My dad died when I was 12 years old. Our family being the Christians that we were didn’t really take time to grieve appropriately or figure out what his absence meant to our family. We believed he was with God and we would see him again so there was no need for sorrow. Together we moved on and continued with life. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the impact his absence had on my life.
So we grew up- A family of women. We called ourselves Amazon Women. Pioneer Women. We fought through life and conquered so many obstacles. Assembled bookshelves, fixed cars, killed spiders, drove long-distance trips, tough-talked salesmen who tried to take advantage of us. We were unafraid and walked through doors others believed women needed a man to usher them through.
I thought we were tough and had escaped relatively unscathed at the lack of a man in our home. Until the flashbacks started happening. I would remember snippets of memories some good, some not-so-good about the times spent with my dad. And then the floodgates of awareness began to open. I was not as fine as I thought I was.
The most important wound that was inflicted on me due to my dad’s death was fear. A subtle fear that would walk with me through a great portion of my life. A fear of early death. Someone noticed that the life line on my hand looked short. As I battled through spurts of depression I wondered if I was ever really meant to live a long life. I was not confident that I would. Perhaps that’s why I was so different from everyone else because my life was somehow less important and therefore would be abbreviated.
Fear is a strong, violent unapologetic spirit. It drags you through memories and keeps you contained in pain. The only opposition to fear is faith. Faith in God. Faith in Yourself. Faith in the Future. Faith in Love. I learned to have faith in all of these things. To believe that I was not going to die. My dad left early but I wouldn’t. I would be here for my family and my children. To believe that love keeps you strong and surrounded and relationships can last forever.
It took time to identify the elements of fear in my life but I’m so glad I took the time to search it out. I have found a new sense of living and trust in the future that I would not have been able to receive had I allowed unresolved fear to rule my life.
And so I ask you today. Is there fear in your life keeping you back? What happened in life that continues to affect your present? Take the time, do the work and find freedom in the knowledge that your past does not define your future and you are well able to live and to LIVE well!
Do these things:
- Believe you are here for a reason and your life matters
- Take time to reflect on the past to identify the places where pain began. Pray.
- Reverse the negative to positive. Renounce hurt and pain and accept God’s love into every broken place
- Live with gratitude. Knowing that the best days of your life are still ahead!