Growing up I always wondered who my father was. I was never told who he was or where he came from, whether he was dark or light. I always wondered if I have ever past him without knowing that he was my father. I wondered if he knew that I existed and if he knew about me what did he think I was eating or wearing. All these thoughts will come to me and when I gather the courage to ask my mother, she would always tell me to stop asking about him and I did that. My friends will talk about their fathers and I always felt out of place.
When I was 19 years old, we were chatting with my mother and she mentioned her paternal aunts and I gathered all the courage I could get and asked her, “as for me, where are my paternal aunts?” I waited thinking she will say the usual, but lo and behold she answered. She said “Kasane!” my heart sunk and I continued and asked her again, “ok, so my father is from Kasane, what is his name?” she said “Yes, his name is P. Sam*.” It was like a weight I was carrying for 19 years has been lifted off my shoulders but I had fear, so much fear. What if he is dead? What if he does not want to see me? I had so many questions I wanted to ask her but my wisdom told me, you have known enough do not jinx this moment.
Silently I went into a quest for this unknown man to me. I took a telephone directory and searched for the name and all I could see where so many P. Sam in Kasane and I believe the Spirit of the Lord guided me, I picked a number and called. I asked, “Is this P. Sam’s place?” and the lady said yes, I asked to speak to him, he answered the phone and I asked him, “my name is Sethunya Elias, I am a daughter to Ed* do you know her?” He quietly said yes, and I continued and said, “She told me I am your child, do you have anything to say about that?” he said, “yes, you are my daughter. I am coming to see my daughter in Francistown in 2 weeks, please meet me there.”
I don’t know if I was relieved but I also got so angry, that this man knew about me but he never cared about me. He had other children whom he cared for, who did he think was providing for me all those years. My mother was sick at that time and I told her that I managed to find and speak to that man and I am going to meet him soon and she was fine with it. The time to meet my father arrived and I went to his daughter’s place to meet him, he seemed happy to see me and we spoke for some time and I left.
He invited me to his place in Kasane and when I got home I asked my mother’s permission and she agreed. Before I could go there my mother passed away and this woman was my everything, I loved her dearly and her not telling me about my father did not make me bitter towards her or judge her in any way because she did her best in raising me. And I thank God she had not died with a secret that was as old as my lifetime. A week after her funeral, I was accepted at the university and decided to visit my father before I went away.
The day I arrived, he picked me up from the bus and he kissed my forehead. I was astonished to say a few; It was quite an awkward moment yet unforgettable. I spent two weeks with his family but we never bonded. I could not ask him all the questions that I had on my mind but I had decided to forgive him anyway not for his sake but my sake and for closure. Matthew 6:14 states that, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
I came back to my reality and a place where I call home. I have never gotten a penny from that man and I did not want it all I wanted was him. I realized the 19-year quest has come to an end. After about 4 months I tried calling him to say hi, and I was told he was dead. I cried so bitterly not because of his death, but because his family did not see the importance of letting me know and I had to find out that way.
At that moment of my life God reminded me, that I knew you even before I formed you in your mother’s womb. You are special to me and I have chosen you since you were young, I have loved you enough to send my only Son just for you, I am a father to the fatherless and you are my daughter. I know I am not alone because my heavenly father always has my best interest at heart.
I have never called anyone my father, because it was something foreign to me. I had to learn that it is ok to call a man who is like a father figure to me, my father. People like me struggle to call their pastors their father not because they are rebellious but because they can’t see a father in a man. But today I thank God because I have a husband who is my father and I have my pastor who is my father, I know how it is to be loved by a father because I let these men to be my fathers and they have been good fathers in my life. Above all there is no father’s love that is greater than the love of my heavenly Father, God Almighty.
For anybody who is seeking for a relationship with his/her father, just know that the results may not be what you expected. And it is ok, what you need is closure and the greatest closure is in knowing that your heavenly father loves you more than how you would have wanted your biological father to love you. There is no greater love than the love of God, let God be your father and helper. For the bible says in Psalm 10:14, “But you, God, see trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” And Job 29:12 states that, “because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.” Be strong and courageous for the heavenly Father is on your side and loves you unconditionally and also know that forgiveness liberates your soul.
To his children, if you feel violated please forgive me, that was never my intention. I believe he was a good father to you, I also wish I had more time to see him the same way you did. May God bless you.
*Names were not written in full to protect my parents, (both my father and mother).
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Agape Love, stay Divine!