Rachael and her buddy Pooh Bear

God was interested in unconditional love when he created man. To get that he gave us something special… freedom, or what we refer to as free will. It’s the power to choose. This turned out to be a very painful journey for God and for us too… but necessary to have the purest and truest of love, and one that endures.

I wanted to share with you today a story about my older daughter Rachael and one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made as a parent… a story of The Beauty Of True Freedom.

Rachael is headstrong. She’s always been that way. Her mom and I separated and divorced as Rachael hit the teenage years. This left me in a heartbreaking situation of not seeing my daughters every day, and in having little parental authority over Rachael and her sister.

When Rachael hit the teenage years things began to happen… she demanded her freedom.

A little freedom? No biggie granting this to a growing teenager. We want them to spread their wings a little and grow, right? “Rachael wanted freedom, but no responsibility” … Grammy Ann’s words, not mine (like how I avoided that one! :)) ย And that seems to be where we go astray sometimes… thinking that Freedom comes without responsibility.

My experiences with Rachael included…

International calls/voicemails from a friend at home in the States fielded during a work trip…

“Chris, I stopped by to check on your place and didn’t enter the house but think there must have been someone inside… the sound of moving around… noticed the computer was on in the living room…”

“Chris, I stopped back by and by golly all the pool furniture and gas grill were in the swimming pool!”

“Chris, good news and bad… everything’s out of the pool now but your bicycle is gone…”

and on other occasions unexpected signs of life at my place…

parties, parties and more parties…

lunchtime visitors (the local high school was just 3 blocks from my front door)…

(did I mention there were some parties at the house while I was gone?)…

I’m leaving out considerable detail here but hoping that you’ll get the picture…

This all became beyond unacceptable when my younger daughter Allie decided that she wanted to live with me. After numerous convo’s with Rach about the events… something else had to happen… I simply could not allow this to take place any more, especially with the possibility of unexpected visitors on any occasion when Allie was at home by herself.

I told Rachael that I loved her but that she was not allowed to come over any more. I took away her key, changed the locks and barricaded the back door for good measure… and laid everything in God’s hands.

I had tried everything else and nothing seemed to help…

I did what every parent hopes they will never in their life have to do… I had to stand by my principles and follow the advice of a pastor as well as a counselor, and stand firm by the rules with the faith that Rachael would grow to love and respect me for it.

I reassured her that I loved her and let her walk out of my life to the “freedom” that she desired.

All I can say is Ouch!!

One of the most difficult actions I have ever faced is shutting the door on my own child… not something you would ever want to experience as a parent.

We didn’t speak for months. I would call and leave her voicemails at least once a week. It was really a couple of years later that we came to a peace agreement… she started to come back around when little Nolan was on the way… as she realized that I really did love her… what love, respect and freedom was really all about… she must have realized that I trusted her again when she was the only person other than me with a key to my home. Now we can laugh and talk about it openly.

I had to choose my principles and believe in faith that God would watch over Rachael, take care of her, and that my choice was being made for the bigger picture… that she would grow to respect me and the choices that I had to make as her father…

Rachael wanted freedom that she thought would bring happiness, and she may have even found that in the short-term… but happiness is just a temporary fix we can find here on earth… and a temporary fix is of little value in comparison to the enduring love that comes with free will… and true freedom. You see, because of our past… our sins… and our poor choices we can never know true freedom without God’s grace… and committing by faith to a relationship with Him. We may think we can find it… but it eludes us… and will until the very end… unless our choice is to live our life for Him and the freedom that He provides.

Rachael found true freedom through the love and respect that she developed with her earthly father… and for that we owe all the credit to our Heavenly Father.

I Love You Rachael ๐Ÿ™‚

Christian Writers Blog Chain