I wasn’t going to do today’s FMF, not because there is nothing I’m grateful for, just that nothing really inspired me. But, then, this suddenly popped into my mind. Who knows, considering the content, it still might not see the light of day. Trigger warning: child abuse. Also, spoilers for Castle S6 Ep22.
When I watched Castle this week, Kate Beckett, the show’s protagonist, met face to face with her mother’s killer. He told her she should have backed off him, let him live and forget the past, and then said something that floored me. He told her that she should be grateful to him because his act (of killing her mother) made Beckett who she was. After my initial shock I remembered another person saying something like that. My brother. He told me I should be grateful our parents abused us. Like Beckett’s disgusted response to her mother’s killer, he told me, quite firmly, that abuse builds character.
For years and years I’ve struggled with how to deal with the fact that my parents, who dragged me to church every Sunday, abused us. The things my siblings and I were exposed to. Not just the physical abuse, but things like my sister being made privy to my father’s infidelities from a young age. He made her his confidante. She was a not even a teenager.
My brother might tell me that it was a good thing, but if it’s so good, David, why do you hate God so much? I know it’s coz, deep down, you know it was not good, it was not something to be grateful for.
But now, I find myself at the other end of that life. I find myself, by God’s hand, freed from it all. And I am grateful that God once and for all delivered me from the past, the pain, the confusion. I can’t claim to understand everything. Most of life is a mystery and will have to be because no man can know the mind of God.
But I am free, free to rebuild the relationships with my older children that my anger nearly destroyed, free to reconcile them to myself, and to God. Free in Christ to truly show my children a better way of life. And for that, I am grateful.