I never used to like Father’s Day.
It used to be a day where everything around me seemed to poke at the broken pieces of my heart — at a raw wound yet to be healed.
It used to be a day where I felt nothing but anger. I was unforgiving towards my father, merely thanking him for making me feel worthless and at fault for his absence. Not growing up knowing him damaged my identity and how I saw myself. I let a “fatherless” shadow cast itself over me.
I let my absent father define me and my place as a daughter.
What I should have done from the moment I realized such was look to my heavenly father for identity. Not inward at the wayward thoughts I had of myself.
Today, I know exactly who I am because of the ways in which the Lord has revealed himself to me. For the way in which he has re-defined me.
For one, He’s a good father.
Through my walk with the Lord I’ve learned more about trust and laying preconceived ideas down before him. Because I had no previous connections with a father, the only words I associated with the term were abandonment, guilt, and hurt.
By the Lord’s grace, through years of insecurity and confusion around who I was, he showed me that it really isn’t about who I am, but who I am found in. And when I am found in him, I am secure.
Despite growing up irrevocably hurt, I decided years ago to not let unforgiveness dwell in my heart. I now know the strength and joy I have found in him will be a testament to finding my identity in Christ.
Society would consider the “fatherless daughter” to be just a statistic. Just a mess waiting to happen. Deemed worthless. Garbage. A basket-case. Bound to commit suicide, have behavioral disorders, run away from home, or drop out of high school.
But, I disagree.
We are worthy of love. We are not at fault. We are more than capable than the next. Our parents or lack thereof don’t determine our paths or probability of success. We are valued, treasured, needed, accounted for, and called by name. We are talented and full of potential. We are determined and motivated.
We are full of life and life more abundantly.
We are strong and we are called to move mountains.
I know I have a story of hope to tell of how Jesus took an insecure, broken girl and turned her into a courageous, God-fearing and loving woman who is found in the arms of her heavenly father.
As I went through a time of deep anxiety this past year I leaned into God and the father he is to me. The song with the line: “I wanna sit at your feet. Drink from the cup in your hand. Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat” was the cry of my heart. I longed to sit in my heavenly father’s lap and rest just as a little girl in her adolescence would on her father’s lap. She would do so to feel protected and loved. Safe and secure.
I longed to seek the father’s heart. To find him.
Though I’ve never had the opportunity to do so, I’m confident the moments I’ve shared with the Lord while sitting in my room are just as special, if not, more. I get to rest in his unshakeable promises — he will never leave me nor forsake me. The plans he has for me are good. He says I am worth far more than rubies. He calls me beloved. He created my inmost being and knit me specially in my mothers womb and wrote out all my days.
I praise him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made — his work in me is wonderful.
I am living against the odds.
It’s a strange thought but, I consider myself blessed to have never met my dad.
It never made sense until I got older, but I understand now that it was the Lord protecting me. If not for his absence I might not have met God in the ways I did. I wouldn’t have gone through a long process of healing that would one day be part of my testimony — my destiny.
Living to tell of the love my father has for not just me, but all his sons and daughters.
My brothers and sisters.