Sunday, June 16, 2019

Remembering Dad and Giving Thanks to Our Father in Heaven

On this Father's Day, I remember my father and give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for His wonderful salvation. May all glory, honor, and praises be given to our Father in Heaven.

Remembering Dad -- a father who made mistakes but eventually became a "New Creation"

Although Dad has passed away for many years, he is still in my heart. My Dad betrayed my Mom and had a son with another woman when I was one year old. Mom was helpless in changing his mind. Using Grandma’s “two girls in a row ...” as a excuse, Dad made his mistress his concubine and broke Mom's heart. I became Mom's confidant as she instilled the concept of being an independent woman who would never rely on my husband.

Strive to be Accepted

Even though Dad betrayed Mom, she still desire his love and acceptance. It was evident from my preschool photo (having a boy's haircut and wearing a jumpsuit) that Mom was still concerned about being able to give birth to a son. She took risk of pregnancy disregarding her doctor's warning. After nine years of trying, she finally gave Dad a son to regain his love. At the same time, I worked hard to compete with boys. I tried to find affirmation with good grades and good behaviors so to please my Dad and Grandma, and to make Mom proud.

However, in spite of human efforts, despite the apparent peace of mind, nobody can break the tradition of favoring boys over girls, make up for the infidelity in the marriage contract, and heal the wound of being rejected. I can't believe that I am valuable, and love can last.

After the marital storm, my parents tried to live a normal family life, and finally they had a son. My younger brother brought happiness to my parents. But their good times didn't last long. In his thirties, Dad lost his son (my half-brother). In his fifties, he lost his wife (my mother). He felt deeply guilty about his two wives and children through pain and suffering.

I don't understand why Dad has to go through so much pain. In his generation, people can marry many wives. He desperately wanted to treat them fairly but that was impossible. I still remember an occasion when he was drunk, he tearfully advised my cousins: "Don't marry two wives! One is enough!"

Jesus heals my wound

Unhealthy thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are often passed down from generation to generation. The tragedy of my family of origin helped me understand the dark and struggling side of human nature. Although I have always loved my father, I have hated him. When I became a young mother, the tragedy of my parents became the shadow behind my relationship with my husband, which made me both over sensitive and insecure.

In 1989, I realized that I am a new creation. God's love and faithfulness healed my wounds, helped me to accept my past, and forgive those who had hurt me, especially Dad. I am most grateful to find out that he had already believed in the Lord before he died in 1986. This news brought me unexpected peace and great comfort, thanking God for the wonderful salvation of Jesus Christ!

I am sharing my family secrets on Father's Day because I could imagine that if Dad is still alive, he would share his failures and weaknesses without the fear of losing face. He would share how the Lord Jesus Christ healed his sorrowful and contrite heart. In retrospect, Dad still tried to correct the terrible mistakes he made in an unhealthy cultural environment, trying to be a good husband and a good father: providing for both families, sharing dinner with my mother and us four nights a week, taking us to parks, movies, restaurants, and sending me to college in the United States. 

After making his share of mistakes, he repented and became a responsible person.  This has affected me deeply to help couples deal with marital crisis today. I can't rewrite history, but I can say, "Dad, I love you! How glad I am that you and I have a new life given by the Lord Jesus Christ!"

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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