Hey Guys, How are ya?
Chapter 1 was intense, huh? Trust, Chapter 2 is even more of a humdinger. So much so, that I was sobbing uncontrollably 2 pages in…I didn’t know we would go so deep so early…
*Disclaimer- I am in no way attempting to be messy, air anyone’s dirty laundry or to be intrusive but this is my platform and I’m responsible for my healing. This is my truth, from my perspective which means it isn’t debatable. I’m not playing the blame game. I’m grateful for my path. I’m grateful, it didn’t destroy me but this will no longer be swept under the rug. I will be healed, I will be whole and able to function properly in other relationships. The End. Please continue for the rest of the blog.
At the beginning of this chapter, Lysa talks about a kitchen remodel that left exposed beams in the ceiling during demolition. Her contractor noticed that one of the support beams were improperly installed as the beam didn’t fully continue to the length of the kitchen. It appeared that some shady, previous contractor nailed another board to the support beam for it to extend the necessary distance. The problem with it was that the “patch job” caused sagging in the floor above. I’m pretty sure it was news she didn’t want to hear since all the home improvement shows I watch have always seemed to charge the customer out the wazoo when having to do similar work. But it was a safety issue so she knew it had to be fixed despite the inconvenience. *Side note-I hate when people take short cuts. You know the saying, “Do it right the first time…” Anyway, she realized that it needed to be fixed and so it was.
“Broken boards can’t provide stability…seeing those boards barely hanging on was like looking inside myself. For years, I’d been expecting stability from a broken identity. (TerKeurst, Page 12)
This is when everything got real!!
She went on to talk about “When Ditches and Dads Disappoint.” She remembered, there was a drainage ditch that was her safe haven during her childhood when things were bad at home. She decorated it and found solitude there because she could control her environment. Unlike the drain, she had no control over her home life. I can completely relate to this. I began sobbing right around this point. Everything she wrote was almost like she was writing a biography of my life. Except my mother and father were divorced when I was a baby. I lived with my mom but when I was with my dad I was like a fish outta water. Looking back over things, I believe maybe we never really bonded. As far back as I can remember we tried to force a relationship but there was never time taken just to get to know, respect and just be in each other’s presence. Growing up, I saw him every two weekends or so. Those weekends were filled with lectures and movies and then I was back home…no connection. I blamed him and he blamed me. Then we would talk it out, we’d cry, say how we wanted better and apologize for missed opportunities and misunderstandings; but repentance is more than saying, “I’m sorry.” It’s action, it’s taking responsibility, it’s taking ownership and facing the music at times. It’s the right thing to do.
I wasn’t an adult, I was a child and a child, especially a daughter, shouldn’t have to be accountable or as responsible for the health of a relationship that should come naturally. My daddy’s job is to cover me, to love me and to tell me I’m special and act like it. He should be the first man I fall in love with so that when I grew up, I would imagine my husband being just like him. I would try by making good grades (cue thoughts of Lysa being in the drainage ditch working on what she could control) I thought by doing that it would make him proud of me. Although now, I’m not sure it did. He would remind me those things were for me. I think what upset me most was when he would criticize my efforts while making very little himself. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no handbook to being a parent and I’m sure he tried his best, or maybe the best he could for me. Either way, I would quit my efforts and because he made little to no effort, we wouldn’t speak for months. This has been the cycle of our relationship.
As an adult, I made effort by dedicating every Sunday after service to spend time but I was accused of only coming to visit my sisters. It was never enough. I must admit it was partially true, but I thought if he wanted to have a relationship with me, at least I was there, on his turf. After a while, that got old too. I realized my sisters are going to grow up loved by me, but I’d been trying to convince someone to love me, who should’ve loved me but I wasn’t sure if they did in fact…love me. I think what makes it worse is that I am a daughter. Daughters need to know they are worth it. My sisters are worth it but I’m not and even as an adult, it still really hurts. At this point, all I can hear is my ex’s statement echoing… “I didn’t want to take responsibility for your heart…” How could I expect another man to take care of my heart, if my dad didn’t even want the responsibility? Relationships involve two people who are committed to be willingly active and present; when one isn’t it puts pressure on the other to carry the whole thing by themselves and daughters shouldn’t have to do that.
In my research on rejection, I discovered two core fears that feed a person’s sensitivity to rejection: 1. The fear of being abandoned 2. The fear of losing one’s identity (TerKeurst, page 14)
Lysa goes on to talk about how the drainage eventually did what it was made to do. It gathered water and with that all of her treasures. She realized that the ditch was just a ditch doing what ditches do. She finally saw it for what it was and she never went back. My question is, (I’m asking myself and anyone who wants to answer it) If we can see the ditch for what it was, when it did what it did, why is it so hard to see people for who they are when they do what they’ve done? I guess my answer would be because we want to believe that it will get better. If I’m a little nicer, prettier, more giving or kind, they will realize the error of their ways and treat us how we deserve to be treated. Her dad would threaten to leave and she describes that eventually he did. And she, like so many of us, have worn the scars of what our dads have done because our identities were wrapped up in them.
When a man is physically present but emotionally absent, a girl’s heart can feel quite hollow and helpless. (TerKeurst, page 14)
Like her, after her dad left, although mine didn’t leave, in that sense, she tried to bury those feelings by replacing them with achievements and fun with friends. These were props just like the shady piece of board that was nailed to the support beam. New experiences, people, feelings or things can’t fix you, they didn’t fix me or her. Like Lysa, although uncomfortable, inconvenient and maybe even costly we have to fix the faulty beam…it’s a safety hazard. It must be done!
Unfortunately, even when we come to God with all this baggage, we have to allow Him to do surgery on us. We can say some scriptures, put a bandage on it and think it’s not going to show up again but not so, it will show up at the most inopportune times. This is why so many Christians are not prosperous now despite “speaking to their mountains.” We have the Word but how are we activating that word? We have faith down to a science but it still says “Faith without works is dead.” You still need the works. I know folk try to say “That’s Old Testament thinking and we are under grace”…examine their lives, do they have victory? I wouldn’t ask you this if I wasn’t sure that God’s word is not just the New Testament. God doesn’t waste anything so the fact that the Old Testament is there is proof that you STILL need to DO THE WORK! You do the work by reading books like this, being honest with yourself and coming face to face with your truth. So we have to do the work to locate our identity. Are you ready for that? I am!
Standing underneath those broken boards helped me to see why I couldn’t keep my old broken beliefs, nail a little Jesus truth to the side and expect stability. (TerKeurst, page 17)
So the three questions she asks herself and us which are referenced by the title of the chapter is:
- Is God good?
- Is God good to me?
- Do I trust God to be God?
As for me, I knew number 1 was Yes, He is undoubtedly good! Number 2, I wasn’t sure. Number 3, I thought so. So, I asked myself why wasn’t I sure if He was good to me and the answer to that had been what I had pondered myself for awhile. I can remember having this conversation with a friend and I stated, “I know God can do it but will He do it for me? I know He’s good, but will He be good to me?” I’m sure you’re wondering why these questions are occurring? I would see people all around me being blessed, which included people who have done me or were doing wrong. Some of them didn’t even care about living a life pleasing to God and even they were increasing. Me? seemingly stagnant. I couldn’t make ends meet, so I was working two jobs (none of which were my passion), all of my money went to bills. For whatever reason, small or large, make up or no make up, I didn’t have any dates. I was sold out to God so I wasn’t having sex, so no children to look forward to and I although I had joy, I wasn’t happy. So, yes, I questioned if He was good to me. Conveniently, I forgot about all the amazing things He had done to/for me. Yes, these last couple of years has been a doozy but this is the price that has to be paid for an amazing testimony.
So in researching this, I had to go back to the first question. Is God good? Yes, He’s good because He gave up his Son and the Son laid His life down so that my relationship could be repaired and restored. Due to the penalty of sin, He was willing to pay the price so I wouldn’t have to and He did it all just for me. There’s no greater love. So yes, He’s good and because of that He has to be good to me. I’m restored! It’s not just repaired like the make-shift beam. No, it’s as if nothing separated us. He’s not like man who says, “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget.” He forgot because He loved me. No one has EVER loved me that much. He shouldn’t have to pay for what everyone else did. I always give new people chances, no matter what the person before them did. If God did all of that for me, I should trust Him. So yes, I trust Him to be God because even if it’s looking like things are stacked up against me and they have before, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, to give you a hope and a future” Even after they (Israelites) were in captivity for 70 years and He came to them immediately to give them that promise. Matthew Henry’s Commentary states, “We are sometimes ready to fear that God’s designs are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end he has promised, which will be the best for them.”
TerKeurst then finishes the chapter with a prayer. I’ll leave part of it below:
Father, My whole life I’ve searched for a love to satisfy the deepest longings within me to be known, treasured and wholly accepted. When You created me, Lord, Your very first thought of me made Your heart explode with a love that set you in pursuit of me…I lay down my anger, unforgiveness and stubborn ways that beg me to build walls when I sense hints of rejection. I lay all these things down with my broken boards and ask that Your holy fire consume them until they become weightless ashes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen (TerKeurst , page 26)
Also according to Jeraldine Phneah, 5 Ways To Deal With A Disappointing Relationship With A Parent and Find The Peace You Want:
- Stop blaming yourself and resenting your parents
- Stop relying on them for your emotional needs
- Check your expectations
- Check yourself to see if you’ve picked up destructive habits and attitudes
- Build your own community and support network
I will pray the prayer, I will continue healing with the book and I will follow the 5 rules if it means I get to be free. I want that more than anything. I deep down believe I haven’t had successful relationships due to the one with my dad. If he never apologizes, makes effort or understands that I’m just a girl who wants to be wanted by her dad… I must yet forgive. So my affirmation has been…” I have forgiven, I am forgiving, and I consistently forgive.” As God consumes my broken boards, I will sweep the ashes off of the altar of my heart so that my fire for God isn’t dimmed. As much as I may have
wanted thought I deserved a “Cliff Huxtable” dad, I’m sure he probably wanted a “Rudy Huxtable” daughter. I’m sure he did what seemed right to him as did I. He couldn’t give me what he didn’t have to give. I can’t allow myself to think about what he gives my sisters. (Mind you he was 50 when he had the 1st one, she’s now 8 and all three live with him.) What he gave is what he gave and now I have to take responsibility of my own heart, even if no one else wants to. I will always be his daughter, I will always love him and I don’t think it’s too late to make up for lost time but he has to make the effort. A woman shouldn’t have to chase a man, even if it is her father.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH9bdTl02aQ (Jem and the Holigrams: Season 3, Episode 12: A Father Should Be by Christy Marx) * During this time I was binge watching Jem and the Holograms on Netflix and thought this was fitting.
Have you experienced rejection of a parent? How did you overcome? Let me know in the comments section. As you can see, I’m posting these chapter reviews every Thursday. Please feel free to pick up the book and read along with me. I would love to know your thoughts.
See you next week, 📖