Love shares a family story – even the dark stuff (pt5)

by Craig on November 18, 2011

I know that my professionally drawn diagrams aren’t all that professionally drawn. ツ But they do tell the story. And yesterday, Victoria said this in her comment:

“For a while in your diagrams there were no red lines to your sister.  ??”

Good catch.

There were no red lines to my sister until after my mom left this earth.

I won’t share the details because this stuff is extremely personal and doesn’t involve the family.

And I think it’s important to say that I have forgiven my father.
It’s still very uncomfortable to be around him – but I’ve forgiven.

Words and actions don’t just disappear…
love sprouts daisies, non-love leaves ashes.
To be with my father now is like sitting in ashes.

I haven’t told him this.
I’ve wanted to spare his feelings.
But hiding this from him is not “respecting your father”…
as our Bible, which I love, instructs.

He doesn’t know it’s the reason I’m so uncomfortable around him.

I wrote last week of how I’m going to visit my father soon…
and there is every chance that he will slam the door in my face, or worse.

But I would like to keep communication open if only to share the gospel with him. The way I did with my mom – the way that I’m sharing over on Deep into Scripture.

But also, as I write this, here, I’m realizing the importance of letting him know the great damage that he has done…

not only to the one child he beat…
but the young, confident, strong, happy bride that he married…
and the beautiful girl he fathered…
and his once happy, good decision-making twins…
and my once kind and compassionate older brother.

Should I?

And I know it sounds strange, and unlikely that he would cut off ties…
spitefully, harshly, cruelly…
for a trivial reason…
but he’s cut off ties for far less…
and then despised the child he has cut off ties with…
which brings me back to Victoria’s comment from yesterday.

He’s done this with his baby girl.

After my mom left this earth, she reached a point where she couldn’t take his actions any longer, and left. Though I can’t call it abuse – he never “abused” her – he did destroy her – and I know that he can cut off ties spitefully and cruelly, because he did with her.

Next time more on that…

and how he has mangled the family until it looked like this…

I can forgive what he has done to me…

I have had the hardest time forgiving what he’s done to my sister, and everyone else in the process.

I’m not certain that it’s mine to forgive…

I may have to think about that…

anyway, there’s more to this…

Please come back.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie November 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thinking of you and praying that you find peace. Oh, families are difficult. Relationships are so complex. It would be hypocritical of me to say, “Forgive!” because I haven’t yet been able to do that completely myself. But you’re in my thoughts. BTW, I’m at this new site and no longer posting on Obeying Heart.


Craig November 20, 2011 at 5:45 am

Carrie, peace I have, the family has been divided and conquered. That’s a successful war strategy – and one that’s been employed by the angry one who used to be in the middle, and although he’s lost that place is still in the middle of the commotion. I’ve said before that forgiveness for me is not as hard as some other areas of Christianity, I have forgiven – it’s just really sad to see how he has continued to destroy the family even after everyone is out of his house. Thank you for the heads up about your new blog – good to know! God bless and keep you my friend.


Nicol Epple November 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Hi Craig! I am bestowing the Liebster Award to you! Visit to see why!

~ 1 ~ When you receive this award, copy and paste it to your blog.
~ 2 ~ Thank the blogging friend who awarded you and make sure you link back to their blog so others can check out their fabulous blog too.
~ 3 ~ Choose your five (5) up-and-coming blog picks then go share the love by commenting on their blog.
~ 4 ~ Hope and encourage that the recipients will spread the love to other up and coming blogs! (Be sure to check their blogs for the list to check out other great blogs!)

Love your heart- keep writing!


Layla Payton November 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Abuse is not just a physical thing. It can occur emotionally as well. Actually, it is far easier to get away with emotional abuse than physical, because it doesn’t leave visible scars.

I know this from experience.

You are right, you absolutely CAN forgive. In fact, because we are in Christ, we must forgive.

By reaching out to your father, and telling him about Salvation, despite all the abuse…yeah, that is forgiveness. That is also honoring him. And if he shuts the door in your physical face, he cannot shut the door on the spiritual impact.

Blessings to you, friend.


Craig November 20, 2011 at 5:53 am

however, if he shuts the door on my physical face, he shuts the door on the gospel – I don’t want to play a game about this, I’m tired of the games, pulling strings like a puppet master is not being a father – and if he chooses to close the door, as he has tried to do before, this time I may just let him. The question I wonder about is whether I can forgive what IS DOING to the others – tearing them apart from each other – is it my place to forgive that – I think that forgiveness can only be granted by the one who has been offended – if he’s hurting them, it’s their place to forgive – and not mine – it’s a difficult question. Bless you Layla!


Katie November 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Oh Craig,
What a hard thing you are facing. It is not easy to do. I read your comment above. Just remember if he closes the door to the gospel and to you, it is his choice. Praying for you dear friend in Christ. I know how hard this is for it has not been easy being the only one calling it like it is in my family. Your sister may not have suffered physically but she suffered by being in the same home, emotionally. That is so often far worse than anything physical and harder to pinpoint and heal from.

I thought of you this weekend when I was alone at the cabin praying. I so enjoyed time alone without phones, radio, tv, internet. Just me, my husband, nature and God. My husband went out hunting while I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Time to relax was so healing and connecting with God in this way was more than I could hope.


Craig November 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

thank you Katie, it’s true, it’s ours to try to get the message through, it’s God’s to save – we (read I) too often get that wrong. Thank you for the prayers – I really do plan on making that call on Thanksgiving day – I have no idea how he’ll respond – I imagine I should be praying for what God wants to have happen – not what I want. And Amen – even though they were never “abused” – he had an impact on each and every one of us to some negative degree. And Katie, I’m really glad you had a good weekend. God bless and keep you and yours my friend


Rebecca November 21, 2011 at 7:29 am

Parenting…oh, the joys and the heart aches. Yes, you have to forgive…even what he did to your sister. It hurts your heart….and me, I’m preaching to the choir…I just spent thirty minutes chatting with a Mom…and needing prayer for me to forgive…..the hurts run deep…and he wants us to bring them to the cross. Why do we hold on to them? That’s my question. They hurt…so, why do I hold them….praying for you….for your heart…for your Father…for OUR Father…to create healing that goes beyond anything human…as he is spirit, not of flesh and can and will do all things for his glory!!!!!


Craig November 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Rebecca, I smiled when I saw your face, with your uber-intelligent looking glasses here today. And Amen – of course I have to forgive – the question is this, can I really forgive someone for what they’ve done to someone else – doesn’t that forgiveness really reside with the offended people – the one injured – and God. That’s what I was wondering.

and in your comment you said “a” mom – did you mean your mom – or “a” mom?

Thank you for your prayers Rebecca – I really heart the praying for each other that goes on in our community – it’s been maybe the biggest surprise of blogging. And those hurts? I just wondered if maybe we don’t hold onto them so much as they hold on to us – and we have to push them away – leaving open hands for God. God bless you Rebecca!


Rebecca November 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Of course, forgiveness lies with anyone hurt in any situation. It sounds to me like you are hurt…just by seeing your sister hurt….and I get that….
No…I was chatting with a mom I know…not my Mom…she is no longer with me…she left and went on to the Father…three years ago…October of 08….and there are hurts and pains there…that I want so desperately to let go of….
I recently had something happen…that has racked my heart and brought up something so deep, I never knew it existed…this one event has brought to my heart and my mind hurts that I have buried and buried and never spoken…this one hurt…that has nothing to do with the others…but is the needle in the hay stack…it broke the camel’s back..and I find myself…sitting here…wanting to hand them to God…not sure if I’m holding them or they’re holding me…but, I want to let go…..if I could just lay them down….
as for my uber-intelligent glasses…ha…had to had laugh at that….they do nothing more than allow these eyes to see….I wish intelligence came with them!


Victoria Jenkins November 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi Craig,
You absolutely can and must forgive him…but in this case you are forgiving him not for what he’s done to others (that would be their’s to forgive) but for the impact what he did to others had on you. That is just as real and even tangible.

I’m waiting with baited breath to see what he does. And I’m praying. As I’m praying I realize how fortunate your family is to have you.

I can see that if he closes the door in your face, you realize it’s not really your face he’s closing it on. (great! Now you’ve got me looking at the prepositions :{) Anyway, You know what I mean. Even Yahshua said (paraphrasing here) “if they won’t receive you, walk away and brush the dirt off your feet.” It’s hard…and it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is done with him…it just means you won’t be the tool.

I feel for the pain in your family. We had it pretty rough and we’re all pretty close in spite of it, maybe even because of it. I pray closeness for you and your siblings.

Now…since I’ve noticed a few things, I want to ask you something else. Why do some of the lines have red dots in them?
And by the way…I had a very difficult time reading the diagram on this post. I guess that’s what a mess will do, huh?
God be with you, Craig.


Craig November 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

THIS is a good point – I hadn’t considered this

“but in this case you are forgiving him not for what he’s done to others (that would be their’s to forgive) but for the impact what he did to others had on you. That is just as real and even tangible.”

in this case, I have worried, I have been heart broken, I’ve been sad because of how he is done damage to my sister – she was a Princess – then she was dirt – I’ll never understand how horrible that must be. She’s a fabulous woman now – I’m proud of her!

I’ll be thinking about your good point.

And the diagram – yes, it is a little messy – but I’ve also taken him out of the center – so things are moved around a little bit –he’s not really IN the center anymore – he tries to insert himself there – he’s kind of off center now – I need to work on that diagram – I mean, I need to get the professionals to do work on that diagram ツ God bless you, Victoria, and thank you.


Victoria Jenkins November 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

ohhhhh, ok. I had to go back. The red dots are the “not so healthy bonds.”


Craig November 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm


Tracie November 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I went back and read parts 2-5 to get caught up.

I understand so much the confusion of the question of forgiving someone over things that are not yours to forgive, yet still impacted your life in such a strong way. It is a tricky line.


Craig November 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Victoria, in the comments, made a good point. Tracie – after my mom died, and my sister became as much daughter as she was sister to me, I felt a lot of the feelings of parent feels toward their children, protectiveness, and feeling their pain when they hurt, you know – all those things. It was a blessing really – having never had children – I would never have had those feelings if not for what happened. So I know you understand when I say that when she was hurt by him – I was hurt by him – and I guess I do need to forgive that. This overlapping forgiveness thing – yes – you have it right – a tricky line. Thank you. Tracy, thank you, and God bless you.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: