Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wounds and Scars...Tears and Smiles

I got a phone call this morning from a good friend in East Tennessee. My friend Elizabeth is a single mom of two great kids. Her son Hunt is 16 years old and she speaks about him with the admiration and pride of a mom who invests all the love she can in her kids. Her ex husband is not, shall we say, up for Father of the Year anytime soon. He has essentially ignored his kids and been difficult their whole lives. So much so that Hunt decided almost two years ago that he no longer wants to see his dad. While this decision was necessary, it was difficult for him. Difficult because regardless of how poor a job a parent might do, or how badly they might treat us, they are still our parents after all. When you are a little kid, you see them as gods and whatever they dish out must surely be what you deserve.
Hunt dealt with this dichotomy in his heart but he had never been able put it into words before.
This morning, Elizabeth called me in tears. She had read my post about "The Necessity of Dads" and then she forwarded it to Hunt, who is in Mississippi at his grandparents farm. She told me her son was sitting in the cab of a huge tractor reading the post on his Blackberry crying because someone finally said what he held in his heart. He heard a grown man describe the longing of his heart for his fathers love and approval and he finally heard someone say it in the words his heart could grasp. It was at once sad and joyful. Sad because he saw another person with the same wounds, but joyful because an adult man had been where Hunt finds himself now and managed to put it in words, and in those words Hunt found some peace about it all. It doesn't make the rejection hurt less but it relieves him from the pain of thinking it has something to do with his value as a person or whether he is a good, lovable son. Hunt was able, maybe for the first time, to say "I deserved better". It freed him from trying to figure out what he might be able to do to change his father. Some people won't be changed and hearing an adult man say that set Hunt free in many ways.
When your dad rejects you, you have an internal urge to blame yourself and do something to get him to accept you. Hunt saw my struggle and seeing a grown man saying "I've been there too, and it's okay to get off this treadmill" was what he needed.
I am not saying this to boast. I say this because, less than two weeks ago this new blog was just an idea in a conversation between myself and James Ryle. Two weeks later...to the day...a young man in Mississippi is freer because of what has been written here.
The wounds turn to scars as healing takes place. The tears can bring a smile if yielded to God, and while I may never understand the path I have to walk, I am thankful that my gift is telling the story of the journey and helping others who walk behind me.
Thanks to James for suggesting this site. Thanks to my new friend Hunt for finding your freedom today, and telling your mom about it. It makes my pain worth it.
It's more of the "Victorious Limp" in action. Now make sure that someday you are the dad you always dreamed of having, young man!
You'll be great!
For everyone else...this illustrates the vision for this blog completely. One guy, speaking openly about hurts that divorced men feel, setting someone else free.
Pass it on...

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