I was raised in a home in which the Bible was read and spoken about all the time. My Dad loved to talk. He was an eloquent speaker; he was a poet, a writer, an account, and a business man. I never developed that love for God’s Word. Even though my Dad was very talented – his aunt deemed as a ‘child prodigy – he lacked one important thing: compassion. It was my Daddy’s lack of compassion towards me that caused my heart to harden towards God’s word. I can hear my Daddy saying to my brother, “Son, the Bible is the most important book in the world. You need to read your scriptures.” Daddy never stopped to make it relevant to me, so I never stopped to listen.
As I grew older and was on my way off to college, the hostility between my Daddy and I grew stronger. However, I desperately wanted this father-daughter relationship, but my feelings and emotions are always trivialized. As a result, my heart grew cold and distant; I wanted to get as far as I could away from my Dad because the emotional wound was too much for me to handle.
When I graduated from college, I began my career as a high school math teacher in Fort Worth, Texas. Unfortunately, I had managed to accumulate thousands of dollars to debt. Every man I met and attempted to date led to a dead end. My Dad and I were still on a non-talking basis. What am I to do? Every woman I asked about finding a husband gave bad advice. I thought to myself, “Now how is it my Mom and my sister who are married, and can’t tell me what to look for a man?”
My brother and I did not have a good relationship at this time. I decided to tell him about the guy I was dating. I figured what could it hurt, what he had to say could be no worse than the advice I had previously received. My brother, Justin, began to explain to me ‘the game’ men play, and that everything they said was a “script.” When I first heard this, I thought to myself, “Man, I don’t believe this. I’m going to try this out.” When I tell you everything Justin said was the truth, it was line by line. I was amazed! Moreover, my younger brother just earned my respect.
No one ever really took the time to listen, so I talked his ear off. I would talk for hours at a time, and he would patiently listen, without judgment or criticism. This allowed me to be open and honest about things I would not normally share. Over time, Justin would give these analogies that so relevant to my life, that I had no choice but to confess my guilt. This went on for several years. As time went by, my heart began to soften because I was getting a better understanding about my Daddy. How could we live in the same house, with the same parents, and have two completely different experiences with our Dad?
Looking back on the tumultuous relationship with my Daddy, Jesus used my younger brother to humble me, bring me to a point of accepting and receiving the Word. The Lord showed me my errors in my ways of thinking, and built a relationship with my brother and Daddy that I never had before in my life! This was the Master Builder at work, as Jesus molded and transformed my heart, and my Daddy’s heart so one day we could be reunited.
In July 2011, I went home to go visit my Dad. It was the first time Daddy was actually excited to see me. I couldn’t believe he was excited about me! I will never forget when he said to me, “I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings by not eating your turkey meatloaf.” It caught me by surprise that he was so thoughtful and considerate of my feelings. Before I left, he hugged me and told me he loved me. Three months later, he died. The Mighty Hand of God was working out the crossed lines of communication so death and saying good-bye would not be bitter sweet. The Lord Jesus used my younger brother to teach me humility, forgiveness, and compassion.