There were two things I wanted more than anything as a little girl: a unicorn and a daddy. And by age 10, I quit believing for both.
Santa never came through on the first one, and my prayers for a father’s return bounced right back down to earth.
My parents divorced at age 2, and my father left the country and the picture by age 6. He took with him a new family, his parental rights, and the last name on my birth certificate.
What he left behind was a broken girl saddled with bags of severed dreams, rejection, and more fear than she knew what to do with when a step-dad replaced him in the pictures.
You can see why age 7 was the perfect time for Jesus to walk in. I was a girl in need of a Superman Savior. And a Father’s love.
Needless to say, it was easy to see Jesus as a safe friend and Savior, sent down to earth to rescue the lost and forgotten. But somehow I could never really view God as Father, lavishing unconditional, unearned, unmerited love.
I could grip the Savior, but I just couldn’t grasp the Father part. That was for storybooks and fairytales, and those chapters were closed.
Maybe my story’s no different than half of yours, because half of us are from broken homes and family trees split in two.
Or maybe yours stayed together, with a dad still present, but never really there. Perhaps you’re divorced too, with kids in the middle. Maybe you’re a mom doing the best you can with all you have–but God never meant for mamas to be daddies.
The fact is, whether we know it or not, how we saw, or didn’t see, our earthly dads, will shape and color how we view our Heavenly Father. And it will impact how we view ourselves. For better or worse. For truth or for a lie.
Broken homes filled with unfiltered lies can mar and scratch the truth-filled pages of God’s love letter to His kids. When a dad leaves or doesn’t fill the role God intended, there’s a gaping hole. And there’s one who sets out to fill it.
The father of lies, as the Bible calls Satan, can drown out God’s words of true love and affection. He shovels on the dirt, year by year, lie by lie, until you’re buried so deep, you can’t tell the truth–from the lie.
So we listen to the wrong dad. The counterfeit. Who tells us we’re not good enough. He sounds like this: You’re unlovable, leaveable, dispensable, unworthy, Hurry up, put your guard up! You’ve gotta earn approval, prove your worth, look the part, sound the part, play the part, until you fall–apart.
All the while, God waves at us, smiles upon us, lovingly adores us, but we won’t see it or accept it. Because it can’t be for real, and it surely can’t be for–free.
It’s hard to paste unconditional love over caked-on dirt. We must finally lift up our arms from across our heart, and let our Heavenly Father pour out His pitcher of truth, grace, and love. And then down slides the mud.
We’re women, but we’re still girls. And here’s what we still need to hear and what our daughters need to know.
You’re the apple of your Heavenly Father’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)
He’s numbered every hair on your head. (Luke 12:7)
He’s counted and kept every tear that you’ve shed. (Psalm 56:8)
You are never forgotten or forsaken. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
He redeems your past, and has plans for your future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
And He calls YOU daughter. (Matthew 9:22)
Fellow daughter, receive this, believe this, embrace this–you are LOVED! And yesterday, today, and every day is Father-Daughter day! Because HE’S your Daddy!
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