Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Open Letter to my Sons about Easter

I wrote this letter to my two college age sons who live on their own but I will not be able to see this holy season. My divorce from their mother was finalized over a year ago. Last spring I resigned my position from the parish I had been serving for 9 years returning to my southern home to help my sister care for our mother whose cancer had become terminal. I have yet to find a full-time position allowing me to travel and visit them. By the grace of God I do serve a small church plant in an assisting position. Our divorce culminating in my recovering from severe depression. so the remark about 'contemplating killing myself' is a reference to the suicidal thoughts I once had. So my posting this is for those who have faced or are facing, our trying to live up to our kids' expectations or percieved expectations and for families who cannot celebrate the holidays together for whatever reasons. God has healed me of my depression and all glory belongs to Him in whom we move and have our being.

Holy Week 2011

Dear Taylor & Josh~

This is letter is to let you know how much I love you and how sad I am that another major holy day of my faith is now being celebrated and I cannot spend it with you. This is not my will. My occasional background work is so few that what money I make goes to gas and to help your aunt with very little groceries. It is not enough at all to go towards any housing expenses. When your grandmother died, she left a debt on her condo and while it's on the market, the mortgage still has to be paid. So I still look for work. My hope right now is to get into a chaplaincy residency later in the summer. But for now, I put my name in for any opportunities in the local film industries suitable for a balding middle age man!

If there is any regret I have raising you two, it's not being stronger in my faith while y'all were young. There is a myth that whatever we want, God should give it to us. We are not at the center of the universe. God has already decided how our lives are supposed to be. Since we are far from perfect, sick with sin, our life is one of moving towards God, like the prodigal son returning to his father. What I am learning in my life is that my journey is just that, moving closer to God who has had my life planned from before I was conceived. This does not mean I am happy all of the time as I have to let go of my wishes, dreams and preconceived notions of how my life should be. In other words, my disappointments stem from a desire to be at the center of the universe rather than letting God be God. This, in the end, is a form of idolatry.

I share this with you as I pray for both of you daily. If I could have my way, I would be with y’all this week. But our lives are one of God using our trials and tribulations to mold us into the person He wants us to be. I must learn to accept my limitations and circumstances knowing that each day I wake up, is another day to be thankful to Him who gives me life.

This week we remember God truly gave His only begotten Son that we may have life, His Life! We are not to live for ourselves but for Him who created us in His image. Much of my parenting was spent trying to save y’all from disappointments much like my father did. And he was not a very happy person. Unfortunately, there will be that job we will not get, or we will lose, the money that is never enough. People will judge us by what we have or don’t have. Yet none of these things are important. In fact the only thing that is important is knowing who your true Father is and He is in Heaven. Yes, He killed His only begotten Son, for us! We don’t have to kill ourselves as I once contemplated doing. Trying to live for others is a losing proposition. Surrendering to God is a winning solution. We cannot control our lives, but we can give up our control to God. So those things that do not go our way, may be best for us. Jesus surrendered on the cross. Before that first Good Friday, he taught us to take up our cross and follow Him.

So today I pray that I will get a steady income to help with my obligations to y’all knowing that God directs my steps. Where I mourn today for what I cannot do, I know God will comfort me by His grace in what He can and will do. I ask that we all accept God’s providential good will knowing that He is molding our character for a future resurrection., a resurrection of eternal life for those who have turned back to God and His righteousness. The outlook is quite bleak for those whose hearts are hardened wanting to live for themselves and not for God!

I love you both very much and miss you very much. I do not know what the future holds but God knows.

May you both have a Happy Easter learning its true meaning for your lives.

Love,

Dad