A Journey of Redemption: Breaking Generational Chains and Embracing Unconditional Love

Embark on a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and redemption as the author shares their struggles with generational trauma, addiction, and the transformative power of love. Navigate through the complexities of family dynamics, personal growth, and the profound impact of choices. This narrative explores the challenges of parenting, the quest for understanding, and the importance of embracing love without judgment. Join the author on a poignant reflection that unveils the true preciousness of life and the enduring power of God's love.


1/20/202413 min read

person in white long sleeve shirt raising right hand
person in white long sleeve shirt raising right hand

Anticipation and Disappointment: Missing Bible Study

I feel a deep sense of sadness as I eagerly anticipated bible study all week, only to end up sleeping for a solid twelve hours and missing it entirely. It's disheartening because I have so much on my mind that I long to share and discuss. At this moment, all I can do is simply exist and try my best to navigate through these challenging circumstances. Please understand that my current situation is incredibly tough, and it's not because I am ungrateful or lacking in faith. My emotions are overwhelming, causing my thoughts to be muddled and heavy. It feels like nothing around me makes sense, yet strangely, I have this undeniable understanding of what is happening.

Balancing Act: Sobriety, Discipline, and Fear

Inherited Pain: Understanding My Father's Anguish

The End of an Era: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

The era of a shattered, uneducated, and abusive world that engulfed me and previous generations has finally reached its conclusion. I became the trailblazer who prioritized my role as a mother rather than selecting a partner. I ensured that my children were not subjected to any form of physical or sexual abuse, a breakthrough for our family. Regardless of my understanding of Jesus, I intuitively knew that my children belonged in church, even if I had work commitments. To make things easier, the church started picking up my kids in a van so that their friends could also attend. I often humorously referred to it as "Mommy's midweek break" when the church van arrived, transforming our bustling home filled with kids into an array of empty soda cans and scattered socks. It was then that my trusted little box of chilled wine would finally catch my eye, a moment of respite for me.

Even though I never drank in front of them, I was often in a state of mind that prevented me from truly showing my children what love meant through discipline. I realize now that being sober would have allowed me to overcome the fear of losing them if I were to discipline them, because the only thing I could guarantee was people making threats and me never breaking promises I should have, no matter how unintentional. It's a difficult truth to face. Perhaps I was too afraid of hurting their feelings or going too far with discipline. But then again, maybe I was never truly sober enough to take that risk, not just for their sake but for my own selfish reasons as well.

I was constantly worried about the possibility of getting caught with drugs in my system, so I allowed that fear and desire to justify using it as my way of avoiding legal trouble. Perhaps, in some way, it can be attributed to my lack of knowledge or the limited example I had from my own parents, who would turn to drugs to calm their nerves instead of working through their problems and discussing their emotions.

My father and I were both struggling individuals, clueless about how to express love towards each other. However, this didn't mean that our affection was absent. The dynamics of our relationship greatly influenced my perception of men throughout the years. In a similar vein, my mother's behaviors towards her partner shaped the kind of woman I aspired to be. Her reactions to her significant others became ingrained in me, guiding my own responses in relationships.

While I didn't inherit the inclination to endure physical abuse, I did find myself allowing a few instances of being mistreated before I gathered the courage to leave. As a result, I embarked on the journey of single motherhood, initially with one child and then unexpectedly with two. The connection I shared with my parents during my twenties was essentially a collection of fragmented, toxic, and immature individuals, each striving for their own desires without considering alternative perspectives.

When I broke my dad's heart, he never comprehended the reasons behind it. It didn't matter to him why I made that decision or what circumstances led me to run away at the age of nineteen. All he cared about was the fact that his beloved little girl seemed to have thrown her entire life away. All the dreams and aspirations he had nurtured as a father were suddenly shattered, leaving him feeling like an even greater failure than he had ever felt during his own childhood. Accidentally, I managed to crush him and exacerbate his anguish, without even considering the immense pain I was inflicting upon him. It's crucial to recognize that just because he struggled to comprehend love doesn't mean that he didn't still carry a deep love for me or long for the relationship we never had the chance to build, for whatever reason. Now, as a mother who has been blindsided by her children's profound and toxic behavior, behavior that was seemingly ingrained in them, I finally understand how one can genuinely believe they are doing better than what they had before, only to fall short and be utterly devastated when it unravels differently than expected.

My father encountered unfortunate circumstances during his childhood within the church system, like so many other unnoticed tragedies. As a result, he carried deep trauma and anger throughout his entire life. Although he held onto faith, he never received the validation or the opportunity to freely acknowledge that what happened to him was not right, and he certainly did not deserve it. Instead, he grew up with broken parents who neglected his needs and subjected him to further abuse, on top of his own inner turmoil, in a space that should have been safe for him. My father became a deeply angry and violent man, and even now, it pains me to reflect on the hurtful things he said and the beatings he inflicted on me, as his legal recourse. Despite it all, my love for him has remained untarnished. I was always his little girl, and no matter how much his actions hurt me or how terrifying he could be, I genuinely loved my father. However, there was a time when I believed he hated me. Now, I understand how deeply I shattered my father's heart by not living up to his expectations of what a daughter should have been like.

Children aren't born with a manual on understanding the world around them. Instead, we gradually learn how to adapt to each situation we find ourselves in. Sometimes, as we grow older, we may intentionally choose to go against what we were taught, believing it to be the right path. Yet, despite our best intentions, we often still fall short, and brokenness prevails. It's not that we purposefully ignore the consequences our actions may bring in the future; rather, we tend to focus solely on the present and prioritize our own needs above others'. Whether we admit it or not, deep down, we all possess a selfish nature, ingrained within us from the beginning. And at the end of the day, irrespective of how compassionate or virtuous we claim to be, we often prioritize our own happiness without considering the impact it may have on others. Sometimes, we fail to acknowledge that we might even be running away from the very problem we are creating.

Learning from Legacy: Understanding Complex Parents

Struggling Relationships: Fragments of Love

Breaking Hearts: The Impact of Choices on Family

I couldn't fully comprehend the depth of my parents' struggles because I always saw them as incredibly strong individuals. To me, they were like mighty protectors who would never hesitate to step in if I went too far astray. Although I feared them, deep down I knew they loved me, yet they hadn't quite grasped the art of expressing love in the right way—perhaps apart from not resorting to painful means like beating me with an extension cord, but rather using a belt or paddle on occasion. Their actions were shaped by the pain they had endured themselves; it was the pain they carried within. I was spared from experiencing the same anguish they had. I didn't have to intervene when they drowned their sorrows at the local bar, only to face punishment later for driving them home. My mother never knew anything beyond the sheer torment her father inflicted upon her mother, forcing her into an unwanted pregnancy, all while pretending to forget about that fateful night each time she looked at their child. My mom only ever knew the weight of feeling unwanted herself. The way she felt about me, the way she treated me—it had absolutely nothing to do with me. However, how were either of us expected to automatically understand that in this complex society?

Blinded by Insecurities: The Denial of True Love

Love's Perception: A Journey of Personal Growth

I had him, right here with me, in my own bed, safely held in my embrace. But instead of cherishing the love he earnestly offered, I foolishly denied it. My insecurities blinded me from recognizing the incredible man who had chosen me among billions of others. Instead, I accused him of not loving me in the exact way I desired, as if my demands were the only valid definition of love.

Time and again, he tried to return, hoping for a second chance. Yet with each opportunity he extended, I only grew worse. I became ungrateful, toxic even, incapable of appreciating what I had. Deep down, I was conditioned to focus solely on what I lacked or what I couldn't possess. I failed to perceive the profound impact he had already made on my life by simply entering it and asserting his boundaries.

I failed to recognize that his mere presence had triggered a transformation within me. It was as if his refusal to comply with my wishes triggered a realization that I needed to become a better version of myself. I was oblivious to the fact that his unwavering commitment inspired an innate desire in me to grow and evolve. All I could see was my desire for him to love me in the way I deemed right, without comprehending that true love transcends such restrictions.

I once believed I wasn't worthy of the man beside me, forcing him out of my bed. It seemed he couldn't utter those three precious words or call me his girlfriend, because he saw an indescribable brokenness within me. His upbringing had been different; no violence, no outbursts. What I ignorantly dismissed as a privileged and pampered existence was in fact his own unique kind of brokenness. Back then, I only saw a privileged young man crying over his parents' divorce during his college days.

I convinced myself that my lack of education and self-worth made me undeserving of his love, mistakenly thinking that love meant only labels and spoken words. I failed to recognize his affection when we lay together, my head resting on his chest as sleep embraced me. I assumed he had ulterior motives, solely due to my own insecurities.

Love is the ability to perceive someone beyond our own self-centered perspective, much like how only God truly understands them. Love involves recognizing the brevity of life and acknowledging that people willingly enter our lives, yet they do not grant us permission to mistreat them. In my particular circumstance, my purpose was to love a person whom God had strategically placed in my life to break the shackles of generational burdens. I was a complete mess, with every aspect of my existence in disarray. It was the worst possible moment for such an encounter, but I had sincerely beseeched God for his presence, and unexpectedly, he sent him my way. Sadly, at that time, I was incapable of allowing his love to enter my life, although I was unaware of this reality.

The Unseen Impact: Empathy and Reflection

Lost Opportunities: Apologies and Regrets

The Path Forward: Unconditional Love and Guidance

It breaks my heart to share that both my parents and my person have passed away. Moreover, my children have grown up and are now forging their own paths, making choices that they will be accountable for in the future. I often reflect on the missed opportunities, like not being able to present my dad with the degree he longed for, which deeply pained him and caused him to feel like he had failed as a father. Similar to how he once felt lost and shattered as a young and inexperienced individual, I regret not being able to apologize to my significant other for not comprehending a different perspective due to my own programming. Consequently, I find myself sitting here in solitude, humbled by my successes, and finally grasping the true preciousness of life. Now, at the age of thirty-nine, I can honestly affirm that those who doubt the power of God or his incredible capabilities should take a look at my life, my past struggles, and allow it to serve as a reminder of just how profoundly valuable our lives can truly be.

If we fail to love ourselves in the way God intended, our lives will inevitably spiral in the wrong direction. However, if we can pause every now and then to introspect, to delve into our hearts and confront our own flaws, and if we can let go of the need to control every little thing or take advantage of others due to our misguided thoughts, then we can truly grasp the essence of God's love. Love is the sole force that can rescue any of us, along with our sons, boyfriends, daughters, and mothers. Love has personally saved my life, yet tragically, it was a misguided perception of love that drove someone else to the brink of despair. I deeply regret the person I used to be, but I acknowledge that apologies cannot bring back the life that was lost or undo the pain inflicted on his family by me or any other fractured soul. When we choose judgment over love, we ultimately end up lost and alone, just like I did.

The choices my children make today are theirs to make. They will have to face the consequences of their actions, just as I am currently facing mine. Perhaps, I'll still be here when that time comes, ready to love them unconditionally and guide them towards the right path - a true reflection of what love should be, rather than our own biased judgments. God teaches us to love our children even when we struggle to comprehend them. He never says to love them while judging and punishing them until they conform to our expectations. It's important to realize that if we aren't actively part of the solution, then we inadvertently contribute to the problem. Our actions may not involve physical harm like stabbing with a knife, but they can suffocate their spirits, slowly stealing away their happiness. Let's pause and reflect on this.

Embracing God's Love: A Transformative Revelation

Reflecting on these misjudgments now, I can empathize with the complexity of his emotions and understand the depth of his love. The realization brings forth a wave of empathy, highlighting how my own insecurities blinded me from seeing the authenticity of his feelings.

The depth of love that man had for me was so immense that it propelled me to achieve my college degree this week. However, I find myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed with a sense of inner turmoil because his love also saved me, despite my inability to truly comprehend it. Sadly, I was blinded by my own desires and needs, unable to perceive anything beyond myself. It was only through losing him that I finally glimpsed the magnitude of his love.

In an attempt to make amends for the past, I extended a helping hand to the girl whom I had introduced him to with ill intentions. Deep down, I knew he genuinely cared for her and believed she deserved a chance. Unfortunately, she responded with hostility, expressing how much he despised me. For months, I allowed her words to consume me, sinking into a selfish mindset where I saw him as a monstrous figure who took away my beloved. But it dawned on me that her hurt and brokenness played a significant role in her perspective.

I must acknowledge that the times he spent with her were a consequence of my own controlling and hypocritical behavior. Instead of being the friend he truly needed, I pushed him towards her, neglecting my responsibilities out of selfishness. And it is only fair to recognize that she, too, was hurting and shattered, considering they only ever connected during moments when I failed to fulfill my role as the loving person I claimed to be towards him.

I caused him immense pain when denied him a friend and sent him to her for solace. She offered him the comfort and support that I didn't realize they shared. By refusing to provide him with a less harmful alternative, one that rarely results in loss of life, I played a significant role in his downfall. I want to make it clear that I don't condone any form of addiction, but I do want to emphasize that pain knows no boundaries. It doesn't care who it affects or discriminate against anyone. Pain is all-encompassing, reaching deep into our bones. It doesn't matter how someone appears or the stories they tell; their suffering is not diluted. The intensity of one's pain is not lessened by the choice of their footwear, whether it's Jordans or crocs. Just because we may not understand someone else's pain doesn't mean we should disregard it. Above all, we must avoid taking it personally when their pain doesn't align with our own or doesn't match our expectations.

As I Lay These Demons To Rest Please Know

In the intricate tapestry of my life, woven with threads of joy and sorrow, love has emerged as the transformative force that binds it all together. From breaking generational chains to confronting personal demons, my journey reflects the resilience of the human spirit.

Life's complexities have revealed love in various forms—misguided, denied, and ultimately transcendent. Through shattered pieces of the past, a profound understanding of life's preciousness has emerged. Choices, relationships, and the love we give echo through generations, shaping destinies in ways we may not fully comprehend.

As we navigate our unique journeys, let us pause to reflect on our power to break binding chains. Embrace love without judgment, understanding each person's unique path shaped by experiences and struggles.

My call to action is for all who resonate with this narrative. Strive to love yourselves as intended by God, acknowledging flaws and seeking growth. Extend compassion to those who have hurt us, recognizing their journey of self-discovery.

For parents, love your children unconditionally, guiding without imposing expectations. Be active contributors to solutions, breaking generational cycles with actions fueled by love and empathy.

May this reflection remind us that, despite brokenness, love's enduring power leads to redemption. Be beacons of light, radiating love to illuminate paths around us.

In the end, love transforms, redeems, and saves from darkness within and around us. Let love guide steps, heal wounds, and shape a future of compassion, forgiveness, and unyielding love.

love one another chalk written on concrete floor
love one another chalk written on concrete floor
a wooden block that says hope next to a bouquet of flowers
a wooden block that says hope next to a bouquet of flowers
a close up of a person holding a baby's hand
a close up of a person holding a baby's hand

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