by Wai-yee Schmidt
By now, you would have already read about my dad, who messed us up really bad while we were growing up.What you need to know is, the story didn’t end there with my dad simply being the bad guy, because .. nobody is beyond the reach of Jesus Christ.
After my parents divorced when I was 16, I barely kept any contact with my father. I was simply relieved that he was out of my life. For almost 20 years, I rarely saw him and yes.. even after I got saved. It didn’t help that I was out of the country by the age of 24. It got so bad that in 2004, he sued both my brother and me for financial support in the Singapore Family Tribunal, in a desperate attempt to track us down. Although we were shocked and traumatized by his lawsuit, we forgave him and worked out a court settlement with him.
No doubt the mediation experience was excruciating, but through this, we re-established contact with each other. As we gingerly tip-toed around each other in this dysfunctional dynamic, the Lord Jesus healed my heart for my dad and started filling me with compassion for him. Soon I came to see how he himself was trapped in a cage of rejection and abandonment.
In 2011, just before Easter, I was led by the Holy Spirit to witness boldly to my father that Jesus is the true and living God, not the many pagan idols he clung to. My father had been deep in the worship of Chinese idols and dabbled in Chinese voodoo all of his life. The strategy the Holy Spirit gave me to open the conversation was a hard one to implement. I recalled struggling and arguing with the Lord over it. The Holy Spirit directed me to repent to my father for neglecting and abandoning him for so many years, even though I was his flesh and blood. To put it mildly, I was outraged — why should I be the one to repent when he was the terrible parent that failed me miserably?? Not only had my father neglected us, he drove us to poverty and made utter misery the imprint of my childhood memories. How could the Lord expect me to repent to such a jerk of a father?? He should be thankful that I have already forgiven him A LOT and that I still maintained a father-daughter relationship with him. My list of self-justification went on from there.