"Come and listen…and I will tell you what He did for me." Ps.66:16

Tippy Toes …..

I strained on my tip toes to peek through the curtains.  Fear and panic gripped me as I watched the car go round tip toesand round.  Spinning through one ditch then raging across the street, throwing dust and rocks into the air and barely missing a row of mail boxes. And finally, coming to a complete sudden stop as smoke billowed from the engine.

What started as a simple late night chore the night before ended in the chaos of Dad jumping in the front seat of Mom’s car the next afternoon and literally driving it to its’ death.

The night before mom had taken a late night trip to the laundry mat in my dad’s car. On our return trip home, my dad’s car overheated.  Mom had no way of getting in touch with him so she kept driving – it was late and she was alone with her three little girls.

He was furious about the damage to his car, so the next day He sought revenge by ‘doing donuts’ in the ditches alongside our country home until Mom’s car died.

This was one of many explosions. But it was the one that sent my mom over the edge and led her to pack up and leave. A few days later, after Mom had sold all our furniture, we loaded onto a gigantic gray bus that took us to my uncle’s house. A few weeks later we moved in with my Granny.

The next forty plus years, my Dad walked in and out of my life just as he drove the car in and out of the ditches that afternoon so many years ago.  Broken promises.  Broken hearts.  Broken dreams. Broken girls. Broken family.  And yes, still a broken car.

Recently, my Dad was kicked out of his nursing home for the third time for his temper and was admitted to a mental hospital. I sent an email to my friend Stephanie asking her to pray. Her reply, “…have you forgiven your dad…just wondering…wanted to make sure you were set free from that before things may get even worse with him.”

As I processed her question, I was flooded with emotions and memories of the car spinning uncontrollably in the ditches so many years ago, but God also instantly flooded my heart with His words from Matthew 18: 21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.

I was able to respond with a “YES”!  I had processed past hurts several months ago with Dad and intentionally went to see him after 15 years of absence.  As God walked me through the visit, He made it perfectly clear that I could not change Dad, I could not change my past BUT I did not have to let my past define me.

In her book, A Confident Heart, Renee shares her powerful journey of forgiveness and says this: Confidence came as I followed God’s command to seek and offer forgiveness.” Her story has helped me see that it’s possible to forgive and worth the redemption God promises when we do. As I have sought to follow God’s command to seek and offer forgiveness, He has filled me with His confidence to make hard choices – the choice to accept Dad – the choice to pray `the seventy times seven – to continue the circle God started so that He will complete it: “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in {me} will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6).

My Dad passed away this past May.  I am so thankful and blessed that I sought to forgive and to move forward in obedience to Him.  

Lord, thank You for Your gift of forgiveness.  Please help me to forgive those who have hurt me – just as you have forgiven me – especially when the memories of the past come flooding in.   Help me keep no record of wrongs.  Thank You for filling me with Your confidence.  Thank you for freeing me from my past and my pain and not allowing them to define me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Won’t you join me in living a life of freedom – freedom from your past – freedom from your hurts – freedom from your fears?

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Comments on: "Tippy Toes ….." (13)

  1. The small group I led a couple of years ago went through it A Confident Heart a few years ago. It’s a great study! I’m glad you were able forgive your dad before He passed. You bring up a good point, the hurtful memories do continue to come up but He gives us the ability to hand them back over to Him when they do. And we are able to share those hurts and help other to process their hurts. Thanks for sharing, Donna.

    • Eileen,

      Thanks so much. I started A Confident Heart just as God began prompting me to go and forgive. It was through Renee’s story of her Dad in the book and in her emails as he passed away.

  2. jnewsomp31 said:

    Oh, Donna! Thank you so much for sharing this. What a beautiful picture of God gracing us with the ability for true forgiveness despite a broken past.
    Love you!
    Jennifer Newsom
    OBS Core/Teaching Team

  3. Sweet, Donna! You made my heart smile when I saw your blog post in my email. In 1994, after 3+ years of my Dad choosing to not be a part of my life, I too was able to spend time with him and forgive him before he passed away. I am wholeheartedly joining you in a life of freedom. Freedom from my past, my hurts, my insecurities, my doubts, and my fears. Love you!

    • Lori,

      Thank you for always always being such an encourager. So thankful that you too were able to spend time with your Dad and are now living in the freedom that only God can give. Love you!!!! And thanks much!

  4. Donna, oh, my goodness, what a beautiful story of forgiveness and healing and how God honors and blesses our obedience to follow His command to forgive. Thank you for reaching down into the depths of hard places to share your story with us. I too have experienced the freedom that forgiveness brings, and there is NOTHING like it!!!

    Love you!

    Wendy

    • Wendy,

      Thank you friend for your encouragement but most of all thank you for being an amazing example of someone sharing the hard spots of their life. And I am celebrating that freedom with you and giving Him all the glory!

      Love you!
      Donna

  5. Truly enjoyed reading your words! God used them as well!! Thanks for stepping out there and sharing your heart! I’m asking God to bless your obedience in BIG ways!! Blessings!

  6. Forgiving the ones who hurt us releases so much from our shoulders. I never got the chance to forgive my father in person, but I did forgive him. Thanks for blessing me with you story, and blessings to you and your family!!
    :) Trish

  7. Donna what a beautiful and precious story of forgiveness – sad with the little tippy toes and all that you went thru. Love you lady. Thanks for sharing your heart. Debbie W. (OBS Facebook Group Leader)

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