I probably learned this saying when I was four or five years old. Little did I know this would be one of the things that came to my mind after my real father called today. I should not have answered the phone, but I did. No looking back. Keep on walking with the Lord. Learn. Trust. Faith.
I will spare you all the details but essentially he called to start something with me. Dog me out. Cut me down. Make me feel as bad as he does. It didn't work. I did not shed one tear. I put up the shield and He protected me from the flaming darts.
Joe calls me for the first time in four years to wish me a Happy Birthday. I write him a thank you note for calling. He actually acknowledged my birthday! Then he calls and has nothing nice to say all because I didn't tell him my husband lost his job. The reason I didn't tell him is because it would just stir things up. Plus I had not talked to him since I flew to Alabama to visit him in the hospital.
And all he could do was cut me down. I pity him. Really. He is sick. SICK. He actually got mad at me because I was filling my salt shaker while I was talking to him. Seriously? I know in my heart that all he wanted to say was, "I miss you, Allison." I guess more than ever I see how the Lord has changed my heart. I don't desire to stir up fights or make someone feel bad intentionally. I mean I do sometimes cause you know I am a jokester.
When I went to visit him in the hospital he actually said, "Allison, I know how to F with you." That is the main reason I have not had any other contact with him. He is not safe and he can not be trusted. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has supplied me with oh, so much more than Joe ever could:) Especially His word. His Truth.
"But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." Titus 3:9-11
Closure. I now know why God has taken me to the place He has over the past few months. Closure on the pain my real father, Joe has caused. It is over. I will love Joe from afar. That is ok. I will love my enemy, because that is what God calls me to do. I am ok with this. Joyful obedience even though it hurts. It will always hurt. But, the beauty is far more than I ever deserve.
I will silently say, "Jesus" whenever Joe comes to my mind. I will continue to pray for him. But, I will not let satan win this battle. Jesus defeated satan. Jesus has won the battle. I am claiming scripture! It feels so good because I believe It and I am receiving It:) I will continue to walk with the Lord, side by side, hand in hand.....looking over my shoulder with a smile and maybe a tear. Looking to the future with a different kind of hope. A hope that only the Lord can give. A heart that is full of love and thankfulness. A changed heart. A heart that was once lost, but now found. A new heart. A love for Jesus that I never knew before.
I am choosing to forgive Joe. I will continue to pray for him. I will continue to hope that the Lord would choose to change his heart and make it new. But, this chapter is closed. Joe will no longer have any hold over me. Closed. My heart belongs to Jesus. No one can snatch me out of His hand. I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I will raise my Ebenezers in worship for all the Lord has brought me through. The good far outweighs the bad! This is what my sweet and precious husband sent me yesterday after I told him what happened.
"Allison - Joe can be mean and can say hurtful things, but he cannot take away what you have - a husband and two kids who love you, some great friends, and the love and peace of Jesus.
James 1: 2-4
I am blessed and I owe it all to Jesus. I owe it all to Jesus.
Please give me the desire to build others up and not tear them down. Lord, forgive me when I do tear others down. Please heal the broken places in my heart that have been damaged by words that might as well have been punches to my face. Help me to look to You for Your strength. Your love. Thank you for giving me Joe. Thank you for showing me that You are my Father. Thank you for Gregg. Thank you that You gave him to me, so that I could experience what an earthly father should be like. He is an amazing daddy and I am humbled that You chose him for me. You knew he would be my daddy. You knew. Thank you that my children know what it is like to feel loved. Thank you that they feel secure. Thank you for letting me see what it is like to experience a life I never knew existed. Thank you for the husband that You gave to me. Thank you that I can see You in him. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
In Jesus name, Amen.