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About the Writer:

As a wife, mother, daughter, friend and believer, Jo explores the work of God in all her roles and situations. With a deep hunger to learn more about the ways of the Lord, Jo conveys the truths she's learned through vivid descriptions and personal stories. Her love of Jesus carries her and her writing expresses her deepest love.


My Dad Grew Up into Grandpa

By Jo Ludwig

Growing up as an abused daughter… it happens to many of us… it happened to me!!

But today there is GREAT news; Jesus can give you new eyes to see your old and painful story. It gives you new life and new hope.

Let me explain.

I am the oldest daughter of a sibling group of three. My dad grew up in an abusive home. His mother tied him to bedposts with his brother for hours. Not good. My dad grew up in a world unfortunately NOT helpful for healing wounds like that. As the first of his progeny, lucky me, I became the vehicle through which all the wrongs ever done to my father would be righted.

That was, of course, a subconscious expectation on my dad’s part, yet powerful none the less. I grew up petrified under the weight of that expectation. I was to be the PERFECT CHILD that would make my dad’s world ALL BETTER! Suffice it so say, that is, of course, IMPOSSIBLE. My life bears major consequences of that truth.

I am 47 now and have been actively growing through the healing process with the help of many Godly people, yes, including professional counseling, but I am here today to PROCLAIM there is not only HOPE but abundant LIFE. All of us who grew up in the shadows of haunting and painful abusive pasts can be redeemed and renewed.

My dad is dead now. I will be completely honest and tell you that there was a peaceful relief that the threat of hurt was finally gone from the reality of my present existence. The little Jo inside me “KNEW” bad daddy Leo could NEVER hurt her again. Here comes the hope.

I have recently been looking through mounds of photos of my dad with MY daughters. Ten years ago, these photos brought me great pain. A question gnawed inside my gut. WHY? Why could he LOVE THEM and NOT ME? It is a legitimate inquiry that requires addressing honestly and with people you trust that can help you sift through that part of what I call the MUCKY YUCKY elements of one’s past. Here comes the hope I promised. There is a beauty to those same photos today. There is GREAT news. And it starts with a word we all know…FORGIVENESS. Ok, trite, but so true and it is the only way through the pain. The best part about all of this, however, is the surprise is that the best gifts are waiting for guess who? YOU!!! The one hurt most.

Now that I have worked through many, many heart hurts, I see my dad loving my girls in the way he did REALLY WANT to love me. He honestly and simply could not at that time in his life. When I look at those photos today, I now see a heart inside my father that lay dormant and hidden for years. My dad is a good man. He adored my daughters and I know he smiles and loves them from the room in the mansion he now shares with God. The really GREAT part is that I KNOW NOW, if he could have, my daddy would LOVE to have been free enough to LOVE ME just like he loves my daughters. And, here is truly the best part…take this thought and ponder it daily for awhile…the photos of my dad loving my girls ARE photos of my dad loving ME. Think about the power in that. Those two women are flesh of my flesh. What my dad gave to these little ones HE DID give to me.

It took a “next generation”, if you will, but I finally got IT. I did get the daddy love I have always and STILL need. It came in a way I needed NEW GLASSES to see it with. It came to me God’s way. I will tell you this, at 47 years old, my dad’s love tastes sweeter than honey and fills my heart with abundant joy. God’s way works. It is pretty much that simple!

If you are a “me”, let’s talk. Talk to Jesus Christ. Talk to God the Father. Talk to counselors. Talk to other women. Find your life, find the love, feel the peace. It is waiting to hold you in your deepest places of hurt and tears. They can become joy. I know. It happened for me. It is a promise for you. Why wait any longer?


Copyright © March 3, 2006 – Jo Ludwig. All rights reserved.


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