Facing Giants!

As Christmas is approaching I find myself dreading it more and more. Not that I don’t like Christmas, it is by far my favorite holiday. There is something blessed about this time of year. The music is jolly, the snows a falling, everyone for the most part are in a pretty cheerful mood. The smell of the Christmas tree is grand and then all the beautiful lights, well just make this time of year very enchanting. I love Christmas and all of its cheer.

You see my memories of Christmas as a kid are just grand. We lived in this little house next door to where my grand parents live now, and I can still remember and smell the old family room where we would light the fire and put up the tree. The scent of burning pine and Christmas tree for me is very nostalgic. My whole life we celebrated Christmas with my cousin Jeremy and Heather, my aunt and uncle, Sheri and Danny, my Grand parents, and sometimes my aunt and uncle, Debbie and Keith. We would stay in our PJ’s and sit around the fire and play with what ever new thing we happened to get that year. My cousin Jeremy and I were like best friends and so to share this time with him it was very grand time. My parents on the other side of things never were around. In fact to this day I have not one memory of my mom at Christmas and only like 4 with my dad. And that being said that the last 3 years my dad has been at Christmas making only 1 memory prior to that. I dread going cause I dread facing one of the goliaths in my life. I have so much hurt and anger in my heart that seeing my dad at my favorite time of the year kind a makes it for me a hard time to be cheery. I find myself battling feeling I forgot I even had, ever time I am around him. I think it could be different if I felt like he even cared that I was his son, but he is so clueless to my life it is almost comical.  I want so badly to forgive and move on, to just accept my lot and go on with my life. In fact I try really hard. When I am around him all he does is lie about everything, so much so I think that even he believes his own lies. And it is really hard to take the fact that no one really calls him out on anything. I have tried to tell him how I feel and how much he has hurt me but somehow it always just comes back to him. How nothing was his fault. Having the man that is suppose to be your father, show you nothing more than what it means to be 50 and have absolutely nothing going for yourself. To still live with mom and dad cause he can’t do it on his own. To run from everything in his life and yet still pretend that life is different. Sometimes I just can’t take it.

I hold my baby boy everyday and think to myself-how the hell could anyone do that to his or her child. How could someone just skip out and never look back. I tell my little boy daily that I love him, I hug him and kiss him, and at the same time I know that I don’t even know what that feels like. I use to long for those things, now I guess I have come to a place that I will be what my father wasn’t to me. I refuse to hurt my son this way. Sometimes I don’t even want my son around him in fear that he will hurt him like he hurt me. I hate these things about my self, how angry I can be. I just don’t know how to let go.

I have fallen on my face time and time again crying out for relief, crying out for healing, crying out for forgiveness, professing with my mouth that I forgive him. I have written him letters and tried talking with him and yet the wound is still very raw. I don’t hate him; I am just so saddened by his life. The pain is real, and sometimes the very sight of a man loving his child can just break me in half. I sit here in the heart of my pain knowing that in order to travel through I must wait it out. I much face my goliath. I know that just the fact he is here in my life now is God saying it is time to heal this broken heart of yours. That though this is going to be hard, I am with you, I am your salvation and I am your fortress.

I pray for this season to regain its joy. I pray that my heart can be alive even when death is creeping at my door. I pray that the Birth of Christ and the birth of my own son can be the healing factors of an absent father. I pray for the guidance on becoming a true man, a godly man, a man who would die for his family and considers his own life less valuable than those he loves. Let Christ be Christmas this year!

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11 responses to “Facing Giants!

  • Bethany

    Thank you so much for not censoring your heart. Though I grew up in a “normal” family life, I know the raging waters of the deep rivers of pain you speak. I pray that your roots would be replanted by streams of living water. That you would know the depths and heights of His perfect love. That your roots would sink deep into the fresh, hydrated soil of Jesus’ kindness and compassion for you. I pray that you would be unmovable and unshakable as you lean on The Rock that will not be shaken. I pray that the mysteries of His love would be revealed by the tenderness of His Spirit. I pray that your eyes would be enlightened to the hope of the Father’s calling over your life – that YOU were created to be an equal partner to His son, equally yoked to Jesus – that you would know that road of suffering you’ve walked and the gardens you’ve been spent with anguish in – qualify you as the perfect partner to the One who has suffered infinitely. I release over your heart a spirit of joy – for it is your inheritance, Shawn McDonald, son of the Most High! Climb up on His lap, bury your head in His chest and grab hold of His good and perfect gifts for you – May the warm sweet wind of the South blow on your soul on this cold winter day.

  • Christopher

    I don’t think I could write anything that said more to you, and certainly not nearly as poetic, as Bethany already has in her comment. Though you don’t know me, I just wanted to let you know that your transparency and rawness in the expression of your faith working itself out in you is helpful to others travelling that imperfect road, both in its realness and in the strange comfort knowing that it’s a shared experience.

  • kathy

    Shawn,
    I identify with you more then you know. My husband grew up with parents. He had 3 brothers who raced. His family lived and breathed racing. My husband did not race cars but was deep into bikes. He would put on shows for schools on bike safety and do tricks. His family acted like he did not exist. We live in the same town and they did not even come to our wedding. everything that came out of his mom’s mouth was a lie. They never said they loved him. Always put him down. His birthday is just another day to them. They do not even acknowledge it.

    We are now seperated. He does not know how to be a husband or a father. He had a boy in his first marriage that he signed away his rights to a few years after they divorced. I know he say’s he does not care for his folks but I know it still hurts him. He picked up the “lieing” trait. We have a long road ahead of us.

    Just wanted you to know I understand.

  • Chelle

    I wish I had some profound thought or wisdom to share. But now, I’m a girl who grew up in a home with both parents; parents who were, and are, extraordinary. After 37 years, they are still married, still amazing, and still involved with their kids. I’m so thankful for that. The good news is that you, as a father, have the opportunity to change the legacy for Cohen and rewrite your family legacy. God, the God of second chances, the author and perfector, the One who knows, who cares, who loves, who IS! Praying.

  • Dee

    I don’t have anything profound to say, really. But, oh, how I can relate. I too understand wanting love and affirmation from a dad, and their presence…and not having it. It used to make me angry. Now it just makes me sad.

    Sadder still is how many of us belong to this club. I pray often that those of us who have been fatherless don’t continue the cycle, and that we can learn to be what we were never shown.

  • Linda

    You will never be able to change the heart of your earthly father, only your Heavenly Father can do that. Give your parents the gospel, and pray to God everyday for Him to save them. Thank God for His amazing grace in saving you, if He did not save you you would probably be just like your earthly father or even worse. We all deserve hell, God’s grace is truly amazing, is it not?

    May God bless you and help you during this difficult time of year in your relationship with your parents.

    In Christ,
    Linda

  • Hannah C

    Amazing how impacting a father’s love or absence is on his children. My dad grew up in a home where both his father and mother were abusive or completely absent for periods of time. He does not have any good childhood memories relating to his family. Even his siblings were abusive towards him. His youth was filled with hate, screaming and escapism.

    My father came to know the Lord when he was 18 and had a lot of bitterness to deal with. When I was born (the first of five children) my dad was determined to be a much better father and family man than his dad was – he had to fight so hard and learn from other men because he never had that loving, fatherly example modeled before him. Thankfully, 23 years and 5 kids later (and 25 years of worldwide ministry) he is still working so hard to be a godly dad and I am so thankful he broke that chain of “bad dads” he had descended from. Praise God you are seeking to do the same!

  • Holly in Oregon

    I pray for beauty from ashes for you. I often wonder why God uses such deep pain as a spring board for His tender mercies to pour forth into a hurting world.

  • Wendy

    When I had my children, it brought up stuff with my parents that I thought I had dealt with and some stuff I didn’t even know I had. I’m slowly working through it. I know it’s all for God’s glory and sometimes that is the ONLY thing that makes me continue walking through it (and makes it easier when it feels like too much and I want say #%&* &*!).

  • Elizabeth Young

    This is way late, but I hope you have a chance to read it.

    Forgivness is a choice. It doesn’t come over night. I understand the pain you speak of from a parent. My mother was never there, never tried to understand, and on top of things was not a Christian making this even more difficult. That pain is deep!
    I knew that if I wanted to know the heart of God more, if I wanted to hear His voice more clearly,be lead my Him, i I HAD to forgive.
    I too thought that if I said I FORGIVE HER! If I wanted to not feel the pain enough, it would go away. That, however, is not the case. I constantly have to remember the grace that God has upon my life, that I may have that grace for mom. Grace is seeing someone as their potential and treating them like that. As opposed to seeing them how they are now and treating them as that. When feelings of bitterness or frustration or anger—even saddness come up in my heart, I have to remember to forgive IN THAT MOMENT!
    I pray that you will take up that mindset of continuously fogiving, and seeing people through God’s eyes of amazing grace.Even this—pray for him! Nothing is impossible for God! 🙂 I pray you will find strength and encouragement in the Word and in your own family.
    God Bless you, Mr. McDonald.
    -Elizabeth

  • Zhu yu

    Shawn,
    I can relate.
    My father finds more pleasure in gambling then spending time with his family.
    Like you’ve said : ” To run from everything in his life ”.
    I’m the only christian in my family & still a teenager .. sometimes it gets really hard because my family doesn’t understand me. But I know that God is there and He sees every heartache and He’s ready to heal.
    I just wanted to let you know that I understand and that there’s a way. I used to look at all the wrong things he did, I did not understand him at all.. I’ve let go my anger by seeing him in a different way..I don’t focus on his wrongs anymore..but I try to see him in Gods eyes, he hasn’t accep Christ yet 😉
    I truly believe God is going to save my family, all I need to do more is trust and get close to God,

    God Bless you my brother in faith, and oh your music is
    a w e s o m e !

    -Zhu yu ( From The Netherlands!!!! =D )

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