We live in a “but first” society. Everyday I think about different items on the to-do list and think to myself: but first I will do this or that. My urgent request is that we stop saying “but first” and actually get to the doing part.
I have grown up around broken families my entire life and have seen daughter after daughter abandoned, beaten, yelled at, forgotten, unacknowledged, and essentially unloved. Each one of these women grow up with some resentment towards their father for this hurt; they carry it around everyday and everywhere. Some realize it and others believe it doesn’t affect them in the slightest but the truth is it affects all of us.
My father bailed on the family my freshman year of college; he literally disappeared. I did not know where he lived, what exactly he did, or who he was. I think I spoke with the guy maybe twice a year for the following two or three years before he started reaching out to me again. During those years bitterness grew. I was pissed. Who does this guy think he is?! I knew my dad had been hurt but that didn’t mean he had to disappear. My relationship with my dad improved over time but hit a wall every time resentment’s ugly head popped up and I remembered he abandoned me. This resentment echoed across other aspects of my life as well and it never sat easy. I would get to the point where I had to deal with the issue but would always say to myself: “I will forgive him but first he needs to apologize” or “I will let this go but first I want to talk to him face to face.”
“But first” will always be there. I got to the point that I stopped saying but first and just starting trying to actually forgive him. It was a slow and gradual process but once I finally freed my hand from the grasp of resentment brokenness started becoming peace.
Stop saying “but first” in your life. I know resentment may follow you everywhere or even hide in the deepest corner of your soul but for most of us its a living breathing thing. No matter if your father failed to show up to a basketball game or failed to show up in life all together there is bound to grip of resentment somewhere in your life. Sons and daughters are not bound by the deeds of their fathers but the resentment that resounds in greatest canyons and smallest crevices of their lives.