Extending Grace, Even When It Will Hurt

Ever have those moments when it feels like God is jabbing you in the stomach?

I have to make this Genogram of my family for one of my classes. One of the questions I can answer (if I choose to, I have a couple choices) is: Are there relationships toward which you need to extend grace, forgiveness, understanding, or accountability?

You know, God, I was doing just fine living in my brokenness. I was doing just fine having a father who left my family. I was doing just fine not having a relationship with him. To be completely honest, God, I don’t think he deserves to be in my life. He left me. He says he loves me, but love is nothing if not followed up by actions. Thanks, God. Thanks a lot.

There is a place far back in the caves of my mind that knows I need to love my father, that I need to extend grace to him. I’ve forgiven him. I remember the phone call.

Hi, Dad? I just wanted to let you know that I forgive you.

Thanks, Annie. Pause. So, how’s the weather been there?

I don’t want to reach out. I don’t want to even think about him because I doubt he spends any time in that truck of his thinking about me.

You’re not being fair. I have called you to love, I have called you to extend grace to others.

Okay, God. I get it. Stop jabbing me. It hurts.

Does it hurt you enough to move you action?

Move you to action. I don’t know if I can. I don’t know if I can allow myself to step out on that limb and get hurt. I’ve felt that rejection, and I don’t want to feel it again.

Let me tell you about my grandma. My father’s mother. After my father left, she stopped visiting and talking to me. I wrote her a couple letters, reaching out so I could remain in contact with her. I received no response. She still sends me birthday cards (that never come on time) and Christmas cards, usually both have some money in them. (I always send thank-yous.)

I don’t want to feel more rejection. It hurts way too much. I think that’s something that comes with being broken. There is pain. I may be able to talk about my brokenness, but when I think about how I am not extending grace to my father, it hurts like rubbing over a stab.

I don’t know what step to take next. I don’t want to move at all, but God is not calling me to stay here. God is calling me to grow. And growing, let’s face it, hurts.

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