Transformed by the Father’s Love

fatherchildSome people grew up in families where their parents were able to convey enough love, acceptance and wisdom that the children grew up to be relatively functional adults. Other families, like mine, came from a heritage of victimhood and rather than growing up empowered, we entered the world of adulthood feeling like orphans. From there on, we either spiralled down the path of being a chronic victim or chose the path of awakening to who we truly are in God.

Both options are painful. While the path of victimhood is destructively painful, the path of awakening is productively painful.

If it’s going to hurt anyway, why not make it count?

For many years now I’ve been on a journey of being re-parented by Abba (Father God). Having my biological, mentally ill father living with me has made this a very interesting process. We have both lived like orphans; believing that we will never really be taken care of. Often, when I start to make progress in my healing and create stronger boundaries, I trigger the orphan in my father and he quickly becomes extremely defensive and verbally lashes at me. He has no ability to empathize and the conversation always morphs into him spotlighting all the ways that he is a victim of me. This is followed by him literally listing off how I am financially indebted to him. It’s twisted, but it follows a rhythmic pattern we’ve shared since I was too young to remember. Not being entirely healed of my own victim, I often react to this rejection instantly.

My father and I went down this road again recently, but something was different this time. I still reacted inside. However, instead of firing right back at him, a new sense of self-awareness woke up in me and I just turned around and retreated to my room. I now know exactly how to enter into that place of complete abandon into Abba’s Love. It’s the place I’ve yearned for and worked a life time to find. It’s not that I didn’t find it when I was younger, it’s just that I never knew how I got there, so I couldn’t find my way back intentionally. Things have changed.

In the scriptures Jesus taught that to follow him we must be willing to ‘hate’ our mother and father. There’s a lot written about what that means exactly and whether it’s just symbolic language. For me, entering into the true Love of God has required me to release all attachments I have to needing the love of my parents. I used to project the deficiencies of my parents onto my relationship with Abba. In time, and with much inner healing, most of that has transformed for me. Just one thing remained…

I heard a teaching by Arthur Burk explaining that some people actually need to heal a wound of being abandoned by God. What?! No way. I’ve been abandoned by a lot of people in my life, but never by God!

That’s been my story and I stuck to it for many, many years. Then one day something triggered me deeply and I descended right down into the black hole of complete and utter despair that I felt way too often as a child. I was reminded how I cried out to Abba to pick me up and hold me…and sometimes He never came. If you’ve been there, you’ll know it’s one of the worst pains you’ll feel in this life.

Undeniably, I have felt abandoned by Abba.

It wasn’t until I could admit that this was true that I finally found (and remembered) my path straight to the Father’s heart. The Love of Abba is so radically different than anything I’ve ever know with my earthly parents that the comparison between the two has just stopped all together for me.

Now I know how to return to Love and it has completely empowered me to make some big changes that I never had the confidence to implement before.

Thank You Abba for Your complete and unending Love.

Rhythmic

Perceptions

wheelchairMy dad lives with me. He’s kind of a miserable old guy who lives in a wheel chair or in his bed. He has no hobbies or friends. He just watches TV, sleeps and coughs. He makes sure he gets his daily dose of worry-inducing, fear-laced television news casts with all their hopeless stories and gory details to ensure that his mental illness and hypertension don’t start to accidentally improve. He has a giant cancerous tumour in his left lung that was easily treatable four years ago, but he chose not to help himself.

It’s one thing to spend a little time here and there with people that are down and out. It’s a completely different thing to live with one 24/7. I can literally ‘feel’ when dad is out of his room and moving about on the main floor of the home (I can smell it too, but TMI). It’s like there’s a palpable cloud of depression hanging in the air where ever he is.

So how is this uplifting? Good question! I’ve been working on this for 7 years now. I keep asking God, “How do I keep my thoughts mindful and positive when I keep seeing and feeling my dad’s misery every single day of my life without a break?!”

Ask and ye shall be given…

It’s not that I hear God audibly or anything, but I get these inspired thoughts that I know can’t be mine. So here’s the answer that came, “Stop seeing and feeling your dad’s misery.”

What the…? Seriously, God? You mean I need to take 100% responsibility for what I’m seeing and feeling even though this guy is such a crankpot and in my face all the time?!

Enter rant…

“That’s not fair! I can’t not see (and smell) what’s right in front of me! It’s his fault. He chose this path. I just got stuck with him because nobody else would do the job! Really? This is stupid. I want out. I’m going to drop him off at the doorstep of the hospital and then move to a different house so they can’t send him back. I don’t deserve this. He’s the one who’s been a jerk. I’ve just tried to be nice and kind and guess what, God? I’m burned out. I’m gonna quit!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played that script in my head, but I’ve tried it enough times to know that it won’t get me off the hook of being 100% responsible for my own perceptions, attitudes and decisions. Wait, did I just say ‘perceptions’? Yes, I did.

I remember the first time my counsellor challenged my ‘perceptions’. I was livid. How could it be that being mistreated and hurt by someone was all my perception??

Now for a little news flash: Your flesh/ego can’t fix its own perceptions. Case closed. Changing perceptions is a God thing and all you can do is surrender to the process and allow the shift to take place. It happens at the level of the soul. Simple, not easy.

However, taking responsibility for myself means not only relying on Holy Spirit guidance to shift my perceptions, it also means making the hard choices and sticking to them. Setting a standard and living by it.

I know my time of care-giving for my father is coming to a close. These years have been extraordinarily challenging, but they have also been one of the biggest gifts of my life. My father has shown me more about myself then anyone else. This situation has inspired me to be more loving, more kind, take responsibility for myself, strive to achieve goals and breakthroughs and to never, never, never give up no matter how hard the journey.

You will be given beauty for ashes.