New Reasons for Thankful

“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”  While this expression is nowhere in the Bible, it does often ring true.  God closed the MINI door but gave me a brand new (3 miles on it) Honda Fit.  I am so thankful for the new ride and the generousness of the interest-free loan from my Dad.

I was trying to get my MINI paid off so that I would not owe money to a bank, given what is happening in our economy right now.  When I had the accident, I thought I would have to start over.  My father agreed that it would be unwise to borrow a large sum of money from a bank right now but insisted that I buy a new car as many of the used cars around were recently subject to flooding.  I told him that I could not have it both ways.  He told me he wanted to help me so that I could.  I am very thankful for the car, but even more thankful for my father.

This has not always been.  My father and I have had some difficult times.  But God is an amazing God and He has given me a deepening respect for my father.  While I have always wanted to work on my relationship with him, my dad’s work and activities always kept him from focusing on our relationship.  But since his retirement, he has become more aware of what it takes to make relationships work.  Relationships are hard work and I think he has come to realize that effort, not outcome, is key.  He is trying more.  He is listening more.  For the first time in my life, I feel heard by him.  I am so thankful.  He is trying very hard to learn how to relate to me and love me well.  He really has a lot of wisdom and I am starting to be able to receive it from him.

I blame God for this.  He has been working on my Dad’s heart.  It’s obvious.  And, I think, He’s been working on mine.  I believe that I am approaching (but have not yet arrived at) the time when my parents will rely on me more.  I can sense their bodies don’t work as well now.  My Mom’s health has been a struggle.  They need my help more than even a year ago.  I think God has changed both my heart and my father’s so that, when he needs me, I can be there for him without resentment.  I can freely give to him and honor him as my father.  This is no small thing.  I am so grateful for the freedom to love and give to my parents.

I can’t speak from the parent side.  I’m sure I have not been the easiest daughter in the world.  But God has used this relationship to help me grow.  My parents have given me so much.  I needed to give them more of me.  I needed to learn how to love them back well.  I guess I’m still learning that.

If anyone reading this has ever had issues with parents, I pray for the same kind of heart change in your relationship.  I pray that God will provide a way for you to honor your father and mother and thus fulfill that commandment.  Sometimes it’s hard when there have been hard feelings and misunderstandings.  I encourage you to allow God to help you forgive.  It’s worth it.  I promise.