Around the age of thirteen and fourteen my father began to verbally abuse me. I love my dad very much and I have 100% forgiven him. I know now, he spoke out of a place of fear.
At that time in my life my brother was in and out of prison and my dad lived in fear that I would somehow end up just like my brother. Because of my father’s fear I was told again and again that I would amount to nothing, I was lazy and I could rot in prison. My father told me he had nothing to live for. I remember thinking in my heart, “But aren’t I a reason to live?”
I would never speak those words out loud.
Instead I wrote mean and hateful things in my journal, vowing to be everything my dad said I never would be. I decided I must be the best at whatever I do. Then my dad would love me.
I got straight A’s, the leads in plays and musicals, I was in honors society, honors choir. I made my dad proud and he did brag about me to anyone who would listen. But I always felt his pride rested on me being good enough and if I ever failed I would lose his love. I believed his love was conditional.
I would later project these same feelings on my husband and my Heavenly Father.
I know that most of what I have shared is sad, don’t worry there is a happy ending to all of this. A Genesis 5020 of course. Don’t think I was miserable constantly. I would never trade my experiences being in plays and musicals. I grew from those times and formed bonds with my classmates and made new friends that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
I just want to remind everyone, especially parents, the power our words have over our children. We can build them up or tear them down. Of course, we do need to discipline our children and I have been guilty of being too soft due to my fear of messing up my kids. Being too soft can harm our kids as well. Children need firm, loving, consistent discipline. God is the perfect parent and the one we should always turn to for parenting advice and guidance.
God would never tell us we will never amount to anything. His Word says the opposite. He knows the plans he has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The words we speak are powerful. Choose yours wisely. Not only for your children but also for your spouse, friends, parents, and the lady at the grocery store.
I usually end with a Bible verse, but today I wanted to share this Youtube video with you. I have never heard this song but found it very powerful. Just click the Youtube video link and it will take you a song by Casting Crowns that landed in my inbox this morning. Take the 5 mins. to listen and just worship. For those of us who are believers let’s not be stumbling blocks for those who don’t know Christ, whether that be through our words or our actions.