Today on Instagram I posted “You Can Trust God With Your Heart”. I am going to share some of my testimony today that talks about this.
I was raised by my mom and grandma. Growing up, my dad did not play a big part in my life. When I was little I saw him more often but after I was 7, I didn’t see him much. He would call maybe once or twice a year, and on occasion we would meet up when he was in town but there were times when I would not hear from him at all for years. He could also be verbally abusive so when I did hear from him, it was sometimes really hurtful. (I found out later that he was bipolar and had brain damage from a car accident, which made it hard for him to control what he says but I didn’t know that then.)
As I got older I developed a lot of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness towards him. I blamed him for any issues I had. I also started responding to him with my own cruel remarks, which I reasoned was “defending” myself, although it never made the pain go away.
I graduated early from college (at 16), and my dad, grandmother, and grandfather came to my graduation. I saw them after but refused to hug my dad, I hardly even talked to him. I talked to my grandparents though and thanked them for coming. After the graduation, my mom and I were planning to go to dinner but I didn’t invite them because I could not handle being around my dad that long. So, after I talked to them a little bit, they just left. They flew from across the state to see me graduate… but back then I didn’t care. I wasn’t sure I even loved my dad so in my mind, he did not deserve to be honored.
A few weeks after, my grandmother called me (my dad’s mom). She told me that this thing between my dad and I can not go on any longer. She said “Aren’t you Christian? Doesn’t your Jesus talk about forgiving people? Because you really need to forgive him.” Now, she was Hindi and for her to tell me about MY beliefs… I realized just how low I must have gotten.
That day I asked God to forgive me. I told God, “Look, I am not saying what my dad did was okay, because it wasn’t, but God I am choosing to forgive him. Now, I need you to help me not hate him Father.” Right then, God showed me this vision of my heart. It was shattered and in pieces. My heart was cracked, broken and falling apart. I saw Jesus pick up one of the pieces, dust it off, clean it up and put it where it belonged. Then I realized, God really was going to heal my heart.
This became a daily prayer of mine “God, I forgive him but I ask that you continue to heal my heart towards him” Each time I prayed, I saw Jesus fix another part of my heart. The test came when a few months later he called me. Princesses, I was still bitter but so much less than I had been before. God was really doing it! He was healing me! Even though it was a process, I was on the road to recovery.
Then my grandfather (my dad’s dad) was diagnosed with cancer. Out of my dad’s side, I was closest to my grandfather, so this news really devastated me. I called him a lot after that but unfortunately, I was not allowed to see him. Then a year later, when I was 17, he passed away. He was Christian so I know he made it to heaven but what hurts me to this day (and God is still helping me to forgive myself) is that the last time I saw him was at my graduation, when I was so angry and bitter and could not even bare to hug my own dad, let alone honor them for flying out to see me graduate and have dinner together. He witnessed that… and that was the last I saw of him.
By the time I was 18, God had done a miracle in my heart. I actually could say I loved my dad. I tried to call him at least once a month and called my grandmother too. I also began to send them gifts on Christmas, because one way I show people I care about them is through gifts and God had healed my heart so much, that I genuinely cared about my dad.
Today, I am 21 and I would not say my dad and I are super close but we are definitely starting to build a stronger relationship. He has not spoken hurtful words to me for at least a good year and even when he did, I didn’t react, I just kept loving him and immediately prayed “God I forgive him, heal my heart”. He even sends me gifts now and actually wants to spend time with me and get to know me. It is amazing what love can do.
I asked God one day, “God, why did you give me him as a dad?” He said “Daughter, he may not have been the dad you needed but you are the daughter he needs. So I actually gave you to him.” I understand that today more than ever. My dad just needed to be loved and that is something I am able to show him, through God’s grace. This journey has taught me what it is like to truly love someone unconditionally, how to forgive, and most of all that I could trust God to always be there for me and repair my heart whenever there is damage.
I hope this helps someone else out there who might be feeling some unforgiveness, anger, hatred or bitterness. Princesses, it’s not worth it. I can tell you, there is so much more freedom to love than to hate. Even though it looks like you are in control when you don’t forgive, you are actually a prisoner to it. Unforgiveness is a poison that does not just hurt you but others around you. It also does not mean that what the person did wasn’t wrong, but that you are letting them go and moving on from it and into the healing process. Princesses, you really CAN trust God with your heart.
I will end with this scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV):
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.