But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
Five days ago, I received a call from my friend. She informs me, Butterfly’s biological father wants her to call him.
Cue a mother’s tailspin.
Even now, I’m struggling with what words to say first. So many emotions. I should probably start with the back story.
I believe I’ve shared that Butterfly is not Mike’s biological daughter. She also doesn’t share the same father as Tunes, Justice, or Fun, either.
In fact, her entire existence started in a very dark time in my life. I’ve written about it here and here.
I was living with a man who terrorized me. And I became pregnant.
It certainly didn’t start that way.
I was living alone with three little boys and going through a divorce. Let’s pretend for a minute that these were three normal little boys, which alone is a handful, and exhausting. I had left my cheating and emotionally abusive husband over a year earlier, and even the judge was like, “Why has it taken so long for this divorce to happen? Good grief.”
In walks this man…
He was charming. And funny. Liked kids. Made me laugh. Made me feel special.
But in the end, he was really a drug addict, womanizer, alcoholic, thief, hustling monster who would taunt me every day. He was always trying to make me mad. He would do something or say something to get arise out of me. I was somehow a challenge he accepted to make me lose my temper. Just how much can she handle before she loses her mind. I would start to get frustrated, and he would laugh at me, “Ooh wee! Look at her. She’s getting feisty!” But I would never let him push me too far. Until the day he did.
I had told him once again to leave. I was going to call the police and he took my phone. I picked up a stereo he had connected in our backyard, that he probably stole, and threw it on the ground, busting it into a million pieces. He had finally won, and he couldn’t be happier. He threatened to call the police on me. He told me they would come and get me for domestic violence because I broke something in anger. Didn’t matter that I didn’t throw it at him. Didn’t matter that I hadn’t touched him.
At this time, I was already pregnant. I was sleeping in our living room on the sofa. I tried to stay on the side of the house the kids’ bedrooms were on. Even though I had asked him to leave, he wouldn’t. I would wake up in the morning with him wrapping his arms around me and whisper good morning. I would push him off in disgust. This would excite him. He loved seeing me angry, defenseless, and hopeless. He would laugh.
I somehow got him to leave. It was by God’s grace, a restraining order, and the Goodyear police department I was finally free. God had broken through and rescued me.
Now this man wants to talk to my daughter. He has only seen her maybe three times as an infant. I have spent sixteen years living in fear of him suddenly reappearing and pulling her into his chaos.
I’m remembering the manipulation that trapped me. The powerlessness I felt. The way he would change my words around and make me believe I did something wrong. The guilt…the shame…the despair…
I turn back into the person who was terrified of him. Who was hopeless and helpless. Who was broken, who was weak. I’m crying. I hand the phone to my husband, and he’s like, what is going on?
He tells me…
Kim, what are you afraid of? Don’t you remember who you are? You are not that person anymore. He doesn’t have that power over you. Remember, you’re God’s favorite.
And the next day I wake up asking him, “Would it be ok if I agreed to meet him?”
I’m sure he was like, “What the hell?” I know my friend who I asked to arrange the meeting was.
During the night I did remember who I was. And I know he doesn’t have any power over me anymore. I remember I am God’s favorite.
Butterfly has always been curious about her bio dad.
So, today he has agreed to meet with us.
So many emotions I’m feeling. I can’t wait for this to be over.
But I’m kind of excited for him to see the young lady that will sit across from him.
She is strong. She is determined. She is not easily persuaded. She thinks for herself. She will never, ever, find herself stuck with a man like him. She has told me, “Mom, you have been training me for this day my whole life. I am not afraid. You don’t need to be either.”
So again, I am reminded, for when I am weak, then I am strong.
God must be very close, because today I feel very strong.