Saturday, June 20, 2020

One Good Memory

Father's Day is here again and so many are posting wonderful memories about their Dad's on facebook and writing blogs about them.  I always go back to this post I wrote several years ago.  

Everyone has a Dad but not all of them were good ones.  My Dad did not have a good Dad and he followed after his Dad.  So few good memories are in my memory bank about him. 

I married a man who is a wonderful Dad and our son is a wonderful Dad and our daughter married a good Dad.  I don't live in regret over my childhood anymore, God has taught me to let Him use it, don't waste it by being angry, bitter over the fact I did not have a good Dad.  I am grateful for all God has taught me through my struggles to forgive.  Besides, I have the best Dad of all in our Heavenly Father.  

Hazel over at   http//  gave  a challenge to write stories from ones past.  Stories that can be left to our children and grandchildren.

For some, that may not be a challenge but for me, it's extremely difficult.   There are some great stories on her blog site.  Some will make you laugh, shed tears,  and some are life-changing but all are usually good memories that are shared.  Every time I read those post my heart wishes I could come up with one good memory about my Dad from my childhood to share.  Then one day as I watch my son comb his three year old daughter hair a flashback happened, one I had not had in a long time.  A good was my dad combing my hair when I was about my granddaughter age.  Through the years it's the one flashback that does not cause me to tremble.  

A flashback, or involuntary recurrent memory, is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually powerful, re-experiencing of a past experience or elements of a past experience. These experiences can be happy, sad, exciting, or any other emotion one can consider.

Wikepidia encyclopedia.....

By the time I was two my mother had given birth to twin boys, 19 months younger then me so maybe Dad noticed her hand was pretty full that night.   Maybe he was sober that night. Maybe he was trying to make up for some of the abuse he inflicted on us.  These details were not answered in my flashback.  All my mind recalled is him combing my hair and I was not crying so he must have been gentle.    I am amazed how one good memory can rise above all the bad ones.  It would be so easy to dwell on the hurting ones and allow nothing good to come through but that helps no one including me.  

When my two children became teenagers they started asking me about my upbringing.  I wanted to evade the questions anything but gives words to memories.   They only knew my Dad as the broken man we took care of three years at the end of his life.  They did not know him as I did and because of Jesus living in my life, I somehow wanted to protect them from even knowing how bad things had been for me as a child.  God never wastes anything though and He gently shoved me through opened doors to share how the love of God can win the most wicked heart.  You see my Dad got saved the night before he died. (another post...I Got What I Wanted)

The love of God can turn anger and bitterness into understanding and forgiveness.  These were the things I wanted my children to learn.  These are the things I want my grandchildren to learn.  They will get hurt along the way, some may even betray their trust.  My prayer is that some of my stories, even the hurtful ones can be used to give them an understanding into the wickedness of our hearts.  "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Understanding that says, "there but by the grace of God go I".    I could paint a horrible picture of my Dad and they would feel sorry for me but that is not what God wants.  I am a better person because of my understanding and the act of forgiveness.  No one owns me except the one who bought and shed His blood for my Him I owe everything.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to
be understanding and forgiving.     Dale Carnegie

“The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present....  Barbara De Angelis

God said to Solomon in  a dream, "ask what you want Me to give you."  Solomon after looking back
at his and his father life said, "give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil...give me wisdom. 

This dialogue in I Kings 3  between God and Solomon made a profound impact on my life as a young Christian of 35.  The more I studied it  a deep desire grew for the same thing, an understanding wise heart.    Life is a few days of trouble a wise man once said and those troubles will rule ones life unless there isan understanding of who God is, who man is, what sin is, and most important the power of redemption.    

I know there are more good memories tucked back in my memory  bank and with God's help, I am praying for more to emerge.  But for now, I will dwell on a little red headed three year old girl getting her hair brushed by her daddy.  Sweet memory.

 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise , dwell on these things. Phil 4:8

This post is linked to Tell Me A Story


  1. dear friend, your story is so tender ... and so filled with love for your heavenly Father and gratefulness for the sweet memories He gives you.

    may this day be one of healing and peace.

    1. One thing God showed me was my sins even though were not the same as my Dad still made me unworthy of His death on the cross. Seeing my Dad through the eyes of Christ changed my perspective on God's love for all. Through the years God has given me courage to respond in love to the unlovely.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know this had to be very difficult. I love the one precious memory you have when your father was tender with you and combed your hair. Most of all, I love that your dad finally came to Christ before he died. I pray that God welcomed him into heaven with open arms, just as the repentant thief on the cross was saved by Christ on the cross at that last moment, and He told him, "today you will be with Me in paradise." Praise God for that hope we have. May God be very comforting and tender to you today. (((hugs)))

    1. My husband led my Dad to the Lord the night before he died. God cleared his mind up and like the thief on the cross he left this earth a child of God. God has used the testimony through the years to encourage others to depend on God's love for forgiveness when needed.

  3. Hold on to that one precious memory, Betty, and rest assured of the great love your heavenly Father has for you always. He has helped you to embrace forgiveness instead of bitterness, and your example is inspirational to us all. May God continue to bless you and yours!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement Martha. I do hold onto that memory, it's the one precious thing I have from my Dad. God's love for me reminds me He loved my Dad too, that His grace is for everyone, even the worst of us sinners.

  5. I have to agree with Martha. Hold onto that one good memory. I dig around in my memory bank and find stories I can relive and feel good about with my dad. But I also knew I didn't want that to be true for my girls. I'm glad you were able to see that telling your children about your past shows we do not have to be prisoners to them.

    1. Ace and I listened to a good sermon yesterday about hugging. Neither one of us have a memory our Dad's hugging us. But we have sure made up for that with our two, our grandchildren, our brothers and sisters and friends. It's such a simple, no cost thing to do. I always tell new people we meet, we are huggers. So watch out brother, if I ever get to meet you and your wife, a hug is coming your way.

  6. It's not easy to forgive. I know that we need His strength. But what release of weight from our hearts and minds when we do so. The spiritual battle is real and that our enemies are always active dividing families. It's awesome that even just one mem'ry of your father brushing your hair gently could wipe out all the hurt you suffered from throughout the years. By His grace. Because of your forgiveness and love that you gave him, he must have felt Jesus' love through you that he surrendered to Him before passing. Thank you for reminding me that we truly have the Greatest Father one could ask for. And it's always something to keep in our minds and our hearts each day. God bless and protect you sister Betty.

    1. We took care of my Dad for four years, not because I loved him but because God loves me. there is such power in the love of Christ that gives strength when needed. God does not tell us to love father's but we are to honor our parents. I learned a way to do that by taking care of him after he had a massive stroke. I did not depend on love, even my love for God but on His love for me, different perspective. It was hard, but most good things we learn is through hard times. thanks you for your encouragement.

  7. You are the wise hearted woman you prayed to be. Thank you for being courageous and sharing your story. Oh, how I love listening to you.

    1. Hello Kim, Are you back to blogging? I hope so. You encouraging my heart too with your stories of God working in you life. Blessing.

  8. You are such a good person sharing your story. Sometime I carry bitterness about some situations and my husband tells me I have to learn to let go and let GOD. It is funny, many years ago I bought my mom a decorative picture that said Live and Let God! I received it back when she passed away in 2001. You are a wonderful encourager. I think so many people are ashamed of things from their past and think no one would love them especially GOD. We know he does love us don't we? SO keep writing your stories. I know you have touched my heart today and I really needed to hear your story. Thank you. Blessings and Hugs across the miles.

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