Good evening my Gorgeous Friends in Christ,
In the very beginnings of this blog space, it was a processing platform for me to work through loss and the reconstruction of my life in Jesus.
Now it has evolved to mostly daily devotional writings and sometimes life stories and such mixed in.
But tonight will be a raw, open processing post… not sure where it will end or what will spill forth.
I am sitting in the parking lot of my daughter’s dance studio while she takes ballet. And I am mulling over the conversation we just had in the five minute drive from our house to the studio.
It was a quick conversation, yet sometimes a conversation can turn from casual to searing quickly.
It started out as a simple question.
“Mommy, why did you have to move to Florida?”
This one, my daughter already knew the answer to, but sometimes kids will ask questions again….I think to see if the answer changed….
Many years ago, any talk of my father would make my heart pound and a thick blanket of shame envelop me. But, I must be getting stronger now because I could answer her without too much emotion.
So I replied, “Grandma and I had to move because of my dad.”
She pressed further, “Yeah, but that doesn’t make sense. Why couldn’t you just move into a new house or just move away from him, but stay in California?”
I explained to her again that he was dangerous and unsafe.
I still felt fine answering her. No real emotion was rising up. My willingness to answer her questions gave her courage to prod more with very innocent questions.
She was racking her brain what could make him so dangerous. She doesn’t know evil. She’s never been exposed to trauma, abuse, domestic violence, or anything scary at all. For that I can thank Christ alone.
The cycle of domestic violence ended with my mom. I didn’t carry it forward to my children. They have never witnessed anything violent. Again, I can thank Jesus alone for breaking that chain.
So my daughter’s innocence and the protective covering that I have placed around her showed in the next round of questions.
Mommy, what did he do? Like did he ever spank you? To that I replied, no.
Did he put you in timeout alot or scream at you..…… No.
Well, was he ever a good dad? No.
Never? Like not even once? No.
She was trying so hard to find something good in him…..
Did he tuck you in at night? No.
Did he read you a bedtime story? No.
Did he at least drive you to school once? No.
Her questions are what I am processing tonight. I am thinking about the innocence in them. I am also thinking about the fact that she has two dads, a biological dad and a step dad and they are both really, really good to her. So she can’t even fathom what a dad could possibly do that could be so bad….. Again for that I am so grateful and thankful.
We have only talked about my father maybe 3 or 4 times, and I always keep it very vague just giving her the details that are age appropriate.
The wildest thing about this is that God and I had a conversation about my dad just this morning. I have been working on forgiving him, and it’s a journey. I was praying about it this morning and lifting the whole situation up before the Lord.
For 2 decades I denied my father’s existence. It was just easier as a child to say that I didn’t have a dad than to explain the details.
But, now I can speak of him and about him to others. I pray for him and his family often. I know there is more healing ahead.
I know that one day I will share my full story of surviving childhood domestic violence.
I’m not ready yet, but I know when God tells me to, I will.
For now, I am praising Jesus for rewriting my story free from violence. Praising Him that my kids have never witnessed or experienced what I endured. Thanking Him that my daughter only knows good things daddies do and none of the bad.
God has been good to me and He is making beauty from the ashes!
Tonight the simplicity of my daughter’s questions reminded me how far God has brought my family and how thankful I am to be free.
Domestic violence is never the victims fault, but it leaves them with deep shame wounds that last far longer than the physical ones.
I pray that when people see me, they just see Jesus. That when I share my full story one day, Jesus’s ability to heal anything is what is highlighted.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being involved in every detail of my life. Thank You for rewriting my story and setting my family on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. You are a miracle worker, a way maker, light in the darkness, my healer, and my Savior. Lord, please set other families free from domestic violence. Make a way for freedom like you paved a way for my mom and I. Empower and strengthen victims to get help and support and to find healing in You.
You are the best Father I could ever ask for!
In Jesus’s name, Amen.