To begin, I’m praying for God’s guidance as I type what I’m about to type. I pray for comfort and peace for those about to read this.
On Labor Day, 1974 (give or take a year), my father said he had to take a call from work, which at the time was with AAA driving a tow truck. I went with him on his call. I do not remember there being an action of work from him. What I do remember is a vivid, vulgar display of actions that my father perpetrated against me. I remember being so afraid. I also remember going home and acting like nothing had ever happened. I dread every Labor Day.
I dreaded yesterday. I had been doing well for the last couple of years regarding Labor Day. However, new information that I obtained about my father several days before began to flood my thoughts. I had not worked a “hot” holiday for work this year, so I had to work for a couple of hours, yesterday. I met with a man who asked to speak to me specifically. For those reading this who do not already know, I work in a psychiatric hospital. I was listening to this man speak, and he during our time together, he spoke of being a registered sex offender due to molesting his own daughter. “REALLY?!?!?! TODAY, I HAD TO HEAR THIS?!?!?!,” was my thought. I froze up. I went numb. I’m pretty sure I dissociated for a split second. I stayed professional. I stayed ethical. I prayed that God would take care of me during this time because I was too weak to do it myself. I had a big hatchet wound busted wide open, and all I could do was cover it with a tiny Band-Aid. God carried me through, yesterday. He continues to do so, today. I wanted to scream, cry, and crawl into a dark corner and be left alone. I was afraid of a memory. I was afraid of myself. I prayed. Hard. Writing this, a scripture comes to my mind.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7
Yesterday, I was put to a test. Satan intended to bury me under fear, shame, and guilt. I resisted Satan. I fought him wearing God’s armor. I was victorious in the name of Jesus!
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d]16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e]17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. — Ephesians 6: 13 – 18
This is how my week started. Here is what I have left to face this week.
My youngest daughter, 19, is moving out at the end of the week. Empty nest is already hitting me hard. I have been a mother for 21 years. That has been my primary job on this earth. I raised my daughters to be independent, strong, and thriving women. They are. What was I thinking?!?! When my oldest moved out, it tore my heart to shreds. She moved so far away. I thought it was going to kill me. It took a long time for me not to cry when she would come visit and leave again. This time, I’m facing the whole empty nest situation. While my youngest is not moving 8 hours away, there will be an emptiness in my home. In my heart. She and I have had so much fun just hanging out together late at night and watching movies that made us laugh. We would go driving around and just be silly. We have done “just be silly” the best. I will miss her not being in the house. On the bright side, however, my husband and I get to start our life not having to raise children. We have been blessed by the most loving daughters anyone could ever ask for. Seeing our youngest leave, we will feel a sadness as it brings closure to what has been the majority of our lives. We have raised her to leave the house. We have raised her to be strong and independent. We have done our job. I can look forward to the rest of my life with my husband as we begin to grow in each other. It does not make the empty nest event less sad or difficult, but it helps make the future look so inviting. My husband and I can focus on being great parents to our adult children and being really great grandparents to our grandchildren. This is what happens in life. This is the order of things. I am abundantly blessed by these gifts from God. I pray my children turn to God for all their needs, concerns, and fears. I pray that they practice thanksgiving everyday for what God has given them.
I thank God for all of my experiences this week. This life. He entrusted me with more than I ever thought I could handle. Yeah, He did not ask me if I wanted to be faced with all of my life events. He simply gave them to me knowing what would happen. Thank you, Father.
P.S. My yesterday was brightened by time spent with my grandson. There is always something better on the other side of “yuck”.