After praying for my dad since I was nine… I kinda started to think that we would never have the kind of relationship that I always wanted. I mean, after praying for over twenty years about something, who wouldn’t be tempted to give up? Right?
Growing up, I had an amazing relationship with my step-dad, Mark Simpson. He was a living example of what a godly man really looks like. I always wished that I could be as close to my real dad as I was to Mark.
For years I prayed for my dad’s relationship with Jesus, and asked God to forgive me if I was harboring unforgiveness towards my dad. I had definitely felt let down by my dad, and I seriously doubted that we would ever have a good relationship… but I kept praying. Sometimes I prayed more fervently than others… and sometimes I just felt like it wasn’t doing any good.
Four months ago God really started working in my heart and showing me a few things about myself. He has been teaching me about grace, love, and real forgiveness.
I realized that although I thought I had forgiven my dad, God showed me that not only did I need to really forgive my dad, but I also needed to forgive myself. I was always so hard on myself, and when I would mess up, I asked God for forgiveness (which the Bible says He freely gives), but I realized that I wasn’t accepting His forgiveness.
I realized I had pride because I wouldn’t allow myself to experience the freedom that comes when God wipes your “sin slate” clean . Although I gave my life to God at age three and it was a very real decision for me, I didn’t really know it, but I was kind of trying to earn God’s love. So,when I messed up, I had a hard time accepting God’s forgiveness.
One day, I asked God to fix this stuff once and for all. I didn’t want to drag this burden around any more, and I definitely didn’t want to bring it into a marriage relationship. My unforgiving heart towards my dad and towards me needed to go! The crazy thing is… that God took all that stuff away. Really! I haven’t been the same since that day.
Since then (it has been a couple months now), my relationship with my dad has been so special, so encouraging, and so wonderful… I seriously can’t think about it without tearing up. God really can restore a dad to his daughter and a daughter to her dad. God really answers prayers… even if it was twenty-one years later.
When my dad came in town for my NO SEX TOUR launch party, we all had the best time together! Only God could have done that… Praise God for His lovingkindness, and praise God for my daddy, Garry Isham.
Dad, your support and encouragement with my book and my tour have meant the world to me… thank you for believing in me and for loving me!
For more information about how to have a Biblical understanding of forgiveness, honoring your parents, sex, and dating relationships
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No Sex in the City
Lindsey N. Isham