Thursday, April 14, 2011

His Hands

Part one of "The Lie Detector Results say.......You are ? The Father" blog series. This series aims to express the grace and love we find in our Savior even in the deepest, darkest valleys of our lives. Today, we have Courtney, my dear friend whom I have never met before (Thanks to the internet, I suspect I get to know more about her heart than many she has met). She is the owner of Storing Up Treasures. One of my favorite people. One of my favorite blogs. Introducing......

I can still smell his truck.

His dirty, old pick up. The smell of chewing tobacco mixed with sweat.

I can still feel the weave of the seat covers as it rubbed against the back of my legs. And the wind blowing on my face as we drove.

His hands.

I can still see his hands.

I was only four years old the day he left. I remember that day in vivid detail. The way his face looked. The way his voice sounded. The way he loaded his things into that truck. The way he hugged me.

"Where are you going Daddy?"

"I have to go away for a little while. But, I will be back."

And then he was gone.

For years I waited for him to come back. I prayed he would come back. I pretended he was away on business. I even told my friends that. I cried myself to sleep. I dreamt he was with me.

And each day that passed, each month that he didn't call or write, a piece of my heart died. Each year that came and went, each birthday he forgot, bitterness took hold of what was left.

In the grade school years he showed up a couple of times. He made promises he couldn't keep. Told me he loved me. Said he was sorry. Took me and my little brother to McDonalds. Somehow thinking his brief presence would make up for all of the years he lost.

"Let's just let it be water under the bridge, Courtney"

It will never be water under the bridge Dad.

It could never just be water under the bridge.

My brother idolized him. He wanted to be him. I hated him. I wanted him to go away and never come back. At least that is what I told myself.

The teen years were an unleashing of the bitterness that had taken root and festered for so long. And before anyone could blink, I was on a path of destruction.

Drugs. Alcohol. Men.

I looked for anything to numb the pain.

Things with my Mom became volatile as she watched me slip away. We fought all of the time. She had lost control of me. I was drowning and she couldn't save me.

So the summer before my 10th grade year, I went to live with him.

He didn't hesitate to have me come.

He smoked pot with me. He bought me cigarettes and alcohol. He let me continue destroying myself and told me it was all okay.

He said he loved me. He said he was sorry.

"Let's just let it be water under the bridge."

But, it could never be just water under the bridge Dad.

 I went back home. Never wanting to see him again.

Daddy's should be strong and brave. Polished and secure. They should tell you to be safe and ground you when you are misbehaved. They should hold you when you are scared and wipe your tears when you are sad. They should offer you advice and wisdom and tell you that you are worth more than the boys you are chasing.

I wanted a Daddy.

I didn't need another friend.

At 16 I became pregnant. At 17 a Mom.

My baby girl saved me. Suddenly I wanted to be more than I was. I wanted to be better for her. She was a healing balm to my injured soul. One look in her eyes, and I knew that there was a God. I knew that He loved me and that this baby was His way of telling me.

I started picking up the pieces of my shattered life. I started chasing after God in every way I could. I wanted to be so much more to my baby girl than my Father was to me.

And God came and enveloped my world.

I always thought I was fatherless. It was then that I realized He had been there all along. I was never alone.

Bit by bit my heart began to heal.

 I began to understand God's love for me and as a result I started to see my Father in a whole new way. As I started to understand what Jesus did for me, how He saved me, I began to see how very broken my Dad truly was.

And forgiveness came.

God began pulling at my heart to call him. To tell him all that was happening to me.

"Dad, I love you."

"Dad, I forgive you."

"Dad let's just let it be water under the bridge."

A month later at the age of 45 he very suddenly died.

I can still hear the sound of his laugh. I can still see his eyes, those baby blues that turned down slightly in the corners.

I can still hear his voice quiver at the other end of the line the day I told him I forgave him.

I miss him.

Not for who he was, but for what he could have been. Not for what we had, but for what we could have had.

My life will never be normal. I have and always will long for a Daddy.  I cry at every wedding when the Father walks the bride down the isle. I long for the wisdom only a Dad could offer. There is a hole in my heart that will never be full this side of heaven.

 I wish my kids had a Grandfather. I wish my Dad could have met them.

I wish that things could have been different. And I don't always understand why things were the way they were. But, Jesus has done what only He can do. He took a broken little girl and healed her. He brought forgiveness to a man that didn't deserve it. He has loved me through the heartache and put back together my heart so that I could live.

 I pray that whatever life has handed you, you would turn to Him and let Him do the same for you.


 Thanks for reading...Z