My biological father and I really never had much of a relationship. He and my mom divorced when I was only a baby. I used to have to go visit him every other weekend. He was an alcoholic, and really just didn't know how to be a father. When I was 2, my mother remarried my stepfather who is an absolute blessing. When I was in 5th grade, my stepfather adopted me, and I never had contact with my real father again. Until I was engaged to my husband. I felt like that part of my life was the only part of me that my husband really didn't know about, so I wanted him to meet my real father. We met up in Dallas and had lunch. I won't lie.. it was awkward and so uncomfortable. But I'm thankful that Jacob now knows.
I am so thankful for my stepdad and the love and support he has given me. But, it is still so hard to grow up feeling like someone who is a part of you (whether you like it or not) just does not care about you. I often wonder if he ever thought about me. Every year on my birthday I wonder if he remembered what day it was. He tried to be a good dad occasionally, but he just didn't know how. He would promise the world, and never once did he follow through. He had 4 other marriages besides my mom, and 2 other children. I had a lot of problems with commitment and trust because of him. I learned to sabotage relationships and not get too close to anyone. It really is an absolute miracle I am happily married. That was definitely the Lord at work in me. Maybe I"ll write another post about my many commitment issues another day.
My father passed away January 2010. I had so much bitterness and anger towards him. I actually took up running and trained for a half marathon just to let out some of the anger. I was so confused when he died because I knew I should have been sad, but I was mad. I was mad that he wouldn't be around for me to prove to him that I could be a good wife, a good mother. I wanted to prove to him that I could keep commitments and follow through. I just wanted to prove to him that I could be what he never could. I wanted to show him that I graduated Physician Assistant school. That I accomplished something - without his help. But, over the last couple years, I have really tried to forgive him. I know there will never be reconciliation because he is not around for that, but I am trying to at least settle this in my own heart. I know I will never forget all that I've felt towards him for all these years, but I do know that today I have a much softer heart toward him than I did a year ago.
I found this quote here and I think it sums up the realizations I've had over the past few years. It says "Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have." When I used to ask my mom why my real father was "the way he was" she would always tell me that sometimes people want to be good and do right, but some people just don't have it in them. And you can't hold that against them.She was right. She said he wanted to be a good father, and she believed he was being the best father he knew how to be. He just wasn't that good at it.
This is really a hard thing for me to talk about. But we discussed the issues of forgiveness + reconciliation this morning in our class at church and I just felt like I needed to share. And sometimes it helps just to get things off your mind. So thank you for listening/reading.
|This photo is of me and my stepdad (who adopted me, so technically he's my real dad now!). He is the most amazing father. He's the best thing that ever happened to my mom and I. And I feel sure I will write a post all about him one day soon!|