….but the real love of a father has the power to HEAL
One of the priests that I work with recently gave me advice on Marriage Preparation, as I countdown the days til the “Big day”:
“Cristina, each day you when you wake up, you need to look around and you must prepare yourself for battle….for marriage preparation is a time for God to heal you, and healing can be painful.” –Father Tom
I have always heard about the time when people are preparing to take vows in marriage or religious life/priesthood/consecrated life. (well actually, almost ANY big commitment to God!) They say that the battle we fight becomes stronger and harder than ever. As the day approaches we hear the advice that “we must remain vigil” during these days of preparation – for “the enemy is out like a roaring lion” and he is planning our failure at every step.
This is so true! Prayer is the key to fighting this battle, but do we ever stop to think that sometimes we can confuse the enemy’s work with God’s work?
More and more I am seeing how The Lord desires true interior healing for each of us, especially from our past (For this is the ONLY way to true freedom and true acceptance of His infinite Love for us)
I feel that it is really God who is bringing up certain “ugly” things from my past in order to heal me, and that I cannot simply confuse it by calling it “the enemies work”. (Confusion is what the Devil loves) Sometimes we suppress ugliness/sadness/pain from our pasts, and this only makes our lives more miserable. I am understanding that in this preparation to become a NEW PERSON, I must go through a series of operations by the Divine Surgeon…..and unfortunately there isn’t much anesthesia for this surgery!
Like a lot of young children, I have a profound memory of my papi (which is our way of saying “dad” in Spanish) tucking me into my bed. Before saying goodnight one night, he said a prayer with me and as we ended with the sign of the cross,(and me not knowing how to put my fingers) I threw a kiss to heaven! He gently helped and taught me about how to do the sign of the cross correctly and how to end with kissing the cross.
I vividly remember this image – my dad fixing my fingers the way they should be and explaining to me WHY we kiss the cross. I was about 6 years-old and in love with my Daddy! I remember my dad saying goodnight and I stayed awake in bed kissing the cross over and over and truly praying for him!
Well as one of the sad truths in this life goes….nobody’s perfect.
For the past years of my life (and even more since Andrew and I began seriously dating) my “daddy wounds” have been surfacing and causing true confusion and anger within me. My father comes from a very broken and father-less home…..and actually, it’s hard to believe that he was able to become the amazing man that he is today. I truly believe that my dad gave me everything he possibly knew to give me, BUT he has also (unintentionally) left me with many deep wounds.
We have both gone through a journey of conversion in our lives, and it is a testament to Christ when He said to His Mother – “Behold, I make all things new”
I realize that am constantly in a healing process, but it can be frustrating because l thought that I was fine in the “daddy department”. I truly adore my father for the new creation that he is and overall, we get along well! But more and more the Lord is presenting wounds and darkness that He is asking me to CHOOSE to bring to the light….things I must do before I lay my life down and become one with my bridegroom.
Two weekends ago my dad and I got in an argument….something small that became much more. I ended up exploding, like a bottle of soda that has been shaken up for YEARS, and I told him all of the things that I needed to tell him – in reference to this hurt that I carried within me. I bawled my eyes out as I told him about all of the wounds from within me, things that he probably thought I was “over”…..and I continued to cry as he held me in his arms…..and cried himself.
As a child there were so many disappointments of him not being there when I needed his protection, not seeing him fight for me when I needed him to fight for me. Wounds of not feeling like I could have a real relationship with him when I was younger, not sharing the desires and dreams of my heart with him….which over the years hurt us and hurt the way that I saw God! But Praise God, through His mercy and Unconditional love, I was able to see what a TRUE father is and was supposed to be for me during those young years of my life. Through knowing God the Father, I was able to reconcile many losses in my childhood and be that daughter to my daddy….
Through this walk of living a life in Christ, I can no longer hide or suppress my wounds, acting like everything is fine. Sometimes as Christians we think that just because Christ is Risen, there shouldn’t be pain and suffering(or that we shouldn’t talk about it)….in fact, many new-modern Christian churches talk a lot about being “positive” and “succeeding” without really acknowledging the beauty and truth found in ALL human emotions and experiences. In reality, I AM who I AM because of all that I have been through, and in working through these good AND bad experiences, I am becoming more fully who-I-am-meant-to-be. Christ’s Resurrection is what redeems all of this and helps us to be who we were meant to be.
Those tears I cried that night were tears of healing…..tears that bring true freedom.
Since that night I have felt like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
I’m seeing more, how the Lord desires to enter into these “dark areas” of our lives…and even though the surgery that He must perform on our hearts HURTS, it is the only way we can heal and be truly HEALTHY.