Father/Daughter Relationship Restored (A Childhood Prayer Answered)
edited: Sunday, July 18, 2004
By Blondie Clayton
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2004
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The Rewards Of Forgiveness Begins One Step At A Time
I was seven when my parents who lived in North Carolina separated. I am the oldest of four. I remember the confusion and questions, how I was afraid to voice my thoughts. We were packed up and taken to my daddy’s parents, where I received an occasional letter but my dream of our family coming together again seemed impossible.
Five years later, our mother sent for us to live with her in Brooklyn, New York, but we never lived with daddy again. As I grew through my teen years into adulthood, those memories of missed birthdays, my sweet sixteen party, my first boyfriend, graduation and my wedding day, turned into resentment and anger.
For years I resented Father’s Day celebrations.
Over the years, I tried to adjust to the fact that dad and I would never get back what we lost, that we had no place in each others lives, except that he was my biological father. It hurt. Sometimes I would cry and feel sorry for myself. From time to time reflecting on my past, I had begun to believe that I was doomed to live a life of brokenness, hurt and rejection until 4:00 a.m. one morning when I woke up to the sound of a television preacher, going on and on about “Jesus is the answer”.
I remember saying: “I don’t think so”.
The next morning: The same time, the same voice. My thoughts: “I’ve got so much that’s wrong in my life. Nobody can fix this.”
As I listened, urgency tugged at me to try this God of that television preacher. I called the prayer line. Right after I hung up the phone, I felt refreshed, renewed, wondering what in the world---“Who can I talk to about this?” I thought.
My curiosity of what happened with that phone call and why I felt different, sparked an interest in studying the Bible-- something I had not done in years. It was within the pages of the Bible I discovered some truths that began to change who I thought I was, along with gaining hope that I didn’t have to be chained to my past.
A few more years passed, thoughts of my daddy began to rise up again: What to do and how to handle my feelings. One day as I was reading the Bible, I heard this voice say: “You have been forgiven; now why can’t you forgive your father, as I have forgiven you.”
My response: “Why should I forgive him? He left me. I didn’t leave him.”
As those words parted my lips I began to weep, for in that moment I began to understand: I wanted God’s forgiveness for my sins but I wasn’t willing to forgive my daddy for his sins against me.
I heard myself say through the sobs: “Forgive me, Lord”.
As I forgave my daddy, a peace settled into my heart. A year or two passed. Because my daddy had moved from Maryland back to North Carolina with his wife, we began to see each other, occasionally, when my mother’s family reunion was hosted in their hometown. Every now and then I would call to say “hi!” but we were still very distance. I felt like I needed more from the man who had participated in birthing me, but with each encounter I left disappointed. I asked God: “How do I reconnect those feelings for a daddy who hasn’t been there? Where do I start”?
Another year had rolled by when urgency set in, to the point, I told my husband,
“I’m going to see my father. I’ve got to go. I don’t know why but it can’t wait. Lets make it an early Father’s Day gift.”
He agreed, and we proceeded to make plans to drive up to North Carolina. We arrived on a Sunday. It was a holiday weekend. All the motels were filled. On arrival in town, I inquired where I might find him-- since everybody knew each other—we were directed to the church. Daddy was surprised and beside himself with joy. He made us promise to meet him at home later.
The hour was getting late and still no vacancies at the motel, so we headed to daddy’s house. After the visit was over, his wife invited us to stay with them. Daddy and I
would talk into the late hours of the morning. I was amazed at the behaviors he and my baby brother shared, speech patterns and mannerisms and how the two of us share a love for gardening.
That weekend we had a chance to talk freely about their separation and the events of our lives. I discovered that there are two sides to a separation and for years I only knew one side.
It was a dream come true to wake up and have breakfast with my daddy, to spend several days walking, talking, and enjoying his company. At 78 years old, he is energetic, wise, and a lot of fun.
When the time came to depart, as we stood out in front of his house, I heard myself say words I wanted to say to his face all of my life: “I love you, daddy”.
He said, “I love you, too”.
“I’m going to miss you.” I said.
“I will miss you, too.”
We both broke down and cried. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew it was time.
I pulled away, with tears streaming down my face, got into the passenger seat, and stared straight ahead.
As my husband drove away, I began thanking God. A heart that once ached over her father had been healed. The relationship we didn’t have had been restored. Daddy and I are dwelling on what we have now, not on the lost hours, days and years of the past.
Thank you, God, for teaching me to reach out in your love and forgiveness!!
(This article was published in the May/June 2004 issue of the Family Reader, Volume 1, issue 5)
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|Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G
|YOU were not alone, and was this the 700 Club? :)
(I too called that lifeline some years ago, and since then I know - I had to grow!
I loved how you shared your heartfelt lifestory!
Write On Blondie!
Happier Holidays and GREAT Health ahead, into a NEW Inspirational New Year - 2008 - Sitting pretty, I feel a poem comin' on, as my muse starts to excuse
Warm hugs and Blessings, Warrior Purple Lady Sweet Sheooxoo
Take a peek on me sometime, I have much to share in all the genre's I write in! Hope to see ya' step in a few times...
|Reviewed by Denise Contreras
|With God we can do all things. Wonderful story very touching, I can relate.
|Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
|This is an awesome write Blondie keep it up
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Wonderful write, Blondie; thanks for sharing! Glad your prayers were answered! Praise God!!
(((HUGS))) and love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D