Friday, August 14, 2015

ten years.

In a strange way, today feels like the closing of a decade of heartache.

Today is the 10 year marker of my dad dying.

No one has said anything. I suppose if I wasn't on a social media hiatus that I would have posted something and friends and family would have commented saying something nice. Maybe mentioning how they miss him. But they didn't live through the things I did.

There are things better left unspoken. Things that happened that I'll never repeat. Things that break my heart and make it really hard to trust others, especially guys.

It's hard for others to understand why I have a hard time when I speak of my father. He wasn't always a bad guy, but the times where he was sober minded and loving were few between. No one will understand how my heart breaks that he will never walk me down the aisle. How it makes me sad and mad at the same time. No one will especially understand how when he died I almost breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn't have to worry about him at my wedding one day.

Dads are supposed to love and care. My dad left me drunk voicemails the night of prom calling me a whore and a slut and accusing me of sleeping with my prom date. When I didn't come home he left quite a few of those. He didn't know that the reason I didn't come home was because I forgot my house key and he locked me out. He didn't know that in his drunken stupor that he couldn't hear me banging on the door to let me in. He didn't know that as he laid passed out drunk upstairs, I was standing alone in a parking lot at one in the morning in my prom dress waiting for my mom to come pick me up. He didn't know how much worse he made prom for me. He didn't know that I was being bullied at school by a girl who accused me also of trying to sleep with my prom date, a guy who was like my best friend, who was dating her much younger sister. He didn't know that prom was already a nightmare for me and that he made it worse. He didn't know that he didn't have to worry about me sleeping with this guy because thanks to him I was pretty afraid of guys.

But that all happened and it's in the past now. For ten years I have lived with all the hurtful things he once said and have known I'd never get an apology. No remorse and no attempt to right the wrongs. I'm just left here trying to pick up the mess he made.

Then I dated a guy who appeared to disprove my father. Who made me feel loved and respected and cared for. Then that guy left me feeling a whole lot like my father did, though his actions weren't the same - they weren't that far off. Again, I'll live through this knowing I'll never get a sincere apology or a hint of remorse. Again, I'm left trying to pick up the pieces of my very broken heart.

I look back at the past ten years. Where I lost my very dear and beautiful mother who never got a chance to truly experience a long season of happiness. I look at all the friendships that fizzled out. The many moves I've made. I look back at these past ten years and I see a girl with a very broken heart just trying to get by. Then I look at this girl today and I see so much of that same struggle. I wonder if life will ever stop feeling like such a battle for any ounce of joy. I'm in this really weird place finding it significantly hard to trust people. I have lost the desire to make new friends or meet new people because I expect they'll just keep going. I look back at ten very short but long years and wonder how the heck all of that happened in ten years.

But I also see good. I see two beautiful nephews that were given a second chance to have life abundantly. I see the friends who did stay and who really do love me unconditionally. I thank the good Lord above for them because I know it hasn't been easy lately. I see myself as adopted into a new family. Where I get to have Christmas traditions and family vacations with. I see clearly how the Lord provided for me my own place and the things I needed for it. I see the quiet times I've had to sit and reflect and the brave solo outings I've taken. Sunsets are more beautiful than ever and words of encouragement have never been so coveted. I see dreams and hopes and things that are so far beyond what I believe I am capable for and I believe God has some wildly crazy plan to work in my life. I see relationships as more sacred than ever before. I have experienced a lot of anger and bitterness but the flip side of that is a soft acceptance of life changing. I see moments even more special than ever before, not just because life can end in an instant but also because people can walk in an instant. Sometimes we can't control the changes and other times people choose to make a change and there's something so bittersweet to acknowledging that.

Lately I have been struggling with doubt and worth. The past few weeks I had a mini identity crisis. I'm not sure if I've fully recovered but I'll tell you what I'm praying infiltrates my heart. That I would see myself as good enough, worthy, chosen and loved. That I would look at the future with this hopeful expectation because I trust that God has a plan for my life. Lately this idea that came into my mind and has been exciting me. Right now my future is literally in God's hands. I don't have someone I'm seeing, I can't imagine who that person will be, where we'll meet, what he'll be like. So each and every encounter I've seen as potential open doors. I kind of look at each interaction a little bit differently. Not just because I hope marriage is in God's plans for me, but also because I have this new sense that plans are in fact in God's hands. Each interaction suddenly becomes a chance to change the course of my life and it's kind of exciting. Who will be my friends, what experiences will I have, what jobs will I do. Everything is open right now and I'm not chasing it. I'm letting God guide me to it.

So even though I wish that tonight when the clock strikes midnight that there would be a clean cut from the past ten years of my life, I know that it is not so. I know there's still healing to happen and lies to be removed. I know that tomorrow I will have moments where my heart aches for the losses I've had. But I am praying the next ten years look completely different. That my perspective would change. That God would show me that He is trustworthy and good. I pray I would see hope and that I would learn to lean into the suffering instead of running from it. I can't believe next month I get on a plane to go to Influence Conference. It feels surreal, yet, I can think of nothing better to begin the next ten years of my life than taking a leap of faith. Can you?


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