Thankful Thursday

Thursday, May 02, 2013


BROKEN PROMISES

What’s your response when someone lets you down? What’s your reaction when someone doesn’t keep a promise to you? It’s rarely an expression of thanks, right? Well today, I thank God for broken promises! You’re probably reading this and thinking I have lost my mind, but it’s true, I’ve learned to be thankful for broken promises. You know those promises where you depend on someone for something and it never happens; the promise that someone will be a better person and they never change; the promise someone makes by saying “I’ll

be there, you can count on it,” and you’re still counting. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t just start thanking God for broken promises overnight!

Here’s a little bit of my story.

My parents separated when I was a few months old and later divorced, so contact with my dad was over the phone, and the occasional visits during the summer. Every Christmas, every birthday, every special occasion my dad would always promise to send me something. As a child, I took that seriously, and I would hate when I’d hear my mom on the phone with him saying, “now you promised your daughters…” I already knew that what I was expecting was not going to come. I tell you it hurt to be lied to over and over again, year after year, birthday after birthday. Growing up, I resented my dad. I held a grudge. When I became an adult, I realized I was still holding a grudge because not only did my dad make broken promises, he was never present in my life after the age of ten. Yes, that means he didn’t see me get baptized into Christ; he didn’t see me become Homecoming Queen; he didn’t see me score the winning basket at my high school soccer game; he didn’t see me graduate from high school; he wasn’t there to support me during my Army career, he wasn’t…he didn’t…I can keep going!

It was a few years ago (2009) where the Holy Spirit convicted me; while I had been focusing on my dad not being there, I overlooked the blessing of it. Where would I be if my dad were present? Would I have accomplished all of those things? Would I have the spiritual foundation I have today? I don’t know, but what I do know is there is a reason he wasn’t and still isn’t present in my life, and that’s okay! After that Holy Spirit spanking and the eye opener of blessings, I understood forgiveness. I had been waiting for an apology from my dad, but it was needful for me to forgive him, so I did! I’ve been free of holding on to grudges with my dad for four years now! That’s something to be thankful for!

What I’ve learned about broken promises:

Broken promises have taught me to rely on God’s promises that will never fail.
Broken promises have taught me how to be more patient.
Broken promises have taught me how to keep my word.
Broken promises give me the opportunity to practice forgiveness.

So today, you may be upset that someone has promised you something and they still haven’t delivered. You may be upset at a parent who is not active in your life. You may be holding a grudge toward someone, yet I’m here to encourage you today, to let it go. A person does not have to be present in order for forgiveness to take place. Forgive, even if you never receive an apology. Forgive, because it’s the Godly way!

So yes, I’m thankful for broken promises. I’m thankful because of the spiritual growth that I’ve experienced because of them!

What are you thankful for today?

Shanita R. Jones


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7 comments

  1. Thank you for your story because that is how my life was as a child, aways waiting to be with my dad and sometimes he never show up. So I need to work on forgiving him for not being there. Thank you for that, God will put things in your path to show you to stop and forgive. God is a wonderful God!

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  2. Candy, thank you so much for sharing your story! Please strive to forgive your dad. No need to hold on to the past when God is present! With God all things are possible, including forgiveness! We are praying for you!

    In Christ,

    Shanita

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  3. What an AWESOME testimony, Shanita! Thank you for sharing your story. This is something I continue to struggle with. If you don't mind my asking: if your father were to resurface and want a relationship with you, would you be open to that? This is a debate my husband and I have had more than once.

    You see, I feel like I've forgiven my ex-husband (and biological father to my son) for his "broken promises," but I also don't feel like I need to have a relationship with him in order to forgive. My husband doesn't agree.


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    1. Hey Tekisa! Thank you for sharing your story and for encouraging me through it! To your first question, yes, I'd love the opportunity to have a relationship with my dad! I don't hold ill will against him and I feel the Christian thing to do, if my dad did reach out, would be to communicate with him and then migrate into face-to-face interaction.

      To your second question, it seems as if you may be still hurt, I could be reading it wrong, but the idea that you don't want him to see his son may be because you still feel some kind of way. One thing is true, forgiveness does not mean reconciliation, it does mean letting go of the weight of holding on to a situation that pains you. One way to measure forgiveness is how you respond to the person when they are in your presence. If your ex-husband is not a harm to you or your son, then prayerfully consider allowing him to have that relationship with him. It's a matter of prayer, patience, and trusting God!

      The more you withhold, the more you learn the "why?"

      Now I'm not suggestion you put your or your son in harms way, especially since I do not know your story, but what I am suggesting is to think about forgiveness like Christ did on the Christ...He forgave all and rose again! Your resurrection comes when you learn how to truly forgive!

      I don't see scripturally where you "have" to have a relationship with someone in order to forgive. Think about abusers and such; no one recommends that the abused go back into harmful situations, but they can forgive them anyway!

      Hope that helps in some way,

      Shanita

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    2. Thanks so much for the advice! My ex-husband hasn't seen my son in 10 years (his choice). He tried to reach out to me and my son a couple of years ago via Facebook and my "Mama Bear" instincts came back with a vengence! My son is almost 16 years old and he's bigger than me, but he's still my baby and I felt (and still feel) the need to protect his heart from any further hurt.

      My ex-husband was involved with drugs and I honestly don't know if he's still living that life, so there is a concern that my ex's lifestyle would not be conducive to what my husband and I are trying to teach our son.

      That being said, I think it's clear that I have bouts with having an unforgiving heart and that I need to pray on this and remember that ALL things work together for good to them that love God...even broken promises! Agape, sis!

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  4. I am thankful for you sharing your study my dad was never around until I turned 25 got a phone call from an aunt that lived in Va telling me she seen my daddy on a bike leaned up against the local Seven Eleven begging for change in the rain. So thank you Sharita for sharing I know how you felt.

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  5. Praise God... Awesome testimony. It's not easy, but road keeps us closer to God.

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