Story Tuesday presents "Brandi Johnson"
It's hard to discuss something that still has an effect on you. Grace and forgiveness is such a difficult concept to grasp because it's undeserving, it’s ultimate, and it’s divine favor. It's an experience worth witnessing but can easily become a heavy burden if it’s dealt with in the wrong way.
My dad was a cop for a number of years. To me, he was my hero. As a child, I would wait to hear that special doorbell ring when he entered the house. I would run from my bedroom towards the door and jump in his arms, I loved him so much. See, as a cop, your work hours varies and time spent with your family is quite limited, yet still appreciated.
What I didn't like experiencing was the verbal abuse going on in the other room. I mean every month there was something new. I've experienced weapons being drawn from a result of anger, to police chases occurring between the both of my parents. I hated choosing sides but to see my mom jump out of the car and walk on a highway from a painful argument made me go against any other judgement. For years, I was convinced to believe that this was my new normal. Divorce became the outcome and things definitely shifted within our family. As I grew older, I began to observe things a bit more. I never really knew why my parents could not get along but I found out reasons thereafter.
While in high school I met my beautiful step sister. I was happy to have an extended family but I never knew why her picture always seemed to disappear from my bedroom wall. My mom was hurt every time we mentioned his name and I slowly found out that my dad committed infidelity and stayed with the other woman, my stepsisters’ mother. With rage, I couldn't understand why I was forced to be okay with the deceit. Especially when I found pictures of him at her first couple of birthday parties. We are only three years apart.
“Is this where your time was spent when I didn't see you?” These were questions that would replay in my mind constantly. Grace?Where is grace in this situation?
For years, I was resentful towards my dad. I hated including him in anything but somewhere deep down inside I still wanted to believe that I was still his princess. One day, we got into a huge argument and I said things that brought him to tears. I never witnessed my dad cry until that day. And even talking about that night makes me emotional.
My resentment caused someone else pain.
Years later, as our relationship began to reconstruct, I learned a great deal about my father’s past. As tears drew from my eyes, I realized that my dad couldn’t have been someone that he was never taught to be. Often times we have extremely high expectations of others based on our own selfish perspective, but we never really consider just loving a person just the way that they are. I believe that as I became closer to Christ, I was able to understand God’s true gift of grace. Infidelity was not the main issue, ignoring the resentment of our past was. Both of my parents were raised in physically abusive homes which brought forward a method of defensiveness right into their marriage. They both fought so hard towards each other because they fought so hard to not be like their own parents.
We all know that God always takes the bad and turn it out for the greater good. Yes, I was affected by my past. I damaged a lot of relationships along the way. But through my daily and intentional submission towards God, I allowed Him to fix the broken parts of myself for ultimate healing. I made a choice to never run away from my ugliness but rather run towards God with all of me so that He may set my path straight. It’s uncomfortable to be exposed but it saves you from a whole heap of drama that may rule over you later.
For those who have suffered from generational curses, you can rest assure that forgiveness will break the chains of that cycle. I have vowed to take a stand within my insecurities and no longer allow it to run me away from the blessings that God has for me. Although my earthly father lacked in certain areas, my heavenly father was there to fill everything that I thought I missed. And you know what? That made me love my dad even more. Right where he was.
Facing the problem, letting God do his work in me, and acknowledging one of my greatest weaknesses has reminded me of God’s daily gift of grace.
1 Corinthians 15: 10-11 - 10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.