Sunday, November 13, 2022

Finding the Goodness in Misery

My most unforgettable childhood memories were something that I don't want my kids to experience. As young as I was, I was exposed to severe emotional unrest. I was so vulnerable to pain. I was not sold like Joseph but my heart was so full of hatred that I was bringing the pain until I got married. Yes, I'm so overwhelmed with hatred for my father, for his total being, for neglecting his duties, and for having so many kids with different women and yet doing the same thing that he did to us, abandoning his responsibility as a father.

My childhood experience somehow left a myriad of baggage in my heart before. I used to have trust issues with men I got relationships with, much more with my husband. It took me almost a decade before I finally built my trust in him. However, that feeling of uncertainty was still engulfing me. I'm so scared for my kids that is why I kept on reminding my husband of the detrimental effect of having a womanizer father. 

I used to tell myself that I have to be empowered so that whatever may happen I could stand on my own when worst comes to worst with my marriage. But then I realized, it's not about me anymore. I need to consider my kids, their feelings, and their future. That's why it was always my fervent prayer that God will sanctify our marriage and keep it whole till our last breath. 

It is indeed inevitable for people like me to have that fear. But then as time goes by I realized one thing when God reminded me that everything happens for a reason. Then I tried looking back to where I came from. Doing so created so many "WHAT IFS" in my mind.

What if my Mom and Dad didn't break up? How long will we survive? 

What if my Mom endured all the pain? Will she be happier?

What if my Mom didn't stand up for us, where could we possibly be right now?

When my parents broke up, we were separated and scattered. I was already in my third year of high school when we get back together with my Mom and siblings. Such a reunion was never easy. We have so much indifference. Good thing there was a man who played the role of my father- my late Tatay Rene, our stepdad. I would say, Tatay was a total blessing for all of us. He gave up a good life just to be with us. The process was never easy as well with his own family but Tatay was the kind of father that no one would dare to disown him. He was our total confidante, the father that we look up to. 

By then, I still hate my biological father. I still put all the blame on him for all the hardships that  I've gone through when I was still younger. It was Tatay Rene who taught me to release all such hostility. He even asked me to allow my father to walk me down the aisle during my wedding but I blatantly disagree with him coz all I want to be with to take that role was only him and I am so glad that he endured the pain of his feet (coz he's suffering from diabetes during that time).

Barely two years after my wedding, and a day after my birthday, my Tatay Rene passed away. I never came to his wake coz I cannot endure the pain of losing him. Whenever I saw my father, I cannot help but compared him to Tatay. They're both not perfect but Tatay was so responsible and trustworthy.

However, when Mom was petitioned by my younger sister to live with her in the USA and occasionally travel to Canada to visit our elder sister, I realized a lot of things. 

Mom deserves the life that she lived right now and the experience that she enjoyed at the moment. But then she already releases forgiveness to my Dad without the intention of going back to him. She supported him sometimes by giving him financial support when needed. She also keeps on reminding us, especially me, to forgive him because, after all, he is still our father.

I also realized that I have already reached my goal even without his support, and what else should I hate him about? Indeed, I was reminded of Romans 8:28. I've encountered that verse so many times but only now that I realized that it was God's direct message to me many years back. It was meant for my father. I honestly have that sigh of relief when I get to hug him during his birthday last month- that was the first time actually that I deliberately hug him sincerely since the time he left us. The feeling was so hard to explain. And I believe it was complete forgiveness that made me do it. Who am I after all when I, myself, was also a sinner but by the grace of God, I was saved?

This was my reflection. 

Romans 8:28
[28]And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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