We got in the van, each of us looking as though we had aged a few years since leaving home earlier that day. Neither Dad nor I enjoyed driving, so we both instinctively headed for the passenger side of the vehicle. Chuckling he mentioned the fact I was younger than him, so I got this shift of driving. We rode in silence for the first few miles. I knew it had been an especially taxing day on him. I glanced back in the rear view mirror and couldn’t help but smile at the sight of him stretched out, feet hanging far past the arm rests of the back seat.
He started to say something, then stopped. I knew from experience he was carefully mulling over his words. He slowly sat up. He sat there a few moments leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands clasped, and head down. He finally spoke. I can’t recall exactly what he said, but the love behind the words still warms my heart. He expressed how he had been concerned about things for a while, but he made it a policy not to get involved with his children’s’ business unless circumstances required him to do so. He went on to say he had not realized things were at such a serious point. He wanted me to know that he and Mom would stand by me throughout this process, but the final decision was ultimately mine to make.
He referred to the scriptures my ex-husband had quoted regarding divorce. Carefully choosing his words Dad went on to explain that God did hate divorce. He hated it because of the pain and chaos it caused. There were circumstances, though, that brought consequences worse than those brought on by divorce. Marriage was not designed to destroy the very souls it was meant to sustain. Enabling each other to continue in destructive behavior was good for no one.
His next words of wisdom were probably the best anyone could have provided. He said as I began to heal, I would find my anger, and that it was good to allow myself to experience and work through it. The best advice he could give was that I own my anger and not let it own me. He went on to explain how important forgiveness would become – not necessarily for his sake, but for my own.
There were days when forgiveness and moving forward proved to be more difficult than expected. It was Dad’s words of wisdom that helped me through these difficult times of waiting.
Ephesians 4:26a Be angry, and yet do not sin.