Today is the anniversary of the launch of my website. One month today! WOW! Since the launch, I have been receiving testimonies from women of how my book (which is available for free download until the end of this week) has been such a revelation to them, causing them to change and ultimately changing their relationships. One woman called the book ‘her lifeline.’ So I have decided to start a blog in which I will write about love, relationships, and inner healing. They are all connected, as you will see.
We have been created by God in love, to love. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and to love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22.36-40). If you carefully examine this scripture you will see that apart from loving God, Jesus was telling us to love others ‘as we love ourselves.’ A deeper examination of this scripture reveals to us that we need to love ourselves. We can only love others the way we love ourselves! So then, loving others starts with loving ourselves!
So let me ask you a question – DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF?
That’s a tough one, isn’t it? We are always thinking of others but not ourselves. Be honest with yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to search the deep areas of your heart and show you how you feel about yourself.
Romans 5.5 says that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts and Jesus said we are to love others as we love ourselves. So I see us as love vessels. Life is all about love.
Unfortunately, for some of us, we fall short in this area. Yes, we say we love and we love to love, but no matter how much we try, we fail. I was one of those. I so earnestly desired to show love and affection, but failed all the time. One day my daughter said to me, ‘Mum, you are always angry.’ Her comment hurt me and I almost retaliated in anger, but she was right. I decided to seek the Lord about this matter. He revealed to me, through a process of time, that I was angry because I had been so hurt. As a result of my pain, I had put walls around my heart and I had difficulty showing and receiving love and affection. I opened myself up to the Lord and allowed Him to take me through a process of deep, inner healing. I am going to share with you the process that the Holy Spirit had taken me through, to bring me to the place where I now am a love vessel. My prayer is that you too will become free to love and receive love, as I am.
The process of healing and freedom began with my dad. A few years ago, during the worship at a conference I was attending, I began crying, in the deepest part of my soul, for my dad. I could not understand why I was feeling this way because my dad has always been my hero. He was a wonderful man and all my life I aspired to be like him. He was gentle, intelligent and kind. I knew that he loved me and never once doubted his love, but he never showed me love. He never showed affection. He was like an emotional iceberg. Through my tears, I felt such deep pain. The Holy Spirit was revealing to me the pain that I was feeling in the depths of my heart. I had no clue that I was carrying this pain for so many years of my life. In my pain, I was yearning for the affection of my dad. I was literally bent over with the pain of my dad failing to show love and affection. I did not know what to do and sought guidance from the Holy Spirit. He led me to forgive my dad for not showing any emotion – for not showing me love and affection. I forgave Dad and felt a burden lift.
The healing process was not over though. Every thought or emotion has a root. The Holy Spirit began to show me roots. The pain of not feeling loved by dad had a root. I had more digging to do. It meant allowing God to take me deeper – to search the inner depths of my heart. The Holy Spirit took me back to an incident that took place when I was around eight years old. I was with my dad, in the churchyard, while he talked to a friend after church. This friend’s daughter who was about a year younger than me came up to her dad and wanted him to pick her up and carry her. Her dad did that. I longed for the same. I just wanted to be in daddy’s arms (because I loved him so much) and asked him to pick me up and carry me. But he shunned me and rebuked me saying I was too big to be carried. I was so hurt, felt tears in my eyes, but held them back. I never knew the consequence of my dad’s response until the Holy Spirit revealed to me what took place that day. I was so hurt (and embarrassed because this took place in front of his friend) that I recoiled into myself and as an eight-year-old, believed that my dad was not there for me and decided never to seek any affection from him again. Unbeknown to me I had made an inner vow, which affected every area of my life, until it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. I had built a wall around my heart, protecting myself from pain. This was transposed to every relationship I had thereafter.
Even though I had made that decision that day, without realising it, there was still this deep desire for the affection and approval of my dad, which I tried to achieve by performing well in my education. Dad was an intellectual whose ambition was to be a teacher, but was never given the opportunity. He was well learned and loved education so I tried to seek his affection and approval through studies. I never realised this until it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit. My whole career was about making dad proud. When I was passed the Attorney’s admission exam and was admitted as an Attorney, my husband threw me a party and I remember turning to my Dad, during my speech and saying ‘Dad, I did this for you.’ I knew he was proud of me. He always was but still lacked the ability to show emotion.
Even though I became very successful in my career, I never felt good enough, not having any self confidence or self worth. This all changed when I forgave Dad and began telling him I loved him. Every time I spoke to him I would end the conversation with “I love you.” Dad never responded until a few months before he died. The first time he responded with ‘I love you too,” was worth more than all the money in the world, more than all the degrees I have, and more than all my success in life. I almost jumped up and touched the ceiling! That was breakthrough – not just for me but for my dad. You see, after I forgave Dad, I slowly became a vessel of love and I began showing him affection. He did not know how to show love and affection so I did it. My forgiveness and being set free from the pain, brought breakthrough in Dad’s life.
For more that forty years, Dad’s lack of affection was one of the strongholds that shaped my life. I did not love myself, and therefore could not love others, but the Most High God brought healing and freedom to me. Its never too late. Forgiving my dad was the first step to breaking down the walls I had around my heart. My first step to freedom. If He did it for me, He can do it for you! I pray that you too will be set free as you allow the Holy Spirit to search the inner depths of your heart and bring healing and freedom to you. Forgiveness is the key! Forgive the person that caused you pain and release the pain to Jesus. He is the healer and restorer of relationships.
In the coming weeks, I will share other steps the Lord took me through that brought me to the place of loving myself and becoming a love vessel.
I am not a poet, but I have written a poem which reflects my heart and my journey.
I was only eight
I so desperately needed to be loved
I needed you to pick me up
I needed your loving touch
But you couldn’t give it to me
‘Cos you didn’t know how
I forgive you Dad
I’m a big girl now
But it left a scar
A scar that caused me lots of pain
A scar that closed me up to love
A scar that closed me up to affection
A scar that closed me off to trust
A scar that caused me to make wrong decisions
A scar that robbed me off my childhood
But I love you Dad
I forgive you Dad
You didn’t know any better
So I’m writing you this letter
At forty- nine years of age,
I’m still longing to be picked up.
I never knew what that day did to me
I never knew until today
You have always been my hero
I have always aspired to be like you
I did become like you
“Hard to affection”
That day, Dad, made me as you.
I never once doubted that you loved me
You were a great Dad
And I always honour you,
You were closed to affection
Because you never knew how to be affectionate
I forgive you Dad,
Because you never knew how
I love you Dad
And I always will.
Today I peel off that scar
It hurts so bad
But Big Daddy is here to help
He knows how!
I now realise
You are Little Daddy
Who tried your best
But Big Daddy
Will do the rest!
I am His child
You were just His Caretaker
Taking care of me.
You didn’t know how,
And Well Done, Dad!
You did your best.
Big Daddy is here now
He knows how
He is slowly peeling off the scar,
Pouring His warm oil of love on
He knows all about affection
He gives me His full attention.
I forgive you Dad
Because you did not know how!
Thank you Big Daddy
For giving me attention
I choose to run into your arms
To get some affection
You will break down the wall
caused by the lack of affection
And fill the gap
Giving me all your attention.
I love you Dad
You did not know how
I love You Big Daddy
Because You do now how
If you have in any way been impacted by this blog, I would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org