God has been hard at work healing numerous deep wounds that had developed and festered within me since childhood. This current period of healing has been remarkable, considering He has been able to heal scars I was convinced were irreparable and would be part of my life forever. One scar I had become so accustomed to, that when the Lord finally healed it, I did not even recognize that it was healed.
I grew up as an only child and therefore relied on my parents to be playmates. They became so essential to me that I developed deep relationships with both my mother and father. I remember my father taking me on special outings where he would show the world to me. The way I see the world today is strongly based on many things I learned from my father. He had the ability to make even the simplest experience seem extremely exciting.
He introduced me to 7-11 Slurpees, for example, and told me that I didn’t have to choose just one flavor, that I could mix them together. This blew my mind! I don’t have Slurpees any more, but the thought of them still sparks the same excitement I had as a child looking up at my dad showing me how to operate the machine.
Our relationship became strained as I got older and wanted to figure out the world on my own. I think the main factor that created a rift was when I realized the way I saw the world was not always the way my father saw it. We were both so stubborn and felt we needed to convince each other of the “right” point of view. These disagreements led me to feeling misunderstood and that my father was not “seeing” me. I wanted nothing more than to have my father’s approval. Even though I disagreed with him, I still conducted myself by behaving in ways I thought he would approve of. Our relationship was based on conditional love. If I did something right I won his favor, but when I made a mistake I found myself scrambling to figure out other things I could do to regain his favor again.
This unhealthy relationship had reached the point where I was ready to just accept it, but the Lord had other plans. This past fall my father decided to join the Catholic church. This decision came as a surprise and a true answer to my (and my mother’s) prayers. The journey to joining the Catholic Church had its ups and downs, and there were times when I wondered if joining the Church was the best idea for him.
In hindsight, I can see the spiritual warfare at work trying to keep my father from achieving his goal. I know the reason why there was so much resistance was that the opposition did not want my father to transform into the person he was meant to be after he joined the Catholic Church.
My father surrendered himself entirely to the Lord and to His will. Those stubborn ideas he once held were let go. It was truly according to God’s timing, because as my father was relinquishing his stubbornness, so was I. Everything I always thought was so important, creating barriers between my father and me, suddenly lost that importance.
Since I live in New Jersey and my dad lives in Colorado, I was not able to see the dramatic transformation, which may have been why it took me awhile to recognize how much our relationship had been repaired through the Holy Spirit’s intervention. We started having conversations again, meaningful ones, and each one ended with me feeling immensely fulfilled.
I knew there was something different going on, but I was unable to articulate that difference. It wasn’t until after a recent visit from both my parents that I was finally able to see that the barriers my father and I had built over the years were now completely demolished.
Part of my healing was my active attempt to forgive him – every day I spoke the words “in the name of Jesus Christ I forgive my father for not seeing me.” During the visit with my parents, I suddenly realized that I had forgiven my father, and not only had I forgiven him, but the Lord had made it possible for my father to really see me again.
My life is proof that the Lord can do the impossible; you just have to be willing to surrender everything to Him. I released control of my life, and through that act, Jesus Christ showed me what happens when you trust Him completely. Jesus Christ healed my personal inner wounds, but He can also heal the personal inner wounds of the people I love, leading to wonderful new beginnings. I gave myself to my holy Father, and He in turn gave me the gift of a holy earthly father in my life again.