Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On Why I Want{ed} to See My Dad & Belonging

I spent the morning on the treadmill chasing my own feet for several miles and talking to myself {not out-loud of course because that would just be weird}.

This weekend I guarded and I tried so hard to keep it quiet. Life's pace has been as fast as you can these days and reprieve called. I've needed this time just to remember how to breathe slow and stay in bed after the sun comes up. It is good for all of us I think, to just bask in the natural rays as they glare through the crack in the curtains. It warms something in me that the heater just can't reach beneath this winter chill.

A Saturday night spent alone had been a dream in the chaos but sitting there in the quiet and hearing the girls beneath me laughing made it all seem lonely. My grandma had made me this little album and snuck it into my bag when I was home visiting. I've glanced through it with friends a couple times since coming back, but as I cleaned my room to the sound of my own voice I stumbled upon it again.

Grandma always tells me of the day I was born, how the nurses said I was the most beautiful baby they'd ever seen. I'm sure they say that a lot {like everyday}—but no use bursting her bubble. Ya'll, I really was a cute kid {see below}. And as the album nears the end a few more faces come into play—mom and dad. It's funny to see them together, her resting in his arms with flowers and mushy eyes that fool even me.

I gaze at him holding me close and playing with me by the pool and I really have to work to convince myself that is me in those images because none of those memories exist no matter how hard I think back. And I wish they did. I long for just some sense of claiming him as mine and that being something to rejoice in. I remember wishing I could wear him on my arm to the daddy-daughter dances, showing all my friends how great. And now, now I wish I had tears to cry when he walks me down the aisle into the the arms of my husband, I wish I had a loss to grieve in leaving my father's house and yet reality makes it not so. A grandfather to love and spoil my babies lost yet here.

He is still in rehab an hour north and his year there is more then half way up now. I don't know what is keeping him there this time as opposed to the hundreds before, but I don't ask much anymore I just give thanks.

I decided a month ago I was ready to see him and then I changed my mind. Daily for a week.

The truth is, I feel ready to see him. Some days, I actually want to see him. Like something in the actual meeting of my eyes with his will cause the divine. Okay, I don't even know what that means. But I know the root is I want his love even still. I want to claim him as my dad and beneath his protection I want to belong.

Sometimes I can feel my creation imperfect by sin groaning to be whole again. 

My brother took dad his car a couple weeks ago. It sounds like he is the big shot on campus now, the popular jock, homecoming king and all. His big Saturday night out, driving his friends to Blockbuster and ice cream has left him bragging on the phone to my brother and that is hilarious! He's re-building a life long devastated and it is slow but he is enduring. He has been there longer then most, beat the odds against him. He's watched his friends wimp out of their commitment, watched them go back to the chains. I hope he is learning perspective. I sure am. He is still sober and the newbies look up to him. He belongs. 

Maybe that's why he stays...

I flip through the album and I see my parents and I remember the first "whos" to whom I belonged and I want to rest there safe between them again. To feel whole again, even if I'm not. I want them to belong to each other too, I want to stop the searching and the empty answers that have left them hurting over the years. Life with a dozen made me belong as the twelfth and in life without them so close I've wavered some too, just trying to remember my place set apart.

I've made some friends at church and they are in the same life-stage as me—the waiting for the next grown-up step and secretly longing for a glimpse of the whole plan. When we study the Word together I see the church differently and I need it so much more. I love the body right through her sin and I don't think I ever have until now.

She {the church} teaches me about belonging and I feel whole inside of her and I think it's just a foretaste of what's coming, a sweet gift to hold near in the waiting. 

As I finish my three miles and settle into a steady strut, I decide I just really want to fit into the puzzle somewhere and I have no idea where I go. Waiting is painful sometimes and eventually tiresome, kind of like running. Oh, and seeing my dad can wait.

I gaze off ahead looking across the same scene as every other morning. I don't know if I was blind before or they did a quick paint job in the middle of the night, but I never noticed these big yellow letters plastered on the wall ahead and they jump off and read...

I think in time He will bring me into some tangible, physical belonging too. Maybe it's within His Bride here or on the other side of the world. Maybe it's in my dream of wifehood and discple-maker of my babies. Maybe it's in restoration with my dad one day and maybe he will always be a memory I just can't find. Pray with me, won't you?

We all wrestle here, right? All of us desperate to fit somewhere, to be known and loved?

In the groaning and the wanting to belong in his arms, I have to remember I really groan for more then he can satisfy—and surely those arms can't hold all twenty-two years of me for long. 

Even if my dad failed to protect and the generations before have searched for it and come up empty and chained, even if I never 'belong' to another earthly man for the rest of my life, and I have no clue where my puzzle piece meshes in, I do indeed belong to one—and that belonging triumphs all.

"But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." -1 John4:4

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