Sunday, March 11, 2007

My Dad Responds...

in an email

"Hi Heather, I hope everyone is well. Your mother and I read your "A Heart For
God" and were a little surprised at how desperate you painted your teen years.
Although only you know how you felt on the inside, we remember you as being
quite happy and enthusiastic about life. We remember the events that you
describe but only as brief disruptions in an otherwise upbeat teenage life. I
don't want to understate the degree of heart ache it brought you (a lot I'm
sure!!!), but at the time you seem quite resilient through it all. I do
understand, based on your Christian walk today, how looking back might make you
regret missed opportunities or behavior driven by teenage hormones (which all
teenagers battle with) but in the overall scope of living through your teen
years you always seemed very happy and always having fun. You had lots of
friends both at Church and at school. All Christians, as they develop a closer
walk, view their passed sins with deeper regret but you must be careful that
your focus on the regrets does not distort your view of the many positive
choices that you made during that time. I can not tell you the amount of joy
that you brought to your mother and me, even during the up and down teen years.
You were always kind to others even when they didn't deserve it. You were
extremely respectful of adults and were quick to oblige their requests. You
were very involved in church activities and tried hard, within a semi-mature
teenager's view of life, to balance your Christian values with everyday life in
the world (most of the time you choose wisely, sometimes not so wisely). You
would on occasion challenge our authority as parents but we worked through it
with all of us learning valuable life lessens about the right and wrong ways of
dealing with emotions (as you know I missed the class on "Parenting 101" and
ended up doing it OJT). At the time, your direct approach to challenging
authority put me in a defensive posture but as I matured as a parent I realized
that your strong will would become a blessing in your life and would help you to
be a strong person, parent and as it has turned out a strong Christian woman. I
view your life as a Christian teenager on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst
and 10 being the best) at about 9; It would have been a 10 if you hadn't made
Brian wear that stupid hat to the prom. As you know, God wants obedience not
sacrifice. Go a little easier on yourself; you shouldn't be beating up on one of
God's children, at least not on my watch!

Love Always, Dad."

That just made me want to bawl. I must say is only when I started to see my sinful heart as God does (wretched and desperately wicked) that I can see the WONDROUS Love He has for me. Any good my parents saw was to the LORDS glory because He blesses IN SPITE of us and our failures. I know another reason the Lord has helped me look back and see how HE saw my heart is so that I can effectively pray for my children. We have prayed for wisdom concerning the training of our children. The Lord has answered in revealing my heart to me and revealing the weaknesses I had in the flesh when I was a teen. It is painful, but I am grateful for the "opened eyes" so I can know how to pray for my children NOW. It also puts HIS loving grace and mercy in perspective...I must decrease so He can increase as the EVERYTHING to me. Please don't think I feel sorry for NO MEANS I can see now HOW BLESSED I am to have such a loving Heavenly Father...and He still at times chooses to show me His loving kindness through my parents :) I love you!


Robin said...

You are SO blessed to still have your father and a Christian one at that to send such wonderful words of encouragment!

Mishel said...

I know as I grew into my adult years, my parents never felt the things I did were as bad as I felt they were (and they WERE bad!). And I know now that I have a grown and married daughter, some of the struggles we had when she was growing up, seem a distant memory in light of where she is now in her Christian walk. Although I know *she* would not want to relive some of those trying times.

As you said, what a blessing for God to show you even more of His loving kindness through your parents. : )

Happymama said...

OH, Heather..what a sweet daddy!! I love him too!! *sniff* LOL

You are a very fortunate daughter to have parents that love you so much. I am too...not everyone can say that. Another reason to praise our Heavenly Father.


Anonymous said...

it's such a sweet letter from a dear father.. tears brimming** dearest fathers are one of the greatest blessings that our Heavenly Father gives us, isn't it? ^_^


Free In Christ said...

How blessed you are to have such a loving father on earth. That was very touching.

Grafted Branch said...

You Daddy clearly loves you. Such a blessing.

Heather said...

Thank you WAS such a blessing. God's ways are so beyond my grasping.

Julie Fink said...

What a wonderful daddy you have.

Jammy said...

Wow, I am in tears and awe over your wonderful dad. What a blessing!