“Everything that is hidden will be made clear and every secret thing will be made known.” Mark 4:22
Here we are, 1st December 2017 yet it doesn’t seem five minutes since I started organising last Christmas! It seems on the one hand a hundred things have happened but on the other nothing has changed. Recently thought things have changed, and these changes may have a huge impact on life as we know it.
That last time I posted was back in October when I mentioned that although I was struggling with church, my faith was intact and it has in fact been the thing helping me make sense of things and giving me the strength to let go of that which I can do nothing about anyway. It is quite likely that some of the following will seem vague and leave you, the reader, asking a hundred questions but they won’t come close to the thousands of questions I have myself, many of which can never be answered now. I’ve been all over the place for the last seven days, literally flitting from one thing to another (the song played in my head a few times so…) and what follows will give you some idea why.
My father passed away 14 years ago and last week I learned his wife passed away last month. There had been no contact with her or her family following dad’s death for a number of reasons. Anyway, last Saturday I received a few documents in the mail which included four letters. One was from a cousin I didn’t know existed trying to reunite dad with his sister. The postmark was 2004 so sadly dad had already gone. It turns out my Aunty (if she is still alive) shares the same birthday as me – 6th May. The other three letters were addressed to ‘Dad…’ WHAT?!!!
I read these letters with very mixed feelings. Anger, sadness, disappointment back to anger. Why hadn’t we (my brother and I) ever been told by dad? Once he’d died WHY hadn’t his wife given these letters to me? What possessed her to keep them in the first place? I understand she suffered with dementia the last few years of her life so maybe she forgot she had them. Who knows? And we will never really know because they’re both dead now.
The letters were quite a hard read and I paced around from some time trying to decide what to do. Early that evening I broke the news to my husband. The news that I appeared to have another sister and three more brothers that I’d never met. Never known about. At this point the emotions overflowed and I had a few tears, got cross with dad and his wife but managed to give myself that talk, you know, the one you’d give to your friends, “calm down, there’s nothing you can do about what’s gone before, only what’s to come.” Once I’d reached this point hubby, who always sees the best of things, said ‘Wow! More brothers and a sister, that’s a good thing. A happy thing isn’t it?!’ And I think he is right, but it’s an awful lot to take in.
The letters had been sent 16 years earlier so I had no idea whether my sister still lived at the address given but advised about another way of finding her I managed to get in touch. I’ve now written to my new sister and brothers.
The news has not been so well received by some members of the family. The questions it’s raised has brought old hurts to the surface opening up wounds that hadn’t fully healed, and I get that – it did for me too for a while, but my children and grandchildren are excited about the prospect of having more Uncles and another Aunt and, now almost a week on I’m getting excited too. A little scared and nervous, but excited. We will have to take one step at a time, but the words that jumped into my head last Saturday won’t go away so I’m standing firm in my faith and praying hard that they are indeed God’s promise to me at this time and I believe His words when He says
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…”
As I touched on earlier, this news has for some, dragged up the past and caused renewed and refuelled tensions. I firmly believe that there comes a time when you simply have to move on. You have to make like “Frozen” and just ‘let it go’. It’s not always easy, in fact it can feel really unfair to have to but this is where my faith in God is truly my rock. I want to concentrate on the ‘treasures of heaven’ and not get screwed up with bitterness because the only ones that will destroy is me, my children and my husband. Circumstances over the last couple of days over old issues have been upsetting yet I’ve been able to remain at peace within, knowing there are good things to come. Even though I want to support those who are hurting there is actually nothing I can do or say to take the pain, anger and bitterness away for them. All I can and am doing is praying. I was really not sure whether to get involved with their intentions or not, so I sat and prayed before my daily Bible readings this morning and asked the Lord to help me. To speak to me through His word and guide me in this situation. My first verse of the day today was:
“You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Exodus 14:14
What encouragement this gave me. What freedom from the chains that threatened to bind me by dragging up the old feelings from the past this provided. I didn’t want or need to go back there. He, the Lord would take care of everything. I just needed to stay calm and rejoice in that which has now been revealed. Talk about answered prayer! So, I’m peacefully leaving the past well and truly behind and looking forward to the future, to hearing from my new sister and brothers and beginning a new chapter in my life.
Whatever you’re going through, be encouraged, the Lord is always near and He is Good.
God bless you and your loved ones and may your weekend be one filled with joy.