Sensitive Topics: Sexual abuse, pornography addiction.
Although the day is several weeks past, I invite you to join me on a walk through this year’s Father’s Day.
Today’s email devotional, “Son of the Living God,” encourages me with these words, “… spend a single day holding on to, ‘I am a son of the living God. I am chosen. I am deeply loved.’” I accept the challenge and make decisions as to how I will live on this Father’s Day.
- I will give myself grace to enjoy the good and positive.
- I will give myself grace to acknowledge what is painful.
- I will remember I am chosen and loved as a son of the Good Father.
As I drive to church I recall that today, June 18, marks ten years since mom’s stroke; she died one week later. I glance at my dashboard clock, 8:15 AM, ten years to the very minute that she collapsed. Wow! I acknowledge the moment while choosing to not relive the trauma of that day.
After parking my car I walk into the church concourse and am immediately greeted by another man, “Happy Father’s Day!” I return the greeting, allowing myself to feel the double-edged pain stirred by his words; the pain of my father-memories and the pain that I am not a father. I also accept that this man paid me a big compliment; he identifies me as a man who appears to be a father. That’s pretty cool.
In this morning’s worship service I play keyboard with our Vacation Bible School band while the kids sing their VBS songs. That’s a pretty special way to spend Father’s Day morning.
After church I am more relaxed than usual; freely joking with friends I know and talking with people that I don’t know.
While I’m driving home a battle begins in my mind that leads to my looking for online porn. Fortunately my Net Nanny filter does her job and blocks my efforts. I make my toughest choice so far on this Father’s Day; I text a friend,
“Hey, I’m not doing too well. Wanting to find images or videos of men.”
“Is this because of Father’s Day?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“What did he [your dad] do to you?”
“He raped me.”
Admitting those words reminds me of this morning’s decision; I will give myself grace on this Father’s Day, not only to enjoy what is good, but also to acknowledge what is painful. The temptation to search for porn begins to break.
I accept that this Father’s Day has been a mixture of enjoyable moments and painful memories. I’m not feeling pressure to rewrite the day as being all good, nor am I whining that parts of the day have been painful. I remember the truth that I have lived through this Father’s Day, loved as a son of my Good Father.
You are the son of a kind, strong, and engaged Father. A Father wise enough to lead you in the way, generous enough to provide for your journey, offering to walk with you every step.
– John Eldredge