Monday, March 11, 2013

On My Dad Coming Home & Learning to See Eternal

My dad is in the same town as me. It's been years since I've found myself here and I thought I was ready. I thought wrong. 

He came back from rehab about four months too soon but it sounds like my brother knew it would happen about now. My sister calls to tell me he is back just a day into my trip back home. My best friend birthed two boys and this kind of love always leaves me speechless. The week has been a blur of baby bliss and gazing starry eyed into these itty bitty faces, so perhaps that's why it's taken so long to get here--to begin wrestling with this odd reality. 

My hometown is big, a cluster of dots packed tight on the map. My whole life, he has lived an episode of my favorite sitcom away--at least. This time, he decides to live a stone's throw from my mom's house. With a buddy of his. Who also happens to be an alcoholic. In good company, why not have a sip--or two?

They tell me he's changed. That he is not the same man we grew up with. That it is for real this time. 

I feel my heart grow harder with each roll of these eyes as these words callouss my ears.

I've heard it all before. I really have. Even a couple years ago he "got saved" and sobered up for nearly a year. I remember he would call me almost daily that year. One night he listened to me rant about my roommates. And then he asked me how he could pray for them--and for me? I remember the silence that followed because I never thought I'd hear those words. I never thought he would care about much of anything beyond himself--especially me. Especially Jesus. 

He called every night that week just to tell me he had prayed. He told me to remember God was working and to be patient and trust Him. Trust is hard girl, I remember him explaining, you just have to remember it's more then what we see with our eyes. 

At twnety-two years old trust is the hardest. 

In life in general:  I have no idea where I will be living, what I will be doing, or where my provision will come from in the weeks and months to come. 

This man is minutes from my life here in this town. So I hold my breath walking into the local breakfast place with a friend because I just don't know what will happen if I see him. I don't know if I will run and hide or cuss him out and slap him across the cheek. And I sort of want to do both. 

A friend asks me why I'm stressed when I call her whining. Perhaps this job loss and financial burden with a side of no clue what is next, what city to live in, where to sign a lease for the fall, or what obedience even means at this point, I tell her. "Courtney, that shouldn't be stressful--it should be exciting!" she tells me, "Are you trusting the Lord?"

Well, no. No, I'm not. It's too hard. I can't. I already failed. 

I knew I would be a disappointment and sure enough both mom and granny have had a few things to say. And as these crazy women in my life make manipulative threats left and right, these wounds fester and inflame as my trust issues ooze to the cement surface.

I'm here seeping through these cracks and I blame you, dad. I still stinkin' blame you. 

I look at you and I see the sword that pierced deepest when you stripped off my covering of white. I see you giving up and not finishing something you started. I see you saying all of the right things to make up for the studpid ones that you have done. I see you living with an alcoholic because your son warned you he couldn't house you if you came home early. But you didn't think that through, did you? You just ran on back with the lust of your flesh a guide in the night. Maybe you're still sober. I hope you are. But as I listen to him telling me how you've changed--how you are not the man we grew up with, I just remember trust is hard. 

I want to shake you. I want to give you a piece of my mind. You think you can deceive him the way you have me? Those are my thoughts at the moment, dad.

It's more then what we see with our eyes, right? Trust is hard, man.

As I sit back in the shadow watching this new daddy gaze into his newborn sons' eyes, I just think you never looked at me like that. Not really. Your eyes never saw into eternity. You never offered your life for mine. You lived yours and let it suck up bits of mine along the way.

And it is hard. I still see you like that. And I don't trust you. 

See, the chasm you erected has made me hard and cracked. So when life thickens the cracks,  I want to crumble. And I don't trust you and it makes it so darn hard to trust the Lord. And I am blinded by these eyes of mine. These eyes that are so fixated on the seen and temporal ways of this world.

So dad, when the time comes and I see you around this town and I don't fall into your arms in rejoicing, well, you just have to know--

Trust is learning to see with eternal eyes and mine are focusing, but I might just need some time. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    
                                                                   -2 Corinthians 4:18


  1. Wow, Courtney, I can see why trust would be hard...praying for you right now, and your dad. Linked up behind you at SDG. Thanks for honestly sharing your sorry it is so hard right now.

    1. Thank you for your prayers!! What a blessing the SDG community is!

  2. My heart aches for the pain you've encountered by the one who should have kept your heart free from pain. Praying God will shelter you with His love as you learn to trust.

    1. Pamela, thank you for your encouragement and your prayers!!!