New to the site? Start with Part One of the story: Divorce and Departure.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
That’s God talking. You know what He never said? He never said, “Follow your heart,” or “Do what makes you happy.” That’s what the world says, which is really just a reflection of the enemy’s lies. (Remember Eve? Remember how he promised her great things if she ignored a command and just did what she wanted? Yeah. Big bummer for all of us.) The problem with both of those bits of worldly “wisdom” is the Bible, which tells us that the heart is deceitful and desperately sick, but happy is he who follows God’s commandments! For the love of God, literally, don’t follow your heart! Obey God instead. (←Um, can I link to the whole Bible there?)
Many of God’s commandments put us in a pickle. Take, for example, #5 out of the Big Ten. Honor both of my parents? I mean, it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys up in here; there’s got to be some sort of clause exempting me from this! It’s impossible!
Well friends, there’s no asterisk or fine print. I looked. (A lot.) What you see is what you get. Obey and please God, or choose your own way like Eve did.
Many people wonder, when they hear my story, about my relationship now with both of my parents. Well, here’s the honest answer: neither relationship is what it could have been, and it’s been a long road just to get me this far. I’ve tried “following my heart;” I’ve tried to weigh the stories and choose one over the other; I’ve tried to ignore everything. None of those gets me to obedience. What does?
A forgiving heart.
I’m still learning how to forgive, but God has shown me that the past is the past. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It’s done, and we’re here now. So I’m learning how to see the good now and how to love people now. This approach doesn’t always please everyone, but I believe that it is God’s desire. After decades of praying and lamenting and begging God for answers, I found out that His answer is not an easy one. Love and forgive. I’ve a long way to go before being a model daughter or a model Christian, but I know this is the answer, and I’m trying. I have learned to be thankful for God’s choice for my life and for my family, because it is teaching me to be more like Him.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
~1 Corinthians 13, emphasis mine
This is the final installment in a series in honor of National Missing Children’s Day.