If we look back just a few generations in our families we are most likely to see that our lives reflect where we came from. It is important to learn from those generations and change direction where needed. Over the years as I learn more about my family history, I realize it is not what I have perceived it to be. The peek behind the curtain of what was never openly shared can both be encouraging and shocking. However the testimony of what God can do with all the different generations is truly heart warming.
My biological mother was not a part of my life. I know very little about her but what I do know, is not encouraging. I have not yet had the chance to meet her face to face, but i have resolved to leave it to the Lord for now. I hope that where ever she ended up and whatever her life became that she felt loved and was surround by people who truly loved and cared for her. I hold no ill feelings for her, as I believe this was God's plan for my life.
Because I lack any connection with my biological mother, I cling to the paternal side of my lineage. I am always drawn to my grandfather's story because his journey was very unique. Charles had been previously married with several children. After a life altering car accident he found the Lord. This altered his life direction in such a way that his marriage came to an end, his wife was not interested in changing the lifestyle that she had grown accustomed to, so their marriage ended in divorce. This opened the door for him to meet my grandmother. Charles started a journey with his savior and decided to become a pastor and in doing so began to write my grandmother. Charles drove to Georgia to meet O'Reva face to face and meet the family. This meeting led to marriage and my grandmother moved back to Virginia where my grandfather continued his desire to be a pastor. Only a few short years later my Dad Charles, named after his father came into the world. O'Reva was overjoyed as she married late in life.
After about a year my grandfather fell terminally ill and succumbed to the cancer that took over his body. My dad only being 3 years of age at the time left O'Reva a widow at a very young age. I can't imagine growing up without a dad or losing my husband and having to figure out single motherhood alone. O'Reva became a nurse in order to support herself and my dad. This meant that my dad was left home alone or in the care of others for much of his formative years. This created in him a solitude that became his normal. This solitude affected the way he dealt with people, and the absence of having a father left him to figure out many of life's trials alone. He turned to softball at an early age and became quite good. He played multiple positions on the field. His love of softball carried well into my life. He also enjoyed playing the guitar and recorded many tapes of him and his cousin Ronnie. Non the less the lifelong effect on my dad after losing his father at such a early age spans generations. He lived with a lot of fear and worries of what tomorrow might bring. He lived never having a memory of his dad, only the stories shared with him. This took such a toll on his emotional spirit that he kept a wall up and didn't let many in. The lack of a father role model also left him subject to making some decisions that otherwise he may not have made. Some of these decisions that left him even more emotional paralyzed for the rest of his life.
I have a saying "we are all broken, and so we raise broken people." God is not shocked by this idea. He is fully aware of our brokenness. I truly believe that He sprinkles on grace only he can give. My dads brokenness certainly left me with some cracks and stress fractures that are still with me today. While I am truly thankful for all the trials that God allowed in my life, I have worked hard to not pass my brokenness to the generations after me. I hope that when my future generations look back, they see the love I have poured into my children. I want the brokenness and heartache to end with me.