Beth Moore defines captivity as, "A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for him or her." I have known for a while now that I have been in bondage to the loss and broken heart of my father. But, reading this. You are not going to believe what I did(well yes you are because the Lord can do anything;)). I left the pool yesterday with Mac and came home. Put on Tom and Jerry for him and walked out on the porch and called my dad. I called Joe. It has been 2 years since I have spoken to him. Two years of dealing with more than I ever wanted to deal with. Our conversations went as follows:
"This is Allison"
"I am just calling to tell you that I love you. I know that we haven't spoken in two years, but there isn't a day that I haven't thought about you."
"I love you too. I know you and Amelia have your reasons. But, I love you both."
"In the past two years I have found Jesus and He is really working on my heart and I am realizing my own sin and my need for Him."
"You know Paw isn't doing well"
"Bea is really feeling guilty for putting him in the nursing home."
"I know. I really enjoyed my time with Bea. I took lots of pictures of the farm and I will send them to you. They are all of places we love about the farm."
"I love you"
"I love you, too"
Glory be to God. He is the only One who could have orchestrated this occasion. The Only One. I felt immediate relief. Pressure taken off my broken heart. Relief from years of bondage to this pain. Joe gave me a few things out of the conversation. He knows why we don't have any communication. He is protecting us from his sickness. What a gift. He does love me. He just doesn't "know" how to love. He was not mean to me. He didn't make me cry with hurtful words. He was able to give me what I needed to be free. The Lord freed me from the anger and bitterness that I have been clinging too.
I can also now say that I have truly forgiven Joe. That in itself is a very freeing feeling, a feeling that can only come from the love of Christ. I will leave this with one of the memory verses for this study:
Isaiah 61:1-4 (New International Version)
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.