My dad and I might not have had the greatest of beginnings in our father – daughter relationship but as time would have it, he has turned out to be quite useful in my life. I never thought I would live to experience the day with him that he actually did “fatherly like stuff”. You know the stuff little girls dream about or only see in the movies.
My dad was not the type who was around much nor mentally fit to be a leader of a family. Family life was a little bit too serious for him since he was still in play mode. Housing bills, daycare and being gainfully employed, consistently, were quite a challenge for a 20 year old band player. But the grace of God prevails through anything. And now I know just how true that statement is. You see, in 2009 I started this forgiveness journey that took me through the many hills and valleys, lows and highs of every pulse point of my life. And I mean every pulse point.
Every journey starts with just one decision. A choice if you will to do, to connect, to view, to be a part of the story itself however, differently. Differently than how your heart and mind are trained to react as a result of experiences on one side of the fence. That fence is truly just your point of view without a full understanding of all the parties involved. People, and that includes family members, have a deep rooted past. Whether that is mostly positive or negative is not the issue, it’s how that person processed themselves in the experience itself. Were they empowered, belittled, depressed, overcome, or removed? The answer starts their journey into how they processed life forevermore good, bad, and indifferent.
Pastor Joyce Meyer wrote a book entitled Beauty for Ashes. And in it she speaks of trading the bitter past for future possibilities with one’s self and with others – especially those whom are near and dear to you and hurt you the worst. Reparation is for anyone who chooses to forgive. I made a decision to forgive and it has been the best medicine for my life. Now, I can truly enjoy a real father and daughter experience with my father – the same man who was in jail when I was born, physically and verbally abusive to his family. A new day has dawned upon us. I now enjoy birthday dinner dates, random visits and “I love you” ended phone calls.
Relationships have always been an unhappy ending wrought with pain and suffering, no fairytale commitments. Without a father around, a young girl does not have the right information nor the experiences to figure out how to commune with the opposite sex properly. What does friendship smell like, feel like, tastes like versus love in itself? What is the proper protocol for dating? Only communicating with a father daily, one that you have real access to, can offer advice on real life issues. He not only listens but gives step by step advice on what to do next, points out the cracks in what you feel and is straight forward with how the other side is viewing you in the situation. My father said this one statement that changed me, “Now that you have matured in relationships, you know how to love from the inside out and not the outside in”. Even though we choose whom to date by appearances first, the most important aspect of this “getting to know one another” rendezvous is who he is on the inside. Will his core values not only sustain but also provide for a solid foundation with you for a firm family structure? How is his relationship with his mother? Whom is his real life male role model? Is chivalry dead? These are just a few questions that will help identify if he is worth your time and attention. But only your dad can give you the real 4-1-1 on how this rendezvous is to progress or just die down. We, as women, can get real emotional and lose sight of what is really at hand – grow or bust!
So, take your time. It is your most precious commodity and no moments should be squandered. Love from the inside out so that love can really take flight and soar.