For the last four years, I’ve basically dreaded Father’s Day.
It was simply too painful of a holiday for me, being estranged from my father. What exactly was I supposed to do to honor my dad when he wanted nothing at all to do with me?
Of course, I could send a card telling him I still loved him, hoping it would open the doors to restoration. I think I did that once or twice.
I could pretend like it didn’t matter and focus on the glorious love of my Father in Heaven. I tried to do that, and sometimes it worked.
Or I could focus on honoring my husband as the father of our children. But that was a given, right?
So, for the past four years Father’s Day was nothing short of hard and painful.
I know many in my shoes, desperately wanting answers while the large hole in their heart is aching for fatherly love.
It seems that the only thing you can do is face the next minute in time, allowing it to pass, until the pain of the moment is erased by present day demands. The sun eventually sets on Father’s day, freeing you to get on with a new week and impending responsibilities.
But that’s not the best way to live, my friends. I tried it. Until I was taught a new way, deeply nestled in the theology of suffering. It goes something like this:
Instead of waiting for the sun to set and pain to diminish, pound hard after God asking Him how to glorify Him in this moment.
This lesson laid the foundation for Story Hearts (get it for free here) — a lesson I had to learn by experience. Yes, I eventually realized that for me, glorifying God in the moment required praising God and thanking Him for everything good in my life, apart from the loss and pain. It meant digging deep into reality of ALL my circumstances to discover God’s blessings and provisions in the midst of the muck. It meant complete surrender to life as is while trusting God for what He might provide in His timing as I give Him the desires of my heart.Well, this Father’s Day is going to be different. I get to celebrate God bringing my dad back into my life. It is a beautiful story that one day I hope to share in detail. In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of it in Experiencing Life Transformed.
I’m thrilled for the technology of eBooks, because mine is a story that is not yet finished. God is continuing to fill the chapters with His purposes and plans, one surprise at a time. One thing I know for sure, however, is that God did such a work on my heart, that when my father was ready to begin again, so was I.
Forgiveness painted my words sweet enabling love to take visible shape and a new chapter to be written.
I’m not saying forgiveness is easy. But it is worth the journey. God will use distance from loved ones and the space of time to restore relationships, if you are willing to let Him do the work on transforming your heart into His dwelling place.
How do you feel about this upcoming Father’s Day?
Are you willing to approach it differently this time?
Download our guide to forgiveness for free to begin a new journey.
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