She was stuck. Her life was not where it was suppose to be. She had started High School with confidence and enthusiasm. She was beautiful, athletic, smart and good. Somehow things got sideways. It was not a single dramatic event. Friendships became complicated. Her close group of girl friends got tripped up in jealousy and insecurity. Her safety and support had somehow morphed into pressure and stress. The great boyfriend did not stay great. The innocents and joy of an earlier time seemed like a painful memory. A hurting heart will often take the comfort that is available. She took the comfort that came her way. It was short lived and left her more isolated, hurt and confused.
Her dad was a Pastor. He had a pretty big church in a pretty small town. Their family always sat in the front row. As his daughters life unraveled, so did his. Hurt, isolated and confused was a fairly decent description of his own heart and life. He was working hard to make things work. He felt pressure to protect his daughter and to defend his family. He was not sure that he had done either.
This dad had done his level best to hold it all together. At some point in this process he kicked into survival mode. All those scared, hurt and confused feelings converged and converted into one loud angry cry for answers. He had erupted on more than one occasion when talking to his daughter about her struggles. He knew afterward that he had done more damage than good. This just produced a little more shame and guilt for the pile of hurt between them.
Someone once ask Chuck Swindoll; “where to find Jesus?” He is always in the same place was his reply; “at the end of your rope.com” Nothing brings men to their feet quicker than watching their daughters hurt and struggle. Nothing drops them to their knees quicker than realizing they cannot save them from all the struggles and pain they face. There is someone waiting for both dads and daughters at the end of their ropes. It’s true. It is a truth that can make us free, even before the answers show up.
This dad got to the end of his efforts and strategies and sermons and eventually to the end of his anger. He finally just collapsed at the feet of Jesus. Something different began to happen in his heart. He quit confronting his daughter and began confessing to her. He confessed his fear that this was really his fault. He confessed the words that he had spoken in anger, words that could not be retracted, hurt that could not be undone. He confessed his regret for hiding his own heart and feelings. Finally, he confessed his love for her and his desire to be with her while they looked and waited for answers together. Jesus met them both, at the end of their ropes. Keep reaching out and keep looking up.
Our daughters need to see our hearts, particularly when we don’t have answers.
Keep Showing Up!