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For 40 years I have lived as a daughter of an alcoholic, then this spring my alcoholic dad died. I have kept my story hidden for many years because forgiveness made me love my daddy so much I couldn’t allow his drinking to destroy his relationship with his grandchildren. I wanted them to love the good side of their grandaddy and so I set firm boundaries to keep them safe from the dark side; the side that was caught in a love affair with a dark amber liquid that brought out the worst in him.
As of late however, God has made it clear it is time for my secret to come to the surface. I am trusting God to give my children the same ability to forgive and give grace as I have.
My dad’s death has stirred so many emotions in my heart, good memories, bad memories, things said that should never have been said, things I wished were said, but one thing that keeps me from falling too far into a sea of regret about my childhood is the fact that as an adult God helped me to forgive my father.
Not only did I forgive him but God help me gain a new understanding of my father. We might have had a strange relationship over the last few years before he died that existed only through the written word of snail mail but I looked forward to his letters, and through them I was finally able to separate who my dad really was from who my dad was with alcohol flowing through his system.
God used so many things to heal my heart to the point where I no longer feared my father but instead had empathy for him, one such item God used to help me was sea glass.
I had collected and cherished a growing glass jar of sea glass for decades before it struck me I was collecting pieces of the very vessel that held the liquid that took my father from me, destroyed my family and robbed me of many childhood years.
Yet knowing what I know now I continue to collect sea glass in fact now I love it even more.
Why? Because God spoke to me through sea glass in a powerful way that helped me love my dad despite his addiction and also allowed me to give myself to God fully for complete healing.
Through the process of being tossed around in the storms that life gave it and through the sand and salt chipping away at its shinny surface and its rough edges that ugly daddy taking vessel became beautiful pieces of smooth glittering art that is collected and treasured.
And that is exactly how God works on the human heart. He uses life’s storms, life’s sand and salt to remove our sharp edges and form us into something beautiful.
My life will forever be touched by the dark side of alcohol, but I don’t have to spread the pain one generation further. I took hold of God’s hand years ago and allowed Him to smooth down the sharp painful parts of my history to a beautiful smooth finish that instead of spreading pain to those around me can spread joy.
I am not perfect yet. I still have many sharp points left, but that is what grace is for. God covers me with His grace when a I cause pain to a loved one with a sharp point I didn’t even know I still had. He also convicts me and brings me to my knees to repent and ask forgiveness, and through that process the sharp points left get a little smoother.
Are you living a shattered life due to someones addictions you cannot control? Give your sharp broken pieces to God and let Him take you through the waves of forgiveness. Let Him use the salt of your tears and the sand of time to mold those pieces into something treasured by all, something so valuable that sea goers spend hours searching for just a few pieces of it and when they find one they hold it up to the light to enjoy its beauty then they bring it home with them to put it on display as a piece of art to be valued.
You are valuable, You are worthy, You are a work of priceless art created by God.
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