There I was standing across from my husband to be, in the old church sanctuary. Palms sweating with what seemed the hottest June day we'd seen in years. Rehearsing what would follow in 24 hours. Our pastor went through the mechanics of who stands where, when vows would be spoken & how he would introduce us as husband & wife.
And although the day was beautiful, and the certainty of me marrying a good man was solidified--something was missing. I was leaving my family to cleave to a new one, except I didn't have a whole family to leave. It's hard to quite describe the longing we have for our earthly Father to esteem, protect & care for us, especially when it wasn't completely actualized.
When Jesus cries out "Abba," his words are so tender as we hear "daddy, daddy--where are you?" My 22 year old heart always wanted to say, "Daddy," but that word denotes affection & trust. I had neither.
As I stood there on the platform going over the lines, my mind wandered at what my dad was doing at that moment? I kept thinking that he just might show up the next day. My mom walked me down the aisle with me looking like a radiant princess, mustering everything I had to thoroughly relish in this day. But, it's hard to embrace the wholeness of one family, while the gaze of brokenness stands to the side of you.
That day we made a covenant. It was spoke of sticking to this relationship in sickness & health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part. He said he would love & cherish. His words are his present action. I married a good man. And still, years would past & I still longed for the approval that would come from my father. I would even long for the approval that would come from my husband.
I would wait for an apology from him for choosing to self medicate over me. Those words never came.
It wouldn't be until my oldest daughter was eight months that all the repressed crap hit the fan. My story felt like glass shattered into a million pieces. How would I ever put it together? And that's when Jesus, dear persistent Jesus, would take my story & show me glimpses of sweet honey found in the most foul of places. He would take me through tears. Break down idols I built trying to jam everything into my Jesus shaped heart...except him.
He lovingly showed me that my father is broken. He's a mess clinging to his shattered story, unwilling to hand it over to Jesus. He's so entangled in the brambles, that he doesn't know how to adequately love.
Jesus sweetly, yet directly told me, "You will never find what your looking for in your father & his approval--you'll only find it in me."
And now, I run to my Jesus. I see how he constantly held me tight.
I don't blame my father for my mess. I hope for a day that he will hand over his mess, but I don't depend on him fixing his life, his story, in order for me to be whole. That's not my father's job. My wounds may lay deep, but I see the grace of God seeping into the cracks, fusing the shattered glass together, leading me to the cross. This is why I can tell my story now; because, I have seen the honey in the carcass--it's redemption found.
In case you missed it,