March 3, 2017
I am writing in hopes of helping those who have left the Amish, and more specifically, those who have had a rough childhood like myself.
I have noticed that many young people grow up in rough and unpleasant home situations. As a result, they leave their homes and start a new life with hearts filled with bitterness toward their parents, and in some cases, also towards other Amish that they grew up with just because they feel that everyone in the culture wronged them in some way.
I was one of these bitter people at one time. I left the Amish with anger and hatred in my heart. I felt like my whole life was a lie, and I chose to dwell on those beliefs. I let anger eat me up!
Every time I saw an Amish person, even if I didn't know them, I decided in my heart that I didn't like them. I felt that they had wronged me in some way simply because of my past.
Growing up, my relationship with my dad was not a good one. We fought and yelled at each other often. We hurt each other on a mental level, and sometimes, on a physical level as well. It seemed like my dad was always confronting me with something wrong that I did! In other words, I hated my dad, and I thought that my dad hated me. I felt rejected and unwanted, which made me want to get out every single day.
Little did I know that, at the time, my dad was just doing the only thing that he knew how to do. He was treated badly throughout his childhood, but instead of fighting and yelling back like I did, he would just bottle it all in. Like me, he was also eaten up with bitterness; he felt unloved and in the way of everyone his whole life.
I realized there is only one way to fix this ongoing cycle and repair our relationship: forgiveness. My dad forgave his dad, and likewise, I eventually forgave my dad as well.
Forgiving my dad wasn't easy. Once I saw that there was no other way to move forward in life with so much gnarly hate in my heart, though, I knew that I had to do it. In fact, I chose to forgive him before I even talked to him.
The day that I went to talk about my change of heart, I started by reaching out to my dad and asking for his forgiveness for all of the times that I acted wrongly. To my surprise, he asked me if I would forgive him as well. I can't even tell you how much weight was lifted off of my shoulders after that.
I don't know what your current situation is, but even if you're in a situation that involves your parents refusing to talk to you, you should ask yourself, "why?" It is probably because they are either bound by religion and fear, or bound by the pain of their own childhood. One thing I do know is that our parents love us no matter what, even if they don't always show or say it.
To this day, I can't go to visit or see my parents, but I still love them and the rest of my family with all my heart.
I hope this testimony helps someone out there. I felt the need to share because it is so important that we don't hate our family because of circumstances. If you do, only you will be putting a brake lock on your own life. I forgave my dad with the help and grace of God; there is no other way I would have been able to. In the same way, I pray others may also find peace with their parents, even if it is only within their own hearts. If your parents choose not to talk or accept your forgiveness, you still need to forgive them for your own sake. It is the only way to move on in life! I have found this to be true, and I hope you can too!
This testimony has been published with permission from the owner.
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