Some years ago my parents ended their 25+ year marriage in divorce and my father left our home. The situation surrounding the divorce was extremely painful, not just for my mother, but for my family as well, particularly for me. While I rather not focus on the reasons for their divorce, I will say that the situation left me broken and with more questions than answers. Throughout my life, I’ve always been the type to never open a door upon having decided to close it. In fact, I recall telling my mother many times that the day my father left our home was the day he died in my eyes.

Some of my darkest years followed that divorce. At one point, I tried taking my own life as I thought it was not worth living anymore. Please understand that through it all I was still attending church and though I had many questions, I never stopped believing in God but being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from these thoughts or pain and suffering. The search for love or something to fill the emptiness inside of me led to many bad decisions including hating my father. After many bitter tears and A LOT of prayer, I realized that my life was spinning out of control and I couldn’t continue down the same dark path. I started by asking God for forgiveness, forgiving my father (despite never having a conversation with him as I did not know where he was), and trying to find the silver lining in this situation so I could use it to help others.

A recent medical diagnosis put a lot of things into perspective for me and reaffirmed this decision. On my birthday this year, I received a message from my father and although I cannot pretend everything is perfect, or that we will ever have the same relationship as before, I will say that I was able to reply without hate or reproach.  Moreover, I’ve decided to try and repair a few bridges previously burned by my old ways.

Everything is not perfect. I still have dark days, and my mind is sometimes a battlefield, yet I hold firmly to what I believe. God didn’t abandon me in my worst, He hasn’t left me during my recovery, and I know He will be present in my victory. After all, He’s the reason behind it.