The moment he told me he had always loved me, my life changed forever. After that moment, I could never go back to life as it was before.
As a kid, I loved standing on the shore of the ocean. The unknown out in front of me; a beautiful, open expanse of water that could take my life easier than I knew, or cared, at the time. This unknown caused my stomach to turn and my heart to flip, but I always dove in head first. I was ready for the adventure that the crashing waves would provide for me, or so I always thought. The adventure, on more than one occasion, had proven to be more than I could handle though as massive wave crashed against my small frame. Several times, I fought against the waves, always thinking I was battling for my life. One wrong move, one slip of the hand, one missed kick of the foot, and the wave would win. But this vie for life, this rush of adrenaline, this risky chance, is something I enjoyed taking, as summer after summer I ran into the water, at the mercy of the waves. Little did I know this would become a metaphor for my life.
Let me explain. My life has brought me through a series of waves that I have continuously battled against. Waves of shame, anger, depression, guilt, frustration (you get the picture) were constantly telling me I was not good enough, that I would never amount to anything, that no one loved me. And I battled these waves for as long as I can remember. I thought if I was stronger, if I could fight harder, if I could find the right “weapon” to fight with, I could win. But I spent most of my life struggling to keep my head above water. The waves always seemed to be one step ahead of me and I was slowly drowning.
I was almost 24 the first time I understood that my dad loved me; and once I knew that, I was done fighting. I gave up and let the wave of love take over me. I succumbed to honesty, truth, and faith. This time though, the wave was not trying to pull me under. Instead, it washed me onto the shore and landed me on my feet.
You see, not knowing my dad for 23 years of my life had taken its toll on me. I was torn, battered, bruised, and broken. Just a few weeks before my 24th birthday I talked to my dad and he shared some of his life with me. But the moment he spoke the words, “I have always loved you,” I felt secure. It was that moment, that exact second, that my life changed forever. Knowing how my dad felt about me was freeing and I exposed my hidden heart to him. I confided in him things I had never told another person. All my life, this is all I had ever needed – to know that my daddy loved me.
Sharing my repressed and forgotten hurts with my dad spurred me onto an emotional journey of healing. That is where I found Celebrate Recovery. Through the CR program I found healing, love, acceptance, peace, joy, and belonging. I discovered who I am – I am not my past, I am not what I have done. I am a loved and cherished child of God and NOTHING can take that away from me.
This post is written in rsponse to the Weekly Writing Challenge. Check out the link to see more about it or to join in.