Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An Open Letter to My Father, Dan Breeding

September 19, 2016

An Open Letter to My Father, Dan Breeding-

Actions you have displayed over the past year and a half, with no positive turn of direction, I have been burdened with no other choice but to write this letter. I will go to any length necessary to protect my three brothers, sister, and mother. I’ve tried to write this letter seemingly a thousand times in my head and on paper but have lacked the strength needed to finish it. Through much prayer and many tears, I have the peace in my heart that this is the right thing to do. 

I have not had much faith this past year, I will admit. I allowed your sinful actions and pain you’ve inflicted on me and my three brothers, sister, and mother from the past years and the present year to break me and push me towards a sinful lifestyle of hatred. In 2014 someone who has had a big impact on my life asked a question of us all. He said “If the most influential person on your spiritual life were to turn away from God and forsake all you thought they believed in, would your faith still stand?” For me, that person was you and once it was revealed to me your true colors, my faith did not stand very strong. For countless previous years you have committed affairs against my mother for who-knows how many years. In doing this, you proved to us that you wanted those other women more than not only my mom but me and my siblings. You had been living a life full of lies but it was not exposed to us until April, 2015. In hopes you’d do the right thing, my mom agreed to try to go to counseling to fix what your sinful actions broke. It broke your marriage of 20 years and your 5 kids. You just wanted to go on with life as if nothing ever happened. You did not have it in your heart to put in the work it would take to fix your shattered marriage and relationship with your kids. You wanted to sweep it under the rug just going on as “Dan the Animal Man”. Again, this was a form of putting yourself and your reputation above me and my family. If you could have hurt us for so many years like you did, wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to save your relationship with us instead of saving “Dan the Animal Man’s” reputation? My mother said some very hatful things to you out of pain and anger. This was completely wrong but I would not expect anything less (in a humanly perspective) from someone who just realized her husband had been disloyal and dishonest for many years.

You made no attempt to try to fix things with me or my brothers. You would occasionally say hello in passing but that was it. September 17, 2015, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I approached you and told you I had forgiven you after never receiving an apology after what you had done. I was able to, through Christ, have grace and forgiveness in my heart towards you. Even after this, you still made NO attempt to talk to me or start our relationship on a fresh, clean slate. Again, you showed me you really did not care that much. 

Things progressed to get worse and worse. You had turned to Marijuana and alcohol abuse. You’ve recently cursed my mother out at the top of your lungs telling her you hated her. You also cursed the name of God multiple times. You literally, physically and emotionally ran from Dr. Martin as he drove all the way from Texas with his wife to confront you out of love not to condemn you but to partner with you as a brother in Christ to help you escape this sinful lifestyle you have created for yourself. That day we discovered you are living with another woman 45 minutes away. You say you haven’t abandoned us but YOU HAVE. Actions speak way louder than words. You pay some bills but that is it. But with that being said, many bills still are not being paid leaving us stranded. I only make minimum wage but I do what I can to help provide for my siblings and mom but it isn’t much. But, we know we are on God’s side and He will continue to provide for us even though you continue to abandon your family every day. You continue to blame my mom for all this. This shows me you aren’t really that sorry. You are not a man. You can not even take the slightest bit of accountability for your actions? You have blamed her for me and my older brother, Taylor, confronting you. Do we not have our own voice? Do we not have our own opinion on what you’ve done and are continuing to do? Are we not allowed to be hurt by your destructive actions? Not all of us are stuck in our past running away from the truth like you have your whole life like a little child. You’ve become so defensive and enraged when any of us confront you because you are guilty. I saw you scream and yell in Taylor’s face. For what? Taylor has only confronted you out of love, pain, and concern. You are guilty. But I want you to know the one you are hurting the most is yourself. You are lying to yourself and others about your relationship with God and your relationship with others. I know this because I have seen your actions, lack of action, lack of Christlikeness, and lack of fear of the Lord. 

The Lord is revealing to me every day that I do not need you. I do not need a man in my life who does not exemplify the gospel and the love of Christ. I am not a product of your mistakes. I do not have to suffer any longer because of the pain you have caused me. I have a Heavenly Father who IS the Father to the fatherless. He has loved me and comforted me through this seemingly unbearable season in my life. He has shown me that I do not need to lower my standards just because my father has devalued me and abandoned me and made me feel as if I don’t deserve a God-fearing, honest, loving man. But I do. I do deserve a man of God who will love me and cherish me and push me towards Christ every day. 

I am an adult. I have chosen to write this on my own terms. My mother does not even know I am in the process of writing this. This is from my own heart and conviction from God to write this. I pray for you daily that God may begin the process of softening your heart to the forgiveness and love that waits for you at the hands of Jesus. 

In Christ,
Rachel Breeding