that when my dad’s time comes, God will be ready for him and he will finally understand the full meaning of not only God’s love but the love within his own heart and he will be in total peace at last. That is what makes me forgive my dad the most. Thank you for sharing my friend! Love you!

    1. You are so right, Stacy, that the inability to give or receive love causes suffering. Thank you so much for sharing.
      You are a beautiful woman and I’m thankful for the healing you have received and so blessed to share friendship with you. I love you.

  2. Studying the type of life our parents endured leads to understanding – they acted “that way” because that was they way they were raised. My parents were not affectionate. Provided a roof, food, education – that was their understanding of family love. Long story – brother leaves for 16 years, he marries , returns and is very huggy ,kissy – My parents cringe with every hugging hello and hugging good-bye. Over time they actually accept the hugs- my dad, not so much mom. So no matter how they were raised sometimes they can change.
    BUT we must forgive the things that made them the way they are.
    Father, middle child, grew up in depression, every time he came home from school he had to look for the new apt because his parents were locked out of the old one, wants to go to high school, had no money for notebook, drops out of school works at 15 digging cemetaries, joins CCC camp then Air Force. On his own most of his early life.
    Mother, emigrates from Russia at 5 doesn’t speak language, They live in a corner of a room, her mom tells her do not leave the trunk while mother goes to work. She at 11 her mom finds a husband – My mom must live in the attic – long story.
    My point is knowing the kind of lives my parents led helps to understand their personalities. Understanding leads to forgiveness.

    1. Thank you so much Barbara for sharing. You are so right that understanding what others have endured allows us to see them through a different lens.
      I loved reading about your beautiful parents and their victories and struggles. Such an amazing story. I hope someday you write a book. So much history to be preserved.

  3. My dearest Joanna, I know I don’t normally comment on posts but want you to know that I read them, feel them, hurt with you at times over them but then are also so joyous as to where God has led you as a result of things He has allowed you to go through. I am amazed at your writing ability. I am thankful to our Lord that HE has taken your hurts and turned them into something beautiful that you can reflect on, if or when needed, and that you are and will continue to help others as a result of them. I know your heart, your biggest desire is for others to see Jesus whether through His creation, through your testimony , through circumstances that we all have to go thorough , however God may lead in our lives. Forgiveness is a hard thing to go through too. Whether to forgive yourself or whether to forgive someone else. I am so thankful that we have a gracious, amazing God that helps us as we walk through that process of forgiveness and through the journey of our lives that HE wants so graciously to be a part of.
    Thank you for always being one of my closest amazing friends “growing up” ….. and I am even more thankful where God has worked and continue to leads us in our lives. To God be given all the glory! Love you always. Randee

    1. You have been such an example to me. Your joy and gratitude shine. I love you my dear friend.
      Thank you so much for encouraging me a long this journey and always being there for me. We’ve lived a lot of “work life” together. You have always been my mentor as a nurse. Your patients are blessed.
      I’m excited to see where God will take you in this next season of your life.

  4. Beautiful! I love sharing this healing journey of forgiveness and love with you. The beauty from ashes and oil of joy for mourning are wonderful gifts from God as we allow Him to heal. As I have truly forgiven what at the time seemed to be unbearable, heart wrenching, hopeless and impossible to forgive offenses , I was able to feel more of God’s heart for his beloved children, and begin to realize what it means to live the love of Christ and live from the heart He gave us, the new heart of tender flesh, no longer of stone.

    1. Thank you my, love. I also am blessed to be on this journey with you.There is no one I’d rather heal with than you. You are my mighty warrior and gentle protector. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for writing this. How brave you have been in not only going through it but sharing it with others. You are a Light for the Kingdom and a Light representing the healing love of Jesus that is alive and offered to all ❤️ Thank you Joanna!

    1. I am so blessed by God who writes and shares through me. In and of myself I would have no idea what to write each week. He truly guides. I’m so thankful. You are a light and I have learned so much from you my friend and mentor. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *