Initially I only had enough emotional energy to deal with my own pain. I knew that others were also suffering and at best I could offer minimal comfort to get by, and this also included my daughters. Over time as I grew to live with my grief,was I better equipped to pay attention to the needs of my daughters.
However as life is the expert at throwing us curveballs when we least expect it, yesterday was one of those days. My eldest daughter who is in the midst of completing her final year at school, dealing with all the teenage peer group pressures, wanting to get her drivers license and worrying about which University she will get into and for what degree she will be accepted just melted before my eyes. All of this being stirred up by the uncertainty around this pandemic. So much pressure for a young adult.
Handling my own pain, even though at times I was in some very dark spaces, was always doable. Handling her pain is just so much tougher as I needed to peel away layer after layer of uncertainty, self doubt, emotional explosive feelings, fears of things I wasn’t comfortable myself to handle and the layers go on and on. Added to this the expectation of how she wanted me to respond and sometimes a fatherly view of “welcome to the real world” just wasn’t making the grade. I needed to do some serious self introspection and realise that as I am no longer just Dad that deep within me I could find the love and affirmation that she was so desperately craving. After all both my daughters tell me that I am no longer Dad but am now MaD (Mom and Dad). I am not sure why the Mom part comes before the Dad, I might have preferred DaM, it sounds more appropriate for the situation.
In the midst of this the Holy Spirit intervened and gave me the words to say. I asked her what does Jesus say about you? We then discussed that she is loved, he knows her name and that her needs will be taken care of, this is a whole lot better that the fear focussed lies that enter our heads everyday. So we have agreed to find Biblically sound affirmations that seek to build and encourage rather than fear which single purpose is to breakdown and destroy.
We just need to make space for the Holy Spirit to enter the situation and as 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 states we are able to assist others with the comfort we received.