I've been wanting to write this blog, but for sometime now, I've been acutely aware of how OCD I am when it comes to using to many words. But focusing on how I can accurately get my point across with out over-expressing, perplexes me and makes me think about it more...(see, I just wrote 52 words and haven't even started the blog, geez...)
Now to my thoughts...I encourage you to read my blog titled TANGLED HURT first if you don't know any background on my parents or my life the last 5 years. It will help you understand my words.
I haven't had a relationship with my dad since my mom died. He dove deeper into grief, depression, guilt, and the drugs that put our family in this position in the first place. Life hasn't meant anything to him since my mom died. My children, my brothers, nor I have been enough to pull him through the demons in his mind. Things have happened that are so far beyond my comprehension that they are to the point of accepted. My dad has gone from making $150,000 in one summer with his business, to being homeless, being put in jail at times, having no teeth, and now living in a VA facility through drug court where he has to sleep in the same room with probably 20 other men. Over the past 5 years, drugs have made him manipulative, dishonest, cunning, but most hurtful, someone I simply don't know. I'm nervous and sweaty when I'm in close proximity to him, words don't come to me, and I'm impatient and unreasonalbe with my family. I don't really have nightmares like I did right after my mom died, but what I have now, are dreams of sitting in his lap and him hugging me and telling me things are going to be okay. But in my dreams I truly believe what he says. Over the past couple of months, after really having no contact with him for years, except through second hand conversations with my grandparents, he has started texting or calling me every afternoon and simply saying "it's 5 o'clock somewhere and I just want you to know I am thinking about you." For the most part, that is the extint of our conversation. It stays safe that way. If I don't know details of his life, I don't judge, worry, or over-analyze. I simply know he is alive, and that is enough for me.
Well, over the last couple of weeks, our relationship has shifted. With the nightly 30 second conversation, the talk has become more indepth and it's made me a little nervous. He has been in some type of rehab 4 or 5 times since mom died. They have always stemmed from some sort of situation he has gotten himself into and out of desperation to run from the situation, he cons someone in our family into believing that this time is the "real deal." Up to this point, it has never been the case. After the second time, I cut ties. I decided I was too important to my family to mentally leave my children and my husband to continue naively believing his lies. And my family was too important to my mental well being to neglect them for someone who COULD NOT be a positive asset in my life or assure any longevity in our lives. I decided to start living the way I have always wanted to live with no apologies or insecurities.
That decision has transformed the LEGACY of my family over the past 4 years. I no longer worry about turning into the negative attributes of my mom, in turn giving them to my children, but I'm fully confident that I have buried deep inside my soul, all of her positive insight, which has allowed me to merge all the amazing positive aspects of my mother, my grandmothers, and my aunts. The decision to live a Christ like life wasn't a hard decision. I have been in church my whole life. I simply have never listened before 4 years ago. The decision was more of a sigh of relief, that I was finally able to hold my head up high in front of my children and know I was not holding any "Saturday Night Secrets" any longer. Nothing but the decision and conversation with God, happened over night. This has been a process, a journey with a new starting point. I had to mop up some floors before I walked out the door and closed it forever. That took the first couple of years into my Christian journey and some of the floors still haven't completely dried. But I'm okay with that, because Jesus was also on his own journey while here on Earth. It's how I handle my thought and decision making process that makes me so excited. Our first church as a Christian couple, clearly put us on the right path as a family, but our second and LAST church has fully blossomed our inner fire. This church truly makes me sad for my old self. It makes me sad for all the people in my world that I was once scared to tell of my newfound love for fear of having to retract my statements the following saturday night...let me assure you, I don't have those fears anymore!!
I've been so excited about the outreach our church puts forth. Bringing this blog back around full circle, I'll explain what my dad and my church have to do with one another...These uncomfortable more lenghty chats have produced some 6 degrees of seperation weirdness. I have a friend that I connected with because her husband was going thru the same problems that caused my moms' death. We lost touch, our daughters became close friends in school 2 years later not knowing any history of her and I knowing one another. They became closer when they realized they both started going to the same awesome church within 3 months of one another. It couldn't have happened at a better time because after being clean for 4 years, he relapsed. At the same time, my 4 year tough love hiatus became jolted with my dad, so we both need strength. So we are both attending the new church, we've aligned ourselves to trade drop off/pick up of some youth activities with the kids, and one of these conversations turned into an hour long talk where he told me he is better and committed to treatment and Faith and him asking if he could get my dad's number so he could coordinate picking him up for a meeting together. That turned into a longer conversation with my dad where I told him about both our families really throwing ourselves into this awesome church. That conversation led to him asking if his "friend" who happens to be a woman, could drive him to meet me at church on saturday morning because I had signed up for this awesome mission work called "7 DAYS OF SERVOLUTION," where I was feeding the homeless and picking up trash in under priveleged neighborhoods. All of the above, led to a phone call the morning of SERVOLUTION, with my dad telling me his "friend" happened to know where the church was because HER PARENTS GO THERE ALSO AND WERE SERVING THAT SATURDAY.....
UMMM, HELLO??? I don't need to witness the dead being raised, the blind to see, the lame to walk. Out of billions of people in the world, and God chose to give ME this succession of events to prove HIS LOVE AND GRACE FOR ME? Yea, thanks but no thanks, I don't need any other "sign" to wonder if ALL that was coincidence. I don't know what the future holds for my dad. Noone at Servolution yesterday, knew the history of my family. They didn't realize how I cried silently while picking up trash in the busy car wash on the drug infested corner, because I was overwhelmed with the emotions brought on by my dad walking right beside me helping pick up trash in probably the same neighborhood he had bought drugs in before. My dad has become one of the people SERVOLUTION aches to reach out to. I don't know his inner thoughts, his motivation for coming yesterday to help. Cautious thoughts still prevail in my mind as I disect every word, every action he has, looking for some manipulation, some dishonesty. Nervously watching and waiting to see if he will play on my weakness of love for some selfish gain. Constantly looking at his arms, his eyes for signs of use. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know when I'll be comfortable around him. But whatever his motivation, I've put it in God's Hands. In turn, God put my daddy in His Hands, and as I was pouring my *Starbucks* this morning at church, God gently lowered my daddy out of His Hands, placed him next to me in line, then wispered in Pastor John's ear, the EXACT message my daddy needed to hear to reshape his family legacy.
I would have never believed I would see MY dad in MY church out of the blue like that. Folks, that wasn't coincidence...That was God and SERVOLUTION!!!