When I was young, I had a very close relationship with my father. I was a “daddy’s girl”. But everything changed when he left one day in the year of 2009. I haven’t seen him since.
I often wondered what happened. Did I do something wrong? Didn’t I follow his orders? Why did he leave? I have tons of questions nobody can answer but him.
We struggled financially since my mom had a hard time landing a stable job back then. I took his abandonment personally. I developed a growing resentment and hatred for him each day. I became angry to the point of constructing an elaborate plan of vengeance. My hatred for him fueled my dreams and became my main motivator. I became a consistent achiever at school and I graduated as the class valedictorian, all because I thought that education would land me a great job. And a great job would help me accomplish my plans.
I told myself that when I’m old enough, I am going to find him. I will show him that I made it even when he didn’t man up to be the father he was supposed to be to me. And on that day, I will not show him an ounce of pity since he didn’t bother to show me any the day he left us.
You may find yourself in the same situation as I am. Someone you deeply care about and love may have hurt you, failed you, left you. And they may or may not have asked for your forgiveness.
The bottom line is, when we get hurt by the ones we love, the scar is deeper than usual. We hold grudges and we hold on to them like treasures which makes it hard (if not impossible), to forgive.
Here are 5 valuable truths that I’ve learned from almost 15 years of “hurting and hating”.
1. God is with you even when you are at the lowest point of your life.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
God comprehends the message that you send to Him through your sobs, sighs, tears and maybe hiccups between all those. There are times you do not have to even utter any words. He wanted you to know He is just close by, listening like the supportive and loving Father He always is.
2. God knows you’re hurting… and hating.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you…” – Psalm 55:22
There is no emotion that we feel that is strange to God and hidden from His eyes. Whether it be anger, hatred, love. There is nobody who understands best than Him. He cares about your business and He will provide the grace and strength that you need, to sustain you.
3. God heals.
“…This is what the Lord says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you…” – 2 Kings 20:5
Rather than retaliate, bring your case to God. Cry out to Him. He hears your heart even in silence. He will heal you.
4. God loves you.
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3
Because we are human, we are going to make some bad decisions and countless mistakes. We are going to disappoint and fail God because we are not perfect. But He is! But He loves us when we are hurting and He loves us all the same when we are hating. He loves us unconditionally.
5. God does not change.
“I, the Lord, do not change…” – Malachi 3:6
As strange as that may sound, God really does not change. He will never abandon us or leave us hanging.
Last December 12, 2012, I decided to search for my dad. I began online. One of his relatives told me that he passed away July of 2012 due to cardiac arrest (around 6 months before I searched for him). I learned too that he had a family after us. I saw a photo of his daughter (a half-sister I would never know) and his epitaph.
There are days I wake up missing my dad. I wish I had decided a bit earlier to search for him. I wish we could have talked before he passed away.
I have regrets, yes. But the five truths I’ve learned assured me that I’ll never sink so deep in hatred that God’s grace can’t reach me.
God has forgiven me. So I forgive my father. And consequently, I forgive myself.