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Forgiving Dad!

Thanksgiving Encounters: 3) When Your Father Greatly Disappoints You...God is Still Good!

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 KJV

Welcome to Narda Pella's seasonal mini-series: Thanksgiving Encounters!

If this is your first visit, thanks for your valuable time! We are currently on series 3 of 7 about AMAZING true stories about people I know and have worked with who want to share their experiences to encourage someone else... perhaps even You...?

"Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness." Proverbs 20:20, KJV

This seems like a grim start to a Thanksgiving tribute, however, I believe that every bitter thought may result in a sweet ending. It is all about a person's mental attitude and how he or she chooses to cope with life experiences.

Science has shown that no matter how evil parents have been to their children, the children never benefit by retaliating with unforgiving hearts. Every aspect of their lives is adversely affected, especially with loved ones and God.

Today, You will meet a current mental health client of mine, *Jalissa

I volunteer as a lifestyle counselor for a mental health-focused international group called Psyche Therapy. They believe in providing resources and encouragement that target the "whole" man. Jalissa subscribes to this social network, and as a result of reading my blogs on this platform, reached out to me via WhatsApp. She is around the age of my daughter, who is 27 years old. She is a very bright, beautiful, educated, and extremely articulate black Zambian who co-owns a thriving business with clientele even in New York.

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV

Jalissa first reached out to me about her fiance' who was exhibiting some strange behaviors of being interested in her but when she asked for them to pray together, he would not. He said he wanted to marry her and treated her very well, but... She corresponded spasmodically for a while seeking advice until one day she dropped a bombshell. She was now homeless and going through major relationship issues. As a good friend of mine would say, "what-a-what?"

How could this happen so quickly? She was doing well in her small business... she was engaged and everything seemed to be going in the right direction. I was concerned and confused and reached out to her right away. Her story blew my mind.

I am going to give you the tailspin in a nutshell. Many African children live with their parents and help provide for the home until the time of marriage. Her mother, who was a single mother, began dating a new man, who began to live in their home, though he had his own. She would then trust him to take care of the finances. After a period of time, he mishandled the money until they were evicted. What a shock to a young woman's heart who has been paying her part, but because of the selfishness of others the younger members of the family suffer.

The family was split up and went to stay with relatives. However, this didn't turn out well for Jalissa who went to live with one of her sisters. Her sister began to ill-treat her and she decided to ask her fiance' if she could stay with him briefly until they found a home. She took her youngest sibling with her, and things were looking up until they were not.

"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the

fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:10 KJV

He also began to treat her with the cold shoulder. He would buy her nice gifts, even ask her what she would like, and then still treat her in an awkward manner. She couldn't understand and became tired of the emotional abuse. She moved out and broke up with him. He still said he wanted to be with her, however, he was doing little things that made her distrustful of him. She lashed out at him in malice. She said that she didn't believe in love. I asked about previous relationships and she said this was her first love. She had never been committed to relationships so that she would not get hurt. She admitted that she had a fear of abandonment.

Where did this come from? I felt impressed to ask about her dad. Where was Dad during all of this? She never mentioned him during her housing crisis.

Secondly, if this was her first time being vulnerable in a relationship, then why was she being so self-protective? If the young man was still seeking to be with her and he was not cheating, but told her he was just overwhelmed by the family-stay situation, why still so distrustful?

Usually, this behavior is due to the absence of a father figure or a poor relationship with him. He would usually provide her with a blanket of security and protection teaching her how to deal with men in a healthy way.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." Psalms 27:10 KJV

She laughed when I asked about her father. She said that he had migrated to England to work to take care of the family. He took care of them for a while but abandoned his family. She was only 5 years old. She stated that he was a coward for three reasons. One, he was abusive towards her mom and older sister. She hated him for that. Two, he ran away because of a failed business transaction in which he would have to pay back large sums of money to his business partner, but could not.

He was a coward because they (children) had various needs growing up but he would say he didn't have money until they found out the true reason. Through a family friend, they found out that he was courting another woman and buying expensive gifts for her. How did they find out? God truly doesn't like ugly! Her mother's friend who happened to be living in the same vicinity, was also friends with the woman and was sharing the romantic nature of the excursions and gifts and called the suitor's name. How tragic for the family! Did he repent? No, he sent an unofficial letter of divorce. Life was tough and the resentments grew as she tried to reach out, but he was never available for advice, financial help, nurturing, and love.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:

be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalms 100:4 KJV

"I don't believe in love, it is just a fairy tale." "Love is dead." "I have given love a chance the best way I could," were the next words from her lips. I knew where this was going because I had lived that lie before I met Christ. Jalissa was going down a slippery slope. I didn't want her to end up as jaded as I was as a young woman. The Spirit of God told me to ask her a series of questions:

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." 1 John 4:7,8 KJV

"If God is love, how can Love die?" " How many of your own actions and words impacted the outcome of your romantic relationship?" "Do you believe that if you had a better relationship with your dad your romantic relationship could have had a more positive outcome?" "What are some things that you can appreciate about your father?" "How can unforgiveness affect the quality of your life?... Your relationship with God?" Reflect deeply and write down all your thoughts with complete honesty.

I have experienced that the way one views their father can adversely affect their relationship with God, and more than anything, I wanted Jalissa to NEVER allow Satan to color her perception of God's love for her, and how that same love was a reservoir from which all other loves may flourish in her life.

When a person has an honest heart, one susceptible to humility, every wrong relationship can be righted. Jalissa has such a heart. In the sessions, God dug up the soil of her hurts; He began showing her all the bad weeds and stones that were there. He helped her to reflectively focus on how to get rid of them and gave her the wisdom and strength not only to face her losses and hurt but to go above and beyond.

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalms 26:7 KJV

We dialogued several sessions. We got to the point of healing from the wounds that her father had inflicted all those years and how important it was to begin with forgiveness. I asked her what would it take for her to begin the process of intentionally opening up to her dad about the hurts AND also being intentional about rebuilding the relationship. If she could forgive her mom for all the mistakes she made, with a little more time and lots of effort, she could do the same for her Dad. I told her to start the process and not to wait for him to make the first step. Take the first step and allow God to do the rest.

It is amazing what God can do when we allow Him! When we take one step towards forgiving someone who has harmed us in some way, He takes multiple giant steps to help us.

Last week, I had an early morning session with Jalissa which made me smile from ear to ear! I asked her about her commitment to reaching out to her father and she was very, very excited! She regaled that her father was super relieved that she had reached out about reconciling the relationship. He too wanted to repair their familial intimacy but was scared of rejection. She sounded so happy and grateful. She said that life was beautiful! Everything was going right. She said something that I thought was very profound.

"For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also

love those that love them." Luke 6:32 KJV

"It is amazing how all things fall into place when you begin to forgive!"

She said every decision was easier and past wrongs didn't seem as gross after forgiving her father. Everything else paled in comparison. She has opened the door to being friends with her ex-boyfriend. She used to sing in a group but had stopped because of certain issues. They had been asking her to return but she was unwilling until now.

She is now ready to sing for God, and how much more impactful will be her ministry. It will be from a heart made more wonderful not only because she had forgiven her earthly father, but she had also let go of her latent displeasure in believing that God had somehow failed her. Because she had forgiven others, God could now forgive and continue the healing process to completion.

Perhaps your father has disappointed you and is still disappointing... but God, your heavenly Father, is still good. If you open up your heart to forgiving others, He will move all mountains to help you too. It is time to heal!

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;

we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken;

cast down, but not destroyed;” 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 KJV

Join us on this journey that will give you a super boost of hope and resilience while also positively nurturing your Mental Health. Ensure you subscribe and share because many people are silently hurting, and while a few brave ones admit their needs and ask for help, many, many more will not... So share your blessings. See you soon!

Enjoy the Marathon of God's goodness below!😁

  Songs of Thanksgiving:


Previous Post: A Heart Filled With Sunshine

See you next time! Have an awesome day in the LORD...

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