Loving my Father (Pt. 1)
I recently met my father after several years and it was the most difficult thing I ever did. For years I desired a different father. I wanted him to be something, someone so much more. I hurt in places I didn’t know I could. I was really homesick, suspicious, insecure, anxious, tired, and burnt out. It was rough, taxing, invasive and painful to be with my dad. Seeing him again reminded me of all the time we lost. We had grown so apart and we had become such different people. He wanted to be with me all the time like he owned my time. I felt very claustrophobic and tired. Loving him made me feel overwhelmed and stressed. He was trying to buy my love and I hated it. I needed space and I was counting down the days to come home.
There were moments where we did share something special. I learned chess from him and we went out for my favourite food but that’s all we did. We filled our days with being busy so we didn’t have to talk about the things that mattered. My thirst to know him and to be loved by him wasn’t quenched. Meeting my dad made me learn how capable I am of great, noble and deep love. In that same moment, I could switch to cold, bitter indifference. I felt hypersensitive and numb at the same time. I had never been needed so much by someone. I was needed for comfort, for affirmation, for mediation, for everything. I had also never needed so much. I needed to be understood. I needed to be held, to be coddled, to be validated. I needed so much but I never let on. No one could give me what I needed.
I wanted to be beautiful for my dad. I wanted him to be in awe of my being and feel remorse for missing out on my life. I wanted him to see how I had grown in grace and maturity. Yet with that beauty brought ugliness from unshed tears, cold greetings, sarcasm and deep despair. My mind was reeling. I was constantly trying to preserve myself. I didn’t want to give my dad all that I was. I was afraid if I did, I would lose myself and have nothing of my own. I had to learn that exposing my mess and misery wasn't a failure but a victory. Even if my dad didn't want my poverty and ugliness, Jesus does. I wanted closure and I received it in an unlikely way.
in Part 2, I will bring to you some of the lessons I learned from my dad.