What if you worked on building a relationship with your father? My mentor prompted.
She may as well have stood me in front of Grand Canyon and casually asked me to cross to the other side.
I was on a Cru Summer Mission Trip on South Lake Tahoe, and my Lifegroup leader. suggested that I pursue forgiving my dad. I had shared my story with her and told her how my dad left my mom, sister, and I.
He had an ugly affair and end up moving away. The time we spend together throughout my childhood is mostly an angry blur of yelling and crying. His words and deeds became imprinted on my heart as „You are unworthy. You are a failure. No one like you.”
On the Summer Project, Jesus began to give me a new identity. „Chosen, Love, Saved by Grace, ” he called me. My lifegroup leader helped me to see that forgiving me dad was the next step I need to take.
At this point, I thought I knew how to forgive . I regularly pardoned minor offenders: my friend cancelling our coffee date at the last minute, my roommate leaving her dirty socks on the floor, a stranger cutting my off in traffic. I could sing ” Amazing Grace „, with the best of them. My go-to techniques were to excuse explain, and minimise in order to make the sin easier to forgive. The track in my head went something like ” Oh , they didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. It was an accident. It was really that bad.” However, forgiving my dad felt too big , too personal, and those strategies wouldn’t work for me anymore.
Clearly I couldn’t forgive on my own strength. Enter Jesus, to rock my mindset as usual. Jesus gently remained me off all that I’d been forgiving for. I couldn’t see that my dad and I were on the same: neither of us had any hope apart from Christ ‘s mercy. Instead of logically explaining away my dad’s sin, Jesus asked me to lay it at the cross. I stopped trying to make it less. I let the sin be big. And let God’s mercy’s be bigger. What my dad had done hurt. It was not how God designed his Kingdom to operate. However, Jesus had taken care of it, along with my mistakes , when He died on the cross .
This freed me up to take practical steps towards reconciliation with my dad. First I prayed for him. Simple things like ” God bless my dad today ” .I called him regular basis. I shared meals with him. I brought him coffee at work. Soon I started to actually enjoy our time together. On his birthday I give him a gift that even a college student could afford: a letter, in it, I explain how his actions had hurt me , but how Jesus had halted me. Ultimately I told my dad that I forgive him. I told him that I love him. Today, we have a positive relationship, I sincerely cherish the day that we get to spend in each other’s company . What I thought was impossible, Jesus made possible with his mysterious, scandalous, grace.