Archives

All posts for the month February, 2017

DAY 24: I Never Danced With my Father Excerpt: Through My Eyes

Published February 22, 2017 by lavoniartryon

9235615-standard.jpg

MEMORIZE: When my mother and father forsake me then the Lord shall take me up.  Psalm 27:10

READ: Psalm: 27

Challenge #24: Briefly describe your relationship with your father and how you believe it has affected your romantic relationships. If your father is in your life in any way; call, text, email or tweet him just to tell him you care.

Daddy’s lil girl. Every young lady longs to be one, but the reality of over 40% of children being born out of wedlock and raised by a single mother, or even the grandparent, makes this a far-fetched dream for many of us. I was that dreamer. For over half of my life, my father was a stranger to me; I knew his name and face, but not much else. At the ripe, impressionable age of 15, my father told me never to call him again, then changed his number and moved to Virginia, just in case I didn’t get the message. That was over 15 years ago. His brother, my uncle, tracked me down in 2011 and told me that he had passed away. With the recent passing of my father, God showed me that I was still holding on to some hurts that I never knew I had. Because I now realize how it affected every relationship that I was ever in, and how it would have affected every other relationship that I would ever begin, until I had dealt with it—I think it’s important to share within this challenge. There may be a man or woman dealing with Daddy issues who needs to hear how to gain the courage to face and heal them.

My Daddy issues ran deep. And they ran rampant. They controlled so much of me. But the most troubling part was that I didn’t know I had them. This is what made them dangerous—they tainted all of my relationships, even my platonic interactions with males, without my knowledge. I faced abandonment issues, insecurity issues, and self-image issues. I was a mess, and it takes a lot out of me to be this transparent. His choice as a man affected the woman that I would become. I don’t believe men truly understand the damage they can inflict on their children when they decide to leave. It leaves a wound that only God can heal, but many don’t suspect it’s there, so they will never get the healing they need.

Man or woman, no matter how much we may try to downplay or minimize the role, we all need to feel the love of a father. This is not meant to slight the love of a mother, because her love is incomparable, but I believe that the father’s role in our lives may, in some ways, have a more direct impact on how we grow up to have other relationships.

A father is the first person that chooses you in your life. There is never doubt of the maternity of a baby because a mother physically carries it — it can’t be denied because she gave birth. However, the father has the unique choice to acknowledge that the child is his, verbally and by action, before a paternity test is given. I believe this is what gives the dynamics of the relationship with the father a different perspective. Whether you have ever thought of it this way or not; if your father is in your life, was in your life, or has ever acknowledged you without proof, then this is the first earthly example you have of a man choosing you because he wanted you, not because he couldn’t deny you. This is vital in the foundation of how you view relationships, whether you are male or female. As a female, a standard (even if you are unaware) has been set for the way you will relate with men and how they should treat you. As a male, it plants the seed of responsibility and leadership in your female relationships. Because you chose her, you love and accept her out of free will, not obligation.

So what happens if you didn’t have an earthly father to choose you? I believe it manifests in different ways in different people, but I wholeheartedly believe that it will manifest. In a man, maybe it rises up when he finds it a bit easier to deny his own child or to negatively treat the women in his life. On the other hand, he may choose to use it as an example of what not to do. He may become the protector of his mother, treating every woman the way she should be treated because he refuses to be like his father. For a woman, it may subconsciously affect her trust in men or cause her to be bitter towards men without realizing the root cause. She may seek to find the acknowledgement and acceptance she never received from her father in any man she can find to fill the void.

I was the latter. I searched for acceptance in men specifically, and in people generally. I didn’t know how to be myself, because I never got a true definition of what that meant. I was taking care of two kids at the age of 16, while my mother worked nights and slept days, and my father wasn’t there. My younger siblings needed me, so I worked full-time throughout my high school years to pay bills and buy groceries. I don’t use this as an excuse or a ploy for pity; it’s simply fact. I grew up fast, and without a self-image. Even at a younger age, I remember dating older men; I guess I was looking for that father figure, even then. I tried to fill that void with being everything to everyone, I needed to be liked, I craved acceptance, because I had been so starved for it.

Until recently, I would tell people that I never had a father in my life. But that’s a lie. I did have a father, until the age of 15. He wasn’t much in the way that I now know what fatherhood is, but he was mine. Because I was his only daughter, I thought that made me special, and for a while, I believed without a doubt that I was. So, the devastation was all the more real when the one man that was supposed to love, cherish and protect me, the only man that couldn’t have a hidden agenda in loving me because his own blood ran through my veins, told me he didn’t want me anymore.

Because of his rejection, I never had a man that made sure any other man who sought my affections was worthy of my attention. I didn’t know there should be a standard. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t and didn’t have to waste time kissing all these frogs, because one day my prince would come. How can someone learn unless there is another willing to teach? They say, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” I disagree. What I didn’t know did hurt me. The love and affection I should have gotten from my daddy, I desperately sought in men. And when they couldn’t live up to that role or fulfill the hole I had, I would move on to the next one. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t be what I needed them to be, so once I drained them, I would move on to my next victim… I mean relationship.

As a Single, especially if you are a Single woman, you should use this challenge to examine your own relationship with your father, or lack thereof. Don’t let it go neglected, because it will manifest at some point, and I can tell you from experience that its timing SUCKS. Get to the root issues and allow God to replace your rejection with His Son’s acceptance. As a Single man, don’t allow your father’s mistakes to make every woman you date your victim. Use your experiences to heal, not to further inflict wounds. A woman that had a daddy to teach her how worthy she is, won’t accept your issues, especially if you aren’t willing to work on them. Allow God to heal and restore you during this Single season so you don’t go into your marriage looking for your mate to repair a fatal wound that could eventually kill it, if not fixed by the Master Physician. Healing is available, but only to those that ask for it. Many of Christ’s healings required the person to first acknowledge what needed to be healed. He’s still healing, but you have to ask the question, “What do I need to be healed?”

My healing is here. It was and still is a long process, but God is healing my wound, because I need to be whole for my purpose. He can’t allow that rejection to interfere with His Son’s acceptance. I’ve completely forgiven my father, because I’ve been completely forgiven by My Father. If you have Daddy issues, I encourage you to seek to resolve them and not give them the power of controlling any more relationships in your future.

I now know a Father’s love.

Advertisements

Day 23: If I Ain’t Got You…dealing with “the one that got away” Excerpt: Through My Eyes

Published February 21, 2017 by lavoniartryon

Image result for woman holding on to a man trying to leave

 

MEMORIZE: They came out from us because they were not of us. If they had been of us, they would have stuck it out with us.

1 John 2:19

READ: Psalm 91

CHALLENGE #23: Write a letter to the ex that you find yourself still attached to. Express everything that you have been too afraid, too doubtful, too “whatever” to express. Then, pray over it and destroy it. Setting someone free, truly sets you free.

Everyone has one. The ex that you feel like is the one that got away. That person you truly thought you would spend the rest of your life with, yet something went wrong and you are no longer together. I have two such exes in my past. One was an on-again-off-again long distance boyfriend in undergrad and the other, more recent, was a few years ago.

Surprisingly, I have been in other relationships since first writing this challenge, yet they don’t make this list. This says two things: 1) I probably shouldn’t have dated them in the first place. 2) I’ve recognized what love should look like, and anything that doesn’t even measure up to the “one that got away” isn’t going to be the “one that stays.” God never gives us less than, in fact, He is a Nevertheless God. If the one that left was amazing, the one that He has planned to stay will make the past ones look like a third grade crush.

The most recent of “the ones”, let’s call him John, shook me to my core. If I could have picked what I wanted for my husband out of a catalogue, he would have surely stepped off the pages. That’s how perfect I thought he was. He was sweet, caring, protective, honest, covered me spiritually and emotionally, and he not only respected my vow of celibacy, he had his own. He had vowed not to kiss another person’s wife, so he wasn’t kissing again until the alter. I was in bliss, but he only had one flaw— he.left.me. And when he left, he took a piece of something vital inside of me. How do I know? Because breathing hurt. Even crying hurt. Nothing helped…BUT GOD.

I remember the process of getting over “John”, and it wasn’t a fun one. I can distinctly remember dates, phone calls, and interactions with him. I realized I had never felt so valued, or so worthy of love from a man. Sidebar: This is a responsibility that my father would have and should have taken care of, but he wasn’t in my life, so I didn’t get it. You will read more of this particular testimony in this 30 day challenge, and also highlighted in my first book). So that’s what got me hooked. Never receiving the acceptance that I should have from my father, I longed for it in a relationship. I put the pressure for a man to supply me with what I had missed from my father, the epitome of “Daddy Issues”. Losing John wasn’t a good experience, but it was a God revelation. The end of this relationship, was the beginning of the realization that I was looking for something in a man, something that no man, could ever give me. I was destined to destroy every relationship I was in because I was an incomplete, troubled, insecure (although no one else knew it) woman, that hadn’t learned her value in a relationship or in life. I thought I knew it. I thought I had it all together, but I was so wrong.

I share this because this is a very real situation; dealing with the one that you thought was going to be a permanent fixture, but apparently only applied for a temporary position. I never want anyone to think because I have gotten to a certain point of satisfaction in my Singleness that I don’t relate with just about every scenario that you can think of on this journey. Yet, I’ve survived—so can you.

Dealing with a breakup is hard. Especially if it’s one that you didn’t want, and you realize there is nothing that you can do to fix it. The hardest part about letting go is…actually letting go. I was so afraid to give that relationship to God because I was knew He wouldn’t give it back to me and it was my will for my life. But as Jeremiah 29:11 comforted me in that time, it still comforts me. He knows the plans He has for me, and they are for my good and not for harm. This breakup did not BREAK me. It taught me that I still needed to learn balance. I needed to truly realize that the only man I can’t live without is Jesus. A Godly man/woman can’t replace your God. You may desire an earthly spouse, but you only need an Eternal Savior. Sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow—it requires washing down with the Word.

Letting go is hard. There is no getting around it, no “easy button” to just make it pass. The only way to let go is by intentionally placing that thing on the altar, and deciding to walk away and leave it there. It’s going to take work. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take long days, sleepless nights and some gut-wrenching hard cries if you truly loved this person. Separating from someone that you are attached to can feel like being wounded. And as discussed in an earlier Challenge, you will just have to deal with it. Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to get over one person is to get with another one. This is so untrue and so not a good idea. What you end up inadvertently (and sometimes intentionally if you are ready to be really honest), doing is transferring your unresolved feelings onto the next poor, unsuspecting soul—if you haven’t dealt with the messy emotions of letting go of the first. You will have to deal with these issues eventually, or these unresolved emotions will taint every “next” relationship that you have in the future. Sorry love, I wish I had a prettier or more butterflies-in-the-wildflowers answer for how to get over a breakup, but I don’t. You will just have to deal with it. You must deal with it.

You have to realize that a person can have all the qualities that you may think you want, but still not be the one that God has for you. Remember, we can’t know the thoughts of God, but we can be assured that we serve a “nevertheless” God. If God tells you, he/she is not the one — even if by what you see they fit your criteria — will you still be able to reject them? Your knee jerk reaction is to say yes, but if you are honest, how many exes do you have that you knew God didn’t want you to be with, in the first place? Say Ouch. Say Amen. Now, read on. You have to decide if you want God’s created best or only your imagined best. Or, does the answer depend on which comes first? If you are tired of waiting, and haven’t done your homework to commit to wait, this will be a hard question to answer, honestly. I can almost guarantee that your top pick will come before God’s, if for no other reason than to test how much more you will trust God and wait for His provision.

God still has a plan for you, but you have to let go of your past, and your plan, to get to your future. This reminds me of the passage in 1 Samuel 16. The scripture opens up with the Lord confronting Samuel about his continuous mourning over Saul’s rejection. God asks, “How long will you mourn over Saul when I have rejected him? Fill your horn with oil and go… for I have chosen another king.” These two verses are so important and speak to holding onto something that God Himself has rejected. Samuel was so focused on mourning who God had said was no longer for him that he had to be persuaded to go find the one that God was bestowing favor on. The thought of holding on to something even a moment longer than God’s Spirit is resting on it seems ludicrous to even write, but in our lives, we do it all too often. We sit and re-read letters, and hold on to old pictures and movie stubs in a shoebox that we pull out when we are feeling lonely, which is stupid and self-fulfilling prophetic, because it only intensifies our loneliness.

I can imagine Samuel remembering all the “good ole times” with Saul and weeping. I have always heard that hindsight is 20/20, but I think in relationships, sometimes the rearview mirror is a bit cloudy. I know when I was afraid of being alone (because I didn’t understand the difference between it and loneliness), I would think back to old relationships and remember all the good times, while conveniently forgetting or sometimes even reworking the details of the bad times.

I bet if you go back in your relationship rolodex, you have had a couple of “Samuel” moments as well. Vow to break that cycle. There was a reason she/he was rejected—don’t forget that. Do what it takes to let go of past relationships. When God closes a door, if we allow, He will paint over it so we can’t find it even when we try, cause Lord knows, we will try. Let them go, and free yourself. Allow God to fill your horn with oil and be on your way. Your “David” is waiting for you while you’re wasting valuable time on a rejected “Saul.” Clap your hands.

Realize that no one who can or will leave you is tied to your destiny. If a person is ordained to be in your future, they will be there, even if they temporarily leave. So if they decide to leave you now, just know that they will be swinging the door the other way at some point, if ordained. It’s OK to mourn a past relationship, but don’t allow that to blind you from learning what God always meant to teach you in it, and then move on. Christ needs you whole to complete His vision and your spouse needs you whole to complement theirs. Don’t keep the two real relationships in your life waiting while you hold on to something that has been rejected.

FILL YOUR HORN WITH OIL AND GO.

%d bloggers like this: