Father’s Day

I was simply sitting at church on Father’s Day.

It should be one of the loveliest days of the year.  Having four gorgeous daughters….who have gorgeous hearts…..and well trained minds……and who are loving and kind and giving and beautiful messes….just like they should be after a life with two imperfect people…… THIS should be an amazing day of growing more together and more in love through the grace and mercy of Christ.

But it isn’t…..and I am finding that it hasn’t been for far longer than I EVER expected.

But I was simply trying to set aside the memories that come crowding around on this day.

I was with my best friend  who had given me one of the loveliest days EVER at her house the night before……and a whole church of people who have stood with me…….just trying to be there and trying to concentrate on the memories of a Costa Rican mission trip that was to be discussed and sunshine after a week of grey rain as well as people with adorable babies. I was simply trying to numb the memories of five years ago…….

And my Bishop had none of that.

He walked up and looked me in the eyes and remembered with me. He spoke words of blessing and remembrance and suddenly….the numb was gone and a flood of emotions brimmed up, and I felt a wash of release and relief and grief and sorrow as he spoke and blessed me and looked right into that place of my deep, deep pain and didn’t turn away.

He was there on that day five years ago…..at church….the morning after the revelation from hell. He was there trying to hold a flock together as reporters came and camped in his parking lot. He was there as they interviewed parishioners. He was there as my friend made a statement to the cameras. He was there grieving for me and making plans to come and help me. Communion was brought to me after the service……people were being called and lawyers were being sought out……others were making plans to help me have time away at the beach and at a guest house. Still others began thinking through what would happen in my life even as I sat in my house answering the door to a DCF officer and policemen who had come to interview my children and me.

My Bishop and his wife were making plans to help and my friend from Global Teams was making plans and my friends from school were making plans…….plans to come in and walk with me in any way needed: standing in my driveway to keep reporters away, buying no trespassing signs, bringing meals, finding a lawyer, sitting with me as I cried and cried and cried after the door had been shut on the police officer and DCF representative. Patiently telling me there would be more so I could prepare my heart for all that was to come…….finding a way to make space in a relationship that felt like the very weight of it would break my neck and rip out my heart.

I remember this day, and I feel it now.

I couldn’t feel a single thing then….my heart had to be put away……tears would come automatically as if to keep my heart from exploding….but I couldn’t properly feel them. I couldn’t feel anything except a panic and fear and lostness that was threatening to engulf my very soul.

I remember sleeping and dreaming…..life would be either a nightmare or a fond remembrance of what I had thought was real life…..and then I would wake. There is no dread quite as thick as the dread you feel upon waking and finding your life was a lie and is instead a nightmare. There is no terror more complete than that of finding everything you held dear to be a lie.

I sat in my pew at church and began to feel all that day held….and his eyes and blessing were an immeasurable comfort. He knows loss….this man knows grief and betrayal and loss and pain…..and yet he would stand there and be willing to fully walk in mine with me. IT was a gift that I simply can never repay. And during the sermon….he told the congregation that someone translated the words of God at Christ’s baptism as “This is my precious child….whom I love dearly.” And later after the service, sought me out again and told me that was straight from God to me.

I CANNOT tell you how meaningful that was…..how much healing that holds for me that my Father on Father’s Day would send my Bishop to speak those words straight into this feeling heart that is falling apart still and yet  is healing and can only be healed by words like this.

I am His Beloved Child……His precious child……in whom He is well pleased….whom He loves dearly.

Amen.

13 Replies to “Father’s Day”

  1. We’re still here. Your friends. After five years we have yet to grow weary of making plans to walk through the sorrow with you, to encourage you, to help you heal, to help you with the little things and the big things in life when, for no reason at all, they seem so overwhelming. To help you forget. To guard you.

    For now you may still have to remind yourself that you are His precious daughter and that you please Him. As for the rest of us, we don’t need any more convincing. We can see how beloved you are by your heavenly Father.

  2. And your real friends will continue on with you as you move forward into your new life!

    Mine will too. And I will lose some along the way if they cannot sustain the painful process or they just decide it’s too difficult. And those things hurt almost as much as the original pain of his betrayal!

    Not our God is our Perfect Father and we are HIs children until the day He comes to bring us home!

    You are so beautiful! Thank you for your eloquent words!

    1. As I move forward into a new life…….what comforting words. Some days, D Lyn….it feels like the new life will always be denied me….like somehow others will get to heal but me….I will always be hurting and grieving and lost and alone. But NO! That is a lie and I am beginning to enter into that new life. It is richer and more joy-filled than I can ever imagine! We will look back someday…..all of the beautiful women on this blog who KNOW this story intimately…..and we will rejoice for our sorrow has ended and we are ALL beloved and know deeply in our souls just how loved we REALLY are!

      1. Yes!!! This is correct and our God is SOOO ready to heal our broken hearts and show our daughters that same healing. I KNOW this is true because of His promises… unlike our husbands who promise everything but deliver nightmares! God follows through and cannot lie!

        You are His and He is yours! I now to His power, grace and mercy in our lives… only through Him can we move forward and joyfully claim our new lives! Ty for sharing that yours is beginning! That gives me hope!

  3. You are a treasure, Leslie, to your Father, and to your friends and family! What a blessing to have you in our lives, all 5 of you.

    1. Shannon, you are a treasure and teach me so much about how Jesus feels about us….his sweetness and compassion are alive and well in you! And YES…our Bishop is one in a million! We are a lucky bunch of people to have him as one of our shepherds!

  4. Oh the stories of redemption in the midst of such devastation. Who knew that new life could spring from such a dead place? And yet, isn’t that just like this God we serve? Just this last week I was giving thanks to God for you and the courage it took to remain in this community through all of that and how thankful I am that you did…how blessed I am…we are…

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