I walked out to the visit and faced the last person I ever expected to see or wanted to see in that time in my life. My father stood on the other side of double steel doors and glass, peering through no doubt waiting to see what he couldn't imagine, his daughter in yellows behind glass. Inside I wanted to refuse the visit, turn around and go back to my bunk. He had flown 800 miles at his own expense to come face to face with my reality. He came to check on my daughter and assist my son with all that was on his young shoulders, and finally to face me and say all the things we'd never said to one another. Outside he no doubt wanted the same, turn around and pretend this wasn't real. The unwavering truth was here. I was in jail and he was staring through the visitation view window in unbelief. Of course, I had no mirror, no make up, no flattering clothing; not even a hair brush. I can't imagine how I looked but I know it wasn't what he was used to seeing when he sat across from his daughter.
We slammed each other, first he with the information from sources outside then me with the other side of the life that had come unraveled. We flailed at one another. We ranted and raved. We told truths we'd never been willing to speak. We held nothing back.
Then as we sat back, worn out emotionally and spent, he said what I had waited my lifetime to hear, "You are my daughter, I will always love you no matter what."
In the end I know today that what brought out the words I'd waited to hear had more to do with our honesty in that moment than anything else and today as I approach my heavenly Father I also know that my honesty with Him always gets His full attention and outpouring of love. Nothing means more than the real heart showing through. In truth, honesty was never my strong suit so coming clean with my Dad was not high on my list. Learning that nothing is hidden from God is a freeing lesson that allows the life giving relationship full bloom. While I may have lived my life hidden behind a clouded veil from family, friends and community, my life was never unknown or cloudy to God. He not only watched my life but knew its twists and turns before He chose to create me and therefore each breath I take is part of His plan for me. Despite myself, He chose me to be one of His children whom He would always love!
Why we cannot believe that kind of love exists for us is a mystery but when God finally unveils that wondrous truth to us, nothing is more warm and inviting than His Fatherly embrace and love.
I have been gifted with two loving Fathers and that makes me double blessed. I am fully aware that not all are so fortunate but even in the stark reality of some lives, our Heavenly Father is there to make up the loss of our earthly parents or family. It is reassuring to know that despite ourselves, our secrets and dark moments He is there waiting and listening for our call. No matter who you are, where you live, how much or how little your family...there is an abundance of love that is our inheritance.
My honesty brought me the love I'd waited for and my continued honesty keeps that love close and growing. I would never have known any of this had I not been brought to my knees in honest tears and repentance but God knew in my own time I would have more love than I had ever known. I love my fathers. Honest.