I am a very impatient person, but I don’t really notice most of the time, since I live alone.
It’s sad, then, that my impatience and displeasure is often dished out on my family, those I am closest to. In those moments, I see my struggles and realize how real the struggle still is.
I can try to sweep it under a rug, and pretend that it’s gone, but it’s a vice that will continue to haunt me for at least a while yet.
No, I will not claim that I have learned my lesson. I am selfish, I make foolish decisions, and I am still eternally leaning on the grace of God. There is no way I could survive apart from His grace.
But why am I writing this now? Why the eye-opening, heart-wrenching confession? Well, I have my dad to thank for that.
Earlier tonight, he came to my house to start a plan for putting new locks in the doors and a water purifier in the kitchen. At some points, he would take breaks and watch “Fixer Upper” with me. So, in general, the time he was there did not pop my comfort and routine bubble; I was quite content.
He was about to leave, when he called me and said that he broke something. It broke because I made a stupid decision in the first place; creating an opportunity for an accident, an opportunity that I had learned to “safely” live with. I did not want to take responsibility, since my dad was sending out, “I told you so’s.” So, I blamed my dad; trying to cling to some semblance of pride and good stewardship, but I failed in so many ways.
For one, I put my foot directly in my mouth when I blamed my dad for doing what would only be natural in a house that is not jerry rigged. Secondly, I did not consider the fact that my dad selflessly came all that way to do something for my benefit: double jerkette. And thirdly, I was thinking only of my hurt and sadness at the broken thing, and not of my dad; the living, breathing human being whose only mistake was using something as it was intended. It wasn’t until after I blamed him and took some time to blow off steam in the shower that I admitted my stupidity, but the blaming only served to multiply my mistake.
After all of this, I could not pray with my dad. I usually pray with my dad every night, but I was not a good daughter tonight and he was also not happy, so I suggested it would be best if I just went to bed and he went home.
I did apologize, but that does not really matter, because I hurt him, and more words do little to alleviate hurt; especially hurt that brings up old wounds… But I’m writing more words anyway, because I am imperfect, broken, and seeking to be more like Christ. Let the people threaten to throw stones and let the stones fly; I am not afraid to die, but I would rather die a repentant, broken soul, than a silent, arrogant soul.
This is not the first time I have blown up at my dad, and, unfortunately, I’m not sure this will be the last time. “Hurt people, hurt people,” is a line that comes to mind in this instance. It’s true that it’s hard to show mercy, grace, and patience to anyone when life has sort of been beating up your dreams or putting them beyond possibility. Hurt is never an excuse to hurt others, but it is a part of life that sin uses as an opportunity to feed itself.
In my life, it seems that I always use perceived hurt or internal struggles as excuses for sin… And that is another part of my flesh that I need to workout. But it’s in these times of failure when that part of my flesh gets a workout; and when it’s on a page for all to see, it serves as a more grueling, humbling workout.
So, I thank you for taking this journey with me. I realize that it is not pretty, but it’s hard to see ugly unless you look at it in the light.
Dad, I am sorry, once more, for landing into you and thinking only of myself. If you want to lecture me again, I will try to take it gracefully, but please understand that I am clumsy. Please give me grace, because I cannot promise I will not stumble again. I appreciate how you have been iron that has sharpened me, but I pray that I have not caused your edge to dull. God is doing such a work of selfless grace and love through you, and I am grateful every day for that. I know you are not perfect, as you have preached to me, but I appreciate that we are both imperfect people that have one and the same Father to guide us. Forgive my impatience and slowness in learning. One day, I will be perfect; though not on this earth. You will see me in Heaven and I will see you there, too, and in that place, no imperfection will ever come between us praying together.
I love you, Dad.