I am having a productive day. I have too few of these. I:
-got people on their way
-made the bed
-made a new fridge calendar
-picked Lilli up from the bus stop
-did mom stuff
Then, I started thinking about my dad. The day he broke all the dishes and broke our hearts.
We lived on 20 acres, just outside a small town, near Kansas City. My parents were fighting and for a few hours one night, we left to get away from my dad. He was in a rage and there was no staying in the house when he was like that. We finally returned at the end of the evening when he was sure to be at work (he worked overnights) and what we found was a disaster.
I stepped inside our double-wide trailer, through the back door, and I could not see the floor. It was covered in broken dishes, clothes, trash, books, stuff. I could only walk on top of things. A bomb had gone off. My father’s ticking temper.
There were gouges in the fake wood paneling in the living room. There were broken pieces of wood used to stab the fake wood paneling. You couldn’t tell what had been spared and what hadn’t. The feeling I had was a mix of profound confusion, anxiety, fear, anger and deep, deep sadness. This feeling was not abnormal.
I don’t know why I flashed on that. But I also flashed on the things he used to tell me. How lazy I was. Would he be proud? Would he still complain? Am I good enough? What motivates me to be productive during the day? Is it love or justification?
And I began to fight with him (really I was arguing with myself, becuz he’s dead, he can’t fight) and I defended Me. I said to him,
You never taught me. You were too busy, too tired, too selfish, too crazy, too weak, too dumb to teach me. It was your fault that I was never able to accomplish anything.
And then I had to stop.
First of all, I’m not lazy, but I am broken. I struggle. Who doesn’t?
Second of all, you are all by yourself. Who are you talking to? Stop fighting with a dead man. He’s dead, he doesn’t think, feel, say, do anything bad any more. His burden of this harsh life was shuffled off a long time ago. He no longer judges me for my shortcomings. He can only see me through eyes that are no longer blinded by loathing, eyes that have seen paradise. He can’t feel anything bad any more, including disgust for me.
He treated me the way his father (mis)treated him. And then I really broke down.
When I realized my purpose.
This is my one chance, this life, to atone for the sins of my family and the years of abuse by taking all the responsibility of the past and choosing to move forward, in spite of the chaos, with a positive, loving heart. I see the wave of the past and I am the one to survive it. I won’t be taken by it. And I shield my own daughter from any more hurt. I take it. I can take it. I can take it and turn it around. I give my daughter the life I needed and wanted. I can withstand the wave because I am powerful, loving and disciplined through God’s spirit. Through God’s holy power, I will not drown in this abuse.
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
I’m willing to atone for my father, and his father, and every member of the past. And I do that willingly from a place of love and sacrifice and thankfulness. I choose something better. I don’t have to blame him, me or anyone else. I choose something beautiful for my family now. I choose to be smart and turn my whole legacy around. I choose to follow God and show my daughter where to go and where to look.
So thankful that when she sits down to eat breakfast, even tho she’s all alone, she bows her head to pray. Even when no one is watching. Then I know she has a relationship with God.
Every evil desire and abuse comes pouring into me. And I funnel that through Christ, and He turns that evil into good.
I am the bowl of refinement. I am the one who is intelligent enough to take what happened and boil it down and filter it. I take the brunt. I was meant for this purpose. I was made, if for no other reason, to give Lilli her chance. God has amazing plans for my daughter and unless I took the beating of bad words and broken plates, she couldn’t get to where she needed to go.
Those broken nights so long ago made me. And I made her.
Christ took our punishment so we can get to where we need to go. If He can do that, I can do this.
I do what no one else could do. I stop it all from continuing. I lay down and die to myself so that my daughter doesn’t have to know what I know. My life is a sacrifice for her and then I truly understand why God sent Jesus. So we could do better.