Tonight is one to go down in the books for me as something to never forget.
I had a very eye opening conversation with my mom tonight. Our talk turned toward the past and my biological father. I am sure that many of you probably don't know that I am half adopted. My mother had me at a very young age and my biological father was not ready to be a dad. I have not seen him since I was four years old. When I was four, my mother began dating the man who has now adopted me as his daughter. We don't talk about the fact that he is not my biological father and my sister and I would balk if you tried to call us half sisters (we would actually say "We're not half sisters - we're whole!!"). My dad is my dad and my sister is my sister and that is really the only way it has ever been. I am oh so completely grateful for the man that made the choice to be my dad. Joe Pritchard did not have to adopt me. He could have just been my stepdad, but he went the extra mile. He adopted me as his daughter and he really is the only dad that I know.
So, there is a piece of my history missing. For many years as a teenager that plagued me and I felt many feelings of abandonment and harbored lots of resentment towards my biological father. Tonight I learned a lot that leads me to believe that there was so much that I simply just did not understand.
There is another man out there whose blood run through my veins. I have not known that man for many years, but things have been recounted to me through stories. I think that tonight I had finally arrived at a place to be able to see my father through different eyes...eyes that are filled with more grace and mercy than I have possessed in the past.
Tonight my mom reminded me of what a talented man my father was. He was a gifted writer who once submitted a poem to a contest only to have it returned to him because it was so good that it was questioned whether or not he actually wrote it. He had beautiful blue eyes and an amazing smile. He had a soft heart and an amazing laugh. He was a man that my mom once loved. But, he was a man that got mixed up with bad company. His life took a destructive path that ultimately led to using and dealing drugs.
I was thinking after my conversation with my mom tonight about all the unmet potential in my biological father. Here was a man who had talent - talent recognized by others, but nothing became of it. My mom had talked about all of the positive qualities that he possessed that now live in me. The eyes, the smile, the contagious laugh, the soft heart. These are some of my best qualities but I believe that in me they shine differently.
You see, my path has taken a different course. I have chosen love and life. I have chosen to live for God. My eyes and smile reveal the light of the world. My contagious laugh is a spreader of joy - true joy. My soft heart compels me to move with love and compassion in a world of hurt. Those positive qualities from my biological father are in me and through my life they are redeemed to be what God intends.
And then there is the writing. On more than one occasion in the last few months, it has been said to me that I have a way with words. In the past people have told me that I communicate well and that I am a good writer. This is not me boosting myself up, but just recounting what others have said. When I think on it, I realize that perhaps there is another gift of my biological father that has been passed to me. While it may have been unmet potential in his life, I want to redeem it. I want to take the words and whatever gift for writing that may be there, and use them for good.
On my way home tonight I thought about a scene from my all time favorite movie "The Goonies". It is the scene when they stumble upon the wishing well and start gathering all the coins. When they realize that they are at a wishing well Stef says, "Wait, wait, wait. You can't do this...Because these are somebody else's wishes. They're somebody else's dreams." Mouth replies, "Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back." (You can see the clip by clicking here.)
I thought about this movie scene in relation to all the things from our family history that have been thrown away. I found myself saying, "Well, you see this. You see this talent. This was God's given talent, and it was not met. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back." Taking it back for a higher purpose and a higher calling. I choose to do something with it.
How many times do we or even those before us throw things into the well? God given dreams and wishes that are left to do nothing but corrode over time. We throw them away and nothing becomes of them.
It's time to do a little well diving. It's time to grab those dreams and make something of them. It is time to take the things of the past that got lost and do something with it. There are so many God given dreams and talents that have been thrown away. Maybe life just did not go as planned. Maybe someone got discouraged. Maybe someone got mixed up with the wrong crowd. Maybe there are some of our own dreams and wishes that we need to grab out of the well. Maybe they are the dreams and wishes of those before us.
God does not give up on His dreams. Neither should we.