I had been going to the same gym for 7 years and I found it amazing that I met someone new every time I went. With the move back into my Dad’s house I was even closer to the gym than when I was residing in town and married. It was the beginning of 2013 and I made attempts during the Christmas break to reach out to my sisters and seek their forgiveness for anything they perceived I did during my admission of sexual abuse 5 years earlier. My initial contact was with my middle sister after the Lord revealed through my father that she had similar emotions of rejection concerning my mother. It was like a re-enactment of 5 years ago started all over again; she ignored me, but stuck my youngest sister on the case who approached the topic like a bulldog and claimed that the family has disowned me because of my lies, and unless I re-cant, I cannot associate with them. My father did nothing to settle the score, which he had all power to do; he just stayed out of the blaze of fury from my sister. All the while he claimed that he didn’t understand why we couldn’t get along. I left the house to run away from the pain and I went to the gym.
Daddy prepared me for this moment months prior when he gave me the vision to return to my father. He told me that my father would be incapable of apologizing for what he did, that he would hold onto his innocence because he was unable to face the loss of his own. I sat down on the reclining bike to start my workout and just pleaded with Daddy in my thoughts, “can’t he just tell them that I’m not lying, he has the power to stop his daughters from fighting.” I argued with Daddy about the pitting against each other that we were taught from our parents because they let us tear each other apart in response to their treatment. It made perfect sense to me why my sisters lashed out on me as the destroyer of the family, because my parents didn’t want that attention on them. I was stuck in trying to figure out how I was going to move forward in my family when I realized that I had been zoning out for a number of minutes on the exercise machine. The man next to me started talking about the level of intensity that he was biking at, how hard it was, and how good it was for him to be challenged. The interruption of conversation was a comforting distraction from my dwelling on circumstances. I looked at my neighbor and saw that he was elderly so I definitely didn’t mention that the tension on my bike was 5times higher than his. What I did mention was his great job at exerting so much strength.
Like a child, this man started listing all of his routines at the gym. I knew he needed affirmation even at his old age and I sensed a severe void in his life as a child. I let him talk without interruption and in 30minutes time he revealed that his father beat him, his mother wasn’t much better, both of his siblings disowned him 40 years ago and his son just committed suicide. I interjected with an introduction of who I was to slow down the process of this man’s divulgence to me as a stranger.
I knew it was a set-up from Daddy. Not only was this man bearing his soul, he was confirming foundational truths about abuse which would help me cope in the middle of my pain. He spoke highly of his rage being a protector for himself, something he learned from his father’s treatment. He followed in the “family footsteps” of becoming a marine to gain the love and approval of an angry family, but to no avail. He watched his life play out from a bird’s eye view of the same abuse toward his own children, yet condemned his dead son for being “weak” and unlike the generation of men who preceded him. He was crying by the end of an hour workout and then shared the clincher; God and the Catholic Church abandoned him and it was the fault of faith that ruined his life.
So much of his story was parallel to the aggression and denial in my own family, that I was stunned when this man wiped his tears and said, “I would change everything if I could.” I see and feel that same drive in my own Father, a victim in his own right and unable to break the family curse. I literally took this man’s own words and quoted them, and asked if he could see that he learned how to behave from the role-models in his life. He looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language and re-coiled in disgust at my, “accusation” of his parents teaching him anger, abuse and hopelessness toward God. He withdrew painting a picture of them as hurtful and made excuses for them due to the era and “how it was” back then. He crawled back into his shell of denial and reasoned as all humans do, that everything was ok now because the worst was over. Then I knew. Then a peace washed over me and I smiled as warmly as I could into this man’s eyes. “How could I expect him to own anything in his life when he has tried so hard to deny it in order to cope with the pain?” I joined him in a good cry because his cycle of regret, condemnation, and guilt was no longer protecting him. He is old and he is tired, worn out from trying to cover his mistakes. His divulgence to a perfect stranger, of everything he did wrong in life, was an opportunity for us both and I knew it. I blessed his accomplishments through service and strength for our country, and then I blessed his attempts at parenting. I blessed his relationships to his estranged brothers and his only son left to look after. I blessed his marriage with peace because he admitted the resemblance to his own parent’s strife. I blessed his temperament because with his anger came a strong sense of justice, justice he never had as a child. It is in his search for justice that he wound up devoted to the military void of relationship with his family and Redeemer. I spoke affirmation to the justice as being “God-ordained”, and who Daddy called him to be. I declared that he could in fact have a better life in these late stages of it.
I walked away, sat down in the locker room and wept. Thank you Daddy for confirming in my life that the denial of abuse does not stop it from affecting us. Through this encounter with this stranger at the gym, I realized on another level where my family was. Daddy was revealing to me the grave effects of mistreatment toward children that causes them to turn on each other as adults and repeat the same cycle in their lives. I denied myself the chance of a family out of fear that I would make the same mistakes as my own parents. Control had protected me as much as denial and it kept me in survival mode most of my life. How sobering it is to realize that Daddy gave me a chance at redemption and I took it. I wanted that same grace extended to my family, to this stranger. My heart was broken. My sisters, mother and father are victims of generational rejection and cannot see it because it is their truth, their reality, their bondage. The revelation that I have had in this past year has caused me great pain but freedom at the same time. I have peeled off layers of denial at an accelerated pace to get to the core of destruction in my life. Abuse is textbook. Across the board, it always looks the same; shame and anger being fleshed out to tell a story of rejection that everyone fights so hard to cover up.
It was a bittersweet moment as I cried on that locker room bench. As I commiserated with the pain of a stranger, I knew that Daddy was telling me that what I am experiencing is “normal” in an abusive family, it is textbook. I knew that already, but prior to my work out that day, I was wondering why. Why did my siblings and parents let me be the scapegoat for all the deep sins? Why couldn’t I get them to look at themselves? Why would I have to feel so abandoned by those who were closest to me? Then I knew. Jesus experienced all of the same things and still chose to die. He understood best all of the generational components, spiritual oppression and pain that each person represented in my family line. Jesus understood where I was at as well as my family. And Daddy knew. Daddy knew that I had to be placed in this stranger’s life to see his childhood pain in order to grasp what I have been freed from. I am not living out a cycle of abuse because Jesus did it for me, rescued me and is showing me how to die to myself. He knew best the rejection of man and the cost of denial. I can’t make anyone see the truths of their life if they aren’t ready. Daddy was patient with me so I have to be patient that He will work out the details of those I know whether they are in passing by or family.
I had a call on my life from conception to deliver people from the curse of the enemy on their lives. I learned best how to discern schemes from living through them. I know Daddy never intended any of His children to live through abuse of any kind, but He will redeem Himself that much more because of it. I will be the restorer of foundations to my family for I am a tree planted along a river of life. What I know now having gone through all that I have, is that He will redeem the generations to thousands of years ago through those of us who go back in and ransom His people. I have a new vision for Daddy’s peace to settle on the earth because it has already begun in my life. I don’t have to figure it all out because Daddy already has.