Cathy returned home from her studies in the United Kingdom a few years ago. She began a round of interviews. Soon, Cathy began her new role as a management trainee in a large international firm. Life could only get better.
One evening, she found her parents in their living room with her ‘uncle’ Geoffrey. Uncle Geoff launched into a tirade about how westernized she had become by choosing her work over a marriage partner. Shocked and numb, Cathy sat still, head bowed and eyes to the ground. Her parents never said a single thing. He was a family friend and therefore she could not comprehend what would possess her parents to allow this man to cross all boundaries and have a say in the direction that her life is taking.
Geoff had come alone. After his monologue drive, he rose, flashed his trade-mark smile and wished the family a good night. Cathy sat stock still. Unable and unwilling to move.
Her parents remained silent, unwilling to broach the subject. Her parents asked her siblings to join them for dinner. Cathy made her excuses and left for her room. Her siblings looked puzzled as Cathy rushed off to hide her tears. She lay awake most of the night, even as younger siblings came in after dinner to check on her. They had no idea as to what had transpired.
Cathy’s place as a daughter, valued and treasured had just been reconfigured, with no regard for her feelings or her place in the family. She tried to discuss it with her parents and realized her father chose to ignore it altogether. Her mother chose a meek and mild response, claiming she did not know why the subject had come up in the first place.
This was the start of the rift with her father, that grew into a chasm and now in her forties, is a grand canyon of sorts. Her father redoubled his anger towards her when her first husband walked out on her in her late twenties. He would not allow the rest of the family to attend her wedding a decade later.
Cathy struggled to come to terms with this new parent-daughter relationship by giving it up to God in prayer. She stopped complaining and prayed more. She found a calming joy in Christ, trusting that God the Father loved her more than any person ever could.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.