Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
The more I grew in my relationship with the Lord the more I realized I had a problem with men. Not only did I notice it, but my mom pointed it out to me in my early 20’s. At the time I thought she had to be mistaken. I had a boyfriend and male friends, so it was impossible for me to have a problem with men. In college, I had two impacting encounters that opened my eyes to the heart of a man. Once was seeing a male friend of mine cry over a girlfriend. I never saw a man cry over a woman before. So, they hurt too huh? The second was a male friend of mine who came to my defense when a guy I liked talked about me very harshly. I was so hurt I couldn’t speak to defend myself, but my male friend came to my defense. Thus, a man can care about my feelings? These two things planted seeds that began to soften my heart regarding men. Maybe, just maybe, they weren’t all so bad.
I remember receiving a book from a co-worker when working at Bath&BodyWorks called Captivating by John Eldredge and Stasi Eldredge. In the book, Stasi mentioned how women were created to be beautiful. I never really felt beautiful. I associated myself with sexy more than anything. One day I asked the Lord to show me my beauty in His eyes. Once in my late teens on a birthday card, my dad wrote, “I didn’t know I’d have a daughter as beautiful as you.” At the time I was shocked, but now it touches my heart. I needed to hear that I was beautiful from my dad. After asking the Lord to show me how beautiful I was men, women, and children, I didn’t know started to walk up to me telling me I was beautiful. It would happen out of the blue, and it still does. I’ve now moved on to asking the Lord to show me other things about myself. Lord, show me where I am in error? Lord, help me see this person the way you see them? Lord, purge my heart of things that are not like you? I then go into gratitude. Lord, thank you for my past. Lord, thank you for your wisdom. Lord, thank you for seeing me and always loving me.
Since being faced with my issue with men, I’ve had some real conversations with my dad. I expressed to him how he had made me feel. I even mentioned the basketball incident. His response, “I should have never said that to you.” I needed to hear that. Now when I talk to my dad, I talk to him like my dad. That may not be much to other people; as I know parents these days want to be friends with their kids, but in my case, I needed a dad. I not only have a dad I can talk to without tension, resentment, and pain. I have a Heavenly Father who I can talk to any time of the day because He is always listening. Taking care of me (Psalms 23:1-4), lifting my burdens (Psalms 55:22), embracing me with His truth, loving me with His words, and correction. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives.” Which happens more than I like, but I know He does so because He loves me.
My dad may not be the guy who holds my hand, kisses me on the cheek or tells me I’m beautiful but I know he loves me. He loves me the best way he knows how. I love him too very much. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized just how funny my dad is. I used to tell people if I could do things all over again, one of them would be acting on a show like Mad TV. I now know where I get my humor from. When you’re #DyingDaily you have to allow some doors to close, pain to heal, forgiveness, compassion, and doors to open. Needless to say, there has been forgiveness between my father and me. Not just in forgiving him but I’ve said things to him that I needed forgiveness for. In building my relationship with my Heavenly Father, He helped me build a relationship with my dad. A relationship I thought I didn’t want, but God knew I needed.