Monday, June 16, 2008

MY FATHERS EYES...part two

This is PART TWO of my personal story of how God placed in my life forgiveness and restoration. After 40 years of separation, I began a search for finding the eyes of my birth father. (see part one of MY FATHERS EYES)

PSALM 37:4
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."

I believe with all of my heart that the Psalmist David was right on with these words. God truly does desire to give us the desires of our heart.

For me, it had been 40 years of wondering and hoping about my birth father...

-what did he look like?
-did he like ice cream just like me?
-what was his favorite color?
-did he wonder about me?
-what color were his eyes?

God, my heavenly Father, heard my cry. He heard my prayers. He heard my questions. He saw the desires of my heart. For a period of time, God was stirring in me a desire to find my birth father. I tried with all I had to shake the feeling because the thought of coming face to face with a man I did not know scared me to death. I didn't breath a word of this stirring to anyone, not even my soul mate, whom I tell everything to. One day, my sweetie could tell something was deeply on my mind and asked the question I was so hoping he would not ask: "What are you thinking about?"

Without thinking, (you do this when married 20+ years) I shared with my hubby that I was thinking about trying to find my birth father. Surprised at this, I thought without a doubt he would say "why now?" but instead he said "I think you should."

So the search began.

...I had a name.
...A possible state he lived in.
...The year he was born.

A computer search found not just one but four with all of the same information. It was Christmastime, so I thought this would be the ideal time to make contact. So I started with the first name on the list. I had decided I would work my way down the list until I found the eyes that I was searching for.

A Christmas card, with a letter introducing myself and a picture of my family was sent to the first name and address on my list. It was now in Gods hands. I felt a huge relief to of sent the letter. My part was done. Even if I never heard from my birth father, the ball was no longer in my court. I DID MY PART! I knew I would never hear anything back, after all, 40 years have gone by and I am sure my birth father has not thought about me in years.

Yet, God stirred in me to find this man whom I have never met. I was obedient and now it was done. I can now get on with my life....


I was soon to find out that the obedience was not in the CONTACTING but rather the obedience was in the FORGIVING!

The power to forgive reminds me of a comic book or a superhero. Forgiveness is so beyond our natural ability and instinct. Forgiveness definitely sounds like a superhuman quality...quite extraordinary! Perhaps when someone experiences and displays the power to forgive, they should be given a special costume. On second thought, we would all look ridiculous in polyester tights!

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you,so you also must do. (14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."

Until we EXPERIENCE God's forgiveness
it is difficult to EXTEND forgiveness!

WHAT FORGIVENESS AIN'T....For so many of us, forgiveness is often times misunderstood and we reject it as an option because of what I call FORGIVENESS IMPOSTERS!

IMPOSTER #1: Forgiveness Forgets
We can not link forgiveness with some form of amnesia. Forgiveness may not involve forgetting.

IMPOSTER #2: Forgiveness Denies
Authentic forgiveness does not mean you ignore the anger or deny how much it hurts.

IMPOSTER #3: Forgiveness Minimizes
Forgiveness does not say, "Don't worry about it, it's no big deal". It is a big deal. Forgiving does not minimize the offense.

IMPOSTER #4: Forgiveness Excuses
"oh I know you didn't mean any harm." Toughen up and don't just excuse the offender. The person may not have meant to hurt you but it doesn't make it alright.

IMPOSTER #5: Forgiveness Restores
Forgiveness does not always restore a relationship to what it once was.

WHAT FORGIVENESS IS...when you understand the definition of forgiveness it will be much easier to forgive.

1. FORGIVENESS IS: Acknowledging the hurt
Denying that you were hurt will undermine everything. It all begins with accepting that you were hurt.

2. FORGIVENESS IS: Keeping your eyes open
No pretending. No playing games. You are aware of the hurt, you see the pain, you know who did it. Yet you are still willing to forgive.

3. FORGIVENESS IS: Showing mercy
Retaliation is what they deserve, but mercy is the fruit of forgiveness.

4. FORGIVENESS IS: Keeping no record of wrongs
You may not forget a hurt for a long time after you have extended forgiveness, but burying the list and not bringing it up is part of the forgiving.

5. FORGIVENESS IS: An attitude
Forgiveness really begins with a choice you make. You think forgiveness and act forgiveness. Forgiveness comes out of you because it is what you see, what you think and what you believe.

6. FORGIVENESS IS: A lifestyle
When forgiveness becomes a habit, it has become a lifestyle. You don't have to weigh each situation and decide if you are going to forgive....forgiving is part of you.

7. FORGIVENESS IS: A process
Forgiving sometimes takes steps to complete. Take one step at a time and you will be successful!

My ROAD TO FORGIVING began that day I mailed that Christmas card to a man I never met. God had more in store for me than to just mail a letter, God wanted me to see the eyes that I had longed for...

check back on Thursday, for THANKFUL THURSDAY. I will post the letter that thrust me into this journey of forgiveness and restoration. PART 3 of "My Fathers Eyes" will reveal my birth fathers reaction to the letter.

With a FORGIVING heart;



Cheri said...

I love your open heart.

Sharon said...

Wow, intriguing. You are such an awesome writer. I can't wait for Thursday's post! :0)

Laura said...

I appreciate you and your heart of gold. Thank you for opening up and telling your story. I know it will minister to everyone who reads it. I am praying for you!

Stacy said...

What a neat story! I am going through my own journey of forgiveness. The devil keeps trying to trip me up, but I keep reminding him that I CHOOSE to forgive!