These are some of the hardest words for a man to hear. As a father and a guy whose dad died at age 11, never knowing a dad after this age...growing up fast and working since age 12, I feel sad. HOWEVER this heartfelt testimony by a super-honest and wonderful saint, with whom you can identify will really touch you!! When Nikki posted this, I immediately knew we had to share this on my blog and our Business Men in Christ website!!!! Please read my friend, Nikole Hahn's piece here.....
“I want to tell him that I forgive him,” was what I told my grandfather in 2008 while trying to get my birth father’s contact information. Little did I know that I would regret those words. It’s funny how another perspective gives a complete picture of what really happened during those years when I was a little girl.
I thought my birth father had abandoned me. Mom said it so often that I believed it. No letters came from him. No sign that he wanted any involvement in my life broke the illusion that others had built up. Or at least, that was my perspective. A lot of my memories don’t exist and I can’t verify anything with real memory. There’s too much contrived memory from photographs or stories told by others. In one of our phone calls in 2008, my birth father told me about a phone call during the time when my stepfather sought legal custody via adoption.
My mom said she never knew where my father lived, but somehow she had his phone number to ask him if my step-dad could adopt me. I didn’t remember that phone call. I was attending Buena Terra Elementary School at the time that my mother called him. She told him that I wanted to have the same last name as my stepfather. My birth father demanded to speak with me and, according to him, I echoed what my mother said. That night in 2008 I felt so much shame because I rejected my father so many years ago as a little girl. I didn’t know that he had sent cards that were returned. I didn’t know about the returned presents.
I didn’t know.
From his perspective, his daughter rejected him. I can only imagine the pain that caused him. I have spent the last three years putting pieces of my past together, talking to people who knew and know my dad, talking to my dad, and going through the final process of healing and forgiveness. Not having my father in my life and struggling for my mother’s acceptance was too hard of a burden to carry as a little girl. It caused many psychological problems even into adulthood.
God brought caring people into my life as I was growing up; people who planted seeds about His love. I knew that God was around, watching after me, and I knew I wanted Him in my life. I didn’t have a Christian in my life that spoke the truth of the Bible. My problems kept me inwardly focused.
It took many years to finally get to this point in my life–the healing portion of my journey. It’s no use crying over the past. It’s time to forgive ourselves and move forward. God knew what He was doing and no pain was ever wasted. Life turned out better than I had hoped, and now that the pieces are, for the most part, together that hole has disappeared. In it’s place the light of the Lord fills my soul with a peace that defies all understanding.